I have to say, I was one of those people who wanted to write off Heroes of Cosplay. After horrid first season where it seemed as if the show focused more on the ‘reality show’ formula of being catty and critical in a community where such behavior is constantly being discouraged, imagine my surprise when it came back sooner than I expected with some changes that were sorely needed and still much room for improvement.
So, technically, this isn’t season two, this is season 1.5 which explains why SyFy didn’t wait a full year to return this show. Also, rather than write a review after the first episode, I waited a few episodes just to see if it was more of the same or if any good changes were brought forth.
So far, I have liked the changes that SyFy has made to the show. Mostly gone is the cattiness and snobbery that cast a bad shadow over the cosplayers in season one. There was one small instance in one of the shows when some of them met up in a bar to hang out before a show and one of the guys was criticized for drinking chocolate milk in a bar. Thankfully thus far, that was the only bit of negativity that reared up.
Better yet, SyFy has thankfully taken a 180 turn on the portrayal of Yaya Han as a ‘villain’ as she is really not like that in person. I have to say, if you ever meet her in person at a con, you would be surprised how patient she is when it comes to taking pictures with people and speaking to everyone for a few minutes. SyFy did a big disservice misrepresenting her and the cosplay community and it seems like they are doing their best to change that perception.
The focus this season has really been more about showing how cosplayers create their costumes from conception to the end product and participating in the contests. Much less focus has been about cosplayers hoping to get noticed by big wigs in Hollywood and more has been about making a great and unique costume, props that may (or may not) work and the big point of it all, HAVING FUN. Also, we have seen less and less about cosplayers who wait until the last seconds to make and finish a costume and more of the technical aspects of making sure things work and the dreaded transport of costumes.
While I am pleased with the turnaround that Heroes of Cosplay has made, there are still two criticisms that I have about the show considering that I am in the last represented in both. First, while I do love and appreciate the fact that these are some very creative and talented women, there are still hardly any men representing cosplayers on the show. Out of 5 episodes so far, the men may have been on for 2. I am not complaining, but if there is going to be some levity and balance on the show, it would be nice to see some of the men get an equal amount of show time along with the ladies. Going back to Mark Cronin’s quote about male characters having costumes not as interesting or intricate as women’s costumes, I still beg to differ and would really like to see more men on the show that can create some of the most interesting costumes one has seen.
The second biggest criticism still lies with the fact that there is no minority representation (yes Yaya Han is Asian and we will not dispute that) but I am referring to the fact that across the spectrum of Black cosplayers, Latino and so on, Heroes of Cosplay, in order to be a well-rounded show, should feature a bit of everyone from all backgrounds and do so without it being pandering. Real talk, a cosplayer of color has it a bit rough when picking out costumes and you want to see some real heroes, come see us when you are ready!
Heroes of Cosplay has gotten better and it is more enjoyable to watch as we see how much hard work is put into these costumes and we also get to see a bigger emphasis on having FUN at a con is with the cast. I am happy to see a bigger emphasis on working as a team is a part of the process and less of the cattiness as displayed in the first season. Again I still would like to see more of the men represented (umm, you guys thought about getting Eric Moran to do an episode? Hehehe) and definitely more minorities as hey, WE COSPLAY TOO! I think it’s safe to say, for now, it’s ok to come back to this and give it a go and hopefully SyFy keeps improving the product.
3 out of 5 stars
And what post would be the same without a few interesting cosplay pics to show off: