Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Five Reasons Heroes is the Worst Show On Television Right Now

What's more frustrating than wasted, squandered potential? Season one of NBC's now unwatchable Heroes is hardly perfect, but it's undeniably promising and in no way implies that the show is rapidly headed for the toilet. But sure enough, three season later, watching an episode of Heroes is time better spent prodding ones self with a blunt fork. Here are five reasons why.

1. On the Nose Dialogue

I have a hypothesis. I believe that the people who wrote the first and second seasons of Heroes were attacked and killed, all individually, in their homes, by a group of opportunistic children driven mad by watching too much television. Then, these mindless children took over the daunting task of writing the show, and are still manning the ship to this day.

This is one of many hypotheses I have as to what might have happened to the original writers of Heroes, others involve anti-social calc students and numerous retarded sheepdogs. Either way, the Heroes writing has gone from perfectly acceptable to inhumanely bad. The show literally insults you by summarizing everything that happened in the past month at the start of every episode. And what in the world ever happened to subtext? Or having characters act on their emotions, instead of just stating them blatantly? This exchange from last night says it all-

SYLAR'S AWFUL SIDEKICK WHO I WISH WAS DEAD-"You're not gonna kill me?"

SYLAR-"That would be a bit on the nose."

Yeah Heroes, it sure would. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Sylar
What started out as one of the coolest, most maniacal, evil for the sake of evil characters to ever grace TV has now been reduced to an unmotivated pawn-a whining child who bends to any whim, and seems to have no character or ideals he can call his own. In the span of one season, Sylar-

Is a bad guy.
Becomes a good guy.
Falls in love with Elle.
Becomes a bad guy again (with Elle).
Becomes a good guy again.
Becomes a bad guy again.
Kills Elle (for no reason).

What made Sylar so scary was that he would do anything. He was uncontrollable, a literal human monster. But Sylar could always justify his reasons for killing with his own twisted logic. Now, nothing he does makes sense. To anyone. Just look at him now-traveling cross country with the most annoying kid in the world (why is he still alive) looking for his dad. Why do we care about this? We don't. No one does.


3. Lack of Character Motivation
I alluded to this in the Sylar section, but it seems like characters on Heroes do things constantly without motivation. Why did Sylar kill Elle? Why did Elle tell the man at the car rental place that Sylar was a killer after convincing him he was a good guy at heart? Why did Nathan decide to round up and arrest all his friends? Why did Daphne decide she loves Parkman? Why does Angela Patrelli do ANYTHING??? The Heroes wander through the world, having no idea why they are there or what their purpose is. It makes you wonder what the purpose of watching the show is.

4. No One Stays Dead
This is okay in comic books (sometimes). In TV, it's just damn annoying. Especially when they finally kill off Daphne, who is utterly unbearable, only to bring her back two episodes later! She got shot, like, nine times! She's not 50 Cent! How is she still alive? And what was the point of digging up Adam, only to kill him off moments later? I'm just waiting for Elle to come back. You know she will. Actually, I'd be okay with that. Kristin Bell is gorgeous.

5. The Gradual Retardation of Hiro Nakamura
He used to be so adorable. What made Hiro so great was not that he was childlike, or a moron, it was that he had powers and loved them. To pieces. That first "Yata!" in Times Square, that moment of absolute joy when he first teleported was so fun to watch because of how much he was enjoying it. Hiro was an everyman-he displayed so brilliantly the excitement and uninhibited happiness you or I would have if we woke up to find we could bend time and space. But turn him into a ten year old (literally and figuratively) and just a general moron, and you're left with an annoying character who headlines pointless B stories. He's gone from a grown man who loved being alive to a mindless idiot. And that's damn depressing.

Honorable Mentions
1. Calling powers "abilities."
2. Daphne
3. Ando getting powers
4. Daphne
5. Sylar's New Sidekick
6. No one ever using their powers
7. Daphne
8. Parkman using his powers and looking like a moron
9. I hate Daphne
10. Tracy Strauss/Jessica/Whatever the other persons name was, just Ali Larter in general. Terrible. Brings shame to the Strauss name.

Every week I ask myself, why do I still watch this show? And I think it's because I see it's potential. I see that Heroes has all the elements of a great television show. And I want to see that magic recaptured so badly, like it was in season one. I don't know if it ever will be. I suspect it wont. But, if it is, I'll be watching...

18 comments:

Ozkirbas said...

Season one is the only season worth watching. I tuned out around the time Professor Suresh became a "the Fly" reference and inexplicably seduced what's-her-face by crawling around on the ceiling and chugging milk with his shirt off

Christian said...

Has Suresh EVER made ANYthing better?! I would rather take my bathroom break during his scene than the commercial. And we had DVR.

Daniel said...

Dude can't act a lick. And those annoying voice overs! Shut up!

Alex said...

I watched season one when it was on, but then never watched the show again. Here's my issue- when the whole point of the first season is to keep the world from ending, what can season two be about? Anything post-possible apocalypse just seems kind of anti-climactic to me.

Daniel said...

that's a good point. basically, every season they have to save the world. the stakes just get lower every time.

Stephen said...

Ando got the worst possible power. It literally only works when he's the sidekick to someone with a real power. Lame.

I think season 3 drastically improves with the transition to volume 4. But the plot for volume 4 doesn't seem genuine. It's like the writers knew they overreached in volume 3, so they went in the other direction and now they're playing it too safe by basically turning the show into a Heroes/24 hybrid.

ali d said...

What I don't understand is that after the end of Volume Three, Tim Kring and the other writers acknowledged that Heroes had gotten ridiculous and was moving away from its original purpose, and that they were going to calm it down. Instead, the plot lines got more ridiculous, and a lot worse. What?

Jason Heat said...

I never got into this show - I watched the pilot and was very bored and disinterested.

Daniel said...

well look at you. la-dee-dah.

Damo said...

I LOVED this show, but I fell off sometime around the writer's strike, tried to pick back up with it, and fell off again.

Last I checked I was oh-so-hoping the show would make a solid turn-around, and now it appears it has done no such thing. What I wouldn't give for this show to live up to its potential!

And here I was fretting during the first season that they would start wearing costumes and picking cheesy names for themselves.

Le sigh.

Blogden Nash said...

I agree with every word of this post, but I would like to know when they will just blow their load and "reveal" the obvious fact that Sylar's retard sidekick is really his retard half-brother? The fact that this is so obvious to me and not to Sylar makes me want to punch everyone in the face.
Also, what is the point of casting the kickass Michael Dorn as the president if you are going to let him say only one line and then never show him again? Oh that's right because nothing will make nerds (read: me) keep watching like the promise of memories of Star Trek.
Fuck you, Tim Kring. Fuck you and your totally unoriginal idea for a tv series.

Jason Heat said...

Heroes - the new Brett Ratner?

Ozkirbas said...

I was thinking that last night. Heh.

King Platypus said...

I have stuck with Heroes and think it's a really great show. I think you'll all find that when you have three tiers (or generations, in this case) of characters, things can get bogged down from time to time. And when they added the Villains like Eric, the puppetmaster, it really got heavy. However, it's interesting to see all the callbacks to information that was said in passing. I recently Netflix'd all the Heroes seasons, and watched them back to back. Even the less-exciting episodes had some plot points that tied in as far as Season 3!

I find that Sylar's motivation hasn't changed much, which is finding out where he came from. I'm excited to see what happens after he discovers his origins. Then, he has to get a new objective.

Daniel, in response to Daphne still being alive, I really want to see Matt Parkman's vision of the future come true. You can bet that will be in one of these later seasons. And as to how she survived: who's to say they don't have more of Claire's blood stowed away?

The only character I can't stand is Peter Petrelli. He has this weird thing when he gets angry, I call it "ClownMouth."

King Platypus said...

PS, I also like Heroes because it reminds me of The Watchmen. So many subtleties that you have to read/watch again and again!

Stephen said...

@king

The NBC website posts Heroes episodes faster than Netflix. The NBC version has commercials though.

B.Graham said...

It's better now than it was, but I maintain it should have been a one-season show. A miniseries, if you will. Also I'm really upset that Scrubs is back. Again.

Ozkirbas said...

I still hate Heroes. Also, Tim Kring is sort of a douche:

http://www.avclub.com/articles/tim-kring,37975/