Sep 22 2008 9:47am

5 Things I Don’t Want to See in the New Season of Heroes

5) Maya. Well, she’s all over the promo shots for season 3 of Heroes, so no luck there. But I hope they make her and her Runny Mascara of Plague superpower more interesting and a lot less grating.

4) Mohinder being useless. I’ve felt that Mohinder hasn’t been more than a plot device since early season one. He seems to exist solely to cure viruses, tell other characters what other characters are up to, and spout some of TV’s worst dialogue in the form of awkward voiceovers. It’s got to suck being one of the only people in your peer group without a power, but that doesn’t have to equate with being boring. Unfortunately for me, when we last saw Mohinder, he was hanging out with Maya.

3) Meaningless deaths. The death of a character only has emotional weight if the character stays frakking dead. (Well, unless the character is Starbuck.) Nathan and Niki/Jessica were supposedly killed in last season’s finale, but every promo poster tells me they won’t stay dead. Characters rarely do on any television show, but especially on Heroes. HRG, Claire, and emo doofus Peter have all died. Hell, even Maya died once already. But she came back! Yet George Takei’s character is one of the only ones to stay dead. How is that fair?

2) Hiro and Ando apart. No matter what, Hiro has been my favorite character on this show from the pilot. His unabashed glee over the discovery of his time-traveling teleportation powers have made him one of TV’s coolest geeks. But without his loyal and equally geeky best friend by his side, Hiro has no one to spout Star Trek and X-Men in-jokes to. The pair seem to be a stand-in for every comic book fanboy/girl who watches the show and having Ando languish in an office while Hiro is off playing Toshiro Mifune in feudal Japan (or a really obvious Hollywood backlot, if you will) kills the fun.

1) Heroes sucking. I hate sounding like a proprietary fangirl. I’m not Tim Kring, so it’s not up to me to decide the direction of the show. I just remember waiting impatiently for the next episode, and the last time I felt that was probably after “Company Man” in the first season. I continue to watch for the characters I still like, for the moments of fun and surprise the show is still capable of. The writers’ strike probably didn’t help the second season and neither did the focus on Peter. I’m hoping the hiatus has given the creators and writers an opportunity to refocus. It worked for Lost, which returned from its early third season batch of episodes better than ever. Giving Heroes a subtitle like “Villains” is already keeping expectations high. I hope the show rises to the occasion because when Heroes was good, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Heroes premieres tonight, Monday, Sept. 22nd at 9 P.M. EST with a recap special airing beforehand at 8 P.M.

1. EZG
True dat, yo.

First season was excellent. Second season, mostly meh and blah.

Hoping we get something great.
Melissa Ann Singer
2. masinger
Press seems to indicate that #4 is not in the cards, though I'm not sure how I'll feel about the stated solution.

Totally agree with the rest.
Sean Fagan
3. sef
The deleted scenes, and unaired bits, that are on the 2nd Season set are quite interesting -- it makes it very clear what was going to happen with Maya. And it would have justified her character. (Essentially, in addition to spreading out a disease, she could suck it back in. And there were implications she could suck in other diseases as well, and this would have been instrumental in saving the world.)

We watched all of the S2 episodes in a couple of days, and it held up better than I had recalled. So the gaps between episodes really hurt it.
Irene Gallo
4. Irene
I saw a commercial in a taxi cab that said something like, "If you gave up last season, you should come back." I couldn't decide if I admired their forthrightness or not.
Sol Foster
6. colomon
Five solid points. I'd add "Mohinder being stupid" as another point to avoid.

Seems to me the biggest thing might be quality villains. S1 Sylar, S1 HRG, and Lindeman were all terrific villains. S2 Sylar, Adam, and Midas Man (Bob, my wife says) were all extremely lame. Basically the only thing stopping them all from being taken out in 30 minutes of TV was the careful removal of Hiro and Peter from the scene and the scattering of the rest of the characters.
Aliette de Bodard
7. aliettedebodard
Totally agree about Mohinder. Poor man. His only role seems to be tagging along.

Agree about Sylar, HRG and Linderman being excellent villains--but after Season 1 I quite frankly felt I'd had enough of Sylar... Looking forward to new villains, but I'm afraid they're just going to be distraction and that the climax is going to be Sylar again.

I have nothing against Sylar in particular, but I did feel the character had been wrung to death in Season 1 already. He was pretty shallow to begin with, and he was effective in season 1, but I thought HRG and Linderman made for much more interesting villains in S1 than him.
James Nicoll
8. JamesDavisNicoll
My working model in S1 and S2 is that Mohinder's dad was the bright one and Mohinder was tolerated by his university as the well-connected minor son of a great man and as someone the university might someday want as a (carefully monitored) spokesperson. He and Peter are both collies: pretty but not too bright.

That said, Matt Parkman still holds the gold for 'most dim-witted Heroes character' because Matt is the telepath who never quite figured out how to tell if what's his name at Primatech was lying to time, even though Matt was using telepathy right before wondering if he was being jerked around. That's some serious Duplicate Boy-level dumb.
Nieves Farias
9. Dreamline
I think I saw a commercial last night, in which Mohinder said something about injecting himself with something, and then later in the commercial he falls from the sky, and lands on his feet...
So he probably will be getting powers; maybe he wont be such a boring character after all. Or maybe he will be a boring character WITH POWERS... we shal see
Arachne Jericho
10. arachnejericho
I agreed with every single point here. I loved Season 1. Season 2... arghle.

However, the fan boards apparently wish for much more Sylar because he is sexy somehow (I don't see it... maybe they've fallen out of love since the awful that is season 2).
Gabe Carr
11. Okorikuma
I only saw as much of season two as I could on YouTube before the network got wise. I found myself really pathologically bothered by the whole runny mascara jazz. Not only is the whole blood/ichor-running-from-eyes image itself showing up enough to get really tired, but why the hell does the stuff vanish when the effect is wearing off? I mean, if it stops flowing and can be wiped away, okay, but the idea that this goo knows when the dramatic moment has passed, and it's time to instantaneously evaporate really undid my suspension of disbelief. I disbelieved. Am I the only one?

That might be a needlessly nit-picky example, but if I have one overarching complaint about the series, it's that most of it seems to be a tissue of cliches that don't bear up to the slightest examination. I felt that way through the first series, but at least the plotting and most of the characters were enough to keep me hooked.

Also, I have some trouble with villains with little (or no) backstory or motivation. Sylar seemed to go from unremarkable guy to someone perfectly willing to tear apart young girls without batting an eyelash, with awfully little in between.

For all my whining, I'll probably check out the new ones. I'm a sucker for a good premise.
Pablo Defendini
12. pablodefendini
@ Okorikuma #11
most of it seems to be a tissue of cliches that don't bear up to the slightest examination.

Well, you know, in a fair world, NBC and Tim Kring owe some serious royalty checks to Chris Claremont. Most of the tropes hashed out in Heroes were done to death (and resurrection, and death again, and resurrection...) on Claremont's 17+ year run on Uncanny X-Men...but that's a blog post all on its own.
That being said, Heroes' first season kicked ass, if only because they got those tropes right. I'd love to see them redeem themselves after the fiasco that was season two.
Gabe Carr
13. Okorikuma
I wondered about that. I don't know much about X-Men beyond the movies--the only actual comic I ever read was the X-Force spin off, and I still consider that a tragic mistake on my part. Even so, it did seem like the fundamental premise was lifted wholesale, meaning the powers-as-result-of-evolution thing. You'd think if there was a decades-old established universe around with that exact premise, you'd at least try to go in a different direction.

I guess when I complain about the clichés, I mean even more on a scene-by-scene basis. I tried catching up with the episodes NBC has online last night, starting with episode 7 of season 2. The whole extinction-level outbreak scenario was pretty much like every other one I'd ever seen in my life, but without the depth because they could only spare 2 scenes to establish it, and there was a similarly half-assed unwanted partner thing with Nikki and the time Parkman was pouring his heart out to the comatose little girl about how he blamed himself when daddy left, I could watch no further.

I don't think it was like that in the first season, or if it was I didn't notice it. It's not even as if they're the only ones using tired dialogue and so forth, and I've forgiven worse from others. I suppose at some point (it really might have been the eye juice) they lost me, and after that I couldn't overlook certain things any more. I just feel like every scene and its dialogue has been done elsewhere and better many times over.

But like you say, if they manage to do even tropey things right, it's worth watching. I feel compelled to keep giving it a chance. I might just watch the spoiler-ific recap rather than sit through the dregs of season 2.

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