Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Save Heroes

The TV series “Heroes” has outlived its welcome for most of us. What started as a hopeful presentation of superheroes into mainstream dram television has now deteriorated into nonsense and derision from its own desired fanbase. In recent weeks however the series may have gotten a brief reprieve from cancellation thanks to Jay Leno forcing NBC to find five more hours of prime time programming every week. If it’s going to stay on the air however, there have to be changes. Here are my thoughts on how to save “Heroes.”

Let Hiro be Hiro. He works best as fun and powerful, not sick, not dead, not lost, not amnesiac. His exuberance with his powers, his joy at using them, and his determination to be a hero is one of the great charms of the character, and of the series.

In a similar vein, let Matt and Peter be the good guys they should be. We love them when they are on point and positive - and we want to change the channel when they are obsessive and self-doubting. We want heroes we can root for.

Enough Sylar already. A little goes a long way. The show isn’t and shouldn’t be about him. The show is called “Heroes” for a reason. And yes, I know that heroes are defined by their villains, but ease up on the guy, will you?

Enough with the carnival. Sorry, but it’s way too Circus of Crime/Brotherhood of Evil/Mutant Utopia for me. Robert Knepper is a hell of a great actor, but he’s no Magneto.

Speaking of bad guys, bring back HRG as a bad guy. He was always a better bad guy than he was a good guy. Want to give Claire some depth and edge? There you go, make Daddy back into the beast we feared in the first four or five episodes.

More Star Trek cameos would not be frowned upon. This is a good thing.

On the same subject, sort of, embrace the comic book and genre references. It’s what we love about Hiro, it’s what half of your audience is into, and look what it’s done for “Big Bang Theory.”

Get Jeph Loeb out and get Bryan Fuller back in. No, wait, they tried that…

Less season long continuity that not only feels like it was developed in the “Lost” writing sessions, but even we know they have no idea how it ends. Think like a Silver Age comic book and do single episode stories. Just a hint, single episode stories get Emmys, whole seasons don’t.

Let the good guys win every once in a while. As I said, we want someone to root for.

More superhero humanism and less superhero deconstructionism, and definitely no more emo characters. No one likes whiny metahumans.

This isn’t Watchmen. Everything doesn’t have to be so dark and dismal all the time. Be bright, be shiny, be positive – be “Heroes.”


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6 comments:

  1. Glenn,
    I firmly agree with you! Our household are huge fans of Heroes...or should I say Hiro.
    I've had enough of Sylar (although I did enjoy the foray with Parkman's wife!)
    And the whole Carnival of Evil Mutants...couldn't agree more. That's the first conclusion we both drew the first time we saw it.

    I miss Hiro and Ando silliness, I miss Claire being a kid, and I miss Noah being a bad guy.

    If Heroes could get back on track, it would make my week.

    ~A

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  2. I have to agree. My family and I lost interest a long time ago, and what a shame because the show had such potential when it began.

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  3. Heironymous1:09 PM

    I just think the show has run its course. Every year "someone" jumps on board to "save" it.

    Sadly,I still watch it out of some misguided hope it will get better.

    Maybe, somebody should tell the suits in charge that dark (or in this case, darker) isn't always the answer.

    Now, when Bryan Fuller stood up and walked away from this, that was my first clue this might be the last season and the current ratings are lending credence to that theory.

    Hey, I wonder what Frank Miller is doing these days? ;-)

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  4. You do realize that Fuller walked away twice, right? They begged him to come back, to 'save it,' and he bailed a second time. I guess no one, not even the guy who made it good, can save it...

    And shame on you for that Miller comment.

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  5. Make the Heroes fight for something instead of each other.

    Focus on building viable thug enemies as well! Buffy had a stable of re-occuring enemies and a Big Bad for every season. Perfect execution!

    Make the future something that can't be rewritten...The Epic Future Hiro in S1 doesn't exist anymore :(
    ----
    Nevertheless The show will take multiple seasons to fix and Heroes will get one season more at best...don't expect a Smallville!

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  6. This show will take multiple seasons to fix and surely they're only going to get 1 more show at best!

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