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  • Heroes: Is it really that good?

    First up, this isn't a thread about bashing Heroes. This is an honest question to those (like me) who started out as fans of the show but found themselves massively disappointed by the end of the season.

    When it began I was hooked. The characters were interesting, the stories were entertaining and Claire was hot. Every week the show ended on a high and kept me wanting more.

    About half way through I found myself losing interest in about half of the cast. Matt, Nikki, Mohinder (did I spell that one right?) and their related stories just didn't do anything for me. It got to the point where only the Claire, HRG, Peter and occasionally Hiro stories were keeping me watching.

    Then the last few episodes. Talk about a journey to absolutely nothing! The "dream" Peter had experienced about the explosion was actually more thrilling than the real thing. Sylar, the big threat of the year, basically allowed Hiro to stab him when he was more than capable of stopping him. The plot had more holes than half a dozen golf courses.

    Basically, it was a total let down. Predictable and lazy. I wouldn't have cared except that the show had so much promise but failed to deliver in so many ways. Even worse, my biggest problem with season one (way too many characters and only one or two of them developed) seems to be even more obvious with season two as I've seen spoilers for I don't know how many new characters, all seemingly with powers. Too much.

    After the last episode of Heroes season one I'd decided to drop the series unless I heard a good reason to continue. Nothing so far. Anyone else feel the same way?
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  • #2
    Anthony Steward Head actually said the same thing in an interview I read the other day. He said Joss would have done it better, that he was expecting something bigger. I've never been a massive fan of 'Heroes,' it keeps me entertained enough but I agree that there are just too many characters in the show. Personally I thought Claire was the most interesting, but that might be because she reminds me a lot of Buffy.

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    • #3
      I don't know..Heroes had never appealed to me, hearing about it, and I instinctively started disliking it because of all the hype around it (it always happens to me with over-hyped things..)....now they have just started airing it on the Italian tv, and I checked it out to see what the fuzz was all about. I have to say that I hated the first 2 episodes, I found them boring and quite silly...but I started enjoying it more and more episode after episode. Now I'm up to episode 6, and I enjoy it a lot. Sure, I still don't think it's that amazing, but it's interesting and well executed...can't wait to see what happens next. I hope it won't disappoint me..but given that I never had big expectations about it, I am already enjoying it more than I thought it was possible, so I have to be positive!

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      • #4
        um... "Heroes" is the best original broadcast TV show in years, and Season 1 was better than every season of "Angel" and all but maybe 2 or 3 seasons of "Buffy".

        Are there flaws in plot and character? Is there a TV show that doesn't have them? I agree that the climactic battle was a bit lacking, but I expect that was largely budget-related and not a deficit in the writing -- they'd already given us epic a couple times already. And, did again just moments later, with the confrontation between Claire and Peter.

        The only character who got a lot of screen time for a relatively insufficient arc was Niki, and probably Parkman.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
          um... "Heroes" is the best original broadcast TV show in years, and Season 1 was better than every season of "Angel" and all but maybe 2 or 3 seasons of "Buffy".
          This I absolutely disagree with on so many levels that it's pointless to even begin. Probably best to just say that I strongly think you are in error...

          Are there flaws in plot and character? Is there a TV show that doesn't have them? I agree that the climactic battle was a bit lacking, but I expect that was largely budget-related and not a deficit in the writing -- they'd already given us epic a couple times already. And, did again just moments later, with the confrontation between Claire and Peter.
          I'm sorry but you can't simply blame budget, especially not on a show that was getting the media-attention and network support that Heroes received. Sylar's defeat at the hands of Hiro and Peter's non-threat explosion at the end (not to mention the fact that the rest of the cast did pretty much nothing but watch) was a result of not giving enough thought to how it was going to play out. You don't need a big budget to tell a good story, just a logical progression of characters and plot. Something the end of Heroes just didn't offer. That was the fault of the writing, not the budget.

          The only character who got a lot of screen time for a relatively insufficient arc was Niki, and probably Parkman.
          And between those two characters alone I would say you could be talking about a third of timeframe of the events of season one. Not exactly a small amount of time wasted on poor development. Especially as both characters were worthy of a hell of a lot more. Most especially the excellent Greg Grunberg.

          Heroes was good television at best but annoying at worst. Certainly not even close to anything Joss has done over the years. Even weak seasons of Buffy and Angel had direction, purpose and appropriate conclusion. Heroes didn't supply any of that in it's final third of the season.
          RockXcess
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          Last edited by RockXcess; 10-09-07, 04:00 PM.
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          • #6
            um... "Heroes" is the best original broadcast TV show in years, and Season 1 was better than every season of "Angel" and all but maybe 2 or 3 seasons of "Buffy".
            Oooh (just to sound like Frankie Howerd for a moment) I don't agree with that ? not that it was better than Buffy and Angel, nor that it's better than everything else. There are at least four shows I rate higher than Heroes from the last few years: The Wire (superb cop/criminals drama told from both points of view), The Sopranos (I probably don't need to describe that, right?), Deadwood (swearing and dust and whores and micropolitics with some amazing acting), Six Feet Under (most of the time anyway?especially the superb final season), Doctor Who (which, while patchy and full of crap bits, somehow transcends its shoddy parts because it has such spirit, eccentricity and charm?I don't feel Heroes has that sense of uniqueness (perhaps because I read a lot of X-Men over the years?), though I fully admit my love of Doctor Who makes me partisan on this issue )

            However, I do enjoy it a LOT. It carries you along wonderfully. I don't feel inclined to analyse it, but it's great entertainment, with some interesting characters and some great set pieces (the first time you see Nathan fly, when Future!Hiro comes back to warn his past self, when Claire first jumps off the tower and videos herself). Haven't seen right to the end of season one so I can't answer for the finale, but I think it's got a lot of good stuff in it (characters like Hiro, Nathan Petrelli, Claire; the use of thingie's pictures; the way they do Hiro's subtitles almost like speech balloons; the cliffhangers?love love love the cliffhangers).

            Where Heroes falls down for me is in the framing device ? Mohinder's narratives are so annoying I want to throw shoes at the tv ? and in a few of the characters that I just don't find gripping. Peter is a wet fish with a saviour complex, Mohinder as I said is grating in the extreme, and the cop dude was a promising character but I never felt (though again, haven't seen the end) they did enough with him or integrated him as well as some of the other characters.) Though I loved that girl from But I'm a Cheerleader playing the police lady.

            As you can tell, remembering names is not my?oh no, wait, Clea Duvall, that's it. Also brill on Carnivale (which is baffling and slow at times ?kind of like the anti-Heroes, which is always so clear and ? mostly ? pacey?though I do love its mystery and some of the revelations are so well done?but, another thread for Carnivale. But, damn, Sophie/Ben has to be my favourite slow-burn ship of all time).


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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
              um... "Heroes" is the best original broadcast TV show in years, and Season 1 was better than every season of "Angel" and all but maybe 2 or 3 seasons of "Buffy".
              I'll beg to differ since I reserve that to Supernatural which manages to be fun on the surface, multilayered for those who decided to look deeper, and all the more impressive since it can't find a network that will give it support. However, I think there are a number of other shows that have been very compelling in the past decade.

              But, Heroes is a very well done show. It's fun and rewarding for both devoted and casual viewers. Though at times feels bloated. It's also very admirable Heroes ability to weave storylines and relations together as well as a considerable amount of pop culture/societal issues of today and yesteryear. I realize much of the older references are before my time and go over my head. I look forward to a rewatch.

              However, many of the actors were rather flat or non interesting me. Mohinder particularly, but I don't feel like ranting on all of them now. HRG and Claire were probably the most compelling of all of them.

              The only character who got a lot of screen time for a relatively insufficient arc was Niki, and probably Parkman.
              And thank goodness they at least got face time, since they were the actors that brought me to the table in the first place. I blame the show writing for not doing a better job with such likeable actors.


              Originally posted by RockXcess View Post
              I'm sorry but you can't simply blame budget, especially not on a show that was getting the media-attention and network support that Heroes received. Sylar's defeat at the hands of Hiro and Peter's non-threat explosion at the end (not to mention the fact that the rest of the cast did pretty much nothing but watch) was a result of not giving enough thought to how it was going to play out. You don't need a big budget to tell a good story, just a logical progression of characters and plot. Something the end of Heroes just didn't offer. That was the fault of the writing, not the budget.
              I completely agree that the final arc was rather boring rather than exhilarating. I'm also a bit disappointed at the shows inability to kill main characters. (At least Greg Grunberg lived for another season!!! *happydance*)


              Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post

              Where Heroes falls down for me is in the framing device ? Mohinder's narratives are so annoying I want to throw shoes at the tv ? and in a few of the characters that I just don't find gripping. Peter is a wet fish with a saviour complex, Mohinder as I said is grating in the extreme, and the cop dude was a promising character but I never felt (though again, haven't seen the end) they did enough with him or integrated him as well as some of the other characters.)
              Sorry just thought that you perfectly described Mohinder and it deserved repeating. And how I feel about Peter for the most part. (Except future Peter and when he and Claire had that talk in the jail cell after rescuing her. Excellent portrayals then!!)

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              • #8
                I can't say I'm disappointed because I just watch it for entertainment. Although I used to like two of the characters Peter and Nikki very much. I was never really drawn to Claire precisely because she was sort of like Buffy, and I already have a Buffy.

                I felt the second half of S1 was not as good but I just kept watching because it was entertaining enough. I don't know what went wrong or maybe there just really were too many characters. As Wolfie Gilmore stated, there are other shows that are better. And the better structured for me right now would be yes to The Sopranos and Criminal Minds. Of course I haven't seen Torchwood or Deadwood. Mind you I don't even like any of the characters in The Sopranos but it's definitely an excellent show. But if we're talking in the same genre, I prefer Dr Who over Heroes.

                Since she was mentioned already, wasn't the police or was it FBI lady the invisible girl Marcie in Btvs Out of Sight, Out of Mind and the American wife in The Grudge?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Maria View Post
                  I felt the second half of S1 was not as good but I just kept watching because it was entertaining enough.

                  Since she was mentioned already, wasn't the police or was it FBI lady the invisible girl Marcie in Btvs Out of Sight, Out of Mind and the American wife in The Grudge?
                  Yes Clea Duvall, the female fbi agent, was both of those characters. I have to agree that the first half was more engaging as a whole, but the second half had several utterly outstanding episodes (HRG's backstory and the future episode).

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                  • #10
                    That is the same actress, Clea Duvall. She was great in her limited role in "Heroes", especially in... the 2nd episode, I think? Sylar's first meaningful appearance.

                    Incidentally, I did specify *broadcast* TV, which covers just NBC, CBS, ABC, CW/UPN/WB, and FOX.

                    I actually liked Peter a great deal... he's clearly the 'superhero' of the piece, and his arc in Season 1 was very much his 'origin story' in comic terms -- his "Batman Begins" if you will. I've enjoyed that his self-doubt and overall tenderness really make him unique from the archetypal superheroes in his personality.

                    Claire and HRG are just a great combo on screen. I like to think that Joss has always been puzzled by the idea that a TV character and her father liked each other and trusted each other.
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                    • #11
                      I still haven't watched the last five eps and haven't really wanted to. So that should tell you how I feel right there. It's okay; I find it overhyped and overrated. I will catch up soon, I am sure but.....it's just not close to a fave of mine. And I agree that the beginning of the season was better. :/
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                      • #12
                        As usual, I find myself being the completely opposite of everybody else. I thought the second half of the season was FAR more exciting and shocking and entertaining than the first half (which, I can only name a handful of favorites from the first 11 episodes - like "Collision" and "Better Halves" and "Homecoming" and "Six Months Ago" - whereas I can name many favorites from the alst 11).

                        Though I do agree that the finale was VERY anticlimactic and that the show is way too hyped up for it's own good (especially where a certain two characters are concerned...*Ahem*), I'm still fully engaged by the episodes and especially by characters like Niki/Jessica (who I am still irritated by because she got such a weak role in the whole explosion storyline but, in my opinion, got the most intriguing and mysterious storyline throughout the entire season) and Peter and Matt and HRG and even Eden (RIP) were the reasons I came back to the show.

                        That, and the fact that the writing and whatnot was interesting. The cliffhangers always had me hooked. The stories were original, emotional, exciting, and powerful. Albeit, it isn't my all-time favorite show, it is definitely one of the best things I've seen on television in years and, in my opinion, outdoes Buffy and is possibly neck-and-neck with Angel.

                        That's just my view on things. I still love the show despite a disappointing last Act of 1.23 "How to Stop an Exploding Man." Granted, all the excitement BEFORE the last Act/final battle was fully entertaining for me - most notably the Niki stuff.

                        I watch this show for Niki/Ali Larter, basically. Is that sad?
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                        • #13
                          I actually liked Peter a great deal... he's clearly the 'superhero' of the piece, and his arc in Season 1 was very much his 'origin story' in comic terms -- his "Batman Begins" if you will.
                          Perhaps that explains it. Batman Begins* just wasn't my cup of tea. There was something strangely soulless and by-numbers about it that I can't quite put my finger on...and perhaps that's something in the weaker parts of heroes. The serious parts, in fact, are often where it falls down because it can start to slip from serious to po-faced...and Peter's character is the guiltiest puppy by that pile of po. (sorry! Awful...but couldn't resist.) It's his self-importance that I find dreary, his conviction that he's the centre of everything.

                          Much prefer either Hiro's unabashed enthusiasm, minus the emo, or Nathan's self-serving shyness over his powers...or Niki, who's just bloody terrified of what's inside her. Have I said I like her? Cos, do. She's like Crazy Jane from Doom Patrol, only with 60-odd fewer personalities.


                          *Though looking forward to when they get around to the Dark Knight Returns movie (think they're doing that as the third in the Franchise?)

                          I've enjoyed that his self-doubt and overall tenderness really make him unique from the archetypal superheroes in his personality.
                          Unique? Perhpas on mainstream telly...though what's Angel if he's not a superhero with doubts? Or Buffy (with slightly fewer doubts)?

                          And in terms of comics, there are so very many superb "quirky" superheroes. Cut for off-topic comics geekery...
                          Spoiler:
                          My favourite being the midlife crisis/tight boots arc of Judge Dredd (not a superhero? Dredd could have Batman for breakfast and stil have room for a Robin chaser). And, for tenderness, and questioning of her mission, Judge Anderson (the psi judge) is my perfection. She even manages to bring out the softer side of Dredd. Well...he shoots people a little less when she's around...

                          And now I'm wishing they'd made a tv series of Dredd/Anderson instead of that godawful film...

                          Then, more fully in the superhero mould (though see above re whether the Judges are superheroes....) there's Watchmen (Ozymandias as the weasley, sell-out, over the hill superhero is poss my fave) and the Top Ten heroes.

                          Anyone who likes comics and has yet to read Top Ten is in for a treat. It's a little like the premise for the incredibles - a world in which everyone has powers. The comic focuses on the heroes who work as the police in the superhero city - Neopolis...so it's half cop drama half superhero story.


                          Ok, so all of the above was on topic to the degree that Heroes relies a lot on superhero types, the comics that have gone before...and I think that's part of its strength. There's a wealth of "backstory" to Heroes that we never see - the backstory of numberous superhero and ensemble/interconnected-heroes comics stories - that informs the show. What I think is great is that you don't need to have ever picked up a comic to enjoy it, but at the same time it gives you an extra bit of squee if you do like comics. And all things geek, in fact (eg Hiro's pa being played by thingie from star trek...sadly lacking in Trek knowledge here.), and the play they make with the idea of a hero who really WANTS to be a hero...the opposite of so many burdened-with-responsibility protagonists we get nowadays. It's very refreshing to see some joy. In fact, Hiro reminds me almost of the Doctor in that regard...or perhaps a companion of the Doc. The universe is essentially made of life rather than death, if you know what I mean.
                          Wolfie Gilmore
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                          • #14
                            Thanks Ehlwyen and KoC for clearing that up, I mean Clea Duvall. So that's her name. And sorry KoC I get a bit confused about which network produces what We get our cable and satellite services from Malaysia and the only network that has its own channel here is BBC.

                            I think I like Peter because he embraced his destiny without the usual initial whinings and angst I've heard from other potential heroes like, " I want to be normal!" And Nikki was just unique because I haven't come across a superhero that had her particular burdens. You know what I mean. They're
                            unique to her.

                            And I just remembered the other thing that was puzzling about the show. After the finale episode I was left wondering what happened to the slogan, "Save the cheerleader, Save the World"? I failed to see how saving her saved the world. Did I miss something? I don't even know if this is the right place to bring this up. Sorry if it's not.
                            " Believe me I know the impulse to pull the trigger. But if we lose ourselves, we lose everything." -Michael Scofield
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                            • #15
                              I can't say or compare it to Buffy or Angel in anyway because both shows are lovable in two different manners. I casually watch Heroes and find it captivating but not enough to be dedicated to it. But then again Buffy-Angel got me interested for other reasons- writing /plot which really gets your brain cells swimming.

                              Heroes is only because its much more beautifully directed and constructed. (better than BTVS and AtS) I like the neat little show off of powers and how it sort gets me exited and then makes me 'oh' the next second.

                              So it's utterly different than Buffy and I rather like Heroes characters better. although I have my absolute favs in Buffy and Angel. I do think the characters in heroes are more human and that its more likely to see people like them walking the streets.

                              Plus, I find it amazing how Clair is growing on me cause i was never big fan of Buffy since she's too much like a heroic little blond that's way too overrated. Then again I'm was never big on the hero types and tend to go for the ones with a real evil/dark side/roots or is practically evil. So yea, in Heros I like Chair a bit and I can actually stand Peter.

                              I love Nikki/Jessica and her little son- and the boys father (forgot his name). these people are the sort of people I see everyday and like em, not to mention how unique she is. Then take Nathan, i don't think it can get anymore human than that. lol. he's an amazing idea. really.

                              Heroes characters are much more human with their way of life, reactions, personalities and all so human. Boring, funny, annoying or not....in the real world we do have our odd normal people that are also boring or whatever to some and not the others. So yea, Buffy/Angel had different take in characters but?I think...I'm more likely to meet someone like Nathan than a Angel...or Hiro than Xander...or definitely a Chair other than a Buffy.
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                              • #16
                                Before I go on, I knew it! I kneqw the FBI Agent was in Out of Sight, Out of Mind! I had asked the question on Buffyworld but nobody answered me, wow she looks older now (It's been what, more then perhaps 8 years since she was on Buffy)
                                vampwogs- ASH watched Hereos? I thought he wouldn't have had the time to watch it.

                                Anyway, I liked this show really, I dunno perhaps it's because I liked the powers, or because I am big on Supernatural (Charmed, Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, Hereos, Smallville, Torchwood, do I really need to go on?), it wasn't just because Ali Larter was in it (I didn't even know who she was when I started watching it despite the fact of watching Legally Beautiful before Hereos)

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                                • #17
                                  I started watching Lost when it aired over here, but soon got bored and I think that was down to being hyped up so much, I didn't think Heroes was as much especially over here. The only episode I haven't seen is the last one and that is only because the person who taped it for me has lost it. I haven't got bored so far and I hope I don't. I rarely get into sci-fi shows, I'm more into teen shows. I wouldn't say it was better than Buffy or Angel because those two shows were what got me interested in supernatural things.

                                  I like most of the main characters, but Ali Larter is probably one of my least faves because not a lot seems to be going on with her.
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