Sep 27 2008

Heroes’ season-premiere was worse than season 2

Published by at 9:38 am under Heroes,TV Review

Apparently I’m not the only one that thinks it’s past its sell-by date.

Hoping that the show would overcome its second-season slump, I watched the third-season premiere.  It was ridiculously bad… even worse than last season.  Here are some spoiler-heavy observations…

  • Hiro goes to the future to determine what Earth-ending disaster the team is facing this season.  As luck would have it, he picks exactly the right time and spot to see a future Ando kill future Hiro… seconds before the city explodes.  There have been many contrivances on Heroes, but rarely has its plot hinged so much on one.
  • The plot hinges on total contrivance again. Sylar finds Claire. No one explains how. Erm, but hasn’t her family moved to a secret location in Texas? Wasn’t “the Bennetts go into hiding” the whole point of the last season?
  • Hiro’s dad was holding on to a secret formula that can do something really awful.  He says that failing to keep it safe “will destroy the world.”  So why didn’t he destroy it?  If you’re not going to use it, there’s absolutely no reason to keep it lying around, particularly if you know that someone as unreliable as Hiro will guard it.  (Also, when Hiro lets his guard down, a superspeedy thief rips in and grabs it.  Apparently she just picked exactly the right moment to see if Hiro had opened the vault.
  • For the new “Villains” arc, some characters are taking inexplicable jerks towards evilness.  The main offender is Suresh, who has suddenly developed a total fascination with superpowers and whether it would be possible to give superpowers to regular people.  Particularly, ahem, himself.  What the hell?  Where did that come from?  Suresh is one of the many characters that needs to die.
  • The show missed a great opportunity to kill Matt.  I love Matt, but there are way too many characters running around.  Additionally, Matt’s ESP powers have expanded into mind-control and so his death would probably remove plot-holes and restore some of the sobriety that was lost in season 2.
  • Elle’s dad shows a video clip of two people running up to Sylar with tasers that (unsurprisingly) then get butchered.  He then says that they were “some of the Company’s best agents.”  If it doesn’t occur to your best agents to use stealth or intelligent tactics against someone with instant-kill superpowers, you are screwed.  For an organization with supposedly unlimited funds and resources, you’d think they’d have a sniper on staff.
  • Claire has gotten even worse, with an obnoxious emo turn.  The reintroduction of her biological mother does not bode well.  Peter has somehow also gotten more emo.  He needs to walk past someone who is super-unwhiny sometime.
  • The writing was decidedly mediocre.  Over the two hours, there was only one notable one-liner (“at these prices, they don’t ask many questions”) and a few great situational moments (“what does it look like I was doing?  Trying to get hit by a train” and “You didn’t think to look behind the Mona Lisa?”)
  • I like what they’re doing with the Nikki character, but referring to her as an “ice queen” shortly before she manifests ice-based powers was cheesy.  The show also seems to think that she’s something of a ruthless K Street player.  But we’ve only seen her act pretty congenially: for example, she argues politely that the governor should appoint Nathan as senator.  I’ve seen interns bust balls harder than that.
  • Peter gets stuck in a criminal’s body.  That’s a fantastic opportunity to get away from Milo Ventimiglia’s terrible acting.  But then the show uses Milo Ventimiglia to play Peter-in-the-criminal’s-body anyway!  Seriously, the camera shows Peter even though it’s not actually Peter’s body there.  This may have been the most frustrating part of this episode.
  • I’m pleased that distractions like Micah, Monica, Claire’s boyfriend and Caitlyn were not mentioned.   It’s also encouraging that the premiere introduced only one new character, an African shaman with a conspicuously good grasp of English.
  • I like how the Hiro-Ando and Nikki-Nathan plots are shaping up.  But it looks like the most interesting strand will be Noah hunting down the escaped prisoners.  Up to this point, we really hadn’t seen anything about him other than that he was a badass family-man.  I think the escaped prisoner arc is the only genuinely promising, fresh development Heroes has had since the end of season 1.  It doesn’t look like Suresh-Maya, Matt-shaman dude, Claire-herself or Peter-anyone are going anywhere.
  • Sylar is actually a Petrelli by birth.  That was a terrible plot development designed to make it seem less stupid that the Company (now headed by Mrs. Petrelli) declines to kill Sylar as soon as he’s unconscious.  Even so, keeping him alive is jaw-droppingly stupid, even for Heroes. Sylar murdered his own adopted mother and has killed many Company employees.  There is absolutely no reason to suspect that he will ever be a useful employee.
  • It’s only the first episode of the season and the plot already seems half-tired.
  • The special effects on the show are mixed.  Ando’s lightning looked like a painfully cheesy knock-off of Emperor Palpatine.  On the other hand, one of the characters can make blue fire that looks pretty kickass.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Heroes’ season-premiere was worse than season 2”

  1. Chris Osborneon 27 Sep 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Let’s be realistic about Sylar finding Clair. Where else would you hide in that room? And she’s not even too sneaky about it.

  2. B. Macon 27 Sep 2008 at 9:56 pm

    No, I meant how did Sylar know which house she was in? I don’t think they ever explained how Sylar learned her address. It seems like a glaring omission, given that Heroes has repeatedly shown that the Bennetts have bent over backwards to keep their whereabouts secret.

  3. Chris Osborneon 28 Sep 2008 at 6:07 am

    Oh, that part. I figured they were using the break to have us think that he killed some psychic person and got that power. He did get the super hearing, and they’ve hinted that he’s killed people we don’t know about.

    Which I take as a cheap way to be able to give him any power they need him to have for the situation.

    But at least they haven’t introduced characters for the sole purpose of having Sylar kill them and take their power. That was crazy.

  4. B. Macon 28 Sep 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I was actually kind of hoping that he would kill Molly (the obnoxiously cute locator girl), but that hasn’t happened yet. Or maybe it has! I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

  5. timon 28 Sep 2008 at 7:40 pm

    One of the MANY things that has annoyed me is that he supposed killed the super-hearer lady back in the first season, but he can’t hear Claire breathing heavily behind a door? With open slats in it? in an otherwise empty house? ORLY?

    Yeah, agreed on the whole production cost thing – looks like somebody photoshopped ando’s red lightning thing, bahhh. This is turning into Charmed 2.0.

    Anyhow, I still thought it was a good episode, because in spite of the fact that they made Sylar a Petrelli brother (ORLY? How will you explain that? Is the dad the errant pool boy, because that would really jump the shark… how will they explain that he’s only a 1/2 brother of the other two is my question), I like the new villains and I’m excited for a sweet fight in the next few episodes. REALLY glad that Micah and the guy-who-walked-through-things aren’t around anymore… and whatever happened to the girl who studied things extra quickly? Again, I’m not concerned, her acting was sub-par and decidedly booooring.

    Also, agreed on Suresh – uhhh, when did his character take an entire 180? “It’s all in the ADRENAL glands! All I need to do is put this slide on the microscope and it all becomes clear!! Thanks, science!”

  6. Jacobon 30 Sep 2008 at 10:10 am

    Normally, I would excuse the line that “it’s all in the adrenal glands!” because audiences will generally accept that comic-book scientists have extraordinary abilities. (No one wonders too hard about how Tony Stark whipped up his Iron-Man suit as an Afghani prisoner).

    But if there were ever a character NOT entitled to the “I’m a genius” excuse, it is Suresh, who is consistently the show’s most stupid character. For example, he takes his super-serum without making even a pretense of testing it first.

    At least Norman Osborne was under severe emotional distress when he tested the Green Goblin formula on himself.

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