Here’s hoping I can get this review out there before I lose power. See, its doing that… thunder storm thing again. Not sure what’s up with that. Seems like all it ever does anymore is dispense copious amounts of hell from above on southern Ohio. But hey! Elrood asked me to write him a Faceplant article for today, and that’s what I’m going to do. He said this can be another Tophat Week, so I’m retroactively taking credit for Enosh’s article on Wednesday. Oh man, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil… that was a tough review to write, let me tell you.
Anyway, I’ve been putting off giving you an article about Heroes since A) no one really cares about Heroes anymore, B) I hate writing TV reviews, and C) It’s Heroes, for God’s sake, but I figured I’d bite the bullet and give those of you who are considering running through the series on Netflicks my two cents on how this highly acclaimed sci-fi/drama crap shoot actually turned out.
I went into Heroes not really knowing what to expect. I mean sure, there were things that you know even before the first episode starts- that there are some people, and that they are going to have super powers out the ying yang.
Actually, I think if I was the one writing this series, I’d fight for the name “Super Powers out the Ying Yang.” I suppose this is why I’m not a wealthy television executive and am actually a penniless blogger. But I digress.
Here’s what you need to know about Heroes.
Heroes begins with several stories that run concurrently, a theme that persists through the entire four season (or five “books,” as Heroes likes to call them). At times, these stories will cross and join together, run together for a little while, and then ultimately split again, to allow for character specific shenanigans. Heroes is actually less of a sci-fi story and more of a daytime TV drama, wherein the characters also have sweet abilities.
While there is a rotating cast to keep track of here, I’ll just break down some of the major players early on. There’s Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), the sponge, whose stupid mouth started to irritate me by the end of the series, Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar), the politician who can also FLY OMG, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), the sad sack telepath who can read minds but can’t make people love him, Claire Bennett (Hayden Panettiere), a cheerleader who heals so fast she can’t be permanently hurt (exept… EMOTIONALLY. 😦 😦 😦 SAD STORY SAD STORY BLOO HOO HOO), Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), who is the comedy relief go-to guy who can also bend time and space to his will, and Nikki/Jessica/
Tracy (Ali Larter) who is batshit insane and able to punch holes into faces. Rounding out the cast is the friendly Dr. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who is a dude who has the power of not having any powers whatsoever.
There’s an additional, rotating cast of secondaries to watch for here, but those characters are the ones to watch for. The early stages of Heroes introduce us to all of these characters, and introduce the convoluted events that may, eventually, bring them together to possibly stop something from exploding, maybe, if they’re lucky.
The first season of Heroes is the best. If you don’t watch any more of the series after that, I’ll completely understand, but you should definitely watch season one. The action is pretty non-stop, and before the end of it all you’ll come to care about each of the characters, from Matt Parkman’s futile attempts to stop Sylar, the murderer, to Claire’s sad, sad life of being completely alone with no one to trust. Actually, Suresh is probably my favorite character in those early episodes. Whereas other characters are defined early on by their powers and professions (politician, cheerleader, nurse, stripper, uh… asian guy) Suresh has no powers to count on at all. In some respects, he’s the most identifiable character in the first season, even though he is a somewhat obsessed geneticist with daddy issues.
It will keep you guessing. Will the heroes win or lose? What will happen to New York? Who is Sylar? Why does he have to be such a dick?
The first season ends on a high note, and you’ll be pumped. “Oh man,” You’ll say to yourself. “I wonder what happens next? Who lived? What the hell was going on with Feudal Japan? I’m excited to see where this will go!”
Then… the disappointment strikes. It feels like the development team behind Heroes was completely blindsided by the fact that Heroes was going to be a success. The second and third “books” feel like something that was scrapped together on the fly. Characters who once clicked well now feel irrelevant. Characters who were once interesting become completely boring. And you won’t care at all about the plot, which involves… hell I can’t even remember. A bunch of formulas and maybe a virus? … Something… like that.
The series does pick back up again in the fourth book, and I was genuinely interested in where the story was going. In if it was possible for any of those characters to resume a normal life again. But… the fourth book was peppered with revelations that sound like someone just making shit up for the sake of making shit up. It was like they manufactured plot twists with the sole intention of making up plot twists. And none of the characters even question it. It’s simply “Oh, so that’s just the way things are now” without doing something that any sane and logical human being would do, which is to ask for proof.
The characters also have a tendency to completely forgive and trust characters who not more than two episodes before tried to kill everyone in the most violent way possible. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
The last book… Uh… Something about carnivals. I don’t know. It was pretty bad. Still better than books two and three, but I just wanted the series to be done by this point. Actually, for reference, I’ve constructed a handy chart using Microsoft Paint to help you in your Heroes watching efforts. Enjoy.
Anyway, Heroes is still worth watching, if only because it’s not like the other sitcoms or reality shows on TV these days. The first season is truly something to watch, and I for one am glad that I did. It’s important to remember, though, that Heroes follows the formula of most daytime TV soap operas. Major characters never completely die, and oh you’ll see a couple of instances of “oh well this is the twin now” in the series. There’s even a brain tumor, some romantic drama, and a copious amount of comas, just like in… uh… Days of our Lives? Is that still a thing? I don’t even know.
Heroes does also ask us the oldest question in human history. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I think I’d either pick instantaneous travel portals or the ability to make people crap themselves from a distance.