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It’s Time for HEROES to Become Heroes

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This note talks about how HEROES might be cancelled, why its made the mistakes it has, where it got it right, and where it can go from here if it isn’t. My opinion of course.

If you want to get right to the cancellation part, skip down to the first line of asterisks. But I think the first part is alright. 😛

If you want to see where I think the series should have gone, and where it should go, check the second line of asterisks.

~

It’s time for ordinary people to become extraordinary people.

Almost a year ago, I discovered this show called HEROES. Even upon just watching half of the pilot, I was instantly hooked. Continuing to watch, I had never seen such a brilliant story of super powers in the real world. People finding their abilities, struggling with them, coping with them, fighting them, in an attempt to live normal lives, which ultimately they could never really go back to. The first season is one of my all time favorite stories, one of the best seasons on TV ever, full of some of my favorite moments and characters of all time. It’s an incredibly inspiring story, one of the few I take with me everywhere I go, always.

Needless to say, it’s slipped since then, but it’s something that was hard to avoid.

Even without the writers strike, seasons 2 and 3 of Heroes suffered from a lot of premature problems that were hard to solve. Firstly, the show was only supposed to last one season. No sequels, no nothing, that was what was pitched to NBC. And if the show was to continue, each season, it would be a new cast and new characters, telling a new story of coming together with powers.

But the show had become insanely popular. Bolsting an average of 16 million viewers, love for such classic characters and the show could not be ignored. Thus, NBC renewed it for a second season with the same cast. This presented a challenge to the writers, because they hadn’t planned out anything for future seasons. Because the premise of, “ordinary people with extraordinary powers,” worked so well the first time around, that’s what was done again. But not just that. HEROES got too sci-fi for its own good. Handling the Shaanti virus, and the 400 year old Samurai, was the first sign the show was getting off track. Characters were irrelevant, stories were inconsequential, repetitive and bland, stories drawn out, and it took forever to get form point A to point B.

Season 3, Villains, and Fugitives, presented more problems. To make up for their slow pace of season 2, things happened at a very fast pace. At a very high cost. Characters went to point C from A, without going through B. Half the stories went nowhere, like Peter going evil for two episodes, and almost all the side characters were just plot devices and killed off needlessly. The world felt like a backdrop, completely unrealistic. Super baddies burn banks with news casts outside, and the public still doesn’t know about their existence. The writers relied on plot devices like visiting the future, again, and painting it, in order to generate the volume three story. Which really, wasn’t very good anyway. The premise had taken one step too far in evolution here, instead of naturally evolving, it kicked open doors all barrels blazing. And didn’t get too many kills.

Ultimately, though nobody would realize it until the present day, the premise that started off the show just could not go forever. Eventually, it would have to evolve.

As volume 4 kicked into gear, the premise was once again, ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. Always starting over, always going back to the beginning to try and make things work again. Although volume 4 was arguably, for the majority of the episodes, just as good as season 1, the wonder and magic that made many people fall in love with the show, was just not there anymore. The overall sense of destiny was only here and there, and the story took place in still, an unrealistic world. Even so, the premise felt like it was almost evolved, and character development was, for the most part, pretty well done. Like in the future of “Five Years Gone,” we began to see a return to the consequences of season 1, and the overall plot move farther along, with the explosion of Washington (or any major city), and the emergence of Sylar as president.

Many people feared HEROES would not get renewed for a fourth season. Many fans that now hate the show cheered its death. NBC finally decided to reboot it once again. But what is the future after this season??

**********

I present to you the words of the shows producer, Adam Armus, and what he has to say about the future of HEROES:

“”Our plans are to end this year, whether it’s the last year or not, in a world-changing way,” Amus said. “Whether or not we continue the next year, it will lend to future inspiration for whoever thinks about these characters, whether they exist on other platforms or whether they exist on television or whether it doesn’t exist at all any more. It will lend your imagination to ‘Oh, my goodness, the world has changed now, and what does that mean?’

Amus added: “We don’t have to be saved from an island. We don’t understand what the future fast-forward means. We don’t have a central question to answer. What we have are people who have to live their lives and accept their lives and have to move on with their lives. And whether we keep telling their stories or not, as far as I’m concerned, these people will continue to live on in people’s imaginations, because they are people who live with abilities, and that’s both a blessing and a curse in our world. Those are stories that can continue to be told.”

… What does this mean??

It ultimately means, that what he’s saying, is that there is no premise anymore for the show in the first place. The entire four seasons has been about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. While it was fantastic as an origins story, for all our HEROES in season 1, going back to the same premise over and over again, is a mistake, even if this season has been a huge step up.

The problem, is that there is no problem. It’s become the same thing every season; people try to go back to their ordinary lives, problem presents itself, HEROES go off to solve problem, which then completely disappears, as they go back to their lives. And the cycle repeats.

What he’s saying here, is the ultimate flaw that HEROES has to rise above. Extraordinary things need to happen. Right now, ratings have dropped from 16 million, to only 5 million, 7 million at best.

Most of the time, these numbers would mean the show was done for sure – but with NBC in such dire straits, Heroes could still come back, thanks to external factors like DVD and oversees sales being relatively strong still for the studio and network, not to mention that the show is still among the strongest in key demographics among a weak lineup.

HEROES has suffered a four season long origins story, when the only origin stories really necessary, were season 1, and perhaps volume 5. Fortunately, it sounds like they have realized this, and decided to have a big bang, because of the possibility of cancellation. As Armus says, the season finale, which may be the series finale, promises to change the world of HEROES forever, whether it gets renewed again or not. Even if it likely will.

This is where I want to hear what you have to say.

Where should HEROES go? What do you think this world changing event is? What do you think of everything above? What are your ideas? And just for the heck of it, what feeling do you get from looking at the picture above, wonder and magic… am I right??

**********

This is the third part, in which I propose where HEROES should have gone, and how it can be applied to where it can go from here.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED

SEASON 1: GENESIS

Leave it exactly how it is, nothing changed. This is the origins story. The only thing, would be to cut out the cliffhanger of Hiro arriving in Feudal Japan. That is the only thing, though.

Season 2: GENERATIONS

Premise: GENERATIONS; the same as it already does, a story about the previous generation of super heroes.

What needs to, and not, happen: Everything that needs to happen, are things we need to know for volume 5. Everything that we absolutely have to know, happens here. Parents are killed, so we can’t go back to them in future seasons. Except, no Tracy, have Niki live, without her personality disorder again. No Shaanti virus. No government capturing people. No formula. Maybe Elle and other side characters, if it can work.

The story: The villains of this season would be Matt’s dad. The co-villain, Sylar. Where it could go from here, could be anything. The important thing is for the Heroes to try and live normal lives one last time, before the current volume airing. Anything can happen here, as long as its in line with volumes 1 and 5.

Season 3: REDEMPTION

Premise: What it is now.

What needs to, and not, happen: Whatever is happening right now. I trust the writers to deliver us an overall good season this time around. Except, replace Niki with Tracy.

The story: As I said, I trust them. I’m leaving this one to them. What needs to happen though by the end of the season, is what will probably happen as Armus says. The world will find out about people with powers. This will be of course, through whatever kind of war Samuel is planning. What I want to happen though, is Samuel be what Peter was in five years gone. Why the public is afraid of powers, why the world will completely change to a much darker place. Perhaps he destroys New York City, or Washingon. What’s important is that there is no turning back after this.

Season 4: EXODUS

The premise: Supers being accepted into society, becoming involved in politics, discrimination, no going back.

The story: This is it. Now that Supers have been outed, there is no going back. They aren’t being captured, YET, but this is what leads up to everything. I hate to quote this, because the show is accused of ripping X-Men off, but it’s what you might or could see in X-Men. Supers in politics, on the news, struggling to be accepted into society. What would the story be? As I said, the potential is infinite. Samuel will become leader of a group of people protesting, that society will never accept us, that we should live separate from them, that they are not our friends, etc. Like the Magneto of HEROES. Also, all the main characters should be tight by now, and by that I mean they have to keep in contact with the others, working together. By the end of the season, Sylar must assume the mantle on presidency. And most importantly, a second attack has to happen. The first attack scared people, but the second is what will start society capturing supers.

Season 5: FUGITIVES

The premise: Time skips forward four years. The future has now officially, become almost exactly like FIVE YEARS GONE. This season is all about the three way battle: Government VS Super Hero Resistance VS The New Company that Samuel runs. Sylar is president. Claire is running away. Mohinder is with “Nathan” at first, but joins fugitives later. Nathan is dad. Matt joins “Nathan”, at least at first. Niki is still alive. Peter and Hiro FINALLY become badasses.

The story: A war between the three sides. Of course with it being TV, it has to be scaled down, but it should ultimately be, what FIVE YEARS GONE gave us. A very real, cruel world. Evolved characters. By this point, the possibilities of last season leave this one even more open.

Season 6: VIGILANTES

The premise and story: The Heroes become vigilantes, in an attempt to protect people, and prove society wrong. Peter will become the superman of the show, the reason why the world begins to accept super powered people. Our characters begin to disguise themselves, not in tights, but perhaps shady outfits. Possibilities are endless.

Future seasons:

After that, it could go lots of places. I figure after that there would be one or two more seasons. But it should end with supers being accepted into society, with rough feelings. This is how the show could have gone. Let’s take a look at where the characters could go.

Claire could become a paramedic and become close to Peter. It makes perfect sense, because she’s always been complaining about how she wants to do this, because she can’t get hurt. Another thing that could happen, is… remember how Claire became interested in biology in season 2? Well, what if she became Mohinder’s student? It would keep her relevant to the plot, above all else.

Hiro… Ando has to die. That is really what is going to ultimately push his character forward from where he is now. Plus Ando doesn’t do anything relevant anymore anyways. We’ve all been waiting for Hiro to mature for three years now, no longer be the clown of the show.

But really, I’ll stop there. I want to hear your opinion on all of this.

———-

“We dream of hope… we dream of change, of fire, of love of death… and then it happens. The dream becomes real. And the answer to this quest, this need to slove lifes mysteries, finally shows itself… like the glowing light, of a new dawn. So much struggle, for meaning, for purpose. But in the end, we find it only in each other. Our shared experiences of the fantastic… and the mundane. The simple, human need to find a kindred. To connect. And to know in our hearts… that we are not alone.”

???

 

Written by blueherobh

November 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized