4 Ways the New Season of 'Heroes' Can Avoid Sucking

#2. Show the Goddamn Powers!


I was going to say, "Don't even get me started," but I'm writing an article, so I guess I actually do have to get started.

Look, I understand about character development. I know about pacing and the need to slow things down so that the fight scenes hold more value. I also recognize that, as a show loses ratings, it can also lose budget. But as we went further into the life of Heroes, I noticed a trend of the characters using their powers less and less, and that translated directly into my growing levels of boredom.

What we got instead were long arcs detailing the lives of characters we didn't really care about. Hey, look, it's another 10-minute conversation between a father and his upper class cheerleader daughter who is angry that she can't die or be injured. Who can't relate to that? Hopefully after the commercials they'll switch to a different set of people having another conversation and not using their powers at all.

Via Lyn-thorne.livejournal.com
Here we see Elle displaying her exciting hair-cutting powers.

Spoiler alert! They did.

No, we don't need to have a fight scene every single episode, but we do need to see them doing some awesome shit. Maybe they're learning their powers as they travel. Maybe the bad guys are using theirs to rob a bank or something. Hell, I'd be fine seeing them using their powers to do normal, everyday things like making coffee with telekinesis or removing snakes from their yard with that snake tornado spell. But we can't fill long stretches of the show with soap opera conversations.

Via Abstract-angst.livejournal.com
"And then what happened? Feel free to tell me in great detail for a very long time."

What I'm saying is that I really want to see a tornado of snakes. But whatever powers they decide to create, I really hope they remember this one piece of advice ...

#1. Set Rules and Stick to Them

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

There are many reasons the first season of Heroes was so popular, but purely from a content standpoint, it was easy to digest. Every character, arc, plot, motivation, and destination was clearly defined, especially when it came to the superpowers.

Hiro controlled space and time. Claire was immortal and had superhuman whining abilities. Sylar and Peter could collect other peoples' powers. Matt could read minds. Tracy had dat ass. If put into a cohesive team, each character could contribute something important to a fight. And then seasons 3 and 4 happened.

Suddenly, people who never had powers were getting them, which really threw a kink into the show, because we needed those human anchors to keep us connected to the plot. Others got new abilities. At one point, five different people had Claire's "my life is a burden because I can't die" power. They wiped the demigod slate clean by getting rid of Peter's and Sylar's abilities, and then gave them back with a drastically modified version for Peter. All of the abilities were being mixed together like bodily fluids at a bareback orgy.

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
No, not literally. Although that would be an awesome power to have.

We as an audience need those characters to remain defined. If every other person takes on the abilities of another, it starts to feel like a soupy, directionless mess. That's when people start tuning out. It doesn't mean that each person can't discover new aspects of their gift, but when it starts bleeding into the other roles, that takes away the thing that makes the other character special and interesting. The show desperately needs to stick to solid rules in this department; otherwise, it just feels like the writers are making up easy ways to get a character out of an impossible situation.

No matter what, I'll watch the show. I'd miss my own mother's funeral if it overlapped with the air times. I have high hopes for it, because if it does well, they may make a Season 6. But I'm not sure my fragile heart can take it if they fuck this one up. My nerd boner has too much riding on it.

John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Android app and iOS reader for you to pick from so you never miss another article.


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