We are a few episodes into Volume 3 of Heroes, with a real change in the feel and direction of the show, so I figured it was time to chime in on it.
As geeks, we all have something that hooks us, something that may seem silly, immature and formula to some… but it is deep and meaningful to us and we love it! For some it’s Star Wars, for other it’s World of Warcraft, for others there are certain comics they would get every month even if it meant going without groceries.
I was hooked on Heroes since the very first episode, watching Peter step off the building, Hiro concentrate and Jessica shush Nikki in the mirror I knew I would be committed to the show. Almost immediately, Heroes was a surprise ratings hit for NBC. In the first season, Heroes walked that great line of being a sci-fi drama that didn’t have some of the traditional trapping of the “business as usual” science fiction show that keeps non-geeks away. I ran across many fans of the show who were staying current with every plot twist, but who did not know who William Shatner was and they were proof positive that Star Wars was a children’s film. Heroes was reaching the genral population’s “inner-geek”.
The first season amazed us and kept us guessing as to what could happen next and who the “exploding man” was going to be. The second season stepped it up a little in the action and villain categories. Introducing Adam Monroe and his disciples and revealing this previous generation of “specials” who were passing down their sins and the consequences of their actions to our characters. Most of the main protagonists caught a glimpse of the shadow within themselves and at least once acted in some way that made the viewer blink in disbelief… Mohinder shooting Noah, Noah killing in cold blood, Peter helping a robbery, Hiro burying Adam alive… it seemed like all the characters were moving towards the dark side. Then the Writer’s strike cut the season short and abruptly left the fans wanting. We not only waited for what was to come next in the overall story, but we also waited for redemption for those we deemed “Heroes”.
Now we are at “Villains” and the second season didn’t even begin to cover the dark force points being spent here. It is still great writing and great acting and still a phenomenal show. But it’s turned dark, very dark… well, at least too dark for family viewing now. Violence and sex have been cranked up by inches, trying to compete with the industry standards. Classic sci-fi elements like heavy special-effects, time-travel and battle scenes are taking center stage. And the dark future that our protagonists are trying to stop from happening are giving them a dark present. It would seem Heroes is no longer trying to tap the general population’s “inner-geek”, instead it’s trying to be all things to all geeks.
Like I said, I’m committed to the show. I bought the first two seasons on DVD, I am still a moderator over at Heroestv.com, still DVR it and faithfully save it every week in case I have to look back at a detail… but the overall fanbase of the show is getting more and more uniform. It has moved from being a drama with a science fiction setting to being a science fiction / action-centered story. Not that that’s a bad thing at all… I just don’t think people will care and identify with Claire as much as she slowly turns into Sarah Connor.