Sunday, September 27, 2015

Born Again

I watched the first two hours of Heroes Reborn.  It's not a reboot of Heroes, but takes that series as history and tries to start again. I'm not sure if there's that much call for this show.  The original series started great--it's had a flashy character, a lively plot and a comic book sensibility (as opposed to Lost, which some fans felt was getting slow an heavy in its third season)--but by the end of the season, the wheels started coming off.  Every season after that--there were four--just got worse, and the ratings dropped as well.

It was a show that delivered--you didn't have to wait long for confrontations and payoffs.  But it almost seemed as if the show's creator, Tim Kring, just figured if things were exciting enough, there was no need for it to make sense. Has he fixed that problem in this go-round?  It's hard to say.

The show starts, as you'd expect, with a lot of action--a year ago a big bomb destroys a whole bunch of  evos (people with special powers) at a gathering.  It's clear some people don't want to live in peace with them.  Evos go underground to avoid being picked off.  Then we cut to a bunch of specific characters, working our way up to the present, and, still before the credits, get another big slaughter of evos.

While most of the characters are new, the best news is Jack Coleman is back as Noah Bennett, one of the most intriguing characters in the original show.  He lost his evo/cheerleader daughter in the explosion, and is now trying to live his life as a normal person, selling cars. But someone seems to be following him.  It turns out to be a guy who sees a conspiracy behind the explosion--an explosion that's pinned on another characters from the earlier show, Mohinder Suresh, though he's probably a patsy.  Soon enough they're on the road going trying to discover what's up, and finding conspiracies behind everything.  For all we know, Noah's daughter is still alive.

In general, there are implications that huge conspiracies are behind everything, and that some big event is going to happen.  This can work as long as Kring keeps the story straight, and not just a series of ridiculous coincidences to keep the action going.

Other characters include a mysterious couple who just want to kill evos (and succeed); a high school kid who can teleport people away and who has to keep moving so no one catches him; a Japanese girl who has superpowers inside a computer game, and the Japanese boy who's a master gamer and can help her; a kid in East Los Angeles who has his own special power, but also a dead who secretly helps create an underground railroad to get evos to Canada, as well as an uncle (I think it was his uncle) who's going to have to take over; a nasty couple with special powers who want to capture Molly Walker, a valuable evo who can find others; and a mysterious man who has the power to mesmerize people with shiny coins he keeps in his briefcase.

The story certainly moves.  But sometimes seems to have the old problems.  For instance, Bennett goes to a place that he thinks is part of the conspiracy, where the receptionist holds him at gunpoint.  And old friend, the Haitian, tells her to put down the gun, he's an old friend.  He then tells Bennett to meet him at a bench outside.  They meet and the Haitian tries to kill him.  So why stop the woman who had the gun on him. Or the evo-killing couple, who shoot first and ask questions later, pick up the teleporter kid and calmly march him away, giving him plenty of time to teleport them away.

Another problem, like the original, is too many characters are revealed to be evos.  Kring perhaps believes this just makes the story more exciting, but there's such a thing as diminishing returns.

I wouldn't call it much, but if the returns don't diminish much more, I might make it through what is advertised as a 13-episode miniseries.

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