At one point in time Heroes was one of my favorite TV shows. And when I say one point in time, I mean when its first season aired in 2006 (wow that was 10 years ago?!)... I loved the first season, though I had some issues with the last few episodes — mainly feeling rushed — but after that, things took a turn for the worse. Now, I could probably host an entire blog series devoted to my disappointments and grievances with Heroes, but I'd like to believe it's kind of a universal acknowledgement among fans that the series started floundering after its original season. And that said floundering eventually morphed into full blown nosedive by the end of the series.
Eventually the Heroes was cancelled and the series kind of drifted away, unceremoniously, into obscurity. There were talks of a mini series and/or movie to wrap up the franchise as a whole, but they were merely rumors. A lot of times these kind of rumors are facilitated by the hopes and dreams of long-time fans (like those of Firefly, for example). Eventually, however, a limited series was green-lit. Originally it was going to be around six episodes, then I thought they bumped it to twelve, but it seemed thirteen was their "lucky" number.
I will try to be brief and spoiler free, just giving my overview of the limited series that could have potentially put the franchise back into the spotlight, exposing it to a new audience, raising it from the dead. Enter Heroes Reborn.
To be fair, this reboot did bring Heroes back into the spotlight and opened the franchise to a new generation/following. What it didn't do was raise it from the dead. If anything, I think Heroes Reborn was the proverbial final nail in the coffin for the series and its — mostly — beloved characters.
I wonder how many people will read this post's title thinking that I was excited for the season/series finale because I thoroughly enjoyed it? Those people would be mistaken. What I really mean is that I was excited for the series to finally be over. For Good. Done. Cancelled! And cancelled it was.
Getting through the series was a painstakingly difficult process. No, I couldn't stop watching it. It was akin to a train wreck you couldn't look away from. I was already dedicated to riding that sucker out. When I mentioned twelve episodes above, it's because when getting to the twelfth episode, I was momentarily basked in a beautiful wave of relief. The torment was over. You can imagine my reaction when I knew by the end of the episode that there had to be at least one more.
"I am Jak's betrayed sense of inner-peace" comes to mind. I almost couldn't do it. Heroes Reborn in all of its nonsensical, inconceivable bullshit was breaking me.
Despite having some really great moments, great special effects, returning characters (whether better or worse for the show is highly debatable — I'm looking at you Matt Parkman, my once favorite character of the franchise), introducing a handful of interesting new ones, and connecting some pivotal scenes/plots (even some, keyword being some, involving time travel were handled nicely), Heroes Reborn was a mess. Some mediocre acting, main protagonist characters who I thought just looked/acted mean/spoiled that I couldn't connect with (personal perception I know), some terrible changes made to old characters, gaping plot holes, etc etc.
Mind you, I can suspend my disbelief like a champ, but when it comes to the motives and decisions made by characters, if I find it completely implausible (aside from extreme choices made under extraordinary conditions, it happens) for a specific character to act in the way that they do, I'm checking out. Especially if it's a constant occurrence. This goes for any TV show that I watch (many being of a much higher caliber than Heroes/Heroes Reborn combined). I need that consistency. Bring on some character development, but if decisions are made without any sound explanation? Noooope!
Okay, let me just (try to) wrap this up by saying Heroes Reborn managed to do in thirteen episodes, what it took Heroes the span of four seasons (and one writer's strike) to do. The first two episodes seem relatively promising, you have some new introductions of characters and plot points, it's laying the groundwork. But the next few episodes are plagued with plot holes and the shoddy acting (possibly a result of shoddy writing) is becoming more noticeable, you aren't sure where the creators are aiming to go with the series. And then BOOM! The last half of the season is a complete nosedive!
Hopefully crashing and burning the series for good.
In my opinion, this was the one opportunity to revive Heroes, and the studio (NBC) blew it. There was so much potential wasted. If this was the best they could come up with after ten years (okay, technically six), then to hell with 'em!
One of the most annoying elements of Heroes Reborn was when a pair of newer characters, Miko (Katana Girl) and her friend Ren, would charge headfirst into (rarely ever realistic) combat with enemies yelling "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy Jeeeeeeeeenkins!" Is that phrase still widely used? I get implementing staples of pop culture into other mediums, but this just seems so misplaced to me. Is it still relevant?
But, ironically, I think the real Leeroy Jenkins here is NBC. They rushed headlong into a situation they had obviously not fully realized, or maybe they just didn't care and that was the plan all along. Well, I hope they have chicken.
I could go on and on and on, but... Have you watched Heroes? If so, what was your opinion of the series over time? Did you watch the Heroes Reborn reboot? If so, what did you think? How do you think it compares to the original series? What is one of your favorite characters of the franchise and why? Do you think the Heroes franchise is dead, at least in terms of TV series?