I’ve got to be honest, I thought the first episode of Heroes was Boring. Yeah, with a capital B. However, after a few months of hearing it was Really Very Good and I should Give It A Try, I decided that maybe I’d been too quick to judge. I caught up on twenty episodes in two weeks.
Heroes could have stood to lose a majority of it’s first chapter, but things improved from then on. The basic concept is heavily drawn from super hero comic books: As explained in the opening of each episode, a bunch of ordinary seeming people turn out to have extraordinary abilities like stopping time, flying, and turning homicidal. These people may be the only ones who can save the world, unfortunately it seems, from themselves.
From a pop culture standpoint it’s interesting to see such a melding of mediums. The episodes are structured similarly to comic books, each one being a chapter in the story with a shorter arc that eventually adds up into the larger arc. There is even a graphic novel available online which promises to deepen the readers understanding.
What keeps me watching is not the comic book premise (trust me, I gave up on X-men a while ago) but the characters. We get to watch as each hero gets a piece of the puzzle but struggles to see their part in the big picture. The main arc, we learn early on, involves the destruction of a large part of New York and the deaths of thousands. Even the audience isn’t certain what part each hero will play in what may be a domino effect of disaster. The anticipation is killing me.
It could be considered torture to interest you in a series only two episodes away from the season finale, but all the episodes can be downloaded from the iTunes store or viewed online at NBCs website.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. For someone who religiously stays out of the mainstream, she knows an awful lot about Pop Culture. This is the third in a series of posts on the subject.