Daily Dojo

Heroes = Sharkbait

Yesterday I took HEROES off my dvr list.

I’m later than many, and I acknowledge that, but I wanted the show to succeed simply because I liked the first season so much. I have about four backed Heroes eps on my dvr list and I can never find a reason to watch them.

Actually, in thinking about it, I can’t even really tell you what season 2 was about. I mean, I watched it. But even then, in thinking back, I know why I can’t really recall it.

HEROES Jumped the shark.

Rather than dump on it (well, calling it sharkbait is kinda dumping on it, but you get what I’m saying, right?) I think I’ll list a few quick bullet points on why, after a stellar first season, the show lost its way.

1) Don’t know what it’s about. First season was simple … Save the cheerleader, save the world. They did that … now, however, they have to save the world AGAIN (and let’s face it, saving the world isn’t something one can really do every week without it getting old) … I’m not exactly sure what they have to do in order to save the world … it’s simply too convoluted and confusing. What do they have to do to save the world and why?

I’ve watched three or four eps this season and I still can’t tell ya.

2) Too many heroes. There’s too many of the buggers … it’s supposed to be a secret, and the fact is there’s a secret agency tracking the abnormals and using them for nefarious purposes was cool … but jiminy cricket, every time we go somewhere new, there’s yet another hero … and normal people DON’T NOTICE? Claire gets a new identity in season two, moves to a new school and guess what? There’s a boy there who can FLY.

Yet no one’s ever noticed. In X-MEN, Mutants are known to society, so it’s more acceptable … in HEROES, mutants do all kinds of weird shit (robbing banks with fire, etc) and yet NO ONE is taking note of it in the press or blogs?

There’s an old Sicilian saying … two people can keep a secret, but only if one of them is dead.

There’s too many of these guys running around for normals not to notice. Which brings us to …

3) No one dies anymore. Seriously, in the first season, the show was pretty bloodthirsty about killing characters … we met this nice waitress who had a magic mind that could pick up languages at the drop of the hat … and Sylar had her for lunch.

Now it’s like a SOAPDISH … a character gets their head cut off, they’ll probably be back. Nathan died at the end of season one, but wait … he didn’t! The hot stripper mom and her evil twin … not a good story, they were right to kill her off … except she’s back! As a long lost sister to the hot stripper mom, and she suddenly finds out (NOW, of course) she ALSO has powers … Claire can’t die … Peter’s died a couple times (in different realities) and so … what’s the danger, if no one dies and no one seems to care if they’re seen with powers?

4) The changing face of the villains. This one is a bit more complex … in the first season, we had two main villains … Horn Rimmed Glasses Guy (HRG) and Sylar. Sylar was, of course, an incredible villain, a mutant who ate the brains of other supers to attain their powers … He wended his way through everyone like a lawn mower.

HRG was also a great villain … smart, resourceful and ruthless when it came to achieving his goals. Except, of course … he’s Claire’s father (but he’s really not, he just raised her), too.

As followers of the show know, HRG isn’t really a villain, he just came off as one for the first season. He’s actually the only arguably normal hero of the whole thing, and it was brilliant to make the twist that he’s a good guy who had to do bad things.

Except now the show is enamored of that technique. Guess who’s a good guy now? Sylar, of course.

Then Peter Petrelli was a villain (or a version of him) and then good …. Then Mrs. Petrelli was a villain, then she wasn’t, now she’s good … then it’s Mr. Petrelli (Peter and Nathan’s father, who was supposed to be dead, but he was simply put into a coma by his wife) now he’s back and he’s the most dangerous, deadly villain of all.

For a show about defeating evil, there often doesn’t seem to be a clear idea what the evil is … I get the shift and complexities, but what made the first season work was, we all could see the evil in Sylar (who killed innocents, including a teen aged cheerleader he thought was Claire) and balanced that against the nuanced evil of HRG, that made the first season, but to do it again and again, it’s taken a toll … Now, for a show whose mission should be clear, it’s not.

As an audience, it’s hard to know A) what exactly we’re fighting for B) who we’re fighting against and most importantly C) why we should give a shit?

The last one is the golden one. We saved the world the first season. Why are we doing it again? There needs to be a good answer to that, other than the ratings were stellar.

Too often it feels like the show is doing what soaps do, putting their characters in jeopardy just for jeopardy’s sake, just like they do on soaps … or doing stupid things that make no sense, like Hiro opening his father’s safe, despite recorded warnings from his father that a secret lay inside that could destroy the world … Hiro opened it, BECAUSE HE WAS BORED, MIND YOU, and boom … the secret (a formula) was stolen and now he has to save the world again.

That’s season three. Hiro was bored and put the civilization at risk. Come on!

I say this as a fan and as a writer, cuz I loved the show and wish it would find its way back (LOST did, after an errant season) I don’t mind complex and convoluted stories …. I just need to know that it is, indeed, going somewhere and not just pinballing … each story has its own rules, that’s part of the fun … every world you create has its own laws … you can break them from time to time (X-Files did that) but once you basically ignore the world you set up just to torment your characters, to pinball them back and forth because you can, once you disregard the rules of behavior defined by the world itself … you’ve lost your audience.

At least, the show lost me. I’m sad for that.

That is all.

3 Responses to “ Heroes = Sharkbait”

  1. Luzid Says:

    When I was reading this, I immediately thought of the X-Files, which JTS when the first movie came out.

  2. Joshua James Says:

    I agree, I was fairly disappointed with the film, which didn’t resolve enough for me … To this day, I don’t even remember exactly what happened in the movie (I remember bees) but can recall almost everything of the classic episodes (the roaches, for example).

  3. Don Nguyen Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I completely agree. I will add that one of the things I loved about Season 1 was the Heroes were more or less isolated and lonely and it was cool to see how they crossed each others paths and finally came together to save the world. Of course, they can’t really do that now, but I have issues with some of the grouping/partnering of heroes that just seems silly. I love Parkman, but to make Daphne the love interest? Really? And every time HRG hugs Claire, it feels a little dirty. Also, I really really want them to kill off Mohinder. His voice overs crack me up, and that’s not good. Ok, I need to stop my rant. Look what you’ve started!

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