If you follow my ramblings outside this here blog you may already realize that I made the big mistake of catching up with Heroes. Yeah, yeah, I realize you all stopped watching by the end of the second season – good for you. Me? I needed real confirmation that the writers never got their heads out of the asses. And boy did I get it.
So right now I’m watching the second episode of the final season of Lost – another “sci fi” show with an excellent first season that suffered through some down times – wondering how they managed to avoid the same pitfalls. And then it hit me – Heroes tried to be Lost, while Lost was content being itself.
While the writers of Lost have spent plenty of time (too much on occasion) developing characters, they realize that the driving force behind their show is the mystery of the island. As convoluted as the show gets, we’re all just sitting on the hypothetical edge of our seats waiting for the final pieces to the puzzle to be revealed. And that’s what keeps the show moving forward and, more importantly, keeps the audience interested.
Heroes, on the other hand, found such success in its first season thanks to the intrigue of watching people discover their powers all while moving forward to a singular goal. While there were some mysterious elements (e.g. “The Company”, who was really good or bad) that was all secondary. Yet they decided that, after a season of horrendous teenage love angst, those should be the driving force. But how many times can you really debate over whether or not Sylar is bad? (He is) Or whose side HRG is on? (His own) And its not just those characters, any new characters (or old ones brought to the forefront) get the same exact treatment. Did anyone, even for a second, buy that Nathan and HRG’s government agency was a good idea for anyone? Or that this stupid carny character was anything but evil? No. So why pretend that it’s a mystery?
And this is skipping over the fact that the writers seem to think intrigue is developed simply by characters not telling each other anything. Or that a pseudo-lesbian “subplot” was thrown in out of nowhere. Or that Sylar is practically unstoppable, yet every time he is stopped the “heroes” let him go. Or any number of other ridiculous plot devices bogging down what was such a solid idea all those years ago…
Will I watch next season? Maybe the same way I did the second half of this season – online while skipping through about 80% of it. But I’d rather they just cancel the series right now. Who cares if the finale left the door open for the next chapter. Does anyone believe the next one will suddenly stop sucking?