The NBC show, Heroes, ran on the network for four years from September 2006 to February 2010. Like Marvel’s X-Men comic series, the show focused on everyday people who discovered that they had extraordinary abilities. When the show premiered, it grabbed about 14.3 million viewers making the series the highest rating for an NBC drama debut in five years and kept high ratings for the first year. Unfortunately, the show’s viewer base got smaller each year that the show was on. Most fans and critics agree that the show’s first season was the best and was the most coherent, but somewhere the writers and producers lost their way killing off older characters and bringing in new ones.
Now, six years later, NBC is giving the show another try re-branded as Heroes Reborn. Whether or not the series will be graced with more seasons to come remains to be seen. The good news is that this fall’s series is led by Tim Kring, the creator of the original series and contains a few characters from the first series, however, I wouldn’t get too attached to them. The bad news is that the show tries to bridge the gap from the old series to the new. Long time fans will be thrilled with the end result, but there isn’t enough information given from the old show for new watchers to jump in comfortably without getting completely lost. They may abandon the show altogether leaving it with low ratings once again. But that is just speculation.
The premise of the new show follows the event of a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas. The country had just seemed to get comfortable with “evos,” (those who have evolved with new powers and abilities), and there was a celebration of sorts happening at an expo-type of event when the attack came and many were killed. The ones who survived began to go into hiding. What a difference a year makes. Now the world has become extremely suspicious of anyone who is different.
Zachary Levi (forever known as “Chuck” by many) plays a much different role in Heroes Reborn. He plays Luke, a vigilante seeking justice for the death of his child from a year ago. He is joined by Joanee (Judith Shekoni) with similar goals.
The series has brought back Noah Bennet, a.k.a. H.R.G., (Jack Coleman), who is trying to piece together the events from Odesa to the latest ambushes of “heroes” in hiding. New characters include Tommy (Robbie Kay), a teen who can make things disappear without knowing where they go, Miko (Kiki Sukezane), a young women looking for her missing father in Tokyo who discovers that she can travel to different worlds with the use of a samurai sword, Carlos (Ryan Guzman) also finds himself in new abilities that he can’t explain. Former “heroes” back for a second time include Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Together, they are here to save the world.
The theme of the show continues with people being scared of what they don’t know. Picketers protesting the evos are shown in the beginning with signs eerily similar to the ones that the Westboro Baptist Church members use that say “God Hates Evos.” Suddenly the show becomes a little more real.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but I see the show as a commentary about how the world sees Christians. Unfortunately, our world is filled with too many religious zealots who cannot be trusted to have the best interest of others in mind. But there are many more “good” Christians out there who would rather hide in the shadows rather than make a stand for their faith in fear the others will see them as crazy as the zealots. Or could it be the other way around with Christians afraid of the “heroes” and think of them as devils? Maybe it’s a bit of both.
Is the show worth watching? Well, if you are fan of the original, then yes, this is required viewing for you. If you are newbie, you may not get anything out of it. I was initially intrigued with the season’s two hour premiere, but it lost me about halfway in when one character finds herself transformed and placed into a video game. That is a storyline I didn’t expect and one that was too far “out there” for me to buy. And let’s face it – there is a lot “to buy” with this series to begin with.