Fixing Heroes Season Two (With Help from Tim Kring, the Show’s Creator)

November 10, 2007

Writer’s Note: See this post for an update on the sad state of Heroes.


I spend an awful lot of time on this site biting more eyes than I can chew. This is not going to change anytime soon. Every once in awhile, however, something happens that makes the eyebiter…smile.

Like taking responsibility for your crap, something that Heroes creator Tim Kring seems to be doing.

My thoughts on this:

  1. It’s a big step just to admit that your show sucks, even if you make this admission gently and/or with tact. Most actor/directors/entertainment types, if they do this, do it well after the fact, when the show is over or the movie has made its run. Those who don’t wait sometimes lose their jobs, so I don’t necessarily blame them for their silence. Admittedly, it’s probably easier to admit that your show sucks when you’re the creator (and when you’re on strike) but, hey, at the very least, Tim Kring’s eyes are safe for now. If I had enjoyed Season One of Heroes a little more than I did (I liked it, and I got a little sucked in, but I wasn’t shocked to see Season Two take a turn into Tanktown) I would have already chomped those ojos with such ferocity that he could have channeled Claire Bennet till he was Hank McCoy blue in the face and it wouldn’t have helped him.
  2. He basically hits on almost all of the major things that are wrong with Season Two. This includes: Not Tom Welling and Claire’s romance, Hiro’s way long unending infinite overstay in Japan (that goes on forever), the stinky new characters, and a lack of foreseeable connections between new story lines (made out of crap romances and stinky new characters) and the overall plot (whatever that is).

What else is wrong with Season Two?

  1. Not enough Peter Petrelli. As I said, I enjoyed Season One. There were many parts that I found less-than-enjoyable, but few of these had to do with Peter. I probably am not alone in saying this: the coolest parts of Heroes are when Peter (whose power is the ability to permanently absorb the powers of others when he is in their immediate vicinity) starts flashing skill and/or kicking ass. There is not nearly enough Peter Petrelli ass-kicking going on! What are you waiting for, Kring? Did you spend a whole season setting this guy up to become an ass-kicker, only to completely under-utilize him in the next season? While we are at it, if you are going to keep Sylar around, give the man his freaking abilities back. Maybe you fellas decided not to do this because it seems too obvious a choice, or maybe it’s not in your budget, but please think about what a mano-a-mano between Peter and a worthy opponent would be like – especially if it’s a climactic event coming at the end of a much improved overall story line. Which brings me to another point…
  2. The overall story line sucks. “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” was cute. More importantly, it was clear. It was pulled off. It worked. The world was facing a nuclear blast and the Heroes stepped in and the world was saved. After this, I for one would have been all right with a smaller act of heroism. Instead, Heroes Season Two went straight to the next “logical” place after nuclear winter…epidemic super virus. If Season Three ever happens, and if it features an alien attack against Earth, I’m going to: kill Sylar, take his taking-power, kill Hiro, take his time travel power, travel into the future, copy Sylar’s taking-power, give it to the children of everyone involved in the making of Heroes, make those children kill Claire’s closest living relatives, make them eat the brains of Claire’s closet living relatives (or whatever he does!), and then I’m going to strap the children down to a table and bite their eyes over and over again until the end of time. Then I’ll use Hiro’s power to go back in time and do it all over again.
  3. Little story lines suck. I bite Maya’s Hersey-syrup dripping eyes. Also, maybe this has been the plan all season, but if it is: do it already. Kill off Ali Larter. I don’t care what it takes. Her story line has almost completely sucked from the beginning. If you don’t want to kill her kid, have him sucked into a video game. An old school video game, like Pacman. That way, when he eats the big pieces of Kix cereal on the screen, and eats the ghosts when they become vulnerable, they will turn into eyes. You can guess what would happen next.
  4. Cut back on the mf’ing ambiguity. I cannot tell you how many times, over the course of Season Two, girlfriend of ibiteryoureyes has turned to me and said “I don’t understand why that just happened,” or “what’s that person’s power,” or “what are they doing.” After a while, I just started answering, “they (the writers) don’t know.” Because they either don’t, or they think that leaving things hanging in the air bare-ass naked is the same as suspense.
  5. Rip off the X-Men some more. For the first few episodes of Season One, the X-Men ripoffs bothered me. I got over it. After all, there’s no copyright on cellular regeneration. But Heroes went from ripping off the X-Men while adding some good old regular modern situational TV drama to…mostly providing just plain regular modern situational TV drama. I suppose that the addition of new characters was supposed to keep the comic book part of the equation going – but it didn’t. This relates to my Peter Petrelli point. If your “fresh spin” is going to be contextualizing the lives of comic book heroes in the real world and in the present day, that’s fine. Again, this worked in Season One. In Season Two, however, the use and/or the discovery of superpowers are old news. I don’t want to watch Peter re-discovering his powers one-by-one over the course of many episodes when I just spent a whole season waiting for him to get those powers. You need to do something else to excite us. Like getting some of these people working together to use their powers (something they supposedly learned how to do in Season One), or showing people using their powers for more than three seconds. If it’s a budget thing, or a time thing, I guess that’s different. But it doesn’t really matter. Something has to be done, and jump cutting in on Matt Parkman while he holds his breath is only going to work for so long (it’s not working anymore).
  6. Decide what you want to do with The Company. I know I’m supposed to be ambivalent on where The Company falls on the old good/bad line. Congrats. I’m ambivalent. I also rollmyeyes almost every time Bob opens his mouth.
  7. Play the theme song more often. A weeee-uuuu eeee-uuu eeee uuu!

You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

4 Responses to “Fixing Heroes Season Two (With Help from Tim Kring, the Show’s Creator)”

  1. ghanja Says:

    OMG I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT HATED SEASON 2. I was first irked when heroes which I truly enjoyed for the multi-culturalism seemed like they only were hiring more and more blond females and that the story lines were more centered around them. When I would go look through magazines for good hero content…Id only here about how the blondes scratch their ass and how sexy they are…give me a break there is…rather was more of an audience than pre-pubesent boys.

    My second issue was the killing off of major story lines. The interracial family that all had powers and how they had to cope to make everything work was worth a show by itself. So was the politician that had to hide from himself that was going down a dark path and the forgotten brother with all the power had to save him…or face him. That too was worth a show. I loved Heroes season 1, I dont know what the fuck im watching anymore…Im sorry to cuss but im pissed. Nothing makes since…I agree it pointless to kill off main characters that we have fallen for to recreate new ones with the same powers….WTF I too question why I dont just stop watching…ha ha but I hold out hope for something better. Im happy that the ratings have fallen because that shows that others agree…Maybe heroes writers will try a new hero to save ratings, one that is young and blonde and her power is she cant wear clothes and is a nympho…Im not joking for some reason that what heroes staff seems to think the audience craves????

  2. […] candidate to commit to giving an interview (mostly because they’re all of the opinion that Heroes Season 2 is as strong as season one, and that they will be president) so I’ve had to come up with […]

  3. […] the show creators have not followed the advice that I offered in this post. […]

  4. I just started watching this show on BluRay. Having never seen it before, I “accidentally” watched the season 1 pilot episode first, then got pretty confused as the real episode 1 started repeating what happened in the pilot. Almost. Like, Matt’s wife is suddenly dumb and not a successful professional as in the pilot. The whole terrorist plot suddenly disappeared. Etc.

    Then show picked up, though. It was a tad too foolish sometimes (how many times can Ando do the wide-eyed look before his eyes roll out, for one?), and unfocused, but there were qualities there that really worked. Like no-one being 100% good or bad (save for Claire and Mohinder and maybe one or two others). The fatalism of the story worked, and the “Lost”-ness of the cliffhangers and supernaturalities was kept to a minimum (with Heroes being a “whodunitwhen?” and Lost a “whodunwhat when in which dimension to which version of who in what reality and which year (maybe (not) (yes (can’t remember)))”).

    It did take a dive in the last three or four episodes, becoming queasingly touchy-feely and leaving you with two many whys, so it was with a big “wonder where it’ll go from here” that next disc was popped in.

    Looking back, watching the pilot and seeing how easily they completely turned the whole plot upside-down from one episode to the next, using mostly the same footage, it feels symptomatic for the series as a whole. There never was an actual storyline defined in this thing. It was more story navigation from one episode to the next, probably using focus groups who said what they liked and what they didn’t.

    Many times, watching the episodes back-to-back, you see more-or-less the same scene played back again, but sometimes it’s clear that it’s not there to help you remember what happened last time, it’s there to change the story to better fit this week’s episode. How many times have we watched it and said to ourselves, “that wasn’t what he said last time, this is pretty much the opposite”?

    This is forgivable, and season one works, because the characters are pretty well-defined, they are interesting, and they behave fairly consistently the season throughout. They are almost always used with respect to the personalities that have been defined with, and they evolve with the show.

    Enter season two, and in a way, it’s like some middle school class has taken over the script writing without guidance. Who the hell are these people? You sit there with questions like, “why don’t these two people know each other? Did they forget they met four months earlier?”, “why are they explaining this again?”, “where is the company really?”, “why is Claire still in high school?”, “why is Peter in Ireland?”, “what’s the threat here?”, “how many times can they kill/trap/dethrone Sylar and expect us to find him dangerous, let alone interesting, to follow again?”, “why is Hiro in Japan?”, “why is Ando waiting for him in the future when he is a time-traveller, why wouldn’t he just return to the same time he left?”, “how would the museums and collectors that previously restored and kept the sword not notice that the bottom read in clear Japanese, “Ando, look inside” and contained scrolls with a really retarded story?”, and more importantly, “who are these people, who from each episode to the next, completely change characteristics, yet never become the persons they were in season one?”, and ultimately, “why am I watching this, when it disrespects its own characters, its viewers, and just leaves you with a frustrating amount of questions, the pinnacle of which – why am I so bored?”

    Question: Does this show pick up in season 3? Or is this another Lost? As in Lost storylines, Lost characters, and Lost interest? If not, I’ll just toss it. I don’t think I can watch through season two, I already hate it. But I guess I could read a short explanation of what happens in the 8 episodes that remain to watch, and then skip to season 3 if it’s worth it.

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