Thoughts on watching Heroes


  • First series: absolute blast.
  • Second series: pants.
  • Third series: oh, for heaven’s sake.

Some random thoughts follow – pairing them with specific events from a specific episode is left as an exercise for those with too much time on their hands.

  • Oh look. Somebody else who isn’t going to stay dead.
  • Wait – have we seen this before, or just another plotline that’s exactly the same?
  • Is this a flashback, or dèja vu?
  • He… does what now? And the instant change in character motivations is due to what, exactly? Heck, at this point I’d settle for ‘vaguely.’
  • Are they playing musical characters? Do they shuffle the parts for each episode to see which actor ends up playing which rôle? That would make sense of the characterisations, at least.
  • Is she playing Gigi Edgley playing Chiana on Farscape? Who else moves their head like that? (damn, that’s a geeky observation…)
  • “Heroes and Villains,” as a season title, is presumably a reference to characters being more interesting if they’re neither squeaky clean nor unrelievedly dark, but a shade of grey. It doesn’t mean that characters should be stripy.
  • When do the dinosaurs come in? We haven’t had proper monsters yet. We want monsters, dammit. The annoying doctor doesn’t count. Monsters don’t do voiceover. There’s a union rule about it.
  • Are they going to do a musical episode? Or one with no dialogue? Or a live one?
  • Ooh! Oooh! Are they going to do an entirely improvised show? Oh, wait – how could we tell?
  • A plot of the average number of lines per character per episode must closely parallel the arctic ice shelf thickness, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Sometimes I wish correlation implied causality, life would be simpler.

I start to wonder if Heroes is an exercise in Zen broadcasting: if the last episode turns out to be utterly fantastic, but by then nobody at all is watching, can it still win an Emmy?

The really interesting question, and one that’s going to keep people talking for years to come is: what happened? When the first series was so well-crafted, how could the subsequent shows be so so bad? Having dropped the ball, are they incapable of picking it up again, or was the first series some sort of bizarre extended fluke?


  1. You, ah, don’t like it?
    I don’t miss much by not watching telly, do I?
    Nice clean site design these days, JJ. *approve*

  2. Oh, Heroes is diverting enough. It’s also quite interesting in that I think it might be the final proof (if any were needed) that superhero stories plain suck.
    Yes, I’m quite liking the design here. A bit too much leading, perhaps, and there are a few things I’d like to tweak: at the moment it’s stock Mid-Century templates.

  3. Not that I’ve seen Heroes [again, no TV] but this is clearly the law of Inverse Creativity – the more successful a programme is the less money they allocate to it. Presumably with a view to making more profit.
    It goes like this: make it well, so it gets talked about by the great and the good, then, once it tips and the masses are hooked, feed them crap, for verily they won’t notice the difference [oh except for the few who found it in the first place, but we don’t care about them anymore – just look at the ratings]. Then take it off air before the ratings fall, and whoopy-do! all the accountants are happy.

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