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Old October 29 2009, 02:35 PM   #1
RobertScorpio
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HEROES..what went wrong?

Now, some of us might think there is nothing wrong with Heroes, and thats cool...but I now believe I know what went wrong for those of us who think the show got off track..

What made season-1 work, I think, was that it started small and climaxed when they all met in new york, and peter/nathen exploded. (From there on the show, I think, has just been on a gradual decline)...

The first season worked, more specifically, because every hero was connected in someway. It was very ordered. Parkman, Sylar, Clare, the stripper, Hiro, Peter, Nathen, the stripper's boy friend, and their son Miccha. All of them were connected in one way or the other, which was part of the fun of figuring out what was going on. Now? Since that first season, they have introduced so many new "heroes" that its hard to believe, and I think this became Xfile's problem as well with all of its silly stuff, that it could all be contained from the masses.

In the "Heroes" universe, all of the dynamics of what is going on is somehow done in a manner that the rest of the world doesn't really know that there are people among them with powers. And not just a few here and there (like season one) but many many people.

In season-one, because all the characters with powers were in someway inter-connected, it all made sense. Now, with so many people with powers out there, what made the first group so special? And with so many people out there with powers, and I mean really weird and strange powers, where did they come? Was this all some experiment or not? Well, I think the "or not" answer becomes more usable which totally downplays what we watched in season one.

And another thing...Hiro changing the past so that Ando, or Endo, is now with Hiro's sister, and has been for years now, would have changed the dynamics of Hiro's father's motives all these years. Because its quite clear she became 'softer' as a person, which would have definately affected her father's opinions of her for decades...

Where I finally think they went wrong? too many hands in the cookie jar. I still remember the first season when whoever it was who was writing the show, Kring I think, said that it, and he said this, MORE THAN "LOST", would make sense. That they were not just making it up as they went along and that they knew where they were going..blah blah blah...he lied. This show is a wreck, and its not because of the actors. I think, all in all, the acting and production value of Heroes is actually pretty good...Quinto is a damn actor, and shows it every episode.

The writing, and ill thought out paths the story took, is what, I think, has led this show to no longer be the 'cutting scifi/thriller show' it once claimed to be. I was at comic-con and its clear from what I heard from others that Heroes is now a laughing stock...and this season, I believe, will be its last. And not because of the actors/characters, I repeat; but because of poor writing and pacing....

Rob
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Old October 29 2009, 02:54 PM   #2
Checkmate
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

The problem is that after the first season, they acted like nothing happened. Each season is almost a giant reset button and all but a rehash of last season's story. I'm shocked that there wasn't any future prediction of the apocalypse this season.

What happened is the guys in charge want to tell one type of story (the drama of regular people learning they have extraordinary abilities) and adamantly refusing to acknowledge that's not what the audience or the studio heads wanted. Forced to keep the same cast by the studio, all of their plans were shot to Hell. Trying to keep the concept the same despite the same cast alienated the audience.

Basically, it really is all Kring's fault for refusing to be flexible with the concept.

If they had simply continued where they left off at the end of season one, Great Things(tm) could have happened. The first season would have basically been their origin story, the second season would be them finding a way to be heroes without exposing themselves, and season three and beyond could have been the trials and tribulations they faced as a result.

We could have had a show about actual heroes, not selfish, self-centered dickweeds who all want to live in denial about who and what they are just because Kring is having a temper tantrum about not being allowed to kill the entire cast off each season so he can start over telling the same story over and over and over.

Instead we get stuck with implausible, illogical, and downright stupid plots driven by the fact that he wants to tell the same story over and over and over, but is forced to do so with the same people.

While the writers are certainly at fault for not being able to tell better stories with what Kring is forcing down their throats, I don't blame them for most of the misery this show has become. I doubt I'd be putting all my effort into doing something amazing when I have a crackpot for a boss.
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Old October 29 2009, 03:46 PM   #3
RobertScorpio
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

Checkmate wrote: View Post
The problem is that after the first season, they acted like nothing happened. Each season is almost a giant reset button and all but a rehash of last season's story. I'm shocked that there wasn't any future prediction of the apocalypse this season.

What happened is the guys in charge want to tell one type of story (the drama of regular people learning they have extraordinary abilities) and adamantly refusing to acknowledge that's not what the audience or the studio heads wanted. Forced to keep the same cast by the studio, all of their plans were shot to Hell. Trying to keep the concept the same despite the same cast alienated the audience.

Basically, it really is all Kring's fault for refusing to be flexible with the concept.

If they had simply continued where they left off at the end of season one, Great Things(tm) could have happened. The first season would have basically been their origin story, the second season would be them finding a way to be heroes without exposing themselves, and season three and beyond could have been the trials and tribulations they faced as a result.

We could have had a show about actual heroes, not selfish, self-centered dickweeds who all want to live in denial about who and what they are just because Kring is having a temper tantrum about not being allowed to kill the entire cast off each season so he can start over telling the same story over and over and over.

Instead we get stuck with implausible, illogical, and downright stupid plots driven by the fact that he wants to tell the same story over and over and over, but is forced to do so with the same people.

While the writers are certainly at fault for not being able to tell better stories with what Kring is forcing down their throats, I don't blame them for most of the misery this show has become. I doubt I'd be putting all my effort into doing something amazing when I have a crackpot for a boss.
Yep...I agree. When its all over and done with, I hope KRING will let us know where he wanted to go with the story if this isn't where he wanted to go..

I agree about your giant resets each season. This show was SOOOOOOOOOOOO good in season one. Its amazing how it could have gone down hill so far so fast..

Rob
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Old October 29 2009, 04:02 PM   #4
the Dagman
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

Heroes is pure fantasy. Shouldn't this thread be in Sci-Fi & Fantasy?
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Old October 29 2009, 04:07 PM   #5
LitmusDragon
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

The biggest mistake was resetting the characters in Season Two and basically trying to do a rehash of Season One. It seems like a basic, elementary thing for this show that the storyline must move forward. It's weird, during the first season the writers seemed to know exactly what they were doing to make the show work. Then in the second season the writing becomes almost uniformly incompetent, it's like they tried to steal as much as possible from Season One because they didn't know what else to do with the characters. I think they needed more of a far-reaching plan or outline like what Lost has.

Not to browbeat the analogy but the writing on Heroes post season-one is like an uncomfortable mix of episodic television like Star Trek and character driven television like Lost. They give us these flashbacks and character details like Lost does, but since the storyline keeps getting reset none of it actually MEANS anything. I don't think you can have a show that is this investing in character history but at the same time does not move the story forward. It's a fundamentally flawed concept.
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Old October 29 2009, 04:13 PM   #6
RobertScorpio
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
The biggest mistake was resetting the characters in Season Two and basically trying to do a rehash of Season One. It seems like a basic, elementary thing for this show that the storyline must move forward. It's weird, during the first season the writers seemed to know exactly what they were doing to make the show work. Then in the second season the writing becomes almost uniformly incompetent, it's like they tried to steal as much as possible from Season One because they didn't know what else to do with the characters. I think they needed more of a far-reaching plan or outline like what Lost has.

Not to browbeat the analogy but the writing on Heroes post season-one is like an uncomfortable mix of episodic television like Star Trek and character driven television like Lost. They give us these flashbacks and character details like Lost does, but since the storyline keeps getting reset none of it actually MEANS anything. I don't think you can have a show that is this investing in character history but at the same time does not move the story forward. It's a fundamentally flawed concept.
Agreed; to a point. Lost finally did away with those flashbacks, and I think, has come around in the past two seasons. With the final season at hand, it will be interesting to see how they conclude their story...

Rob
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Old October 29 2009, 05:29 PM   #7
trekkiebaggio
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

I think when Hiro went back in time to China he should have actually become his folk hero, rather than have it be Adam. That way you can have Hiro develop into the badass Hiro from the future.

Obviously there'd need to be work on the rest of the characters but I think Hiro's lack of growth is pretty symbolic of the overall problems with the show.
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Old October 29 2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

The execution... from the beginning. I watched the first 10 episodes and then watched occasionally through the middle of season two... mostly just to spend time with my ex-girlfriend.

Alternate timelines just for the sake of showing them are stupid.
Unbeatable villains are stupid.

Save The Cheerleader, Save The World was drilled into my brain so much I want to scream.

Honestly, when this show is over, I'll probably watch the whole thing though... just to see how bad it got.
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Old October 29 2009, 09:45 PM   #9
Checkmate
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

trekkiebaggio wrote: View Post
Obviously there'd need to be work on the rest of the characters but I think Hiro's lack of growth is pretty symbolic of the overall problems with the show.
Bingo.

They just adamantly refuse to move the story forward. They seem to be trying this season, and its admirable (relatively mind you) that they're not relying on a futuristic apocalypse to drive the story forward, but the writing and storytelling is so weak and the characters are so fucked up that it's nearly impossible to repair the show as it currently stands.

And hey, at least they acknowledged that they're completely ignoring Claire's healing blood "power" this season, too. Rather than just completely ignoring it and acting like it never happened. Say, with Nathan's death last season. Ooh, maybe Sylar killed him with an explosive cancer! That's why they didn't even bother to try! Yeah!

One thing that gets me to this day is that they introduced a weakness for Peter's original power within the first handful of episodes (by limiting how many he could absorb at one time without growing deathly ill and having to tap into certain emotions for each power)... then summarily ditched it without any kind of explanation whatsoever. THEN they struggled to find another way to rein it in. And now we end up with a rather lackluster power while the truly overpowered one -- Sylar -- walks around as a God but doesn't really do anything with it other than twirl his moustache and cry about his daddy and mommy issues.

It's a real shame. The premise had so much potential and they were off to a fantastic start.
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Old October 29 2009, 10:06 PM   #10
RobertScorpio
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

Checkmate wrote: View Post
trekkiebaggio wrote: View Post
Obviously there'd need to be work on the rest of the characters but I think Hiro's lack of growth is pretty symbolic of the overall problems with the show.
Bingo.

They just adamantly refuse to move the story forward. They seem to be trying this season, and its admirable (relatively mind you) that they're not relying on a futuristic apocalypse to drive the story forward, but the writing and storytelling is so weak and the characters are so fucked up that it's nearly impossible to repair the show as it currently stands.

And hey, at least they acknowledged that they're completely ignoring Claire's healing blood "power" this season, too. Rather than just completely ignoring it and acting like it never happened. Say, with Nathan's death last season. Ooh, maybe Sylar killed him with an explosive cancer! That's why they didn't even bother to try! Yeah!

One thing that gets me to this day is that they introduced a weakness for Peter's original power within the first handful of episodes (by limiting how many he could absorb at one time without growing deathly ill and having to tap into certain emotions for each power)... then summarily ditched it without any kind of explanation whatsoever. THEN they struggled to find another way to rein it in. And now we end up with a rather lackluster power while the truly overpowered one -- Sylar -- walks around as a God but doesn't really do anything with it other than twirl his moustache and cry about his daddy and mommy issues.

It's a real shame. The premise had so much potential and they were off to a fantastic start.
Great post..and very right on target on all counts. Bryan Fuller? Big deal. I think this show will go down as a one year wonder!

Rob
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Old October 29 2009, 10:27 PM   #11
melancholymecha
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

didnt Kring say in an interview that he didnt think characters with superpowers were interesting after they mastered their powers? He was only interested in telling origin stories? That's why he keeps resetting everything each season.
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Old October 29 2009, 10:45 PM   #12
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

As one who falls into the camp of "the show's been fine all along" and who was one of the 23 people who actually enjoyed the feudal Japan subplot of season 2, I think the biggest problem with Heroes was that it lasted more than a season.

A show like this has, in my opinion, a very short shelf life in the realm of public opinion. Folks who complain that season 2, 3 and now 4 were all talk, little action, etc. plainly were either not paying attention during Season 1 which was almost all like that, or they enjoyed it in that first season and maybe wanted them all to become like the JLA and fight a villain of the week or something with season 2.

It's a failing I've seen more and more with American series. Every show has to be set up with the expectation that it'll run for years and years. Compare with the UK where many shows are set up in advance to run a maximum of 10, 12, maybe 15 episodes and that's it, and maybe additional series down the line if they're popular enough.

A show like Heroes in my opinion didn't have the staying power from Day 1 to go beyond a season, and so I think it would have been better regarded had they called it a day after the brothers blew up over New York. Or, alternately, called it a day for Heroes, plural, and then maybe the next year gave us a show focusing on Hiro or Peter going to the future or even Sylar. That might have worked, but the show lost momentum almost immediately that Season 1 ended, and I think it was destined to "go wrong" long before Hiro went to Japan (which seemed to be the "Dear Doctor" moment* for a lot of people - an excuse to jump ship on something that was the "in thing" to like not long before).

Alex

* Dear Doctor was the hyper-controversial episode of Enterprise that was used by a lot of people as an excuse to abandon Star Trek, or at least Star Trek on TV, even though by rights it was still too early in the series to have given the show a fair hearing. Similarly, Hiro jumped to Japan quite early on in the season, and people began jumping ship almost immediately, suspiciously early in the season. There were other "jumping off" episodes and subplots, to be sure, as there were with Enterprise, but Dear Doctor and Hiro Goes to Japan seemed to me to mark the start of the slides for both shows.
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Old October 29 2009, 11:08 PM   #13
RobertScorpio
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

23skidoo wrote: View Post
As one who falls into the camp of "the show's been fine all along" and who was one of the 23 people who actually enjoyed the feudal Japan subplot of season 2, I think the biggest problem with Heroes was that it lasted more than a season.

A show like this has, in my opinion, a very short shelf life in the realm of public opinion. Folks who complain that season 2, 3 and now 4 were all talk, little action, etc. plainly were either not paying attention during Season 1 which was almost all like that, or they enjoyed it in that first season and maybe wanted them all to become like the JLA and fight a villain of the week or something with season 2.

It's a failing I've seen more and more with American series. Every show has to be set up with the expectation that it'll run for years and years. Compare with the UK where many shows are set up in advance to run a maximum of 10, 12, maybe 15 episodes and that's it, and maybe additional series down the line if they're popular enough.

A show like Heroes in my opinion didn't have the staying power from Day 1 to go beyond a season, and so I think it would have been better regarded had they called it a day after the brothers blew up over New York. Or, alternately, called it a day for Heroes, plural, and then maybe the next year gave us a show focusing on Hiro or Peter going to the future or even Sylar. That might have worked, but the show lost momentum almost immediately that Season 1 ended, and I think it was destined to "go wrong" long before Hiro went to Japan (which seemed to be the "Dear Doctor" moment* for a lot of people - an excuse to jump ship on something that was the "in thing" to like not long before).

Alex

* Dear Doctor was the hyper-controversial episode of Enterprise that was used by a lot of people as an excuse to abandon Star Trek, or at least Star Trek on TV, even though by rights it was still too early in the series to have given the show a fair hearing. Similarly, Hiro jumped to Japan quite early on in the season, and people began jumping ship almost immediately, suspiciously early in the season. There were other "jumping off" episodes and subplots, to be sure, as there were with Enterprise, but Dear Doctor and Hiro Goes to Japan seemed to me to mark the start of the slides for both shows.
i agree with your post...HEROES should have ended at the end of season one, for the reasons you stated....

As for Enterprise? That show was going to fail the moment they decided to make them just another run of the mill crew. 600+ hours of TREK, I think, was far too much to add 22 hours each year of the same old 'warmed over' issues of the week that TNG-DS9 and Voyager had been doing already...

Rob
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Old October 30 2009, 02:53 AM   #14
Davros
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

Nothing went wrong with Heroes. It is just fine.
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Old October 30 2009, 03:45 AM   #15
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Re: HEROES..what went wrong?

23skidoo wrote: View Post
As one who falls into the camp of "the show's been fine all along" and who was one of the 23 people who actually enjoyed the feudal Japan subplot of season 2, I think the biggest problem with Heroes was that it lasted more than a season.

A show like this has, in my opinion, a very short shelf life in the realm of public opinion. Folks who complain that season 2, 3 and now 4 were all talk, little action, etc. plainly were either not paying attention during Season 1 which was almost all like that, or they enjoyed it in that first season and maybe wanted them all to become like the JLA and fight a villain of the week or something with season 2.

It's a failing I've seen more and more with American series. Every show has to be set up with the expectation that it'll run for years and years. Compare with the UK where many shows are set up in advance to run a maximum of 10, 12, maybe 15 episodes and that's it, and maybe additional series down the line if they're popular enough.

A show like Heroes in my opinion didn't have the staying power from Day 1 to go beyond a season, and so I think it would have been better regarded had they called it a day after the brothers blew up over New York. Or, alternately, called it a day for Heroes, plural, and then maybe the next year gave us a show focusing on Hiro or Peter going to the future or even Sylar. That might have worked, but the show lost momentum almost immediately that Season 1 ended, and I think it was destined to "go wrong" long before Hiro went to Japan (which seemed to be the "Dear Doctor" moment* for a lot of people - an excuse to jump ship on something that was the "in thing" to like not long before).

Alex

* Dear Doctor was the hyper-controversial episode of Enterprise that was used by a lot of people as an excuse to abandon Star Trek, or at least Star Trek on TV, even though by rights it was still too early in the series to have given the show a fair hearing. Similarly, Hiro jumped to Japan quite early on in the season, and people began jumping ship almost immediately, suspiciously early in the season. There were other "jumping off" episodes and subplots, to be sure, as there were with Enterprise, but Dear Doctor and Hiro Goes to Japan seemed to me to mark the start of the slides for both shows.
Well, speaking as what felt like the one member of this board who, all during the season 1 hype; when half of this board was yelling "BEST! SHOW! EVER!"; was wondering (out loud, to the tune of boos and baaahs) how in the heck they could sustain this show into a second season, I agree with you.

Season 1 of the show was great. But it was obvious (at least to me) that they were sort of painting themselves into a corner that they could not easily get out of without doing something lame - particularly where Peter and Sylar were concerned (and they were, after all, the keys to season 1).

This is one of those shows like Prison Break. Once the premise of the show - the initial mission, if you will - is completed....it is hard to sustain it unless you have a very carefully laid out plan to avoid lameness. This show clearly did not have such a plan.

Too bad. Because season 1 was great.

And just for the record, I think FlashForward is another such show. All eyes are on April 29, 2010. But what happens in September of 2010?
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