I’ve broken up with television shows before. The most painful in my memory was “The Sopranos“–a show I adored, but could no longer watch at the end of its fifth season because it had gotten so brutal. With J. J. Abrams’s “Lost,” while I used to feel passionately invested, I now have a kind of on-again, off-again relationship where I could really just take it or leave it.
Tonight, I think I might break up with Tim Kring’s “Heroes,” now in its third season (NBC, Mondays at 9 p.m.)–and just when it gets into religion, at least explicitly so. Sadly, it’s the religion piece that’s making me flee.
The basic situation: in episode one, Nathan Petrelli, the politician, has a near-death experience (he’s shot by a future version of his brother, Peter Petrelli). When he manages to live, he wanders into a church and becomes born again. Nathan finds religion, finds it big time, and gets political with it. The show’s first season famously advertised under the offbeat slogan, “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World,” and its twist on that success for season three comes out of Nathan’s mouth as he’s in church: “Save Ourselves, Save the World.”
Puh-leeze. If the writers could have been a bit less heavy-handed with Nathan’s conversion, a bit less stereotypical, a bit more subtle, less cheesy, I might have found Nathan’s newfound faith interesting. But as it is, every time he comes on screen, I cringe. It’s like the writers took every stereotype people have about Christians and wrote it into Nathan Petrelli’s season three persona. If his character and this season continues as-is, I think another break-up is in store for me. Though this one will be far less painful than “The Sopranos.”