Dec 9, 2008

Tuesday: I would change Heroes

I only watch a few TV shows, and most of them I just catch up with online after a couple weeks. Shows like House, The Office, Lost, and lately Fringe. Out of the shows I follow though, Heroes is definitely my favorite. Or at least it used to be. It used to be that immediately after watching you would want to go back and re-watch some detail that you missed. It used to be that naming all the characters and their powers was pretty simple. But now immediately after watching the show most of the time if you watched it again you’d just get frustrated by the new holes in the story you didn’t notice the first time. And trying to remember the characters is tough, remembering how they’re all related is tougher, and figuring out their powers is hopeless. Yea, it’s kinda become a big clusterhooey. So being the problem solver that ASU has taught me to be, I diagnosed some of the problems (to me anyways), and gave some solutions (cause problems without solutions is just griping, and that’s for Wednesdays). So here’s a brief list of what I would change about Heroes, if you know I was in charge of the world.

Get rid of Nicky/Tracy/Jessica

Initially this said kill off, but that sounded a little violent, so I settled with “get rid of”, maybe with some heavy winking. Why would I get rid of her? So many reasons, the actress is bad, the evil twin thing kind of reeks of bad soap opera, and the missing triplet storyline is even worse. In the beginning she was a single Mom trying to raise a kid in a bad situation, with a power that they never really explained (was she really strong? Why was she only strong when she was crazy? Would she lose her power if she talked with a therapist?). Now she’s a completely different character (but she still kind of has that exhausted single mom look going on) and she has a new well defined power (freezing things) but really nothing to do. None of the other characters have any investment in her, and she isn’t really critical to any part of the story, the only thing she’s involved in is trying to get the Nathan character to obey his father, something he decides to do anyway when He’s 4000 miles away from her. I think maybe the character was supposed to be some kind of conniving, powerful woman, but she always just looks kind of confused, and is usually getting yelled at or taking orders, so maybe it’s time that Nathan realized we’re in a recession and trimmed his staff, starting with the girl who does nothing.

Use Mohinder as the non-power having observer we can all relate to

In the beginning and even now every so often, the Mohinder character narrates the episodes. Why? I think it has a lot to do with his accent, less to do with the actual storytelling of the show. But it really should. See the thing is, I don’t have super powers, you probably don’t have super powers and you know who else doesn’t have super powers? That’s right Mohinder. That should make him easier to relate to, and he can guide people through this fictional world using that silky accent. Maybe being a psudo scientist he could also explain some of the characters actual powers also so we’re not just guessing and surprised all the time.

Change Hiro to a harbinger of past and future

Hiro is everyone’s favorite character. And why not? He’s funny, has a cool power, and generally really likeable. The only problem is that to use his power pretty much always screws things up. Plus he’s always using it for trivial things like stopping time to create 1000 origami cranes, or teleporting to the waffle store (seriously?). He should just be a nomad in time, traveling back and forth slowly taking notes and trying to gently shape the world into a better place by gently encouraging the other characters to do this thing or that thing. Basically everytime you see Hiro, you should be thinking “O something awful is about to happen in the future, and here comes Hiro to tell us what”, keep it that simple. Because as anyone who saw “Primer” knows explaining time travel is way too confusing.

Forget about all this giant conspiracy stuff with the “older heroes”

They keep introducing these old people, or parents of the characters and alluding to some old organization they had where they talked about how best to use their powers or something. But no one really cares. All these old people have had powers for upwards of 40 years and they still haven’t accomplished anything? I’m thinking if you can’t accomplish something in that time span, you might not be smart enough to pull off some crazy giant conspiracy later on in life. Let’s move on from the senior citizen generation and just pretend like this is the first generation of people that are “special”.

Give HRG his own show, where he discovers and tracks down heroes

My favorite character on this show is Noah Bennett. I think it’s because he has the most identifiable priorities, family and work. He just wants to be good at both of them. He also has no powers yet a lot of the other characters are afraid of him, based solely it would seem on past experiences. So do me a favor, give him his own show. Have him and his quiet and wise Haitian partner track down people with powers and either stop them, or help them get help. That way if there were any really good ideas for characters they could just use this show as a natural introduction. Also the underlying ongoing problem of the show could be Noah and his partners chasing after but never quite catching Syler. I’d watch it.

Go back to having the Heroes do normal day to day stuff while dealing with being different

I hate to use a comic book as an example of where the show should go, but I’m going to anyway. So in all the best stories ever told through comic book, the best characters always struggled with trying to do normal stuff that you and I do, while trying to still fulfill their duties as superpeople. For example Spiderman always felt like he was neglecting his Aunt and had trouble keeping a paycheck, most of the X-men wanted to be normal people and lead normal lives, Stupendous man always had trouble finding his cape and getting stuck in the closet or locker (don’t worry if you don’t remember that last one). The point is, the story feels more real when we see signs of our reality in it, like when Claire was going to school and dealing with being the outcast, when Peter was becoming a nurse and dealing with losing patients, when Micah was using his power to get money to help out his struggling single mom (whatever happened to that kid anyway?). These were all examples of regular everyday things you and I understand, and enjoyed watching them be effected by the extraordinary, which really should be the whole point of the show.

So there’s a couple suggestions about what I would change if I was in charge of the world, or at least NBC. There was so much potential there, I hate to see this thing go down in flames and the only thing left to watch is one of the 9 CSI’s, 5 American Idol-esqe shows, and sitcoms about stupid husbands that don’t understand their much smarter wives (what is that about anyway, this is going to come up again I promise). I guess only time will tell, though recently it has been looking up, that last couple episodes were much better, and the guy who used to write for “Pushing Daisies” is taking over so there is a light at the end of this super confusing tunnel.


  1. Yeah, I have to agree with the the Nikki, Tracy, Barbara thing. It's just ridiculous.

    And I think one thing that really messed it up was season 2, when they said, "Hey, let's bring in more heroes than we know what to do with. That'll make for good TV." After that, they decided that that was a bad idea, and didn't know what to do afterwards. But, oh well.

  2. i totally agree...i can't stand the evil twin thing!