Going through this first season of Heroes sure brought back memories...
I remember thinking that was one hell of a show, unlike anything else I'd seen and admiring how fresh, bold and new it all was. To a certain extent, this still sticks. Heroes did jump on the bandwagon of growing superhero movies early making it very much of its time. Since then, we've had grittier, smarter comic book movies and edgier sci-fi series (Fringe anyone?) so looking back, Heroes almost feels like a kids' show... with the occasional bit of gore, of course. I mean, it's still kinda edgy but in a cute oh-let's-not-go-too-far-with-it type of way, it's restrained but still goes a long way to make this at least a bit more adult-friendly once in a while.
Without Sylar, Zachary Quinto's cartoon villain, going around slicing people's heads off, Heroes would be the show Marvel would produce if Marvel was run by your grandfather's dad.
The plot sees a group of 'special' people from all over the world being brought together little by little to attempt to stop a cataclysmic event which will take place in the near future destroying the whole of New York City. You've got the Petrelli brothers, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) and Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), one's a nurse with the ability to absorb others' powers, the other's running for Congress and can fly (lol). You've got Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson), two Japanese friends/co-workers who make their way to the US when the former learns that he has the ability to bend time and space itself. Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) is a Jekyll and Hyde type who occasionally gets taken over by another personality making keeping her household, which includes husband D.L. (who can walk through walls) and son Micah (who can kinda... fix things I guess?), together a bit tricky. Of course there's Claire (Hayden Panettiere), a young cheerleader who can heal automatically Wolverine-style and whose father (played by Jack Coleman) is just a tad dodgy. There's Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera), an artist with the ability to paint the future (when he's high) and finally Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a scientist whose power it seems to be to narrate generally about things he hasn't even been directly involved in and be almost completely useless for over 10 episodes.
Sounds pretty great, huh?
Truthfully, it is!
For the most part.
I mean, Heroes is flawed, no doubt about it. It tries to juggle too many characters, too many subplots not to mention a rather complex all-encompassing storyline which involves time-travel among other things... it's pretty ambitious, gotta give it that. Season 1 does well to keep things going at a good pace and hold it all together for as long as possible. It drops the ball right at the end, unfortunately, but until that messy finale it was certainly a fun and, at times, even exciting ride. The best episodes come about halfway through when the whole save-the-cheerleader arc finally draws to a close and soon after when the plot thickens, clever twists come out of nowhere and everyone finally seems to understand how to control their powers. Also watch out for fun cameos by the likes of George Takei and Malcolm McDowell. For a while there, you really start to feel like it's all building up to the best thing ever but alas that finale is a disappointing mix of plot-holes, WTF moments, cop-outs, stupid shit and things that just don't make sense.
Oh well, like I said, Heroes was innovative enough at the time to qualify as a wholly addictive TV phenomenon. By today's standards, it's pretty tame, naive even, but there's a nostalgic feel to it and it is an involving, if at times very silly, show to sit through. It's a fun guilty pleasure. I do recommend this first season, just bear in mind that the ending you've future-painted in your mind probably surpasses the one the show has to offer.
Onto Season 2, which I hear goes from "Heroes" to "Zeroes".
I can't wait.