It's a Snail's Race to the Finish
Heroes takes the soap opera approach to entertainment where they promise excitement, but you could miss 3 or 4 of them and not miss anything. For proof, I deliberately avoided 4 TV shows and only had two questions on what I missed. Even then, I could have followed without the answers. The nice thing about DVD is that the dull middle goes a lot faster and is easier to take when played back to back without commercials. I would still recommend skipping the episode of the future and the one where Sylar meets his mom. The first does nothing for the plot and the second ruined the only character who, up till then, had his act together.
I did enjoy the first and last 2 episodes, but there were only 2 significant events in the middle 19 that were worth seeing: when Claire is attacked by Sylar and when Claire's family is attacked by Matt and the fugitive. If the series only consisted of these four episodes, plus a single episode in the middle to tie them together, I would have given this an Excellent rating.
The first few shows had interesting people and marvelous talents. This is no surprise, since Mr. Marvel himself (Stan Lee) was involved in this project. But the super powers quickly become secondary to the soap opera. Only token demonstrations of their powers are shown just to remind watchers what they could do. The rest of the time, it is just another story of basically good but dysfunctional people on their road to eternal punishment here on earth.
The formula for the middle is: introduce a new super, Keresh thinks he has a break-through, somebody dies, something off the wall happens to Hiro, Keresh finds out he is wrong and all the others go deeper into their maelstrom of depression. Every second episode Sylar takes a new power and every third show a regular is the one who dies.
The last episodes I enjoyed because the story went back to what super heroes are about: ACTION. The supers come to terms with their powers (more or less) and there is a fight worth seeing at the end.
Sylar held my respect the longest, but even that died. The other's all had potential, but they failed for one reason for another. Four in particular were disappointing: Claire's dad but he can't decide if he is good or bad, Peter became useless after saving Claire, Linderman is so whimpy I don't see how he came to power, and Hiro had enough bad luck to make Peter Parker (Spider-Man) scratch his head in disbelief. Perhaps they will redeem themselves in season 2.
Despite the advertisement, this was not a story of ordinary people. Only 3 of several score struggle financially. All were Cover Girl or GQ potential except for Hiro (perhaps he is so well liked because he was truly is an ordinary person).
In the course of 23 episodes, there should have been more super power bad guys and more fights with the powers. The "old guard" should have helped the current generation of heroes instead of letting them flounder helplessly. Peter, who fought Sylar twice before, is amazingly incompetent in the final fight. Claire's dad, despite his great tactical mind, is unable to coordinate the attacks of the rest of the heroes.
Despite my attacks on this show, I still think it has potential and can be salvaged. I will at least watch the beginning of the 2nd season. I like what the show has to offer, I just don't like the way it is presented. My vote is to make it more like a comic book.
John Holland-author of The Necklace of Terrersylvanous
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