Heroes has been on the tips of television-viewers' tongues a lot this year, but not for the same reason as last season. The superhero show was a breakout hit last year, but this season it has been the target of critics who cite disjointed storylines, too many characters, and a lack of direction for disappointing fans. Viewers have also tuned out; last week's episode rang in the worst numbers in the key 18-49 demographic ever for the series, according to Nielsen Media Research.
But there's one man who isn't fazed and thinks fans shouldn't be worried either: series creator Tim Kring.
Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, Kring dismissed the numbers much like many other television executives have: DVRs, online episodes, the Internet. What's more, ratings drops are taking their toll on almost all shows, not just Heroes.
As for the rest of the criticism, Kring is promising that it will all make sense. "It will all be paid off by episode 11," Kring said. "From seven to 11 are the best episodes we've ever done." The Heroes crew has always said that this current season would be split up into "volumes," with the current one, titled "Generations," concluding midseason.
"One of the things that we found is that, by the end of the (first) year, we were dragging a tremendous amount of story behind us that had to be paid off in that final episode," Kring said during a conference call, according to Salt Lake City's Deseret News, "which made for an episode that the (audience) expectations are so high that it's hard to meet everybody's expectation."
But that didn't stop the writers from adding several new characters in the offseason, and the result is too much story to pack into one hour of television per week to satisfy everyone.
"Part of what happens on any show is that you enter a relationship with your viewers where you teach them how to watch your show and they teach you what they seem to be responding to," Kring said, reports the Deseret News. "And we, I think, are in this process right now of teaching the audience how to get used to the idea that not everybody is going to be in every single episode."
Some think that Heroes is just undergoing a sophomore slump. However, Kring may be thinking that viewers are looking at season two a bit too harshly by elevating season one unrealistically. "People tend to look at last season and see things in it that were not in it. We haven't deviated that much [from last season's formula]."
What do you think? Has the new season of Heroes failed to live up to the hype?