The Not-So Chosen One: Heroes saves viewers from lackluster TV season
Issue date: 3/15/07
03/15/07 – As March signifies the end of winter sweeps, most faithful television viewers are now left with a couple weeks of reruns until their shows’ remaining episodes start airing in mid-April.
Luckily for me, a few of the shows I watch religiously, such as 24 and Battlestar Galactica (don’t laugh), are running their last arc of episodes without any of those frustrating breaks. Unfortunately, however, both series have been surprisingly lackluster or predictable as of late. I still have hope they will return to their former glory, but I digress.
After a three-month hiatus, Lost is airing without interruption, but even this show isn’t without its problems. Imagine a hot girl in college that constantly flirts with the entire male campus population but never puts out. That’s the equivalent of Lost; it takes so long to satisfy fans with answers that the show’s producers might as well scatter out the episodes inconsistently.
I’d have to say that personally, my two top choices for this year have been The Office and Heroes. I won’t focus on The Office today, simply because I was already a big fan of it prior to the show’s third season. For me, Heroes gets my vote for single-handedly reinvigorating this year’s drab television landscape.
I’ll have to admit, I had no strong desire to give this show a chance when I saw a handful of previews for it back in September. Being an avid comic book fan during my childhood, I scoffed at the premise of a television show about a group of superheroes.
“No way can they pull it off!” I thought. “What a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of the X-Men movie franchise and produce a sub-par rip-off!” (As a side note, X-Men: The Last Stand was complete and utter filth, besides Multiple Man).
So I virtually ignored the show until mid-February, when curiosity and boredom got the better of me and I gave the pilot episode a shot. Needless to say, all it took was 53 minutes for me to be hooked. In just three days, I burned through 15 episodes to get caught up, and have been watching it every week since.
For those unfamiliar with the show, maybe some of you are wondering: What’s the appeal? First off, anybody turned off by the idea of muscle-bound brutes named after savage animals (Wolverine or Sabretooth, anyone?) or that run around in brightly colored spandex need not worry. Heroes takes a more human approach to the storyline, examining each character as they discover their newfound powers, and more importantly, how they learn to use them.
Another great aspect of the show is the cast themselves, ranging from flying politician Nathan Petrilli (Adrian Pasdar) to cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), who can heal herself at an accelerated rate. Throw in the telepathic cop Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), teleporting time-traveler Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) and a whole bunch of others, and you’ve got yourself a diverse enough crew to comprise a superhuman United Nations.
Season one’s main plot revolves around our heroes trying to stop an inevitable nuclear explosion – in the form of Nathan’s younger brother, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) – from destroying New York City. But it’s in watching how our lovable bunch reaches that ultimate destiny that makes the show so entertaining to watch.
Along the way, viewers are introduced to villains such as Sylar (Zachary Quinto), whose ability to take other heroes’ powers leads to deadly consequences for our do-gooders, and Mr. Bennet (Jack Coleman), a family man who works for a company in the business of experimenting on humans with special abilities and, in some cases, exploiting them.
Perhaps Heroes’ greatest asset is its ability to keep the show’s multiple storylines running at breakneck speed while frequently throwing twists and turns at the audience every few episodes. Heroes doesn’t keep its audience waiting in the dark; numerous bombshells have already been dropped, and the revelations continue to grow (Hey Lost, maybe you should take notes).
Granted, this is the show’s freshman year, and like many series before it, there’s always the possibility that Heroes could turn sour as it gets a bit older. But for now, I’m going to remain blissfully optimistic and hope that this is the beginning of something beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, did I mention the show also features the gorgeous Ali Larter (of Final Destination fame) as a Webcam stripper? What other reason do you possibly need to watch?