Review of Heroes

Heroes (II) (2006–2010)
As far as I'm concerned, the answer to the question "Are you on the list?" is "Yes."
25 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
(Viewers reading this who haven't seen all of the first season, proceed with caution.)

Ever since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ended, there's been something missing in my TV viewing; there's been a gap for something essential, something that's a true appointment. Though I watched "Charmed" from first episode to last, that wasn't it; "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" also don't really count.

And then along came "Heroes."

At the time of writing, it's airing on the UK Sci-Fi Channel (but they sadly won't have season two thanks to the BBC), but I've managed to see the entire first Volume; maybe the season finale didn't have all the expected fireworks, but that's pretty much in keeping with a series which puts people above FX. In any case, what's come before has been too effective for this to count as a letdown - yeah yeah, it's not blazingly original, but what matters is how it's executed, and Tim Kring and chums executed it well without a genuinely bad episode in the bunch; some better than others, but no stinkers. In fact, you can come up with a by-no-means-comprehensive list of 23 good things about "Heroes" (one for each chapter):

1. The eclipse logo.

2. The presence of Bryan Fuller on the first season roster (any show involving him will be worth a look).

3. The fact that they aren't obliged to have all the characters every week.

4. Not explaining everything, but not leaving almost everything hanging either.

5. Hiro (who's been exulted over extensively elsewhere, so I won't add to it).

6. Future Hiro.

7. James Kyson Lee as Ando. As deserving as Masi Oka is, Mr. Lee doesn't get enough credit for being a sidekick who's almost a hero himself.

8. The moment when Claude shoved Peter off the top of a building to his non-death, which confirmed that Milo Ventimiglia has improved since his days of annoying me deeply on "Gilmore girls." Because I DIDN'T wish he'd splatter over the tarmac and never come back.

9. "Save the cheerleader, save the world."

10. The reduction of Mohinder's rather pointless voiceovers as the first season went on, although they came roaring back for "How To Stop An Exploding Man."

11. Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman's music - not your usual superhero scoring, but this isn't your usual superhero show.

12. Characters getting actual development, even non-favourites (e.g. anyone connected to Niki Sanders, including Niki Sanders).

13. Sylar, with thanks to the producers for not letting us see how he consumes the DNA of his victims.

14. "This is Claire Bennet, and that was attempt #6."

15. Not overdoing Claire's power of regeneration and still managing to make her one of the show's best characters.

16. The ongoing story of Mr. Bennet.

17. "Company Man," "Five Years Gone," "Homecoming," and come to think of it most of the other episodes.

18. The fact that poor Claire has Steven Carrington for an adoptive dad and Jim Profit for a real one.

19. Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar and most of the cast.

20. "Holy sh- " - To Be Continued...

21. The winks to comic fans being kept relatively restrained so the series doesn't become one big in-joke.

22. Missy Peregrym's Candace getting her clock punched in the season finale (she was just as annoying here as she was in "Stick It," so it was justified).

23. The wonderful Hayden Panettiere (one of my TV Girlfriends, with apologies to the "Television Without Pity" book). Hayden, you're totally my hero.
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