Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear "Heroes",

We had a good run for a while, but I’m sorry to tell you that it’s over. I’m leaving you. I wish I could tell you “it’s not you, it’s me.” But the truth is, it’s you.

Your first season was good. Compelling. Fun. Okay, your season finale was lacking, but I was willing to overlook that because of the hours we had spent together. Unfortunately, that was the shape of things to come.

Let’s be honest about season two. It was just plain horrid. You got a bit full of yourself and it showed. And don’t go blaming it on the writer’s strike. You were heading down the wrong path long before the writers called it quits. The strike mercifully put an early end to an aimless and lethargic season.

This season was supposed to be your comeback. You took a good long look in the mirror, said you had recognized your flaws and promised to fix them. You got off to a good start in the first episode. And even though the next few faltered a bit, I stuck by your side for six weeks, knowing that you were capable of so much more. But I’ve recently come to the sad realization that you’re not. And I can’t continue the charade anymore. I need to say goodbye.

But before I go, I want to offer you some advice. Who knows, maybe it could benefit somebody else someday.

1. You don’t need any more new characters. You can barely keep up with the ones you have now and you seem to be reaching to give them all something to do. It’s really okay not to introduce two or three new characters every episode when that takes screen time away from the ones you made me care about in season one.

2. You don’t need to put every character into every episode. How about focusing on one or two story threads per episode instead of spending an hour dizzily jumping around between half a dozen stories? You want to know how to handle a large ensemble week to week? Pay attention to “Lost” and see how it’s done. (I know, you’re sick of hearing about “Lost” but they know how to pull themselves out of a slump. You should have been taking notes.)

3. Not every single character needs to be related to each other.

4. Make your fights more interesting. It’s boring to watch all-powerful characters who can’t be hurt and can’t die do battle. So stop having Peter and Sylar square off against each other.

5. For the love of god, just get rid of Mohinder already. He’s always been a whiny baby with little to do but explain things to everybody else. But now that he’s become some sort of spider thing, he’s a reclusive evil whiny baby. And what the hell is he doing anyway? If he’s a super villain, he needs to be carrying out an evil plot, not lurking around in his lab sticking everyone to the walls. These days, he’s really only one step removed from a crazy homeless person who mutters to themselves as they walk down the street.

6. Sylar should not be a good guy. And stop making him comic relief. He was a really cool, creepy villain whom you’ve castrated and now he’s totally lame.

7. Lighten up. You used to be fun but now everything is so dark and gloomy. You’re actually making it seem like it sucks to have super powers. You’ve even managed to make your most heartfelt and enthusiastic character, Hiro, a total bummer.

8. One villain. Have we learned nothing from BATMAN & ROBIN, SPIDERMAN 3 and BATMAN FOREVER? One villain with one evil plot makes for tension and suspense. More than that and it gets messy. I wish you would have thought about that before subtitling season three “Villains.”

9. Your stories need to go somewhere. Remember in the first season when you set up that the world was going to explode and every episode was about this random group of strangers coming together to save it? That worked. Why did you stop doing that? Now we’ve got Hiro going after some formula, Horn Rimmed Glasses and Sylar going after escaped bad guys, Peter and his mother going after….something—I’m not sure what, and Nathan sitting around doing nothing. You're rambling more than my Great Aunt after a glass of wine.

10. If you kill off a character, stick to it. It’s always a fun surprise when major characters are killed off mid-season. But why are you always bringing them back? Nathan freakin’ exploded at the end of the first season. Still here. Nikki’s gone, but now she’s her own triplet, Tracy? What?? And after being killed last year, Linderman is back as both a vision and some sort of hologram? Puh-lease. It’s beyond convoluted.

So I guess this is it. I need to find another show that satisfies me like you used to. I’m sorry that it had to end this way. But I think this is the best thing for both of us.


Jenny Egner said...

Oh, thank you for giving words to my pain. I've actually raised "a good night's sleep" above Heroes on my priority list. And happier for it.

ZenMom said...

You make me glad I stopped watching midway through season 2. Sounds like the honeymoon was already over. :)