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Is Heroes Overreaching?

The internets have been abuzz discussing Boston Globe columnist Matthew Gilbert’s article Too much, too fast for overreaching ‘Heroes’. Basically, his problem with Heroes is that the hype being generated is based on Heroes as a product, and not media-hype about how good the show is.

Well, excuse me, but the media does not decide if a show is good or not, the people watching it do. Now, he does raise some legitimate concerns: too many characters and no logic behind how the powers work. He also complains about the plot being too sprawling, which I don’t agree with. And even though the finale was poor compared to the rest of the season, Heroes is still one of the better shows on television.

Which is why NBC is pushing it as hard as they can. Being at the bottom of the ratings barrel for long time will do that for you. NBC will do everything it can to pump up interest in the second season, including all the ancillary stuff like action figures, trading cards, and the like.

And as for there being too many characters, well, Kring stated early on that season 2 would see some characters depart and new ones appear. I like the idea of this approach, as each season becomes more of a self-contained unit. If the writers do their jobs, there’s no reason to think new characters will kill the show. Comparisons to LOST‘s second season aren’t relevant as LOST is one story told over many seasons. Heroes is a new story every season. We’ll see how well this works starting this September, but to dismiss the attempt before you even see how it turns out strikes me as reactionary.

Gilbert also doesn’t like the spin-off idea of Heroes: Origins. I can accept this. The idea seems a bit cheesy to me, sort of a mainstream version of Who Wants To Be A Superhero, only without Stan Lee’s disembodied head. I’m not really interested in this, but I bet it gets decent ratings.

NBC is going to milk Heroes for all its worth, which is why we have a the Hayden Panittiere ‘Got Milk’ ad so prominently displayed. Yes, yes, Masi Oka has one too, but it’s not as, ah, interesting. Now, if Gilbert had decried Hayden’s ad as an overreach, I’d have to agree. I mean, come on, what, exactly are we pushing here? She turns 18 and this is what we get? I’m sure legions of Claire fanboys suddenly have the urge to run to the grocery store.

Back to point, I think Gilbert is putting the cart before the horse. He is using the actions of NBC relentlessly pushing Heroes as suggestive that the show won’t be as good second season. You can’t say that as the writers have nothing to do with how NBC promotes the show, they can only write the story. We’ll see soon how well the show does. I’m hoping the show does well, although the season finale has lowered my expectations somewhat for the new season. I’m still interested, especially in Hiro’s story.

[via John Brownlee at Sci Fi Scanner]

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

6 Comments on Is Heroes Overreaching?

  1. Matt Lozenge // August 23, 2007 at 6:00 pm //

    Gilbert wrote

    By May’s abysmal season finale, the plot had sprawled too far and too wide to fit together satisfactorily, and the rules governing the many characters’ magical abilities had become convoluted and random. The hour was busy, crowded, and empty all at the same time.

    That’s exactly right. I watched every episode and the final batch was a deep disappointment. The writers got lazy and sloppy, addicted to cliffhanger endings with no road map for resolving the plot lines they created. So plot lines dropped like flies, internal logic flew out the window (so to speak), and any pretense at suspension of disbelief was tossed away like so much litter.

    IMO, Heroes jumped the shark when Hiro became a kendo master after ten minutes of training with his father. That’s when Kring and his writers decided they didn’t give a d*mn if the plot made sense, they only cared if it looked cool.

    I read the discussion boards after the finale episode and I know there were at minimum hundreds of fans who felt cheated enough to tune out permanently.

    Well, call it an experiment. We’ll see how many viewers will follow a shaggy dog story just because it looks cool. I won’t be wasting my time.

    And I couldn’t care less how much NBC flogs its products with teasers and merchandising. If it makes fans happy, fine.

  2. IMO, Heroes jumped the shark when Hiro became a kendo master after ten minutes of training with his father.

    That’s not what happened. Hiro already knows kendo; the couple of hours’ training with his father were a refresher course to get him emotionally in the right place to do what his father thought necessary.

  3. Matte Lozenge // August 24, 2007 at 4:52 pm //

    No, every indication was that Hiro was a neophyte when it came to sword fighting. When he hears from Peter Petrelli that his future self was carrying a sword, he reacts as if that would be a dream come true. Future Hiro tells Ando he learned his skills after NYC exploded.

    Ando: You’ve always wanted to become a Kendo master

    Hiro: I trained in Tōhoku so technically I am a Battōjutsu master.

    Maybe you are thinking of the actor who plays Hiro, Masi Oka. Oka trained in kendo for 6-7 years and earned a black belt rank.

  4. It was an awesome show and they SHOULD hype the hell out of it. I’ll ignore the hype and judge season 2 for myself. But if “hype” brings in new fans who want to know what all the fuss is about… good. I want people to enjoy it just like I did.

    I did have problems with the ending of Season 1, though. They could have done a little (or a lot) more.

  5. Overhyped? You betcha. But that’s the network’s job and they are doing it well.

    The bigger question is whether show lives up to the hype. Personally, I think Heroes is overrated. Don’t get me wrong…it’s good and I watch it every week, but it’s far from perfect.

  6. If Hiro grew up in Japan then he would know Kendo, its a manditory part of their school curriculum.

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