Way back in the 2006, I witnessed a really cool clip from an upcoming television show on NBC. There was a young, blond cheerleader who jumped off a really tall tower and landed in a way that no one could survive. Yet, she stood right up and popped her shoulder back in place.
From that moment on, I was smitten with Heroes. I wanted to know why the world's fate rested on this small, blonde cheerleader. As each character was introduced, and you learned of their powers, a great story started coming together. When that first season ended, Heroes was easily one of the best things on television. Until it wasn't.
Why The Show Failed Originally
By the time Heroes exhausted its run on NBC, I was watching in the hopes of finally getting answers to a few lingering questions. Alas, I was gravely disappointed. A show that started with such promise was bogged down by too many characters, sporadic storytelling and a writer's strike that affected a lot shows.
It went out on a sour note, and to little satisfaction of those who sat with it for four seasons. I don't know what creator Tim Kring had in mind for the series, but it seemed obvious that the way it ended wasn't what was intended. (You can't tell me that Carnival storyline was apart of the original concept.)
Fast forward to 2015, "the year of the reboots." The X-Files was slated for one, as was Full House. There was also a slew of big named movies ready for a comeback; so why not Heroes, right?
I waited with great anticipation, and when the show came back this past September, I was really surprised at how quickly I fell back in like with the series. There were still a large number of characters, and the first two episodes (which debuted as a two-hour event) were a little chaotic. Yet, it was enough to hook me.
Why the Show is Working Now...
Simply put: direction. The show's direction has been focused and so far each character has a purpose. There are no extra Evos (evolved humans) just for the sheer fact that they have a cool power and there is a way better villain in place (sorry Sylar).
Only a handful of the original cast members reprised their roles, and luckily they chose the ones that were the most interesting. Noah Bennett (HRG), Angela Petrelli, Suresh, Hiro; they all came back to complete this tale of extraordinary humans. However, it is also the lack of heroes returning that makes this work. The story isn't bogged down in the family drama of Claire (the blonde cheerleader) and her biological parents, nor is there a stripper with a split personality that had absolutely no purpose.
Most of all, after watching the last two episodes (June 13th - Parts One and Two), we finally have an answer to a question that has been tossed around on this show from the beginning: "Why does saving the cheerleader, save the world?" Which, I might add, was able to be answered without the cheerleader ever showing her face.
So, for those who doubted the quality of this show after witnessing how the first incarnation fizzled out: rest assured, this rebirth has been nothing short of fantastic. With the filler removed, and the central mystery being expanded, Heroes: Reborn is an hour full of great moments that will remind you of why you flipped it on way back in 2006.
Watch it, or you may regret it. Hiro won't be able to send you back into the past to change your mind.