Television
Heroes Reborn – can it match Season 1?

I went into this show with quite high hopes and expectations as I have to be honest the previous iteration of heroes was (at least in season one) one of my favorite shows and I really hoped that this one could recapture the magic that I had experienced then.  While there were definitely some elements of similarity – perhaps too many as it wasn’t as unique as it should’ve been – this one might be trying too hard. The previous version of heroes had not only an excellent story but the characters themselves were extremely memorable and in most cases extremely likable. Even Skyler the titular villain of the show had some redeeming qualities to him and in all honesty his power was quite interesting and intriguing.

In typical Heroes fashion however this show also opens up with a huge revelation – not the existence of people with powers, that was completed by Claire herself at the culmination of the last run of the show, but rather with a massive explosion when a mainly peaceful conference/summit between EVOs (Evolved Humans) and the Government is disrupted.  Blamed for this explosion is Surinder another character from the previous iteration but while his picture is flashed on screen several times, we don’t actually get to see him – only hear his voice.  Explained as a terrorist attack by the EVOs against Humanity, we quickly realize that all is not as it seems as their is another underlying and guiding force behind the scenes.  However the explosion is not the thing that makes this Heroes … rather it is the seemingly unconnected storylines with multiple different characters and story arcs occurring simultaneously.  Done well, this could be excellent – however it must be said that right now this is nothing if not confusing and they potentially stand to lose their audience very quickly.

Claire or perhaps as we better know her the cheerleader does not feature in this show at least not yet – but she is definitely talked about quite a bit as Noah Bennet continues his search for clues and answers into her supposed to death. However if you recall from the previous version of heroes Claire was essentially immortal and could only be stopped – not killed – if she received an injury to the back of her head. Otherwise she was able to recover from anything and this explosion while definitely devastating would actually not have killed her.  As a grand reveal if this was to happen it could be quite interesting.

My personal favorite character and I think one that most people shared from the previous version of heroes was Hiro. The Japanese time traveling character was extremely likable and his search for answers was one we could all get behind. In terms of similarity this iteration offers us another Japanese character – Katana Girl – and again while’s she seems to have no real understanding of who and what she is and her overall ability she is a skilled swords-woman which is in fact a skill that Hiro did not posses. Her ability to jump in and out of the game world where she interacts with other characters was actually extremely unexpected when it initially happened. And while I do like her as a character I actually dislike the fact that they chose another Japanese character as I wish they would have focused their interests on another part of the world. Though I expect that Katana Girl has some relation to Hiro and his previous experiences and there is the potential for Hiro to be her father (although for this to happen it would have to be time travel related as otherwise there is not enough time).

Personal disappointment and nothing actually related to the story or character for me is the fact that the baddie it seems in this show is played by somebody I have long considered a hero himself namely the character Chuck (played by Zachary Levi) from the television show Chuck. While I knew he was going to be appearing on the show his actions when confronting some of the EVOs was definitely shocking and while I can understand his justifications at the same time blaming these others for something they obviously had no hand in seems the wrong action to take. I do like the fact that he seems to be intelligent enough to consider that he might be getting played so hopefully this will change.

Overall there were 5 or 6 different stories in this one so I’ll only give a you a really quick recap of them and with any luck as the season progresses we’ll see some of them combine together helping resolve some of the unnecessary complexity.

  1. Noah Bennet – The previous iteration had us follow other hero’s around in their search for answers with Noah being the one all seeing and all knowing individual in the background.  Well this time, Noah is the one searching for answers.  Trying to find out what really happened to Claire, where Molly is and why he had his own memories wiped as well as whats really going on.
  2. Luke & Joanne – of Chuck and his weird looking wife if you’re a member of my family!  They were at the summit with their son (Dennis) when the explosion happened.  Unfortunately this explosion killed Dennis and they’ve been on an EVO killing spree ever since.  Luke while definitely the smarter of the two is also perhaps not as bloodthirsty as his wife and there is definite potential for future conflict there.  They do however have a list of all the heroes which they will use to kill them.
  3. Tommy – Obviously one of the key characters of this season, he’s still learning the scope of his powers (by the way, that’s another thing that seems wrong to me … if you had powers wouldn’t that be the FIRST thing you’d do?  Lots and lots of experimentation etc… anyways, I digress) but when he’s confronted by Luke & Joanne he manages to teleport them away to a small room where the scientists from Primatech had previously experimented on him.
  4. Fat Penny Man – This unnamed individual seemingly has the power of removing memories and while he currently seems to have our hero’s best interests at heart, anything can happen.
  5. El Vengador – probably the storyline I’m least interested in truth be told.  Masked vigilante helps people, gets trapped and shot by police and dies.  His brother – with unknown powers – will step into his shoes after the local priest (that seemingly can transform into smoke) persuades him of the importance.
  6. Katana Girl (Miko) & Ren – able to step in and out of a video game (Evernow) she is a master swordswoman.  Her travels through the virtual environment have a corresponding effect in the real world however and while her current search is for her father, I expect she will have a big part to play in this story.
  7. Molly Walker – redhead bombshell that has the ability to find other individuals with power.  She is being hunted by many individuals including Noah Bennet
  8. Melina – not too sure what’s going on here, but this is probably the major catastrophy of the season that is waiting to be released.  She tells someone that she “can’t control it much longer” – but we don’t know what she’s talking about yet.

As you can see confusing doesn’t really begin to cover it and in contrast to the original series while we know that their is “something” they will all need to fight, their hasn’t yet been any details on it or anything that could realistically unite them in this fight.   This season is all over the place thematically. We’ve got a conspiracy theorist, an underground railroad, a girl looking for her father, a boy trying to hide his identity, a couple of psychos on a killing spree, and a girl on the run. What do any of these stories have to do with one another?

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I'm a geek! I love all things SciFi and Fantasy and have done since I first read LOTR as a kid. Escapism to fantastic worlds filled with weird and wonderful creatures initially for me was via books and comics, but with the recent surge in popularity of this fare in film and television also - I'm in a state of bliss! As the editor of Zone Six, I've been lucky to meet some other awesome authors and writers that share this love and passion. The great Ray Bradbury said - "Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will .. it will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again."

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