[TV] When Good Heroes Go Bad
I just finished watching the first season of the new hit TV series Heroes on DVD and I have to say that I’m disappointed. I’m still an avid reader of comic books, so when a new TV series starts that seems like a mild rip-off from X-Men came out, I didn’t really have a choice when it came to watching it.
I’ve always enjoyed the stories about how people deal with having super-powers more than the crime fighting and action. The most interesting sci-fi stories are the ones that deal with how society reacts to the fantastic, and unfortunately that is something Heroes never explored in depth.
(photo by Ivo Sandaval)
They started out well with many interesting characters, but that was also the biggest flaw. Too many characters means too much time spent on telling the story. Often they went several episodes without covering one of the favorite characters. There also seemed to be a ridiculous duplication of powers  amongst the existing “heroes”. At least they were willing to kill characters off.
Too many characters also means it takes too long to tell the story. I’ve recently become a big fan of Warren Ellis and one of the things he does very well is timing a story arc. The Authority wraps up every four issues, and Nextwave wraps up every two issues. Heroes would have done well to follow the same formula to keep everyone’s attention. Taking 24 episodes to show “how to stop an exploding man” ensures that the finale won’t live up to expectations. (And what a lame ending it was…)
Every episode was linked to the overall plot, when one-shots and smaller story arcs would have gone a long way to develop the characters and hold the attention of the audience. The Days of Future Past rip off where Hiro travels five years into the future was one of my favorite episodes because it stood out from the rest. I hope they do more of that, instead of huge epic story arcs that are hard to follow and ultimately unsatisfying.
I thought it was very cool that they did an online comic book series to fill in some of the back story. A torrent of issues 1-24 can be found here, and 25-31 can be found here . Use a bit torrent client to download and use CDisplay to view.
The preview of season two sparked my interest, and I hope they take some time to focus on one story arc to completion instead of their current blueprint where everything leads to one arc that plays out less than thirty minutes.
(photo by robjtak)
 Completely screwed up by Marvel’s “everyone is a mutant!” stupidity.
 Linderman and Claire both heal. Peter and Sylar can both copy other powers. Wireless and Mika can both interact with machines. The writers need to read George RR Martin’s Wild Cards to get some idea of all the crazy powers that people can have.
 Since the comics were available on the NBC website, the torrents should be legal to distribute.
- 81 movies for geeks that do not suck
- T-shirts – 100+ geek t-shirts that I like.
- Comic Books – My favorite comic books available in trade paperbacks.
- TV series on DVD – some shows I like.
What Others Think
Tech Chick: “Eureka: On Friday NBC announced that the majority of the Season 1 cast of Heroes will be touring the world to promote the Season 1 DVD/HD DVD release (set for August 28th), as well as the upcoming second season of Heroes. I know the DVD release isn’t as exciting as the upcoming season, but getting to see 50 deleted scenes and the 73-minute never aired premiere episode WILL make the wait less painful. I promise.”
Forever Geek: “In an interesting move to avoid airing repeats, NBC has ordered a 6 part second series called “Heroes: Origins” – this show will feature different characters from the ones appearing on Heroes, but some of the characters in the series will eventually make their way to the main show. This series will air in the regular Heroes time slot when the show goes on hiatus next fall.”
“So, last night’s “Heroes” season finale didn’t satisfy on every level I hoped it would, but it did wrap up at least the bomb scenario… spoilers“
Movies No One Should See: “Not only is he awesome as Hiro, he’s more badass as Future Hiro (thanks to time traveling, shows up sometimes). A little goatee, fluently speaking English, and the samurai sword with him at all times: this is how Hiro could be in the future. Of course, that future is ala “Age of Apocalypse” so it might be altered next season (and he’ll show up as Hippy Hrio instead).”
Random Musings: “However, the other 22 episodes really made up for this one lackluster season finale. Almost all of them were brimming with interesting and shocking plot twists that made this show one of the most complicating and yet satisfying ones I’ve seen in a long time. For those of you who haven’t watched it, make sure you get the DVD as soon as it’s released, you really don’t want to miss out on this great show.”