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Old May 6 2009, 08:38 PM   #1
AntonyF
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How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Ho hum. I loved Heroes, and much like a lot of its viewing public have found it very disappointing of late.

In particular I feel the show has lost two core things which made it very good.

1) The mystery, the learning about a character. I loved the early moments. Peter having dreams of flying. Clare throwing herself off a bridge. Hiro stopping time. It was riveting stuff as the characters learnt about themselves and started to be pulled into a larger mystery.

2) They killed characters, which gave a sense of danger and that no one was safe in this story (which is good for any TV show I think).

However the main problems is that these two things don't happen anymore.

1) They don't tend to introduce new characters, and certainly not in a way where we learn as they learn, and new guest characters don't tend to last long. It's almost like everyone woke up with the powers one day and now there's no more out there discovering who they are.

2) It's ridiculous how many people die then come back! Noah, Niki, Sylar, Peter, Nathan etc. have all some how 'died' or you were led to believe they were, only to come back. The show is totally afraid of changing the status quo. The trouble is like Star Trek or shows like that, you always know they'll get fixed by the end. When Tracy died, I thought finally some change! Then when Nathan died in the last episode of the season I thought "woo hoo, finally they're shaking things up." Only for them to reverse Nathan's death of course... sort of.

The teaser of season five has filled me with no hope. I thought surely Bryan will make his mark now with something to interest us. What do we get? It was obvious that Sylar would start remembeing and it could be intersting, but did we need to have it pushed down our throats QUITE so blatantly just six weeks later? And what'd you know... Tracy is back after all.

This show has really lost it. So very very sad. But can it be saved?

But I still luuuuv Peter. I want the Peter nekkid hour instead of Heroes.
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Old May 6 2009, 09:41 PM   #2
BenRoethig
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Have a plan. They didn't seem to think it through beyond the first season and have been making it up as they went ever sinse.
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Old May 7 2009, 04:30 AM   #3
Temis the Vorta
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

I really think they're on the road to a fix. Of course, I've been optimistic in the past and been thwacked upside the head so maybe I should cool it, but...

First, let's diagnose the problem. This show has always had great characters (either great actors or actors well matched to their roles) and a strong premise that is also open-ended, allowing creativity and epic storytelling, which makes it a damn shame they can't do better than they have, and creates frustration. Even at its worst, Heroes is at least interesting enough to be worth watching, which beats 90% of the stuff on TV, which bores me to death. But we all sense it could be so much better and real potential is going to waste.

The missing part of the formula is a strong central organizing element. Sylar has dominated the story because he provides the organizing principle. But having such a broad-scope story hinge on just one character is a waste of the epic scope and makes it seem far pettier than it needs to be.

Now the writers have provided another organizing element: that the "good guys" (or good-ish guys if we include Noah and Angela) now have the government backing for their efforts, and it's a plausible scenario considering that Danko's approach was both immoral and ineffective. But, several of the "good guys" are varying shades of starry-eyed idealists who are not going to like what they are going to be forced to do next season, so there's your dramatic tension.

The rationale for their actions has been clearly defined now: it's obvious that unless someone controls the metahumans, even the ones who don't want to be threats, that all metahumans are endangered. There is now no way out for them but pro-active management of the situation, despite what will be some serious misgivings.

The irony is perfect, since most of the central characters were once victims of the same "management" procedures. The dramatic tension is inherent and can never dissapate or be permanently laid to rest by a "solution", which is good; drama = conflict. The situation is unstable, because it hinges on the public being unaware of the truth, which is also good; instability amps up the conflict.

The premise tests the characters' naive idealism and forces them to mature, or perhaps just go bad (like Matt in 5YG). So there's your much-needed character growth and/or arcs. Some can be happy and others tragic; I like to see a mix. The premise now apes the cop-show-sci-fi format that has become so popular of late, and has been shown to be viable in Fringe's success. Basically our heroes are now in law enforcement, for better or worse.

And of course Sylar will be back, but not in such a story-overwhelming form, and I suspect not even present as played by Zach Quinto in the first several episodes of the season. I suspect by the end of S4 that Nathan's persona will permanently be in control of Sylar - perhaps through the absorption of a convenient Ameoba Boy type splitting character and the permanent death of the Sylar half of the personality. No, it won't be real Nathan (the one thing they must NEVER do is to resurrect the real Nathan - bah, how cheap would that be, after he died a hero?), but it will be a character who will be interesting in his own right. Good enough for me.

Quinto will be busy with more Trek movies anyway by the time this show gets the S5 that I hope S4 will earn.
1) They don't tend to introduce new characters,
They've introduced a lot of characters. It's just that most of them suck so we're happy when they die and we don't think about, hey, why don't they bring back Knox?

2) It's ridiculous how many people die then come back! Noah, Niki, Sylar, Peter, Nathan etc. have all some how 'died' or you were led to believe they were, only to come back. The show is totally afraid of changing the status quo.
Their poor track record with new characters makes them understandably leery of taking a scythe to the regulars. Nathan was a big big step for them, and I applaud them for having the guts to do that, while understanding fully why they don't feel they can afford to lose Adrian Pasdar, one of their best actors, if not THE best.

This show is weak in both the ability to create compelling new characters and the ability to hire decent actors. Maybe someone needs to take a good hard look at their casting department. Something is definitely amiss.

But I still luuuuv Peter. I want the Peter nekkid hour instead of Heroes.
Yeah I just tolerate this sludge for Peter, too.
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Old May 7 2009, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

May as well repost this.

1. Restore Peter and Hiro's powers to their season one levels and properly explore them and the costs, dangers and limits of using them. If Peter's ability to recall powers is dependent on empathy, then say he can't recall powers from people he doesn't empathize with (but can still copy them if they're in the room with him). Say Hiro can't actually change the past and can only observe without causing one of those rifts he talked about.

In addition to that, never EVER depower another character. There's a reason why the Women in Refrigerators types treat depowering the same as rape.

2. Introduce lesser villains. It doesn't have to be the Big Bad or nothing. If there are all these people with powers, and there's no Company to catch them, surely some of them would be using their powers for criminal acts. The return of Tracy Strauss is a good idea here.

3. Make Claire less useless. Perhaps instead of the constant I Hate You/I Love You relationship she has with her father, she should be the One of Them to his One of Us. Her power is very passive right now, so she should learn to fight from her dad.

4. Mohinder is very much like the X-Men's Beast. There are some interesting ideas for him there.

5. Add a new female hero. This show is turning in to a sausage fest. Failing that, bring back Monica. Her power had a lot of potential. Or, introduce Barbara as a hero but keep Tracy around and let Ali Larter play both parts.

6. Cut out the ridiculous Light Side/Dark Side of the Force idea. It's not universally true, but the good guys often seem to have very passive powers while the bad guys get more active, aggressive powers.

Remember how the Jedi never used Force Lightning because it's a Dark Side power ? That's what I'm getting at. No ability is good or evil, it's how it's used. Superman has heat vision but doesn't go around burning bank robbers to death.

7. Have the heroes and villains use their powers in smarter ways.

8. Stop frustrating the audience - this connects to #1, but they made a big deal out of Peter copying Sylar's powers and them finally having the big fight but then Peter only copied his Shape Shifting and the fight was behind closed doors.

Similarly, why hasn't Ando tried boosting the other Heroes' powers ? Why wouldn't Peter ask why his powers don't work the way they used to ? Nobody ever asks the simple question "why ?"
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Old May 7 2009, 08:58 PM   #5
Temis the Vorta
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

I don't think this will actually fix anything, but...
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Old May 8 2009, 06:47 AM   #6
plague
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

I not only have a problem with people keep being brought back to life, but also them keep switching sides. It's ridiculous.

I think to fix the show, they should just change it to be all from hiro's perspective and get rid of the company.
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Old May 8 2009, 07:19 AM   #7
The Master of Tarquin Hill
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

AntonyF wrote: View Post
Ho hum. I loved Heroes, and much like a lot of its viewing public have found it very disappointing of late.

In particular I feel the show has lost two core things which made it very good.

1) The mystery, the learning about a character. I loved the early moments. Peter having dreams of flying. Clare throwing herself off a bridge. Hiro stopping time. It was riveting stuff as the characters learnt about themselves and started to be pulled into a larger mystery.

2) They killed characters, which gave a sense of danger and that no one was safe in this story (which is good for any TV show I think).

However the main problems is that these two things don't happen anymore.

1) They don't tend to introduce new characters, and certainly not in a way where we learn as they learn, and new guest characters don't tend to last long. It's almost like everyone woke up with the powers one day and now there's no more out there discovering who they are.

2) It's ridiculous how many people die then come back! Noah, Niki, Sylar, Peter, Nathan etc. have all some how 'died' or you were led to believe they were, only to come back. The show is totally afraid of changing the status quo. The trouble is like Star Trek or shows like that, you always know they'll get fixed by the end. When Tracy died, I thought finally some change! Then when Nathan died in the last episode of the season I thought "woo hoo, finally they're shaking things up." Only for them to reverse Nathan's death of course... sort of.

The teaser of season five has filled me with no hope. I thought surely Bryan will make his mark now with something to interest us. What do we get? It was obvious that Sylar would start remembeing and it could be intersting, but did we need to have it pushed down our throats QUITE so blatantly just six weeks later? And what'd you know... Tracy is back after all.

This show has really lost it. So very very sad. But can it be saved?

But I still luuuuv Peter. I want the Peter nekkid hour instead of Heroes.
How is this different from Temis' thread?
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Old May 8 2009, 07:46 AM   #8
Jono
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Get rid of Claire or at least make her character less whiny and annoying.
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Old May 8 2009, 08:06 AM   #9
Hermiod
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

rofeta wrote: View Post
Get rid of Claire or at least make her character less whiny and annoying.
I think my way works best.

Make Claire less useless. Perhaps instead of the constant I Hate You/I Love You relationship she has with her father, she should be the One of Them to his One of Us. Her power is very passive right now, so she should learn to fight from her dad.
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Old May 8 2009, 11:14 AM   #10
splodenode
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

switch around everyones powers
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Old May 8 2009, 02:43 PM   #11
Jono
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Hermiod wrote: View Post
rofeta wrote: View Post
Get rid of Claire or at least make her character less whiny and annoying.
I think my way works best.

Make Claire less useless. Perhaps instead of the constant I Hate You/I Love You relationship she has with her father, she should be the One of Them to his One of Us. Her power is very passive right now, so she should learn to fight from her dad.
They have to do something with her, she can't remain as she is because it she is a turn off to the show. As for your idea, I don't know...I think I might enjoy seeing her get a nuclear blast to the face more.
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Old May 8 2009, 04:31 PM   #12
Temis the Vorta
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Hermiod wrote: View Post
rofeta wrote: View Post
Get rid of Claire or at least make her character less whiny and annoying.
I think my way works best.

Make Claire less useless. Perhaps instead of the constant I Hate You/I Love You relationship she has with her father, she should be the One of Them to his One of Us. Her power is very passive right now, so she should learn to fight from her dad.
Having Claire learn how to fight won't solve the problem that she is an uninteresting character with no point in the story played by a bad actress. All it will do is give Claire action scenes, where she has a good excuse not to talk - some improvement, true. Just not much.
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Old May 9 2009, 09:36 AM   #13
Hermiod
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

^It would cut out the moan, moan, moan scenes with her father which are the worst aspect of her character.
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Old May 9 2009, 06:48 PM   #14
Temis the Vorta
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

Eh, she just needs to find out that Noah let her pal around with a borderline sexual predator masquerading as her father just so she wouldn't rat him and Angela out to Uncle Peter. Blech. There's no returning to Claire Bear after that little revelation, and good riddance.

...it will be interesting just how far Kring & Fuller are willing to go with that angle because how that Sylar is starting to peek through already, there's no way that keeping Claire in the dark is anything but heinous behavior for Angela and Noah (assuming he knows, which of course he won't because then the deception would have to end). Angela will end up endangering her own granddaughter just to perpetuate this grosteque situation.

If
the writers have the guts for it, that is.
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Old May 10 2009, 06:02 AM   #15
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Re: How to fix Heroes? (spoilers for all eps)

BenRoethig wrote: View Post
Have a plan. They didn't seem to think it through beyond the first season and have been making it up as they went ever sinse.
Bingo. I enjoyed the beginning of the season/last season where they started going into the back stories for all the characters. I think that's way more interesting than [insert military dude here] going after the heroes. The Matt Parkman story line in particular has been ... well, goofy. He's in love with the Speedy chick and then in love with his ex-wife. Dumb.

It's too bad, I think the characters have a lot to offer. I just the writing team is running out of ideas. (Which seems weird b/c to me there's a plethora.)
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