06 October 2007

I Don't Need Another "Heroes"

(WARNING: Heroes spoilers. If you haven't watched the show, but plan to, you might should probably skip this post.)

One of my favorite TV shows last season (2006-07) was NBC's Heroes. I thought the premise of the show was fresh and that it could actually go somewhere. (Unlike, say, this season's reimagining of The Bionic Woman. I mean, Lindsay Wagner should be cringing. But, then again, it wouldn't surprise me if she cameoed...) There was a decent (dare I say Campbellian?) story arc that culminated in the heroes more or less triumphing over the evil dude. IMO, that should have been it. Evil dude dead; a few heroes gone for the cause in the process; a few heroes left to live happily ever after. Throughout season one, the characters more or less embodied the definition of heroes, regardless of whether their ability was flight, invisibility, super-hearing (which would make my job, like, way easier), or a psychotic alter-ego with abnormal strength. (Is that last one really a "superpower," though?) They could have stopped right there and I certainly would have been a satisfied viewer.

And here's what I thought would have been cool for season two: Start with an identical story line as season one. No kidding. Retain the same character names, but give them different jobs and powers. (The astute among you will see that I have blatantly stolen this idea from the Stephen King / Richard Bachman Desperation / Regulators books.) Give Claire's dad the superpower instead of her. Maybe her mom's the one involved with "The Company," complete with Haitian sidekick. (Incidentally, how does everyone automatically know he's Haitian when he barely says a word?) Instead of "Save the Cheerleader..." they could have somthing like, "Save the Lifeguard..." (A new role for Milo Ventimiglia, perhaps?)

But maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Season two has begun and thus far the evil dude seems (apparently and not surprisingly) impossible to kill; there are mysterious reappearances of characters thought dead; there are good guys on the lam (from what, again?); there are predictably troubled "whose-side-am-I-on" characters; and so on ad nauseum. (Can anyone say, "Lost?")

AFAIC, I don't think a season premier has ever disappointed me as much as Heroes did on 24 September, 2007. I mean, what's this whole Back to the Future business starring Masi Oka instead of Michael J. Fox??? And I watched the second episode last night (in lieu of suffering through Purdue going down in flames against an admittedly butt-kicking Buckeye defense—thank the stars for DVRs). I found myself at about the same place I was during the third-ish season of 24. When I start to giggle at otherwise serious moments in a show, it's time for me to give up. I can get good comedy from The Office and 30 Rock. I don't need another Heroes.


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