‘Heroes Reborn’ Placates Former ‘Heroes’ Series Fans

Gina Mantica ’16
Assistant Arts Editor

“Heroes” began in 2006 as a science fiction drama series on NBC about ordinary people gifted with extraordinary powers. These people were considered by some scientists to be “evolved humans,” while others considered them heroes.

However, this concept quickly became convoluted, as some people with these powers chose to use them for evil rather than for good. After its abrupt cancellation in 2010, fans and critics alike are surprised that the executive director of the original show, Tim Kring, is now airing a 13-episode miniseries entitled “Heroes Reborn.”

“Heroes” was incredibly intriguing and highlighted the complex lives the heroes lived as a result of their powers. The most captivating story was that of the relationship between Claire Bennett, an “evolved human” or “evo” with the power to regenerate, and her father, Noah. The conflicting emotions of Noah and Claire, regarding both each other and themselves, proved fruitful in garnering audience attention and affecting viewers’ emotional sensitivities. However, as the series progressed, the plot became repetitive and the characters’ stories became so entangled that it was nearly impossible to follow.

Nonetheless, “Heroes” fans have applauded the ability of “Heroes Reborn” to extend and deepen their understanding of and interaction with a world full of evos. This praise comes as no surprise, as Kring successfully maintained a steady fandom between the ending of the original show in 2010 and the present. To sustain his fandom over the past five years, Kring produced an online extension of the original series titled “Heroes Evolutions” and promoted the concept of the show through merchandise, games and graphic novels.

While “Heroes Reborn” promises to be jam-packed with action, the plot severely lacks a foundation that is capable of maintaining audience interest. The addition of a character that can go in and out of a samurai-based video game has added a fascinating twist to the series, but the 2015 audience is not as intrigued with the concept as it might have been in 2010.

“Heroes Reborn” premiered with about seven million viewers and steadily decreased to only five and a half million viewers by the end of the show. The two-hour premiere of “Heroes Reborn” included both the pilot episode and the first real episode of the miniseries.  In both episodes, which aired back-to-back, the audience was overloaded with character details and not provided with any big-picture information. This prologue-like start to the miniseries was not successful in maintaining attention. Many fans were disheartened and even slightly concerned that the series would once again be taken off the air. 

However, the third episode in the series, which aired earlier this month, connected all of the asynchronous plots together to create a cohesive story. The powerful company Renatus is once again at the center of the show, except this time, Noah is on the Heroes team as he desperately searches for answers about what or who might have killed his daughter, Claire. The puzzle pieces slowly fall into place during this episode, and faith in the success of the miniseries is somewhat restored.

Disappointingly, the two subsequent episodes returned to the repetitive nature of “Heroes.” While there has been incredible character development, there has been no significant forward movement of the plot. Kring seems to already be falling into old habits, and the show has not yet begun to take off. Only time will tell if Kring is able to produce a series that stays on television.

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