I know I’m not the only one who’s been unhappy with the second season of Heroes–actually, I’m probably one of the few people not employed by NBC who didn’t give up after the second episode. I thought, after what they did for us last season, the folks at Heroes deserved as much benefit of the doubt as I could spare (which, to be honest, is usually quite a bit). And isn’t the first season of the show really the problem? Despite a few bumps in the road (one bump named “Nikki/Jessica” comes to mind), the first season of Heroes raised the bar so high it would be hard for anyone (even a flying politician) to reach. And, when a show starts with such a bang, it’s hard to keep that momentum going–much easier to start slow and wow ’em by the third or fourth season.
So, what’s the problem with this season? It’s not one big thing, really, but a bunch of little things. It’s trying to be “too different”, but at the same time showing us stuff they already did last season: Does anyone want to see Claire trying to be “normal” again? Not me…especially if it means I have to put up with that flying Wes Bentley look-alike, who manages to be creepy and annoying without being the least bit charismatic or compelling. Couldn’t the writers come up with something better than another “Days of Future Past” time-travel plot? (Peter travels one year into the future and sees that everyone’s been wiped out by a plague? Really guys?) It’s sequestering three of the show’s most popular characters away from the main action–Sylar in Mexico, Peter in Ireland, and Hiro in feudal Japan–while saddling us with more new “heroes”, many of whom–like Mexican Un-Wonder Twins, Maya y Alejandro–are just lame (bonus points for bringing Kristen Bell back to TV, guys, but not even Veronica Mars will be able to save you unless you start bringing your A-game).
I had high hopes for this season. We were promised that we would be learning more about the earlier generation of heroes–so far, all we’ve really learned is that Matt’s father was one of them and that Stephen Tobolowsky never ages, he simply sags like a slowly deflating inner-tube (although, and it’s just my opinion, it looks to me as if Papa Petrelli was kinda blurry in the group photograph…almost as if he was moving too fast for the camera to capture his image properly…so, maybe we also learned what his power was…just sayin’). What I don’t want to see is this show suddenly turning down the Lost road. Don’t start piling the questions on us without answering a few along the way…that’s why the first season was so good: we would always get some answers before we were given more questions.
I was also excited about the Heroes: Origins series, which was going to be a six episode anthology shown at the end of this season. It would introduce new characters and let the viewers pick who they would want to come back for season 3. I’m quite fond of anthologies. I enjoy a good self-contained story, which is why I drool over procedurals as much as I do. But, it looks like that show isn’t happening. Why? Because of the writers’ strike, or so NBC claims.
I told ya, kids, better see what your uncle’s up to.