When Heroes was first introduced on NBC back in 2006, it was a sort of television-marvel that captivated audiences worldwide. It has stunning imagery, imagination, scope and depth. And, for a superhero show, it managed to stay grounded in reality at least in terms of the human-perspective. Sure the main cast were super-human, but they were human first, and it was fascinating to see them deal with a world that had only changed from their vantage point. They had to learn to live a world where they were burdened by, usually unwanted, super-powers and had to quickly learn how to control them and, more importantly, conceal them. It was ambitious, fascinating and fun and fans could not get enough of the show.
Subsequent seasons, however, began to feel less ambitious. They felt as if the writers, instead of writing elevated stories, were merely pandering to their own audiences– desparatly trying to stay on top. The second season lost a lot of it’s uniqueness along with any sort of originallty– featuring the same characters doing more ridiculous, and increasingly out of character, things.
By the time the third and fourth seasons came around, audiences world-wide word totes of waiting for the show to retain its former glory. The show, at one point, featured a band of super-powered circus-freaks in a cult-like community hell bent on destroying the world. The show quickly lost favor and eventually, somewhere around the fourth season, they were slated to be cancelled leaving many plot points and storylines unfinished and unexplored. As Kurt Vonnegut one wrote in Slaughterhouse-five: ” So it goes…”
Imagine my surprise, however, when the once beloved and later scorned show that was slated to be lost in obscurity forever was in considering coming back in a mini-series! Heroes Reborn is a sort of continuation of the original series and follows an (almost) all new cast that has to deal with a world now in turmoil due to a terrorist attack allegedly executed by “EVO’s”, or evolved humans, which causes the world to distrust them. But John Bennet, a returnee from the original show, starts piecing things together and realized that the old Primetech might have an (evil) hand in the terrorist attacks.
The show seemed to have the same ambition as it’s original first season. But it is less about the discovery of powers and more about the discovery of humanity. People distrust the EVO’s because they think that they’re all dangerous, and EVO’s are in constant fear for their lives because evolved humans are disappearing at a very fast pace recently. Literally, one of the main characters attends a secret EVO-meeting where the people in attendance are lamenting the fact that before the terrorist attack, the world was full of hope and connectedness between EVO’s and humans. Now, there is an rift that cannot be repaired and the EVO’s need to decide whether they should try to stand with humans or against humans.
But the show does seem to be attempting to replicate the original show a bit too much especially for a 2 episode opening day. It was often slow-paced and somewhat unfocused. You get the idea that this episode was all set-up. The show bounced from person to person and plot point to plot point. And given the fact that it was two hours long, you can easily see how people might get bored. Personally, I think they should have maybe saved some of the introductions for future episodes rather than introducing them all at once– but i’m optimistic that future episodes wont feel so drawn out.
And I do love the fact that they’re trying to replicate the original first season in terms of overarching scope as well as grounded storyline. In the first season you had people attempting to deal with having new and scary powers and learning how to survive with them. In this season, you have a world fully established with tons of evolved humans that are trying to figure out how to live in a world that hates them for things that they have zero control over. They didn’t choose evolve, evolution chose them.
Many of the characters seem to be working toward a higher purpose even if said purpose may be evil. One of the characters, who is not an EVO, has to choose between staying a drunk-fake hero and becoming a real hero. Another set of characters are hell-bent on killing all evolved humans after the terrorist attack led to the death of their child. In their own twisted way, they are on a holy mission… they are martyrs that need to cleanse the world of the abnormals EVO’s.
So again, I am optimistic for the future of Heroes: Reborn and hope that it can reclaim or even surpass its former season one glory! I hope they can tie-in these story lines without getting overly convoluted. The first two episodes back-to-back did seem a bit thick, but looking past that I can see a clearly elevated and deep feel that was missing in the second, third and fourth seasons.