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Old January 5 2014, 01:54 PM   #1
DigificWriter
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HEROES: The "Essentials"

Hi, all.

I'm about to start watching NBC's HEROES for the first time, but don't have the time to watch every single episode of the series.

Therefore, I'm starting this thread to ask anyone who's familiar with it to give me their thoughts on the 11 most "essential" episodes from each season (not counting S2, which I know only has 11 episodes) that I would need to watch in order to comprehend the series' basic overall narrative.

P.S.: Swift responses would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:01 PM   #2
Timelord Victorious
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

It's been a while since I saw the show, but if you only want to watch 11 episodes of each season, don't bother.
Some would say, don't bother with anything past season 1.

I would recommend to commit to season 1 completely at least.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:11 PM   #3
DigificWriter
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

I really don't have the time right now to devote to watching the series in its entirety, or else I would.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:13 PM   #4
Timelord Victorious
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

Then restrict yourself to Season 1 if you want to just sample the show. It's the best but it is heavily serialized.
When you have more time you can get to the rest.
Watching the whole of season 1 will take you less time than watching 11 episodes of each season.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

^ I'll see what other people say, but will keep your suggestion in mind.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:40 PM   #6
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

I'll emphatically second what Timelord said. It's too serialized to cherry-pick episodes...you'll get completely lost. And in general, as someone who stuck with the show all the way through, I consider Season 1 to be an excellent limited series. The later seasons don't live up to its promise...it's all downhill from there.

If you get through Season 1 and feel that you want more, then Season 2 isn't that much more of a commitment...because of a (writers?) strike, they only did 11 episodes. Also, while Season 2 was considered a big disappointment at the time, in hindsight I feel that it's the closest to Season 1 in quality.

OTOH, if you don't have time for all 23 episodes of Season 1, then watch the first 11, up to and including the episode "Fallout", which was the mid-season cliffhanger.

If you're watching via a medium that includes the "Unaired Pilot", don't bother with it...it's an out-of-continuity alternate version of the first broadcast episode, "Genesis".
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Old January 5 2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

^ A writer's strike, yeah.

Thirding what's been said so far. It's very serialized, and Season 1 is easily the high point so if time is limited just go with that. I stuck with it all the way through too and it never was as good as that first season.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:47 PM   #8
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

Picking 11 episodes out of each season is like picking 11 chapters out of a 22 chapter novel. And the quality began greatly declining after season 1, so I would just treat Heroes as a one season miniseries.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:19 PM   #9
Mr Light
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

The first season was extremely serialized so I don't know how you could cherry-pick it. Most people only like the first season so you could just quit there.

Personally I prefer Season 2 and the first half of Season 3, but you can absolutely stop when the first half of Season 3 ends. Nothing after that is any good. My favorite volume was actually Season 3 "Villains" but I seem to be in the minority on that one.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:42 PM   #10
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

I think season 4 was actually an improvement on seasons 2-3 in some ways. I mean, nothing can surpass the stupidity of the third-season 2-parter "The Eclipse," in which a total solar eclipse was seen everywhere on Earth at the same time and lasted for hours. (Okay, the same thing seemed to happen in the pilot as well, but at least then one could pretend that maybe the different eclipse scenes were happening at different times, since the characters hadn't begun interacting yet.) And that was just one facet of the awfulness.

But yes, on the whole, the only "essential" episodes of Heroes are episodes 1-23 inclusive. The original plan was to make each season a distinct story arc with distinct characters (maybe only a few overlaps), so all the characters' arcs were brought to a solid resolution in the first-season finale. Their story reached a satisfactory end. But then, since the actors were popular and networks are afraid to innovate, NBC insisted on keeping the characters, so the writers had to scramble to come up with new stories for characters whose stories had already ended. Thus, everything after season 1 is an afterthought, and it diminishes the impact of the first season's resolution.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:51 PM   #11
jbny67
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

Even if you had the time to watch it all, I would recommend just watching the first season.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

I'll echo the sentiments above and say watch S1 in it's entirety.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

Yep, first season only. Screw the rest.
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Old January 5 2014, 04:00 PM   #14
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

Yep, if you want to watch it watch the first season. After that you may be tempted to carry on. Don't.
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Old January 5 2014, 04:01 PM   #15
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Re: HEROES: The "Essentials"

I'll echo what Christopher said, S1 was great, and works well as a complete Series.

Season 2 and 3, I got some enjoyment out of, but, they weren't anywhere near as good as S1, and some of it was pretty bad. S4, started returning to form of S1, but still fell a little short (Though definitely more enjoyable then S2 and S3. I still wonder if it was Robert Kneffer as the main Antagonist that made S4 so much better than S2 and S3)

As almost everyone else has said, S1 is too serialized to cherry pick half of the episodes, and you will do yourself a disservice only watching half of the best of the show.
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