Describing Heroes to someone who has never seen it nor heard of it before is simple. It's a show about superheroes. But its so much more. The first season of Heroes was great. You had these people discovering that they could do extraordinary things. A man who could fly and his brother. A time traveling, teleporting Japanese man. A woman with an extreme split personality. A mind reading beat cop. A cheerleader who's invulnerable. An artist who paints the future. That alone would be enough for one show. Then you add the son of a man who predicted these people would arrive using science and the human genome project. As well as a psychotic power hungry super villain. It's the formula for great drama!
The plot of the first season didn't stray too far. It didn't jump around and get too convoluted. It had it's phases. First phase was based around the phrase "save the cheerleader, save the world." A phrase uttered by a future version of Hiro...who could now speak fluent English and was carrying a pretty sweet sword. The first half of the season led to this climax, the showdown in Texas to save poor Claire from the evil clutches of Sylar, the megalomanic villain of the piece. The second half of the season then evolves into this much larger plot that centers on stopping the Exploding Man.
The characters were given ample time to develop, and there were many characters. You had people you knew were the bad guys with these shady motives, who turned out to be the good guys. And then you had these burgeoning heroes that wanted to make a difference but were being hunted because of their gifts. At the center of it all you had Peter Petrelli. A young man who is trying to find himself, who begins to have dreams about flying. The way his story was crafted at the beginning was fantastic. Then you're thrown the curve ball that, he can fly after absorbing the powers of a flying man. He can also absorb the powers of every other hero out there. An extreme amount of power for one person, and he seems to be the only person you can trust with this power. With all these characters, its easy for an audience to connect with at least one of them, and have someone to relate to on their level.
I enjoyed the storytelling, the characters, and the effects. For a television show, the effects weren't as clunky or obvious as a show like Once Upon a Time (which I also enjoy). The diverse cast really shined with the writing that was given to them. I love a great "What If" episode of a long running series. Buffy had one, X-Files had one, Star Trek had several, all the great genre series have at least one great episode showing an alternate world or alternate timeline. Heroes gives you this right off the bat, jumping you into a future timeline that has yet to happen. You get a glimpse of this future, showing the potential outcome of their decisions in the present time. This really led you to believe that pretty much anything could happen.
The first season wasn't without it's faults. It did feel like it dragged a bit in the middle of the season. With twenty-three episodes to fill, its easy to get bogged down with side stories. The culmination of the first season left you with a lot of questions. What happened to the Petrelli brothers? How did Sylar still survive? Where did Hiro go? (you'd find out in the epilogue of the season finale.) The first season of Heroes was great. I couldn't get enough of this show. The following seasons...we'll get to that next time!
What did you guys think of the first season of Heroes? Are you excited for this new mini-series that's going to start on NBC?