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This is pure speculation but I think I have a handle on why Heroes can't seem to manage to satisfy its geek fans and critics (IGn TVfanatic), becuas eit is going for mass appeal not niche appeal.
What I mean by that is, when the show premeired to 25 million people NBC decided the show needed to appeal to the masses and not cater to the smaller geek crowd. This meant less power battles and more emotional turmoil, you know something more people would like. This is why we don't get huge fights between Peter and Sylar and Caire is always talking about her feelings. The writers they hirer are most likely mainstream drama writers (Kring, Fuller, and Loeb are the exceptions but I dont have a full list) and not sci-fi writers. Kring has said repeatedly in interveiws he believes that "character-driven stories" are what made Heroes popular, not super-ero battles. So next time you wonder why we get Sylar whining and not killing this is why. If the show was on SyFy (a great place for it to go if NBC cancels it) things would be very different, but no, its not on cable, its on network where the unwashed masses rule.
You may be right comicbookguy, but the formula isn't working. The masses aren't watching, but the geeks are and they are increasingly unhappy with the direction this show is going.
I think Kring was right that character-driven stories are what made the show popular. So did anticipation and interesting storylines. But what we have now are characters that not only haven't developed, some have regressed. I thought they had a good relationship story going in S3, but then they decided to kill off Daphne.
Maybe a change of venues to SyFy is exactly what this show needs, because NBC simply can't make it work anymore. The network is in complete disarray and utterly unable to manage its best assets.
i agree with the regression part Kal15. look at the core characters: peter, sylar, claire, parkman, hiro and HRG, they have all gone backwards.
i dont know what the crack is over in the US with NBC but over here in the UK it used it be on syfy, now its on BBC 2 (on a flaming saturday night @ 10.30pm).
it looks out of place on BBC 2....the channel famous for documentaries, wildlife programmes, cooking programmes etc etc..
i hate what they are doing to heroes in the UK.
Here in Australia heroes isn't even playing on the free to air channels. I hope that if NBC don't want to continue with heroes after this season, that they allow the show to pass on to another network. It is such a good idea for a series in the hands of good intelligent writers. I think heroes has suffered in many areas particularly with writers that aren't correctly placing the characters. They made too many plot twists that destroyed the storyline and created too many unanswered questions, fans usually never overlook a crap storyline especially when they have connected with the characters.
I have to say, all those "unanswered questions" are completely irrelevant to the overall plot of the show and answering them would hold no artistic value and only serve to satitisfy fanboy curiosity. Seroiusly, you;d just watch it and and go "wait, that was fucking pointless!"
Whats missing is character development. In season 1, there was obvious character development. Season 2 showed some while adding new characters. In season 2, we saw Matt meet his dad, and learn that his powers could be so much more (one example of a step in character development that has'nt really been added to), and Sylar was trying to get his powers back.
Villains started off well. Sylar got his powers back and went back to doing what he did before, starting with Claire since shes the one that got away. Mohinder getting powers was a natural outcome since he's obviously sick of being powerless in a world filled with people with powers. I don't understand why Niki had to die. Niki could have stayed and Tracy could have been played by someone else, but now her involvement in Heroes is wiped out. Hiro went backwards after all of season 2's growth, Peter went backwards, Sylar eventually went backwards, the Villains arc had an anti-climatic end. The only good step in the direction of good character development was Matt getting with Daphne (which was then erased in Fugitives) and Claire learning to fight (which so far has not happened.)
and now the characters are just stagnating.
U said it all well done: Ravenhill.
Bang on Ravenhill. I think you succinctly summed what bothers me most about the show -- characters engaging in events that would help them develop, and then doing nothing with it. Your Parkman example is perfect. And we must ask ourselves now why did HRG spend that time teaching Claire to fight only to have her not use it EVER? Why did Kaito train hiro in the art of swordplay, only to have him act like a child, nevermind all Hiro should have learned from Kensei in medieval Japan. This would be akin to Luke Skywalker finding out he had all these latent abilites, but decide to just stay home and continue to target womp rats in his T-16.
Four seasons in, we should have a band of well-trained and active heroes doing their part to make the world a better place. Instead, we get drek like Samuel and Vanessa. Ugh.
I think I must have read the beginning of this thread before posting some similar thoughts on the Season 5 thread. The points above by all of you really capture the frustrations of many of us who enthusiastically want to enjoy the show but are continually disappointed by the shifting characters in a sea of non-development.
For example, over the past 4 years we were subjected to changes for Nathan that includeded moving his character from jerk to faithful brother to depressed drunk to arrogant Senator to ruthless badguy to repentant family man (who forgets his own family) to dead, to not so dead, to dead again. The main reason for these moves seems to be to set up new and disconnected stories in each "chapter".
We could follow similar sequences of character disconnect for HRG, Mohinder, Peter, and Sylar (Claire hasn't changed much, but that's it's own special problem). Sylar from S1 and Sylar from S4 do not seem connected at all. HRG's insitence that "it was a bad idea" may explain the Nathan/Sylar thing, but what about working for the Gov't to kill specials (I know they explained it, but it was a bit lame)? What about the new company that never happened? There's more, but I'm starting to whine too much.
It was pointed out already that the Vanessa "thing" was a major letdown after the break. I agree. Instead of having a real villain, we have a frustrated little boy in a pwerful body about to throw a tantrum. Kinda like Charlie X from the classic Star Trek (that's one of my least favorite episodes).
More recently, I was excited at the end of the episode two weeks ago when Hiro, Ando, and Suresh showed up in HRGs apartment during the Lauren kiss. (It might have been more interesting if they'd have waited about 15 minutes.) There were 5 main characters TOGETHER who could work TOGETHER to take on Samuel and the Carnies. I thought something was about to get really interesting. Instead, at the beginng of Pass/Fail Lauren is nowhere to be seen, Mohinder leaves after ~30 seconds, and HIRO collapses and goes to the hsopital for his trial. Promise wasted.
I'm not a Heroes hater (the opposite is true). I won't declare that I'll never watch again but I'm losing interest in what's being presented on TV and I find myself caring less and less.
I agree with comicbookguy. Although delving more into the psychology of the characters was somewhat interesting for dedicated Heroes watchers [like me], I believe this needed to be balanced out with more action. It started off as a science fiction program, and finished off as a soap opera. I was very much fascinated by character development, but there is a point where emotionality has to end and application begins. The first time around, season finales are watched in suspense because there has been such a climax during the proceeding episodes... However, it gets more unbearable the more you watch it and get over the initial excitement. Most of the fights occurring on this program are just flaunting powers for a matter of seconds while the hero and nemesis small talk and make sarcastic remarks at each other. Season three occurred behind a door, heaven forbid. I would watch Heroes for another four seasons if it were to continue, but only because I'm stubborn when it comes to change and have become somewhat attached to all of the characters, downward-spiraling plot-line or not. Don't get me wrong: I never watch TV, and Heroes is about the only program I will get up in the middle of the night to see.
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