The second series of Heroes is like a fine whisky that’s been castrated by too much soda water. The first series had a kick and a potency to it that took your breath away but made you thirst for more. By the time the showdown with Silar was approaching I was a Heroes alcky, I was getting the DTs in between episodes...
But series 2 feels like going cold turkey.
Which isn’t to say I’m not enjoying it – I am; and God knows there’s eff all else on TV on a Thursday night and I’d be happy to watch Hayden Panettiere chop off her pinkies with a pair of scissors any time of the day but as a whole the show just ain’t grabbing me around the gonads like series 1.
The complaints and accusations of slowness from fans in the states have been well documented. That and the fact that the ratings plummeted like a damp squid at a cliff diving competition. I do wonder if my approach to the show has been somehow jaundiced by this knowledge; that I’m not giving it as fair a go as I normally would...
But no. It is slow. Heroes is missing its bite. And the plot twists are far, far too predictable – Peter Petrelli being alive; Takeshi Kenzo being a gaijin... I saw all these coming from a mile off. Mr Horn Rimmed Glasses also seems a weak incarnation of his former self. He’s gone from sinister, morally ambivalent secret agent to the dad from The Wonder Years. That’s not a good move.
The show lacks direction, it lacks dynamism. It’s like the plot denouement last series was so big it left a void that the writer’s just don’t know how to fill.
But, as I said, it isn’t all bad. Hayden Panettiere’s character and storyline are flourishing. I took me a while to take to her in the first series but she won me over in the end. She holds the screen effortlessly and the frequent displays of her often gruesome super powers are a highlight of the show. Masi Oka is also still a joy to watch but his return to feudal Japan, for all it might be essential to whatever plot twist is currently unfolding, is just tiresome. It feels like an unnecessary aside.
The worst thing about series 2 though is the God awful Irish accents exhibited by the clods that have taken possession of Peter Petrelli. He might have amnesia, he might even have brain damage but surely even he can twig that he’s about as far away from Cork, Ireland as it’s possible to get?
It seems to me that the recent writer’s strike in America may eventually prove to be the saviour of the show’s bacon. Allegedly the hiatus bought the show’s producers and writers time to reassess their goals and to take on board some of the criticisms. I hear tell that the second half of series 2 has been completely scrapped and they’re going to kick off afresh with series 3 in an attempt to return to form.
I do hope so. Heroes has a lot of potential. It would be a shame to see it squandered.
Mature it in a well seasoned oak barrel and I’ll order a double next time around. Promise.