Then two thugs come to her house and violently attack her. One thug strikes her in the face and knocks her out. When Niki awakens, she finds both men dead, one with a sharp object protruding from his neck; the other is sprawled out the floor. Torture devices are shown hanging from the walls and blood is literally splattered everywhere.
The audience learns that Niki's secret power is an alter ego capable of carrying out unthinkable acts of violence without remorse.
On another episode, NBC drew out a scene with Niki seducing the congressman character into sex that would be secretly videotaped in order to blackmail him. This is NBC's idea of a "hero"?
Perhaps the most disturbing scene so far involved a teenage cheerleader character dying after impaling her head on a log during a rape. She later comes back to life in a grotesque spot: split open on an autopsy table. How much of this would make the airline version? And would it be missed?
But the networks today are focused on delivering an audience to advertisers focused largely on 25- to 54-year-olds with a lot of disposable income, and in an effort to grab eyeballs for the sleaziest advertisers, from Toyota to Target, from Apple to American Express, there seems to be no mountain of muck they won't climb.
It is absolutely unnerving -- and insulting -- that they believe this age group must receive outrageous material in order to be entertained. It is offensive that every other demographic section of America is an afterthought.
Why can't a show like "Heroes" be pitched expressly at an audience as a straightforward superhero story -- without the creepy dark themes, themes that seem to be strictly enforced as if there were some sort of pro-creepiness Hollywood union rule? Obviously, the dirty word in today's Hollywood is "innocence." A show that resembles an old-fashioned comic book would be scorned as hopelessly retrograde.
How much easier would the prime-time clicking decisions be for parents if the television networks could occasionally maintain the same cruising decency altitude as the airlines?