I decided this week that “Heroes” just isn’t worth it anymore. It went from innovative and cool to bland and boring that it’s just not worth it. Let me enumerate the ways the show has let me down using Television Tropes and Idioms:
- Aborted Arcs: On Lost, nearly every episode ties into the huge arc of the whole show. On Heroes, you’re lucky if the CHARACTERS remember what happened last week, let alone the writers. Volume 4 “Fugitives” is admittedly a reboot so that people can start watching there without worrying about what came before. The problem is that people watching from the start have been kicked to the curb by all the contradictions and little things we were told were significant that they just dropped. Admittedly, the Shanti virus was supposed to be released at the end of Volume 2, but the Writer’s Strike made them close that door almost as soon as they teased at it. We’ve seen so many alternate futures where everything blows up, none of which are truly stopped except for the first, then just dropped in favor of the next plot. We’ve gone from having people starting to show their abilities during an eclipse to having generations of people with abilities, from people trying to figure out how to take away abilities to people trying to figure out how to give abilities to finding out that people have known how to give people abilities for years through some magic “catalyst” (which only magic can explain) to people just wanting to round up people with abilities to people rounding up people with abilities years ago.
- Passing the Idiot Ball: Basically, if a character does something completely out of character which is stupid, the writers gave them the Idiot Ball. Petrellis have a problem with this as Peter is the frequent carrier, and Nathan carrying it with pride at the beginning of Volume 4. I think Parkman has the ball now, one minute mourning his “girlfriend” who didn’t even like him by wanting to kill the world, then being elated at finding out she’s alive, then depressed that she died for real and wants to kill himself, then finding out he’s a father and now wants to get back with his ex-wife. Hiro was given the ball almost literally by being mind-wiped to think that he was 10 years old. Sylar gets the ball every time he has an idenity crisis or wants to find his father.
- Breaking the Gamebreaker: They start off with showing all of these awesome characters with awesome abilities. Once the writers realized that they were getting too powerful, they take away their powers in the dumbest ways imaginable. Peter can absorb other people’s abilities even when he’s not paying attention? First, we’ll give him amnesia, then we’ll have his father take his abilities, then he’ll gain it back but can only absorb one at at time and only by physical contact. Hiro can travel through time? First he can’t figure out how to control it, then once he can, he’ll refuse to use it, then we’ll wipe his mind so he thinks he’s 10, then we’ll take his powers, then we’ll give him Time Stop back, but even that physically hurts him now. Sylar has a full range of abilities but is getting too powerful too fast? So we’ll give him the Shanti virus which gets rid of his abilities, then we’ll have him get the antidote which first brings back his telekinesis, then we won’t say it on the show, but tell fans that he only has his original ability (intuitive aptitude) and has to start over from scratch, then show that he can absorb like Peter, then have him reject that and continue to kill people, then have him remember to absorb again, have him be evil, have him be quasi-good…
- There’s No Endgame (not really a Trope): I think my biggest problem is that there’s no point anymore. There’s no big secret, there’s no huge bomb to stop, no big questions. All of the questions we had at the beginning have either been answered in a throwaway line or negated by plot developments.
I think I’m just going to keep my Volume 1 HD DVD set (as much good at that will do me) and pretend that that’s all there is (I’m not sure if you knew, but originally that was going to be the end and the next season was going to focus on other characters). There is too much the writers ignore from the rest of the seasons for them to be of any use to me.
I’m not saying that you should give up on it, I’m just saying why I have. I might think of more reasons later and will update this post when I do.