Tim Kring may be a very nice man. He's responsible for one of the best set of episodes in TV history (Heroes, season one) and we don't wish unemployment on anyone.
But the Heroes creator gave an interview last week in which he sounded like someone from the mail room that had never penned a single second of a television show.
The good news? Many of his quotes go a long way toward explaining the problems Heroes has faced over the last couple seasons. The bad news? We didn't know how far Kring had fallen sooner. Otherwise,, we could have legitimately tried to get him replaced.
Read the full interview here and check out a few telling excerpts below, many of which are followed by TV Fanatic (TVF) notes/responses...
On who ratings plummeted: "We took a seven-week break [during season one], and the audience never came back after that."
TVF Note: Lost took a six-week break on season three; The Sopranos once took a break for over a year. Try another excuse, Mr. Kring.
On characters evolving:" The characters have to change. If they don’t, the audience says, “Why aren’t they changing?”... [but then] you’re either held to some standard where the audience wants them back, or you have to just say, 'This is who they’ve become.'"
On never killing anyone significant off: "We obviously know that certain characters are popular, so we’re not going to kill those off. But even that is hard to know... For everyone who hates this one character, there’s a fan club that loves him."
TVF Note: The Wire killed off Stringer Bell on season three, one of its most fascinating and popular characters. Creator David Simon had a great quote at the time, referencing how characters must serve the purpose of the show, NOT the audience. Something to think about for any writer.
AND OUR FAVORITE QUOTE: "We’ll take an idea from the guy who gets our coffee."
Trust us, Mr. Kring, the last few seasons made that abundantly clear.
Our overall take from this interview? Kring and his staff have no idea how to actually build a TV show. A solid writer must possess enough confidence in his vision to go through with whatever stories he wants to tell. He must have faith that the audience will follow them wherever they go.
Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff have been adament that they will always write the drama how they see fit. This is their world and their vision. The result has been a wild ride full of time-traveling and flashbacks that may have lost a couple million viewers along the way, but has remained consistent in its unique narrative and will go down as the most layered show in TV history.
Kring admits that he listened to far too many voices along the way and would have stopped writing for these characters years ago. No wonder he has nothing to do with Hiro but send him off on wild goose chases and give him tumors that every fan knows won't kill him.
We've often been asked if there should be a fifth season of Heroes. But now we need to ask the same of its loyal followers:
Do you really want another season if Kring is at the helm?