Heroes Reborn was a poor duplication and colossal failure to reboot a series that was cancelled for many of the same problems the sequel did again…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When Heroes Reborn was first announced as a limited event series for NBC, I was genuinely excited as a fan.
I watched the original Heroes after some friends told me about this superhero show that was airing on television that had no real connection to any actual comic book, but was slowly becoming the best comic book series that had ever been put on the small tube. When Heroes first debuted in 2006, comic book movies and television series weren’t exactly the rage that they are today so for this series to be a hit, it really had to be something special.
The first season was a massive success — the story, the characters, everything was pitch perfect and it appeared NBC had a huge, multi-platform hit on their hands.
But then a writer’s strike hit Hollywood and it crippled dozens of television shows with Heroes among them. The second season of the show was an unmitigated disaster with a sloppy, slow moving plot that virtually erased all the good will from the previous season.
The show continued for two more years before NBC finally pulled the plug and cancelled Heroes after four seasons.
But with the success of literally dozens of comic book adaptations on television these days, NBC decided to go back to the well again and give Heroes a second chance. Creator Tim Kring made a new version of the show that would connect to the old series, but only in small ways — mostly because the most prominent members of the cast had gone onto other shows and/or become movie stars — but the anticipation was at a fevered pitch.
The mistakes of the past would surely course correct the new series, right?
Characters would actually die and not return? The story would all follow one grand scheme and not seem thrown together episode by episode until the end? There certainly wouldn’t be directionless plot points that we’d invest in only to find out those stories and/or characters played no actual part in the outcome of the series? Right?
Heroes Reborn was not only a sad imitation of the first season of Heroes, but it was really just a terrible carbon copy of the last season without the benefit of a great cast that included Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, and Zachary Quinto.
The new characters on Heroes Reborn weren’t likable and the powers bestowed upon them were not only laughable but down right stupid.
The time travel machination, which was a brilliant and subtle part of the first season of the show that also included the best episode of Heroes (“Five Years Gone”) plagued the show non-stop throughout the final three seasons and then once again became the focal point of Heroes Reborn as well. Time travel is a nice concept to use every now and again in a comic book movie or show, but overuse just feels like lazy and sloppy writing to go back and fix what was messed up previously.
In this case, Heroes Reborn spun out of control with time travel in seemingly every episode, especially in the way the show played out in the finale.
The story of another apocalyptic disaster striking Earth, which called upon the Heroes to intervene, is easy enough. It’s a comic book plot point as old as time, but the creativity used to invent this particular scenario was so contrived it was almost mind numbing.
Add to that, effects that look like they were done for a television movie circa 1985, and what resulted was not only a sad attempt to resurrect a previously cancelled series, but a show so bad that it made me with that the show had never come back in the first place.
Hopefully, Heroes will now stay dead and buried in the television graveyard from where it came and fans can focus on quality comic book related shows like The Flash or The Walking Dead.
If NBC ever decides to bring Heroes back again, it needs to be with a completely different writing team — one with a dedicated show runner who has the entire story already plotted out and not pieced together like a puzzle from one episode to the next — and a better connection to the past than a few sad clips from the old show that only proved they couldn’t get that particular actor or actress to return.
Otherwise, Heroes Reborn should be a reminder that sometimes shows get cancelled for a reason and we’re better off not trying to recreate it again but rather should just enjoy it for what it once was and leave it alone.