Trailer courtesy of Scaredycatinc
Don’t Look Back
One Giant Leap
Nothing To Hide
Seven Minutes To Midnight
Six Months Ago
Five Years Gone
The Hard Part
How To Stop An Exploding Man
A smartly written sci-fi spin on the superhero genre, the first season of Heroes is a well paced, cohesive one that revolves around a handful of ordinary people discovering they have super powers. There are hints of influence from X-Men and other superhero comics but the modern setting and well written characters are enough to keep the series fresh and more importantly, exciting.
Each character has a unique and interesting story and the show follows each one individually as they discover their powers until they eventually become intertwined together in New York City for a tense showdown. The first season is split into two distinct parts, the first half tackles the characters as they come to grips with their new found abilities, following each one individually in their lives as they struggle to make sense of their powers. When Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) is given a message from a future version of time travelling hero Hiro (Masi Oka), it reverberates through the entire series and all the characters come together to stop a common enemy from destroying the world, power collector Sylar (Zachary Quinto). There’s some good twists along the way and the prophetic message is handled well, even if the show does change course for the second half of the season. Considering its 23 episode format, the story doesn’t drag too much with the exception of one character who’s story just isn’t that interesting and feels disjointed compared to the rest of them.
The characters are the real draw here and each one is fleshed out with an interesting back story. The real stand out is Sylar. With just enough maniacal glee he elevates the show, effortlessly stealing the limelight with enough charisma to pull off some memorable scenes as the episodes explore not only his motives, but also his backstory to gain more understanding on his character. The only downside is the Nikki/Jessica (Ali Larter) story line which sees her wrestle with an alter ego with super strength. It feels disjointed to the rest of the heroes and its unnecessarily gory scenes do nothing to help its jarring difference in pace and tone to the rest of the show. Her inclusion feels tacked on and with all the other heroes coming together in such a cohesive unit toward the end of the season, its particularly noticeable as she stays on the fringe.
The powers are well handled and believable in the modern world setting. The visual effects aren’t overdone and with an ominously haunting soundtrack, the music reinforces this unusual spin on the superhero genre. The characters are well handled and with the exception of Nikki/Jessica, are all well realized and paced. With 23 episodes in the season there are a few occasions where it feels like it drags but the season is split into two distinct halves with the second ramping up the pace as it draws closer to the climax.
Overall, Heroes is a smartly written, different take on the superhero genre. Its characters are well written, fleshed out and acted well. The villainous Sylar is the stand out here though and his performance elevates the show armed with a unique power and a good motivation. The only real drawback here is with the Nikki/Jessica story line that feels completely out of place in an otherwise cohesive show. If you like science fiction or superheroes, you can’t go wrong with Heroes in this solid debut season.