February 4, 2011

How To Bring Back Heroes

I was just thinking about ways to get this show back on the air when it hit me: another station picks up this show. It's been done before - most recently with TNT's Southland (originally an NBC show). Going through the lineup of channels I think I found the perfect taker...


Think about it. It's a joke of a station without any flagship series. It's actually a mockery of a station, broadcasting such gems as Mega Python and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. If they can air this complete junk you mean to tell me bringing back Heroes is out of the question? Let's look into how exactly this would work:

Start Over With All New Cast

Tim Kring's original vision for the series was to have a new cast every season. Well, this is the perfect way. Get all new people in and start over. Now, you still have to keep it in the same universe - you still have to make reference to the old characters. Someone would need to say "I hear there's a guy who can control space and time" or "There's rumors of more like us - one person can never feel pain and never get hurt". But all in all its new characters taking on a new storyline. No Sylar, no Peters - no one who aquires power and eventually gets too powerful for the show. Maybe as a treat during sweeps you bring back a character from the old series. Maybe someone needs to go to Angela for advice. Maybe someone needs the help of Parkman. But these would be few and far between.

Second Time's A Charm

Let's face it - this show made a lot of mistakes towards the end. We now know you can't have people who can control time and space, can't have people who aquired everyone else's power till they are mega gods, can't have characters who keep coming back just cuz they're hot and can't have Indian doctors who never seem to have a purpose on the show. Imagine if the writers could have a second chance to do this show right? I'm sure this 2nd time around they'd really stick to their "new characters every season" rule. They'd kill people off and make them stay dead. Without the pressure of getting ratings they could have a little more wiggle room in terms of storylines. The show would be better a 2nd time around with the writers knowing what does and doesn't work.

Cheaper Budget For Powers

Despite low ratings what also did in the original series was its massive cost to produce the show. The reason why reality tv is so popular is these are really rock bottom cheap to put together. But a show where someone flys or someone makes light shoot out of a cello - yeah, you have to pay people to make that stuff look good. This being Syfy you could have a cheaper budget where you have more Puppet Master or Parkman type powers (someone makes a face and its implied they're controlling your body or mind). Even if you wanted to have special effects it could be cheasy. Have you actually seen what a Mega Python or Gatoroid looks like on Syfy?

In any case production value could be cheaper and it'd give Syfy a show it could build around that fits in with its theme. We're not asking them to bring back The Golden Girls - we're talking about a show about people with powers on a station dedicated to science fiction that has nothing else to show.

January 31, 2011

What Could Have Been

Looking back on this series, it started off white hot and then really went out with a little POP from a cap gun. What looked like a unique universe with lots of back story about people with special abilities fizzled at the end with an unnecessary lesbian sidestory and a once-fearsome villain exploring his emotions. There's many instances where the show set up something interesting or brought up a topic only to have it go nowhere. So since the show has been cancelled I figured I'd start pointing out issues that led to its demise.

Hiro Becomes Comic Relief

One of the greatest scenes in this series is from way back in the stellar season one. Peter Petrelli is on the train, only it stops and everyone freezes. What we see next is Future Hiro who looks like some type of rebel ninja/samurai. Gone is his broken English. He's a warrior from the future, evidently. What better way to show the potential of this character? For all intents and purposes we were energized to see how this character would ultimately progress into this ultra cool ninja. What happened over the next few seasons, though, was a gradual decline of this character into basically comic relief. Even his background theme music was whimsical. They took out everything serious about this character and ultimately made sure he couldn't cause anymore trouble by coming up with a handicap that he could eventually die if he kept using his time travel powers. What happened to Ninja Hiro with the katana blade strapped to his back?

No Purpose For Suresh or Ando

I've always wondered what the hell Suresh was doing? I know he was picking up where his father left off on research of people with special abilities. But what for? He always seemed like he was on the outside looking in. He had no offensive abilities - not like HRG who while powerless was able to coexist in a world with heroes and villains. Suresh was just a doctor. Perhaps it'd have been better to make Suresh a sort of character like Xavier was towards the XMen - a mentor and developer of abilities. Perhaps he'd find you and explain your abilities and ultimately what you'd be able to do once your powers were fully developed. I think the writers wrote themselves into a corner with this character and eventually decided it'd be easier to give him a power so as to justify him being on the show. Otherwise the writers never outlined "here is this character named Suresh. This is what he's researching and this is what he's going to do with that info."

As with Ando, the writers seemed to get lazy trying to explain how a normal sidekick could operate amongst all these people with abilities. The ultimately gave him a power, even if it was a stupid one. Instead of developing this character to make him complex enough to be able to survive in this world and influence it, they gave him a power because, well, the show is about people with powers. It would have been better to kill off this deadweight. Audiences would have had an "Oh no! They killed off Ando!" and the show would have had a little more gravity and peril. Clearly in a world where there are bad guys with special powers - not enough people died. If they didn't want to kill him off, they should have made it that he was able to supercharge Hiro's powers: on his own Hiro could only go back an hour or two but by having Ando with him there'd be no limit to how far back or forward in time he could go. Like if Hiro was alone, he couldn't completely stop time, he could only slow it down but if Ando was next to him he could freeze time completely.

There's a bunch more holes in this series that could have been handled better that I'll go into eventually. Knowing that the show had a limited shelf life and was eventually cancelled it'd have been better if they went down a drastically different route then just letting this thing die a slow death.

February 25, 2010

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

I just wanted to briefly go over some ideas I had that I felt would've lent itself to a longer run for this series. It seems once the writers realized they couldn't have every season involve the world being in peril they just lost their steam. The last two seasons on Heroes was very up and down, and I feel the following should've been changed to allow for a better experience (in no particular order):

1. In season 1 we were treated to Future Ninja Hiro. When he stopped time while Peter was on the train, speaking in perfect English, a badass samurai sword strapped to his back, who didn't let out a big Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure-ish "woah"? That would've made a great storyline for sure, but I'll go one further: the writers became confused how to deal with the difficulty of handling Hiro's power in the storyline - why couldn't they have totally wiped out his powers in a future storyline and simply had him run around as an excellent swordsman ninja? What was the point of Hiro's Dad teaching him how to be a samurai (I know, I know, it was to be able to fight Sylar, but you know what I mean).

2. The show needed a Legion Of Doom (for lack of a better term): The entire Samuel/Circus of Freaks storyline needed to be right after the whole "Heroes/Villains" storyline. The main difference was this time the fate of the world wasn't going to hang in the balance like it did when Arthur Petrelli attempted it. Just your average bunch of super powered evil people headed by a main villain with delusions of grandeur. This should've been the next logical progression going from "save the world" to something just as menacing but not as critical.

3. They really should've explored the whole arc of Nathan Petrelli/Tracey having their powers come from a scientist. That was really a game changer. There was a few avenues they could've persued from that one nugget alone. Never should've had Tracey kill him so quickly. Or, if she needed to kill him so quickly at least let him reveal he was just a small cog in a much larger project. Implications were huge. And it all went "poof" as soon as it was introduced. Furthermore, it would've done wonders for the show to simply have Ali Larter removed from the show when Nikki/Jessica died. From that point on she served no purpose on the show except for eye candy.

4. I touched on this before, but they should've made Micah evil. He could've been like Marlon Brando in Apocolype Now, only Micad would've been surrounded by robots and eletronics that he spoke to. An entire season could've been filled out with this plot alone. This way you have the entire cast of Heroes joining together to fight a common evil enemy, with various episodes consisting of Heroes fighting robots.

5. After season 1, Claire should have went to college and that should've been the last we saw of her. She was never as important as she was in season 1. From that point on she only got in the way. It became annoying to see this tiny girl whose only ability was to not get hurt think she could battle villains. This last season she was naive to the point of endangering others. And I expected more out of her lesbian friend. I thought that was going to go somewhere.

These were just a few ideas that could've squeaked out a few good season of Heroes.

February 9, 2010

Season (Series?) Finale of Season 4

Oof, it looks like this series is coming to a close. With ratings having plummeted - leaving the series likely not to get picked up for next season - it looks like this is probably a good as time as any for the show to close up shop. The storyline of the past 3 episodes should've been the storyline to start the season. We all knew Samuel was the main villain, why it took the whole season to make it official is curious. The season moved along at a slow pace, viewers dropped by the week. I haven't watched the season finale yet, but just the whole preview of Sylar stating "I'm a hero", it just seems like a good way to get the series to come full circle. All along, it appears, Heroes was about Sylar. Sure, there were times various characters became too powerful for their (and the show's) good, but their abilities were dealt with - however sloppily. It just feels right that to start the series off with the ultimate mysterious villain, progress over the years to show how multi-dimensional and multi-layered he is, and now end the series with the ultimate villain becoming one of the good guys. Seems kinda "kumbaya" to me, but I like it.

There is no where for this show to go. It's probably too expensive to produce. Special effects this season were sparse. Various characters have been laid to rest with no room to progress. HRG is a shell of his former self (seriously, how much as this character changed/devolved from that first mysterious father figure/agent from season 1??). Hiro is useless and it's sad to see the move to turned him into him comic relief after season 1 showed the promised of how ultra-cool Future Ninja Hiro could be. Peter? Useless, his character was always flawed - the ultimate case of a person having more power than they know what to do with it. Suresh is basically banished to India. They never properly wrote off Tracey, what a sad way to just leave someone in limbo. Claire inherited the mantle of most annoying character and now seems relegated to a life of hot lesbianism. Parkman showed promise during the "Fugitives" storyline, but the writers castrated him and turned him into a housemom.

Alas, it is time. Say what you want about Heroes, but we'll always have season 1. They can't take that away from us.

November 4, 2009

Ok...I'm Lost

What the hell is happening on this show? Jeezus Christmas! This season is so bad it's making me long for the days of time travellers altering events as they see fit and all-powerful gods with more power than they know what to do with. And we STILL don't know what the purpose of this season is. Things were much easier to follow when we knew the fate of the world was in peril or evil government agents were hunting people with powers. Why is it taking so long for this season to get to The Point. The Point is what every season of every show is based on, and The Point is normally outlined within the first two episodes, 3 episodes tops. What does that Carnival Guy want with the regular cast? Yes, I know, to be a part of the family. But why? To sing Kumbaya?

Every single character is shitting the bed this year. No one has any good storylines. I know this show is on its last legs - you'd think they'd want to start coming out with the firecrackers to set up some type of "big bang". All indications are this will be the final season, and I've heard from another person who follows this show that writers are being encouraged to make sure things are wrapped up for the most part by the end of this current volume. Meaning there can very possibly be no 2nd part to this season after this current volume is done. This is how they want to go out? Who cares about this Carnival Guy? If this is going to be it give us another "save the cheerleader, save the world" premise. Give us some big stakes.

The writers have done a horrible job at limiting the powerful characters. Peter, Hiro, Parkman and Sylar have all been neutered. The four most powerful characters in the show have been mired in horrible plot devices meant to ensure that the writers don't have to deal with worrying about how to fit in these uber-powerful characters into a storyline with normal people or people with useless abilities. People don't want to see these four characters as a shell of their former selves. They want action, they want hero vs. hero fighting. They want Future Peter vs. Future Sylar in the second to last episode of season 1. It's very obvious that Heroes should not have been a regular series - it should have been a mini-series. Something along the lines of "V". Get in, get out quickly and leave them wanting more. That first season is a loooong time ago, it certainly seems. Who knew a hot series could unravel so quickly just cause of one writer's strike. Right now the show should probably be relegated to some kind of webepisode show. It seems like they're trying to introduce a webisode element with the side story of that Carnival Tattoo Chick, but unfortunately I don't watch simply because I don't care about her.

And dammit, based off the ending of this latest episode - looks like Suresh is back in the picture. In the words of Charlton Heston: "DAAAAMN YOUUUU!".

What this show needs to do to go out with a bang - cuz it really does need to end now, as much as I used to love this show - is (and you're going to think I'm crazy here) introduce Micah again, but an evil Micah. There. I said it. Earth needs to be attacked by a crazy teenage boy with the ability to control electronics, who has assembled a force of cyborgs/robots to take over the world. Think Marlon Brando in Apocolypse Now. Sitting on a throne, worshipped as a king in his own little world by his own creations. You pair Peter, Sylar, Claire, Bennett and Suresh together to stop Micah and save the world from an impending cyborg doom. Hiro must die. There always needs to be a sacrificial lamb, and quite simply there's no drama or tension with a guy who can stop everything with the blink of an eye or worse - travel back in time and prevent everything from happening. Kill him off, set the stakes real high and let's see some fireworks as Peter and Sylar team up against a common enemy. I was gonna say the enemy should be an invading alien force but the show probably doesn't have the budget for the effects needed to pull that off. They barely have the budget to keep up with the show as-is.

Btw, please kill the deaf-girl who sees colors. Serves. No. Purpose. WHAT IS THE POINT?!? We're halfway through the season and I shouldn't be asking this question for a character who has had as much screentime as she has. Get her off the show.