By Clint Morris
Iâ€™ve got to be honest here. As much as I feel like I should be bowing to its ingenuity and boldness â€“ and at times, I do â€“ and as much as I expected to be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for each episode to come around, I havenâ€™t fallen head over heels for â€œHeroesâ€ like I thought I wouldâ€™ve. Quite frankly, I could easily miss an episode and not care less.
And it is surprising that I say that. Why? â€œHeroesâ€ has all the ingredients of a good, gripping weekly dramaâ€¦ but more so, itâ€™s a superhero series! What could be better?! Well, it seems something with a little more gusto, and something that moves a bit quicker.
â€œHeroesâ€ is a bit like a metropolitan train â€“ it speeds up, then slows down, then speeds up, then slows down, then comes to a complete stopâ€¦ before leisurely getting going again.
The show kicked off rather intriguingly, setting up some great storylines and characters, but then got bogged down in waffle and inane sub-plots (did anyone else find the whole thing with rather dull?) that mightâ€™ve workedâ€¦ in season 9, once weâ€™ve gotten to know everyone more and thereâ€™s nothing much left to explore. It just seems that thereâ€™s a lot of missed opportunity with the show â€“ I assume they donâ€™t want to follow the â€œX-Menâ€ template too closely, but they could probably afford to follow it a little closer than what they have been. At this stage, I still donâ€™t care about many of the characters â€“ something that canâ€™t be said for Marvelâ€™s â€œX-Menâ€ series. And for the most part, it feels like weâ€™ve stumbled upon an open Webcam for a bunch of people we donâ€™t really know yet â€“ and as a consequence, donâ€™t care so much for what theyâ€™re doing.
Maybe I feel this way because season 2 was just so slow and all-over-the-place â€“ which isnâ€™t a good thing for an infant series. Season 2 is the important season, the one where struggling shows usually find their feet, attract new fans, and start generating some major ratings points. â€œHeroesâ€ obviously didnâ€™t get that memo â€“ it undid a lot of the good of Season 1 by serving up a rather ho-hum bunch of episodes that felt more like those uninteresting webisodes networks put on the internet to hold fans over until a broadcast. (Itâ€™s possible that the writerâ€™s strike is to blame for the 11 ho-hum episodes, the show was hurt pretty badly by the work stoppage â€“ as evidenced by the rather short season).
Granted, the water treading does seem to die down a bit towards the end of the season and the show does start to find its footing again. Is it due to the introduction of the fab Stephen Tobolowsky? Is it because theyâ€™ve given Kristen Bellâ€™s fiery femme fatale more than a few lines of dialogue? Or is it because has finally finished with his â€œTrekâ€ commitments and appears in more scenes? Probably a combination of all those things.
The main plot line of the season has to do with â€˜The Companyâ€™ (Tobolowskyâ€™s character plays the evil head honcho, Bellâ€™s character is his mutant daughter) and their efforts to control the â€˜Heroesâ€™. Not nearly as interesting as the whole â€˜Save the Cheerleader, Save the Worldâ€™ plot of the first season.
Maybe next season thingsâ€™ll get better..?
Look, itâ€™s still worth watching, and there are some good episodes among the rather average bunch, itâ€™s just not what it should be. Not yet anyway.
Extras â€“ of which there are many â€“ include commentaries, numerous featurettes, an alternate ending (with optional commentary), and a sneak peek at season 3.