Heroes: Can It Be Great Again?

Not much has happened during Season 4 of Heroes. The characters have talked, used their powers sparingly, and, for the most part, stayed out of trouble. For any other show, that would be a big snooze. And indeed even some Heroes fans are getting bored. Yet this is a positive turn. There hasn't been much action yet, but Heroes is doing some house cleaning -- and that may mark the beginning of the show's revival.

At the end of last season, most of the characters were fooled into thinking Sylar (Zachary Quinto) had been murdered. But a handful of people -- including Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) and Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) -- knew better. For those who don't know Sylar is still alive, Season 4 has been a cooling off period, a time for self-discovery.

Season 4 has concentrated on the lives of just a handful of characters -- most notably Tracy Strauss, Noah Benet and Angela Petrelli -- and it has stayed faithful to telling just their stories and giving these characters greater depth. Before this season, Heroes had become bloated as more and more characters showed up to show off the cool things they could do with their special powers. It was fun at first, but the overall story line became muddled and confusing. Now, for the first time since Season 1, Heroes is consistently focusing on the same small group of characters in every episode -- mainly Hiro, Samuel, Nathan, Peter, Noah and Claire.

The writers have also cut pointless story lines. Instead of focusing on the banal marital relationship of Claire's parents, her father Noah Benet is now going stag, and the simplicity of his bachelor story has provided a backbone for the season. When Claire, Peter, or Tracy are in trouble, they go to Noah for advice and fatherly support. He may not be ecstatic about his own life, but he's a pillar of support for everyone else. Likewise, Ali Larter, who has played several identical looking characters over the course of the show, is also getting more screen time. Until this season, the connection of Larter's characters to the rest of the cast was poorly explained, and we were left wondering: Why was she still on the show? But the first three episodes have set her up to play a crucial role this season.

But will that be enough? Ratings have been abysmal for Heroes during the last two years, and the first few episodes of Season 4 haven't gotten better. Worse, on Monday nights Heroes goes head-to-head with House, one of the most anticipated shows of the summer. This week, Heroes drew 5.41 million viewers, while House landed 13.06 million viewers. The difference is astounding -- and hard to ignore for fans who wonder: Will Heroes be renewed? Despite the more mature look of Heroes this season, it's going to be hard to attract healthy TV ratings against a medical mega-drama like House.

Few shows recover from the viewer purge that Heroes has experienced, but it's not time to give up on the show just yet. If you miss Monday night's episode, scoot on over to NBC.com to watch full episodes of Heroes online.

Heroes airs on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on NBC

Sneak Peek of next Monday's episode

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Sylar is trying to remember his true identity, and he is relearning his old powers. When he recalls his altered identity of Senator Nathan Petrelli, he can assume Senator Petrelli's form. The evil Sylar can pretend to be Senator Petrelli, and he can run for President! That will raise the Nielsen ratings!
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I don't need Hiro's power to see the show has nothing to offer any more. It has a very limited future.
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Once again they try to add a new character with boring powers (she can see sounds? Who cares) giving her way too much screen time before she's inevitably disposed of when the writers tire of her. That's been the biggest problem for the series since season one: the writers don't seem to plan anything out choosing instead to keep meandering around with dull plots that quickly get abandoned and ignored when they realize it isn't working. Not to mention constantly changing around powers whenever they decide that they want them to work differently (when exactly did Ando's newfound powers switch from the thematically appropriate power enhancer to having some sort of vague lightning power).

The smart move at this point is to take Hiro and Ando, the only consistently entertaining cast members who aren't spending most of the show wallowing in whatever their current emo crisis happens to be, and spin them off into a new show while canceling this.

They introduced the ret-conned in sister with some sort of powerful weather abilities and a whole lot of anger last season... how about we actually follow up with that and bring back an actual villian like Sylar was in Season One (and, yeah, he should have been killed off or depowered and written out at the end of it). They haven't had any powered villains in a long time and it's what the show has clearly needed all along. Dull people aimlessly moping about their personal problems isn't a compelling reason to watch a show about superheroes.
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Honestly unless they are using their powers to stop villains like the X-Men and prejudice then whats the point? This show is a mini-series that's gone on far to long.
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just give Zeus...I mean Peter his powers back
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I think this season will be the crucial point to the show. If it gets as boring (aka low ratings), it's gonna get axed, no doubt.
Yeah, it clearly shows that a good story isn't enough to keep a tv series going... if the writers can't pick up the pace and set up a good plot, it is doomed.. unless you're just stubborn to end no matter what.. (aka Smallville)
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I think this was a great review: Guys don’t give up on Heroes yet the show can be saved in fact tonight episode looks amazing I understand the last few episode of this season haven’t been the best yes I agree but they have been good story lines and not to mention the show budget was cut down by $300,000 so it going to be hard to for the show to go back to s1 style. I am just asking for a little be of patient and support for the show, I am a true fan and I will stick with Heroes till the end let see who with me!!!!!
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Heroes is out with me. I am sorry but I can no longer watch a show that is going no where fast. I can't believe I couldn't wait for new episodes once upon a time.
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Season 1 was awesome, up until the finale...That one SUCKED. After that we got two mediocre season, which I watched, just "because it was Heroes"... But this season is starting a lot better than the previous ones. Hopefully they continue on this better path.
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considering it wasn't great to begin with no. crappy shows on a crappy channel = crappy ratings
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Nailed it on the head guidryp..this is a major problem with the show. The problem started right out of S1 where all the hype and eventual climax meant NOTHING! The S1 finale was awesome and truly had me but then to see that every character lived through that climax made S1 almost meaningless. Unfortunately Heroes stuck with this "undo" trend and as your rightfully stated, it makes the show worthless, there's no edge of your seat, there's no sense of real threat, no real loss of a character to deal with...nothing.
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I thought it was fun at first, but when any show crosses the line that any action can be undone, then no actions have any meaning.

I watched about two seasons but with the prevalence of time travel, total invincibility, shape shifting, consciousness shifting, just about everything became meaningless and could be undone by some super power, then I ceased to care and stopped watching. Maybe I will rent the final outcome, but I am not starting watching again. Some lines can't be uncrossed.
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After Redemption, I think it already is great again. Long storylines, reasonable powers and fantastic new characters. What else do you need really?
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Then completely revamp or discard the "Fugitives" plot as it was far short of exciting or edge of your seat material. Make "Fugitives" actually edgy minus the internal conflict from Nathan (since he would be dead from S1) and leave it completely involving just the government.

After all that Heroes may have a chance!
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Yeah mimisc, Heroes could only recover if they redo season 2 starting with REAL loss. In other words Nathan is dead, Sylar has been killed (like he needed to be) and Peter has to deal with the results of S1. Then you stay away from the stupid brother/sister plot that occured in S2 (I believe). You don't easily kill off Micah's cousin. You leave Ali Larter gone after the fire rescue (no reinvention twin crap). Sylar stays dead (did I say that already..Sylar lost that scary/dark edge after S1 sorry).

Make the good heroes vs. villians more of an epic battle (w/o the Sylar mommy/daddy story). Focus more on the dad being a bad arse. Then completely revamp or discard the "Fugitives" plot as it was far short of exciting o
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I don't believe it will ever recover unless they go back to the past - season 1 - and start from there. Just hope they don't kill off Hiro coz that will be catastophic. Plus bring back Mica and the cast from season 1
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I agree with Memnochzero. I couldn't have worded it better.
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of course Heroes can be great again. Robert Knepper and Ray Park ? C'mon its smart casting. Maybe Heroes cant get to Season 1 quality again but i believe its still great
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They should have aimed for a 4 seaosn arc and all would have been well... it may barely get renewed for a 5th season but personally I don't think it will.
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Agreed. The show is horrible now
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Heroes is still good. I will continue to watch it no matter what. Anyways, House is so overrated.
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Sad to say it, but I really do think Heroes is going down. It just can't survive with the same plot recycled over & over again which was practically stolen from Xmen. Come on, we need something new and creative.
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ssayler is back and samuel is looking for him ! that mean there is trouble in this way , samuel until nowhe dont know what sayler can do ! i think that wil bee a great battle between thim ! in this season i expect that the "heroes" will kill each other for surviving !
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i still have hope
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I think the same like writer :) Heroes back on right tour and they can surprised us again :)
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Great?? Again?? When?? xD
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I sure don't look forward to it every week like I used to. The only thing that can save this show is Ali Larter, she is soooo hot!
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I think it's kind of silly when people complain about the first few episodes of the season seeming "slow". Season 1 didn't even pick up the pace until about the ninth episode, and we're only now approaching the fourth of this season.

From what I've seen of this season the storytelling has improved, and they appear to be building toward something without rushing headlong into it. They're setting the pace and building it up in exactly the same way as with season 1, which was fantastic.
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what Heroes can be...is gone!
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I wish they'd kill Sylar. I know there's a snowball chance in hell they do that especially now that the all around bad boy/pretty boy has been in Star Trek but they don't know what to do with him and they just keep going back to him every time they don't have any idea which IS boring.

If they'd kill him, they'd have to shake things up, come up with new things and reinvent the dynamics in the show.
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I didn't like that they went back to the Season 1 formula. These aren't new characters. You can't have them begin all over again when they should be out there fighting crime and starting a Super League or something.
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Unfortunately, Heroes is not as interesting as before. :(
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I'm sticking around. Last weeks episode ended on a "hitchcockian" note. Well played, I thought.
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Why are we still caring about this? Any other show that is this blatantly bad for years on end would be panned. The end of the first season was the signal that something great had been killed. Then it was ALL downhill. Mediocre garbage leading to even blander garbage. At least garbage is good at smelling bad...Heroes just sucks all around.
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Kill the cheerleader, save the show !!

And while you're at it stop that Matt Parkman and Silar crap, it's boring !! Hiro and Ando, also freakin boring. And wtf is still Ali Larter doing there !?

Season 1 was the best, since then the show is going down the drain...
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If Heroes stays the way it was in the first couple of episodes of season 4 then I want atleast two more seasons but if it goes back to the crap it was in season 2 then I say cancel it now !
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This show was done two years ago. Time to put this show out to the pasture and give us some more Chuck.
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Don't know if I can agree with Anna here. The problem with this show is not just focusing on a handful of characters as S4 is trying to do. This season still doesn't have the tension, edge of seat drama, darkness, nor action of S1.

In S1 Sylar was the ultimate villian...unfortunately he should not have made it past S1 so that's a problem in S4. Sylar was something you could feel the fear from t...now it seems he is just a character being dragged around from one plot to the next.

Same with Nathan...he should've been gone as well. I believe S4 still having certain characters that should've been dead by now has hurt it as well and completely evaporated any tension or edge of your seat moments this show can have. Unlike S1 it's hard to truly get nervous for any character or to feel any character is in any real danger.

I just don't think there's any hope for Heroes at this point and trying to wait til S4 to turn it around after getting 2 and 3 wrong may be too late. Ahh the days of "Save the cheerleader save the world!" that was the glory of S1, that magic is just not around any more.
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Looking more and more unlikely
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I agree with most of this article, but Anna is getting some of her stuff confused- for starters Tracy wasn't in the second episode at all. And I would hardly say S4 has focused most notably on Tracy, Angela, and Noah. What? That was only the latest episode. Heroes is focused all the main characters, like it always is. And while the plots are settling down and taking their time (which I love) "Acceptance" really kinda sucked, and Tracy's character in particular is a waste of time because we don't know her at all. Why do we care if she skanks it up with govt big-wigs again? A few things she failed to mention: The new Carnie villains who are very intriguing, and Hiro and Ando's storyline, which continues to disappoint. (we all know he has as much a chance of dying as Claire- not gonna happen)
It's a shame the numbers are down since Heroes is getting better, but let this be a lesson learned about making quality TV. You can't keep producing crap and expect everyone to keep coming back. (some people..well..) Heroes is in such a delicate state with viewers, all it takes is one stupid move by a Matt Parkman, or the return of Mohinder, to knock this show off the rails again
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This season is turing out great, but the whole lesbian thing sounds stupid and not sexy at all.
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I am a huge fan of Heroes, but the real deal is that Heroes is getting a little boring. Its been going really slow and now getting Claire to kiss a girl to attract audience is dumb. I hope Heroes gets saved and they give us more plot!
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I have liked this season so far, but its kinda slow to start with(And the fact its competing with House makes it hard for it to do very well) . I just hope that even if the show is on its last season it can end the show properly.
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At the end of season 3 I was ready to quit heroes. but I figured I would give season 4 episode 1 a tiny chance. If I wasn't impressed I would never touch the show again. Well three episodes later I am as hooked as I was during season 1. Good job Heroes I hope you keep up the good work. This is one fan that will be greatly saddened if the show is canceled.
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I'm really enjoying this show this season hopefully it stays this way :D
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I agree, the 4th season has been better so far. I get the feeling they are laying a foundation for a much better story than what we got in previous seasons. 'House cleaning', as you put it. They also need to focus alot more on Peter, making him like the 'main' hero almost.
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Yeah I’m still trying to figure out why NBC thought it was a good idea putting Heroes up against House. Maybe they just REALLY want to give Trauma a fighting chance, or they want Heroes to fail. It’s such an expensive series to produce and has a large cast and tons of guest stars, elaborate sets and often shoots on-location stuff, maybe NBC is just sick of paying for it. Then again, it’s in their best interest for it to become a smash hit again. After all, LOST was a massive success for ABC then started dwindling in the numbers in season 3 after too many viewers got fed up with its tedious nature. Finally the producers wised up and started telling strong stories again and give us new interesting stuff to look at on the island. Heroes needs to do the same thing. While it draws inspiration from comic books, turning it into a comic book was one of the worst things it could’ve done. Season 1 was a drama with a sci-fi twist, but it was really about people, ethics, use and abuse of power, and responsibility. While delving back into the history of their little universe was a good idea in season 2, they went straight into gimmicky plotlines. They also got killed with the writers strike and the 9 month layoff. While I thought Villains started off strong and with a lot of promise, it quickly became gimmicky and spectacle driven and lost its soul. One major reason for that was the story focusing on the event, more than the characters. Fugitives was also really awkward to watch, but managed to pick itself up and do some great stuff. What I’m seeing in Redemption is that same attention to character and story rather than just throwing special effects and comicbooky plotlines at the audience and hoping they’ll like it. Heroes really set the bar high it its first season for the genre, and it’s not something you see a lot, and I think the change in tone with seasons 2 and 3 just made it like every other attempt to bring super powers and live action together and the series became pedestrian. I also don’t think inaction is a bad thing, then again, two of my favorite shows were Homicide Life on the Street and The Wire, so I have infinite patience, but with Heroes the action!action!action! approach has failed, it’s time for storytelling and character driven drama to take focus. We’ve still only begun to scratch the surface of the super powered community and how far back it goes. I really want to see what makes these people tick and I want to see why they make the choices they do. The Carnival was a fantastic idea to introduce to the series as well and Robert Knepper is one of the best actors on TV (though i still wanna see Wentworth miller as a villain on Heroes). I also just wanna throw out there that there are a few characters that have far outlived their purpose, unlike characters that died too soon (Elle, bob, Maury parkman, Adam, Daphne, Danko, Flint Gordon). Mohinder comes to mind, we’re four hours in and he’s yet to show up, and his character’s done nothing impressive since midway in season 1 when he should’ve died via Sylar. Hiro’s another redundant character now, even forgetting the insane damage he’s done to the timeline how much more can this guy do on the show and still be a watchable character. He was the worst part of Monday’s episode for me, and the best thing they’ve done with him has been revealing his powers are killing him. That’s another neat aspect yet to be explored: how does the human body deal with various powers. We’ve seen Sylar’s compulsive need to murder, we’ve seen Peter over load, and we know Elle went insane, and now Hiro is dying. Why does this happen? Hopefully we’ll find out. It’s also great they brought back Ali Larter and are using her properly. From day one, I think the characters she’s played have gotten the shaft in comparison to the others. Niki never got developed fully and Tracy only really came about because they made the stupid idea of killing Niki (don't get me started on how pissed I was when DL died) and realized it’d be stupid to waste Ali Larter and made a new character. Thankfully she’s finally getting much needed story attention and hopefully they can flesh her out in a way they never got to with Niki. And finally I want throw in my two cents on Matt Parkman. Best character on the show hands down. I know it’s cool to love the evilness of Sylar and the badass factor of Bennet and Peter, but for me, it’s all about Matt. From day one this guy has been the everyman, the most relatable. He’s also got one of the most compelling powers and he’s the perfect character to explore use and abuse of power with. We’ve seen what it did to his father and now we’re seeing how it effects Matt. I mean, if it came down to it and they reduced the cast to only a handful of characters, period, they really should keep Matt. Ultimately I would like to see Heroes find its second wind, and hopefully it’ll be season 4 so I can see it continue for a few more years. I mean, say what you will about the quality, no matter how bad it's been, it’s still better than a lot of the crap on TV.
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Honestly, I just think that by now people are so jaded towards the show that they are unwilling to give it a second chance. I know that the ending to season 3 was strange, unexpected, and out of left field, but that doesn't mean that the show is done. Season 4 so far for me has been very well done, especially the last two episodes. It's simple, and yet people are complaining that it's too simple. Last season, they over-did the whole "we have powers, OMG" thing and people complained about THAT. I have faith in the Heroes writers that they will make everything better on the show. I'm sticking with it until the end, as a true Heroes fan would do.
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This week was the first time in four years that I didn't want to watch, this show sucks these days!!!
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Honestly i agree on that Season 1 (23 eps) from ep 1 already was interesting but i think, after leaking seasons, its difficult to impress right from the first episode i guess, after four eps, people have to "wait and see" im gonna wait until ep eight if the first eight eps are not good enough im gonna say bye bye Heroes!!



XO XO



:):):):)
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