I waffled on whether I was going to give up Heroes after the end the season 3 finale. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it actually went out pretty strong relative to how all of season 2 and the first three quarters of season 3 went, but it was still light years behind how incredible of a show this was during it’s first year. I make no bones about the fact that I honestly believe that Heroes demonstrates the most rapid and inexplicable drop in quality I’ve ever seen in any television drama of any type I’ve ever seen. As much as I tried not to give up hope that this thing was repairable, I’ve pretty much lost hope. I may continue watching, but I long ago quite caring. The best thing I can say about the season 4 two-episode opener Orientation and Jump, Push, Fall is that it was relatively dull, which is a heck of a lot better than outlandish, ridiculous, inconsistent and sloppy, which describes the bulk of last two seasons.
I thought they made a fairly bold choice with the closer of season 3. I believe I probably was in the minority there. Killing Nathan and replacing him with a brainwashed Sylar was an interesting premise, but I think that I’ve been so tainted by the show now that I’m not sure I can even enjoy it any more even if it does get halfway decent again. Here are my random thoughts through the opener.
- Claire Bennet - I started to think that they might be fixing this character. I like Claire and think that she has intermittently been one of the most interesting or at least consistent characters in the show. The whole roommate suicide thing just seemed a little weird. It’s not the situation as much as the reactions by all involved, including Claire that just seemed wrong. Her new friend’s reaction that it’s all a kick ass cool mystery seemed outlandish and childish. However, I will give the show credit , this was easily the coolest use of Claire’s power yet in the history of the show. Investigating the trajectory of a falling, jumping or thrown body was clever (and inspired the name of the episode). The only cheese factor for me was the exact same old crumpled Claire effects down to the ribs sticking through the skin. Hell, that may have even been stock footage.
- Noah Bennet. What can you say about Noah right now other than YAWN. They’ve abused Noah so much with poor writing over the last two years that he’s almost beyond salvation.
- Matt Parkman/Sylar. I’m nuetral on where they’re going with this concept of Parkman’s curse bring having Sylar inside his head –or just plain going insane. I’ll give this story thread a chance, but it’s another one of those things that if they string out for weeks and weeks it will get old fast.
- Nathan/Sylar, Angela Petrelli. Loved the lunch scene where she hallucinated Sylar showing up as Nathan not realizing that he’s looking like Sylar. They need to take this storyline dark and keep it simple if it’s going to work.
- Peter Petrelli. Okay, let’s keep him cynical, sassy and rude for a while. I like what they’re doing with Peter. I like his attitude. There’s a piece of me that wonders how much of what they’re doing with Peter now and some of the rest of the characters may have worked had they done it earlier.
- Hiro and Ando. Please, make it stop. I’ll be a broken record. The thing that made Hiro interesting in season 1 was the vision of future Hiro, mature, dark and badass. over the the last two season we see the writers continually write Hiro and Ando down farther and farther almost DE-developing them. I still want to see a path that takes Hiro toward that bad-ass rogue samurai that travelled back and spoke with Peter in the subway. Instead we see Hiro and Ando continue to become more and more like children and take their stories almost nowhere.
- Tracy Strauss Now has fully made the crossover fully to the evil version of a Zan of the Wonder Twins. She’s made of water now. Cool. Pun intended. Pun sucked, but it’s almost as intelligent and entertaining as the vengeful genetically engineered twin sister of Ali Larter’s character from season 1. Yawn AND Booooo!
- Everything Else. a bunch of questionably motivated Carnies. How silly can powers get? Master of tattoo ink? Jinkies, Fred! This IS a real mystery. They better get interesting really quick.
I think I’m still so disenchanted with the show, the writing, characters and direction that I’m not sure I can be objective about it anymore or if I can really even enjoy it beyond inconsistently finding stretches of some episodes lightly entertaining and occasionally interesting. As much as I hate to give up on characters that showed so much promise in the past, I’m wondering if the best thing for Heroes is to scrap the majority of the main established cast and start mostly fresh. Eventually, if they could re-establish a fresh approach along with focusing mostly on 2 or 3 interesting or least somewhat believable (from a human behavior standpoint) characters then they could slowly bring back some of the original main characters with some distance between the total crap storm of the last two years. Stop introducing new characters and then forgetting completely about them a few weeks later.
I honestly think that even the best case scenario would have an astonishing upsurge in quality at best, stabilizing Heroes current lower than ever ratings and maybe getting it a borderline chance at season 5. My personal feeling is that we’ll continue to see ups and downs in quality, a continued drop in ratings until the show hits a rock bottom low down to the base loyalists along with a revolving door of former fans occasionally tuning into a episode. Eventually, the budget for the show will way outgrow the return on investment if it hasn’t already.
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