‘Heroes’ can’t be rescued now

19 05 2010

After four uneven season, the curtain has closed on “Heroes.” When the show debuted in 2006, it was an instant hit. Fans were drawn to the stories of ordinary people with extraordinary abilities, and how they dealt with those powers. Creator Tim Kring envisioned the show as an ensemble, character-driven series that would show how ordinary people could save the world. But in the end, nothing could save “Heroes” from poor ratings and rising costs.

The first season saw an average of 14.3 million Americans watch the heroes as they tried to stop the mysterious Sylar from detonating a bomb in New York City. By the time Season 4 rolled around in Fall 2009, only 5 million tuned in for the season premiere. How did such a hit show fall so fast?

The answer is simple: poor storytelling. In Season 2, Kring and the writers seemed to lose their way. The season was criticized for a slower pace, lack of focus and a less engaging storyline. And it was only downhill from there. Storylines made little sense, characters would change course with no reasonable explanation, and the same plot elements were retread.

“Heroes” was basically a comic book in TV show’s clothing, so it tackled many of the same issues. Ordinary people making a difference. Outsiders trying to be accepted. Individuals trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. That, along with fast-paced storytelling and a healthy dose of mystery, made the show an instant success. If only the writers had continued to tap into that, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

There is talk of a TV movie or mini-series to tie up loose ends and try and give some closure to the series. At this point, I think it may be best to let dead dogs lie. Because that’s what “Heroes” is – dead. It has been dead for 3 seasons, and everyone except the show’s creators seemed to know it.

I loved the show when it started. As a longtime comic book fan, I loved the superhero elements. But as the show continued to run itself into the ground, I had a hard time watching it. Each season I would tune in, hopeful that the writers had found some way to right the ship. And while there may have been momentary glimpses of the greatness that was Season 1, the show never regained its footing. Season 4 was almost painful to watch at times as it limped to its death.

So it is with a heavy heart, but also a sense of relief, that I bid adieu to the once-great “Heroes.” Let us watch Season 1 on DVD and remember all the good times we had with “Heroes.” We can just pretend the other seasons never happened. Maya? Maya who?

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