Heroes. The mere mention of it stirs passions in the geek community, even after all of these years. When the series first came out it generated a ton of buzz because it was the only superhero show (other than Smallville) on TV. Heroes came at things with a fresh perspective. We came to love season one because of the characters (which make or break any superhero show). Hiro – the fanboy that could travel through time. Skyler – ultimate baddie. Clair – “Save the cheerleader, save the world!” It was good.
Then came season two. Then the writer’s strike. Heroes became mired in its own storylines. Hell, I watched the show and it was getting hard to know what was going on. The superpowers got out of hand. The whole storyline of Skyler taking over the senator’s body was weird and never lived up to its potential. Oddly enough, near the end of the final season it was actually getting back on track. Of course, by then, NBC had already decided to bail on the series. They moved it all over the schedule and never even advertised the final episode.
Now comes Heroes Reborn. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a reboot or just how they would deal with the past of the show. The writers chose to tackle it head-on, and oddly, that worked. Rather than get caught up in the weird spiderweb of PrimaTech and their role suppression and supporting evolved humans, they blew it up. Whew!
Heroes Reborn isn’t the only game in town anymore. The Flash, Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, Supergirl…it’s one of the crowd. I was skeptical that it could capture the past magic that made the first season work. It has, but with some provisos. At the prompting of a friend I reviewed most of the first season. Like this new series, it started out slow. We tend to look back fondly at the first season of Heroes, but it was actually pretty plodding the first few episodes. Heroes Reborn has started the same way. They’ve wandered away from the uber-powers (so far) with the promise of some of the cool former cast (Hiro!) coming back.
In my opinion, not that anyone solicited it, I think Reborn has found its footing. There’s a larger plot here that has that whole, “save the cheerleader,” feel to it, with episode five giving us a glimpse at a coming catastrophe. The new Evols (Heroes) have some powers we haven’t seen before. These plot threads are important, but so far not as convoluted as they were in the original series (yet). The first three episodes had a whole X-Men vibe to them, which made me squirm. Now though, that hesitancy on my part has faded.
Most importantly, Heroes Reborn has found a place in the current superhero lineup. It’s good. Not great, not yet, but we are seeing some neat combinations of the characters and some of that magic we loved in the first season of the original series.