NBC's ‘Heroes' hopes to return to glory

by Rick Bentley

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

30 January 2009

HEROES - 9 p.m. EST Monday - NBC 

Imagine if Superman got so sidetracked buying flowers for Lois Lane he failed to stop a nefarious plot by Lex Luther. Consider what would happen if Batman became so caught up in polishing the Batmobile he forgot about patrolling the streets of Gotham City.

We would still give the heroes a chance to redeem themselves. “Heroes” is asking for the same consideration.

The latest chapter in the “Heroes” saga, ‘Fugitives,” begins Monday. It is an attempt to reset the NBC series after it got distracted and sidetracked following a dazzling first season.

The show’s basic premise of good vs. evil has gotten muddled. Instead of creating interesting dynamics among the players, the storylines just got stretched in odd directions.

That has been particularly the case with the show’s resident bad boy, Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Last season say Sylar drifted through seas of uncertainty. It was like taking the Green Goblin and having him pal around with Spider-Man. Sylar is one of the best villains in TV history. Let him do that evil he does so well.

Last season failed to get the most out of two of the show’s best characters. The time-traveling Hiro (Masi Oka) was again separated from the main story. And the reinvention of Ali Larter’s character was so ill-conceived she was little more than an afterthought throughout the season.

The Feb. 2 episode picks up after the battle between Pinehearst and Primatech, competing companies in the super hero business. The show has returned to the basic format that drove the first season: people with strange powers just trying to live normal lives.

Sadly, the plotline for the reinvention of the series is reminiscent of “The X-Men” movie: a high-ranking politician is rounding up anyone with mutant powers. There were so many other ways to go with the series. The producers had to realize fans of the TV series have to be familiar with similar projects in the genre.

“Heroes” is too good to give up on it after one or two miscues. There is a limit. And the direction of the latest chapter in the show’s saga appears to be headed toward a wall of familiarity. That’s just not going to fly.

Topics: heroes
//Mixed media