Coming Soon: The Return Of ‘Heroes’ Greatness

Published 5 years ago by

2008 heroes Coming Soon: The Return Of Heroes Greatness

So by now we all know that NBC’s super powered soap opera, Heroes, has been having a rough third season. The series’ ratings have plummeted, and both critics and fans are saying that the latest chapter, “Villains”, is the show’s most disappointing installment yet. (And that’s really saying something, considering how bad “Generations” sucked).

NBC has recently demonstrated just how committed they are to righting all that is currently wrong with Heroes by firing two of the shows top producers. Now the network hopes to continue steering Heroes in the right direction again, by bringing back one of the show’s most popular writers and introducing new plotlines that will hopefully return the show to its focused, coherent, former self.

If you don’t recognize the name Bryan Fuller, here’s a quick reminder: He’s the man who scribed what is arguably Heroes‘ greatest episode to date, the classic story of H.R.G.’s shadowy past, “Company Man” (Heroes 1.17). Fuller also has some pretty strong sci-fi roots, having written episodes for Star Trek spinoff shows, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Last year, Fuller created the ABC comedy Pushing Daisies, which has since been canceled despite strong reviews from critics and a loyal (if small) audience following.

Fuller recently spoke to  Entertainment Weekly‘s Michael Ausiello and had this to say about the current state of Heroes, and the direction in which he hopes to take it:

AUSIELLO: Where did Heroes go wrong, in your opinion?
BRYAN FULLER:
It became too dense and fell into certain sci-fi trappings. For instance, in the “Villains” arc, when you talk about formulas and catalysts, it takes the face off the drama. And I think the goal for everybody is to put a face back on the drama. You have to save something with a face; otherwise you don’t understand what you’re caring about. I thought the “Villains” arc started out very interestingly, and then became sort of muddy and dense and I couldn’t get my hooks into the characters to understand their motivations. I also started to feel confused about what people’s abilities were. One of the great things about the first season is that the metaphor for their abilities was very clear. Those metaphors seem to have gotten complicated in the past two seasons. I share that concern with everybody on the writing staff. It’s not like I’m coming in and saying, “This is what you need to do to fix it!” Everybody knows what needs to be fixed and everybody is sort of rowing in that direction.

Fuller goes on to elaborate about the details of the next installment, “Fugitives”, which premiers on February 2. [WARNING THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS!]:

I’m fortunate to be coming into a very exciting story line. [Former co-exec producers] Jeph [Loeb] and Jesse [Alexander]…set so many great events in motion with the “Fugitives” arc…It really is a fresh start. All of the characters are back in their real lives. You see Peter as a paramedic. Claire is looking for colleges. We get away from the world of formulas and quasi-magicEpisodes 14, 15 and 16 are amazing. The whole “Fugitives” arc starts out very strongly, and then it gets a little dense in the middle in terms of the mythology. So I came in right at the point where everybody was realizing, “Oh, we’re getting too dense here and we need to put faces on stories…We need to get back into a character place, because that’s where this story started: Very clean, superhero metaphors to everyday life…But it is a big ship so it’s going to take a little while to turn it.

When asked about the overwrought cast of seemingly indestructible characters, Fuller added:

People will die. And some will return. Matt’s wife [Janice] comes back. We’ll find out what happens when you have a superbaby. We’re also going to tell fewer stories per episode. We’re going to limit it to three or four with one big one that you can wrap the stories around. We’re altering the structure of the show so that there’s a very clear A story that takes up a larger percentage of the show so that that story gets traction.

Sounds like Fuller has the right ideas in mind. If things play out well for the “Fugitives” arc, Fuller is expected to return to the show in season 4.

heroessylaranddaddy Coming Soon: The Return Of Heroes Greatness

In meantime, one “Fugitives” story line that is already getting some buzz [SPOILER ALERT!]: brain-fingering psychopath Sylar (Zachary “Spock” Quinto), finally coming face to face with his real daddy! According to Entertainment Weekly, actor John Glover (a.k.a. Lex Luthor’s father on Smallville) will be playing the role of Papa Sylar in a storyline that appears toward the end of “Fugitives”. Said one Heroes insider:

“When Sylar meets his father, he’s going to see a path ahead of him that he doesn’t want to take…He has a lot more in common with his father than he realized.”

So there will be two brain-fingering bad guys on the show? Sounds like it could be a cool twist–however, after the disappointment that was Papa Petrelli (Robert Forster), I remain jaded. On the flip side, at least the powers that be at NBC are shaking things up, trying to revitalize Heroes instead of going the George Bush Jr. route of “staying the course”. Too much longer down the worn out, beaten path of “Villains” and there wouldn’t be much of a show left to salvage.

Do you like the proposed direction Heroes is going in? Or are you one of the ten people who likes where the show is currently at? Sound off and let us know.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. After what I’ve been seeing in the last couple episodes, it has brought my interest back.

    The only wish I have is to see some smaller villain vs hero type situations.

    They were getting too grandiose with the plots. Take it down a couple notches. We don’t always have to see our Heroes saving the world, saving the timeline and so on. Spidey wasn’t always just taking on the big guys and saving the world, once in a while he would just go out and snag a simple purse snatcher.

    I loved the episode a while back with the villains in the bank. Let’s see some more of that kinda stuff, it doesn’t always have to be the indestructible villain about to destroy the planet. I’d love to see some more simple heists thwarted by the heroes. Some run of the mill folks in need rescued by the heroes.

    Take us back to the basics of superhero lore.

  2. Wasn’t Pushing Daisies signed up for 3 seasons? I thought I remember hearing something about that before, so it just seems odd to me that they’d be canceling it.

    Oh, and I’m done with Heroes, wish’em the best though.

  3. I have never seen Heroes and I was thinking about picking up the season sets but I am reall torn about spending the money on it because the press regarding it has been negative lately..

    Is it woth the investment Screen Rant writers and readers?

  4. greenknight, if your any kind of superhero buff then it’s worth it. It may be getting some bad words but it’s really not that bad. It’s still near the top of the pile in what is offered in TV land these days.

    If we don’t watch and support these types of shows then we’ll all be doomed to be watching survivor and american idol for the rest of eternity.

  5. I will keep an eye on the show but they have to do a lot to secure me as regular viewer again.
    We shall see.

  6. I think they’re worth watching.

    Vic

  7. John Glover was great on Smallville and he was really cool in his guest spot on criminal intent and it seems because of Smallville he is slowly becoming the go to guy for playing an evil dad. I have been let down this season but I’m hoping they turn it around like they did on lost in the third season.

  8. false hope

    some say the eps are better now but how we got here was full of contradictory and bad story telling so its an unfair result

  9. Though this is great news for superscribe Bryan Fuller, I don’t think ‘Heroes’ can be saved. Though it thrills me that some characters die, I think the problem is with Tim Kring and his position as creator. To be honest, ‘Heroes’ had problems and was major cheese in Season 1. Not much as changed.

    Getting back to the greatness of Season 1 isn’t enough for me, it has to be better than it’s ever been.

    @blipvert
    Superhero material has always been about some “grandiose” plot. Your reference to Spider-Man thwarting some random purse snatcher has always been some subplot to distract the hero from saving the world.

  10. Yes, but Carl I think you miss what made Heroes great in Season 1. It was more of a “Nolan” approach in that the powers were based in a more real world kind of universe, with ordinary people discovering they could do extraordinary things.

    Then, just when those extraordinary people come to terms with their extraordinary nature, the show goes pulp comic on us. (Though I liked some of Seasons 2 and 3.)

    The cheese has always been there, but hell, it’s an NBC drama. Not HBO. (True Blood is a good example of the fantastic properly melded with the mundane, BTW.)

    But Heroes can easily be saved, through the most powerful comic book device of all:

    THE STATUS QUO.

  11. @Carl Lee

    I can’t disagree with that. I just feel we don’t have any enough of those type of minor subplots with Heroes to distract us from the broken record repetitiveness of the overshadowing doom scenario that being thrown at us season after season.

    It’s just a personal preference, but I likethe human touch of some non grandiose story lines with superhero material. ie: Unbreakable, first half of Hancock. Even Iron Man had more of a human story meets superhero feel for me.

    The first season of Heroes had it but imo it’s drifted into these giant world shattering plots that just keep happening. As Hiro said last show, he’s saved the world twice…. and he’s working on the third. We’re only on the third season. There should be a save the world every 2nd season quota, lol.

  12. It will be hard to regain the audience share that they lost. One very good season and then two pretty disapointing ones. Thats hard to recover from!

    CHUCK

  13. @green

    Season 1 is fantastic, you’ve seen what we’ve said about 2&3. Get you a Netflix sub and watch 1&2 and catch up on 3 on hulu. Loads cheaper.

    … I am glad that they are bringing back an original writer. The last two episodes were much better (besides the gaining/loss of The Light I complained about on Wed). I am looking forward to 4… No matter how much I complain though, it is one of the five shows I watch consistently this season.

  14. So I guess I’ll try renting it first…start at the beginning and see how it floats

  15. I think I have the solution for Heroes: Kill half the current characters.
    Am I the only one who remembers Tim Kring’s false promises of: no new characters, no dead characters returning, and the rest of the characters would start dying? In the first four episodes (which is when I stopped watching) they brought back, and created about six characters.
    Now I could have kept up with the thirty different storylines (exaggeration), but I had to refuse. However, although I was very much disappointed with NBC’s ONLY (to them) show, I will be watching future episodes for improvement, the only reason why being Bryan Fuller’s involvement. I still think it’s a shame though, that he can’t be continuing his far greater triumph: Pushing Daisies, but I suppose I’ll have to survive.

  16. I’m just glad to see a network trying to actually fix a show rather than just let ratings die and then canceling it.

  17. I ‘ll wait intil Season 3 is on DVD to catch the remaining episodes, it seems like any show that i decide to devout my attention to, always shortly after go the way of the dodo, or lose me entirely with too much convulusion.

  18. Maybe on dvd, in a few years,,,used.
    At this point I’m done with the show..

  19. I still like it! :)

    Good they’re not giving up on it, it’s probably the best import we’ve got over here at the moment (UK).

  20. Really impressed by what Fuller has to say. He is spot on in his assessment of what has gone wrong.

    In the first season I was surprised to be watching a show about superheroes where I thought about who the characters were, not what. That has really been lost since for me.

    Plus, some things have just been dumb – Hiro becomes ten years old but keeps his powers??? – and the fact they have given up on characters and story lines has been pathetic.

    I’m much more hopeful now, and certainly still watching the show.

  21. Robert Forster is great, but they could have done so much better with him than they did. Just sad.

    Nathan’s sudden 180 back in Haiti was terribly written. Just disgusting, but the last episode was pretty good, so at least things are looking up a little. But I still think the formula idea was stupid.

    I miss Kristen Bell already.

  22. poop

  23. I miss Kristen Bell already too.

  24. Kyle and Lammy,
    I believe Kristen Bell is not gone. Trust me. I believe we will be seeing her in Feb. 09. She is to good of a character to loose.

  25. It’s a shame some people are just too stupid to follow the show. This season has been incredible.

  26. They lost the plot when peter lost his powers. What is heroes without peter petrelli and his powers? or clark kent with no powers or peter parker with no webs………………. it’s all a sham

  27. Blipvert was right no matter how you feel about this show its still better than 80-90% of the crap out there now including cable. I look forward to fugitives and I hope the show runs for many more seasons. GO HEROES.
    OH and go STEELERS. SUPERBOWL BABY!

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