Movies and TV

When Heroes Jumped the Shark

12.05.08 | 7 Comments

Okay, let’s face it. Not many people are happy with the direction Heroes is going. It’s like a someone you’ve been dating a while and the “new” has worn off. It hasn’t been so long that you’ve forgotten the good times, but you just don’t feel that electric thrill you used to feel when you first started out. I’ve given this some thought (as if you couldn’t tell), and I’ve figured out when Heroes jumped the shark and how.

Quite simply, when the show started out it was grounded in realism. Everyone had jobs and many of them had spouses. They worried about where the next paycheck was going to come from. They worried about their kids and spouses. They had real life problems on top of the superheroics. That lasted more or less through the first season, and was completely thrown out in the second. That’s when things took a serious slide downhill.

Remember when Parkman was struggling with his marriage? Remember that his wife was expecting a baby? (Okay, yeah, presumably it turned out not to be his.) Remember when they fought over which bills to pay because they just weren’t making enough money? Or what about Nathan? Notice they wrote his wife off the show too? When was the last time you even saw him pining over his kids? What about Peter? Remember when he had a job? Where are all these people getting their money these days? I guess they’re conveniently drawing a Company paycheck. I wonder if they have to turn in their receipts.

Let’s face it. When the show disengaged itself from reality, it snatched the characters from among us and dropped them upon high Mount Olympus. No longer are they people with whom we can relate, but superheroes far above the cares of people like you and me. Without that connection, Heroes has truly become a comic book–in the ugliest sense of the term. Ironically, comics today are often much better written.

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Comment by Matt
2008-12-05 08:41:57

It isn’t helping that the big bad this season, Arthur Petrelli, is a horribly written, badly acted drag on the show.

The massive amounts of retcon going on isn’t helping either.

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Comment by Prest0
2008-12-05 09:23:26

Oh yeah. I’m not saying that there haven’t been other major, ham-fisted fumbles along the way. I’m just saying that’s when they jumped the shark. :)

Personally, I like the idea of Arthur Petrelli as a villian and I get what they’re trying to do. I hate that the melodrama has been cranked up to 11 and the characters have been jerked around so much that they’re getting whiplash. At first I hated what they were doing with Syler, but having done it I hate even more that now they’re trying to undo it. That entire character arch should have taken at minimum a full season. It should have started last season with Maya and making a connection with her and this season slowly becoming “human” instead of just a cardboard sociopath.

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Comment by Kyle
2008-12-05 10:13:43

I’d have to agree with that completely. It’s hard to have a show about super powered beings jump the shark, but damned if the idiot-catering networks didn’t go and do it.

I was even postulating the other day that comic book movies have had a great effect on comics as a whole. They had to ground them somewhat in reality, make them somewhat believable in order to sell it as a movie. As a result, the comic books themselves have gotten better.

Conversely, people like Frank Miller and Todd Mcfarlane were doing some incredible comics prior to the comic movie craze. I think their stuff was a major factor in getting good comic book movies out. Finally there was good translatable source material.

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Comment by Prest0
2008-12-05 11:03:29

And in related news, David Fuller may be coming back to give the show more hands-on help: http://io9.com/5102213/fuller-to-finish-heroes-season-in-style

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Comment by Ed Wetterman
2008-12-05 12:01:18

….nah….I ain’t watched it since season 2….

Supernatural still number 1 on my watch list, though now they have gone the Armaggedon route, I guess this will be the last season. I mean, what can they do next?



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Comment by Landon Gregory
2008-12-11 16:58:25
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Comment by Prest0
2008-12-11 17:07:36

We can hope.


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