Hilarious, Accurate Heroes Review: Show Exists, Isn't Atrocious, Isn't Interesting

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It's time for a second opinion.

A few readers have taken exception to my reviews of Heroes, citing an ongoing negativity, one I didn't try to remotely hide in my assessment of last night's (AWFUL) episode.

But do all critics feel this way? Well... yes. But Darren Franich of EW.com has penned a unique, uproarious rundown of "Close to Home." He says the installment was "pleasantly inoffensive" and explains why one must look at the show in a new light if one is to enjoy it at all. To wit:

All along, I thought the show was supposed to be a serialized science-fiction mytho-pop thriller, one of those post-Lost shows that hurtles a diverse cast of eccentric characters through a morally ambiguous world filled with long-running mysteries and soap opera played like epic melodrama.

By that criteria, Heroes has become one of the worst shows on TV. The characters have been shorn of all dimensionality and purpose: it’s often unclear why anyone does anything.

Wasted Hiro

Scathing? Yes. Accurate? 100%. But here's how Franich explains a viewer can avoid bashing himself in the skull with a hammer while watching the drama:

Heroes is best enjoyed not as a serialized show, where everything can change at any moment, but rather, as an old-fashioned family drama, where the particulars might change but the character dynamics are always lovingly consistent.

In other words: it's boring and it makes no sense - but at least we know exactly what HRG and Claire will fight about each week! You can read Franich's entire take now. We've excerpted other great passages from it below, as we aim to give readers multiple opinions on each episode...

On family dynamics: Everybody is everybody’s pal on Heroes now – Sylar is the neighborhood delinquent, Samuel Sullivan is the kooky neighbor next door, but no one’s ever really in much danger, except for the Multiplier’s Multiples, who evaporate bloodlessly into thin air if anyone is even a little rude to them.

This isn’t the stuff of great drama, but on a well-oiled episode like last night – which had a couple of good lines, a great guest-star, and the first hint of playful self-awareness we’ve seen in years – Heroes approaches something reasonably compelling. Call it negative boredom.

On Lydia: Lydia the Tatooo Lady epitomizes everything I was just rambling about. She’s not really a main character, but she appears all the time (certainly more than Mohinder or Ando). She never really does anything, but she’s always threatening to do something. If you actually expect her to do anything, you might get frustrated.

On connecting the dots: Hmmm, so Emma is somehow going to be used to kill a whole lot of people? Is this Samuel’s master plan? We haven’t had any hints that Samuel is planning mass homicide, but whatever, the premonition dream has spoken!

Peter Petrelli, attempting in vain to connect the dots of this strange Season 4 plotline: “That compass you have? My tattoo? It’s all connected to the cello!”

On guest star Kate Vernon: She is such a great actress that she managed to make the undigestible lumps of dialogue given to Vanessa sound like something out of the Vagina Monologues.

On the asylum storyline: There was a time when Hiro was a hero, Ando was a noble sidekick, and Mohinder wasn’t intentionally annoying, but if you buy the fact that they’ve all become all lobotomized clowns dancing a clownish puppet dance for our amusement, then their idiotic antics will flow right past your brain into the pleasure receptors at the base of your skull.

On clear plot holes: I have no idea how Hiro used his powers of time and space to get Mohinder into the insane asylum, but Plot! Listens! To no one!

On a possible fifth season: Heroes definitely, defiantly IS. It exists. It is a thing. And when you’ve got five new primetime hours to fill [on NBC], existence is a huge advantage over nonexistence. And you know what? It might not be good, but I can confirm that Heroes did indeed exist, last night, for an hour that felt like it lasted for exactly one hour.

Hilarious, great stuff.

The writer also believes the show was being more self-aware than ever last night. Do you think these lines were written/said with a wink to the audience?

"The Sylar thing was a terrible idea. We all admit that.” (HRG to Parkman)
"I’ve had just about enough of your nonsense, Hiro." (Mohinder to Hiro)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    9 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Picazo

    @ Giri Says. I think that after Samuel meet with Peter and they shakes hands Samuel must put some kind of tracking or something on Peter that now Lidia can find him, Peter has a ink Tattoo on his hands and Lidia is Tattoo girl so it make sense. Is not that hard to put it together but you guys are right they should have explained her and many other (Ando) abilities. Also when Samuel is looking on her back and she comes up with tattoos of Claire, Peter etc. she never meet them before and she able to show then to Samuel.
    That been said, they should use Ando super charge all the Heroes power to be stronger for example invisible girl to make powerful fields, and etc. but that something the writer can’t think about they so lazy I wonder how much they love this job?

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    WHERE IS TRACY!!!!!! TV GUIDE CHANNEL JUST Ranked Ali Larter the 5th hottest sci fi female of all time yet she has been missing on screen!! What is your deal Tim Kring? Hot Blondes with killing power = ratings

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    They could have at least made the apocalyptic future vision of mama Petrelli have some kind of weight. They just threw it in haphazardly with 4 eps left no build up nothing, no little hints as to what was to come no satisfaction in story. Did anyone else burst out laughing when they saw Emma looking horrified while playing a cello? Honestly the writers couldn't think of anything better than death by CELLO?! Of course her role in the scheme of things could be greater than stringed instrument homicide but there's no indication of what the hell that is!

    and please can somebody explain to me what Lydia's power is? I had a relatively firm understanding of it, thought it was pretty unique but now all of a sudden she can close her eyes and make a tattoo appear on Peter's arm many miles away? The writers responsible for this show need to rethink their careers, I want the Heroes i used to love back!

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    Samuel and Sylar should fight over Ando.

    Samuel + Ando = super charged intensifying (surrounded by specials) Terrakinesis.

    Sylar + Ando = super charged multiple abilities.

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    Hiro went with Mohinder when he went to the asylum. I'm assuming he froze time and put Mohinder in the straight jacket. He then teleported the heck outta there...and yes Ando can do whatever the plot needs. They have never really went into detail with his power besides super charging. Wouldn't Samuel just need Ando to do alot of damage?? wouldn't that do the same as gathering people with abilities?

    Matt-richenthal

    haha, good point about Ando. Apparently his power can do... whatever the plot needs it do. Open doors, recharge Hiro, whatever!

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    I guess Ando can either electrocute or supercharge other Heroes. I also assumed that Ando knew that he didn't actually kill Hiro in the future but was giving him more power.

    Are we also supposed to assume that Mohinder was drugged for 6 weeks without seeing any consultation with any doctors?

    Matt-richenthal

    Yes, but HOW? Since when could Hiro transport other people to places while he remains behind?

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    Just so you know, in Episode 10 of this season (aired November 16th) you are shown Hiro teleporting Mohinder to the asylum.




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