NBC Revives Canceled Series as ‘HEROES REBORN’

heroesIn a resurrection worthy of regenerating cheerleader Claire Bennet, the canceled superhero drama HEROES is coming back to NBC in 2015 as a 13-episode miniseries called HEROES REBORN.

The original series was last seen in 2010, and while creator Tim Kring is back at the helm, it is unknown how many — indeed, if any — previous series stars will appear in HEROES REBORN. Hayden Panettiere, who starred as Claire, the unkillable cheerleader, has a new hit series in ABC’s NASHVILLE; Milo Ventimiglia, the “power sponge” Peter Petrelli, was just cast in ABC’s THE VISITORS; Zachary Quinto’s (Sylar) career has exploded on both the big and little screens; and producer/writer Bryan Fuller is running one of NBC’s few prime-time hits, HANNIBAL.

I think it is vital to get as many original cast members as possible to make some kind of appearance in order to give the new series some kind of credibility. Without at least a handful of familiar faces, the new project will feel like a ripoff rather than a successor. Especially important is getting Hayden and Milo, the backbones of the first series.
Continue reading

HEROES 4.18: Brave New World or Same Old, Same Old?

Claire and Noah

This is how the world of HEROES ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

In this case, it was the literal moan of defeat uttered by Samuel Sullivan. Which is pretty much what’s been wrong with HEROES since the close of Volume One: Things just…peter out. In contrast to the nuclear armageddon and super-battles that climaxed previous seasons, here Claire and HRG convinced a bunch of people to run away from Samuel, and he was rendered powerless, left mewling on the ground.

Um, that was it?
Continue reading

Soap Opera Weekly: 10/13/09

I was all set to drop HEROES when, just in the nick of time, this week’s episode turned out to be pretty good.

If HEROES was in the public consciousness at all, it was because this episode featured Hayden Panettiere‘s Claire getting kissed by her roommate Gretchen (played by CALIFORNICATION’s Madeline Zima). So that happened — but in the context of the story, it was actually rather creepy, because Gretchen had been exhibiting stalkerish behavior, and her explanation was that she’s “crushing” on Claire. I’m going to keep an eye on this plotline and see where they take it.

The story that made this week’s episode memorable concerned Peter and Emma bonding when he absorbs her synesthesia power, enabling him to see sound as light. Ironically, this low-key plot contrivance actually made the show look more like a comic book than all the previous super-powered battles combined. The ability to see sounds aped the visual language of a comic book, where sound is represented by wavy vibration lines or onomatopoeia. HEROES showed Emma and Peter perceiving sound as a cloud of multicolored lights, and the two characters were able to connect on a deep (and quiet!) level. (Emma’s power reminds me of X-Men’s Dazzler, but she converts sound into light.) I definitely want to see where this relationship goes.

Meanwhile, Sylar was in Baltimore, getting the third degree from Ghostbusters’ Winston Zeddemore — I mean, Ernie Hudson. Hudson played Warden Glynn on OZ, which was also set in Baltimore. Sylar decided to kidnap his pretty therapist with the odd accent, just like Bruce Willis did in 12 Monkeys (which was also set in Baltimore). That led to the reveal that the Sullivan Brothers carnival can literally travel from place to place. Talk about a roadshow!

Finally, I leave you with the line of the week: “Great, I missed all the commercials.” — Harry, MAD MEN

Originally published on SoapOperaWeekly.com

HEROES 4.14: Close… But No Cigar

So here I am, tuning in to HEROES “one last time,” giving it one last chance to save itself before I cancel it forever. And the first thing I notice is that Noah is delivering the hated pompous voice-over. Not fair, HEROES. You know how much I hate the narration – and how much I like H.R.G. We’ll call the opening a draw. As for the rest of the episode, dubbed “Close to You”… close, but not quite.

Sadly this was yet another boring, glacially paced episode. (Is Ali Larter’s Tracy Strauss directing episodes?) And, worse, we learn that Hiro’s “Dr. Watson” is actually Suresh. I’m not exactly sure how Hiro (Masi Oka) knew Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) was locked in a sanitarium in rural Florida, but… And, okay, I have to admit, the bit with Ando (James Kyson Lee) and the meds was pretty funny. Hiro and Ando work best – hell, only really work at all – as a team.

Oh, look, it’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s own Ellen Tigh, Kate Vernon, playing Vanessa Wheeler, the gal Samuel grew up in love with, and the cause of all this strife. Lady, if you didn’t dump the son of the hired help, all this could have been avoided.
Continue reading

HEROES Is Bleeding Out

Heroes' Claire

Well, HEROES returned from hiatus with a two-hour “event” that, truth be told, was more of a non-event. As soon as I heard Mohinder’s navel-gazing voice-over in the opening frames, I knew the show hadn’t changed, and I was in for a long night. (To be fair, I’ve always hated Dr. Suresh’s monologues, even back in the halcyon days of the first season.) “Events” kicked off with Claire moping around the sinister Sullivan Brothers carnival, lugging boxes of teddy bears (Her nickname is Claire-Bear, get it?) while Eli the replicating man did his impression of the world’s least-subtle spy. (I actually could not help wondering if Hayden Panettiere identified with her character being stalked by creepy older guys, LOL.)

Elsewhere, Hiro’s (Masi Oka) plotline had him talking in complete gibberish –which was sort of a microcosm of the series itself. HEROES used to be about the sense of wonder that came from being special, It was important to be different; it was cool to be different. Now what is the show? What is HEROES trying to say? Apparently nothing, as it has devolved into a self-referential muddle with no direction.
Continue reading

Soap Opera Weekly: 10/13/09

I was all set to drop HEROES when, just in the nick of time, this week’s episode turned out to be pretty good.

If HEROES was in the public consciousness at all, it was because this episode featured Hayden Panettiere‘s Claire getting kissed by her roommate Gretchen (played by CALIFORNICATION’s Madeline Zima). So that happened — but in the context of the story, it was actually rather creepy, because Gretchen had been exhibiting stalkerish behavior, and her explanation was that she’s “crushing” on Claire. I’m going to keep an eye on this plotline and see where they take it.

The story that made this week’s episode memorable concerned Peter and Emma bonding when he absorbs her synesthesia power, enabling him to see sound as light. Ironically, this low-key plot contrivance actually made the show look more like a comic book than all the previous super-powered battles combined. The ability to see sounds aped the visual language of a comic book, where sound is represented by wavy vibration lines or onomatopoeia. HEROES showed Emma and Peter perceiving sound as a cloud of multicolored lights, and the two characters were able to connect on a deep (and quiet!) level. (Emma’s power reminds me of X-Men’s Dazzler, but she converts sound into light.) I definitely want to see where this relationship goes.

Meanwhile, Sylar was in Baltimore, getting the third degree from Ghostbusters‘ Winston Zeddemore — I mean, Ernie Hudson. Hudson played Warden Glynn on OZ, which was set in Baltimore. Sylar decided to kidnap his pretty therapist with the odd accent, just like Bruce Willis did in 12 Monkeys (which was also set in Baltimore). That led to the reveal that the Sullivan Brothers carnival can literally travel from place to place. Talk about a roadshow!

Originally published on SoapOperaWeekly.com

Soap Opera Weekly: 10/6/09

The unquestioned hero of HEROES right now is consulting producer Bryan Fuller, who wrote this week’s episode, “Acceptance.” Fuller’s superpower appears to be the ability to grasp these characters and express what makes them great. He has a particular faculty for Noah/H.R.G. and Claire. Fuller wrote the legendary “Company Man” episode back in season one, which crystallized the previously mysterious H.R.G. and arguably made HEROES the breakout hit it (briefly) became. Fuller also deftly emphasizes the camaraderie of Hiro and Ando, making the pair believable buddies. In fact, I think Fuller has a firmer grip on these characters than even creator Tim Kring. (Fuller has imagination to spare: He also created WONDERFALLS and was an executive producer on PUSHING DAISIES.) I never like Tracy except in the stories Fuller has written (see “Cold Snap”). And he also delivered us from the ill-advised Sylar-in-Nathan-form plotline. Does this mean fans will not get to see Adrian Pasdar die in a season finale for once?

This week, I was initially on the fence as to whether I would even watch HEROES. The episode took a little time to build steam, so I was seriously considering abandoning it in favor of the Packers/Vikings football game. But then, something clicked — right around the time Noah and Claire were sharing bowls of cereal and discussing the possible application of bag-and-tag skills to selling lumber. That did it; I was roped back in. H.R.G. may be an ultracompetent field agent, but he’s an all-too-human fish-out-of-water (er…so to speak) on the home front. I don’t want to minimize the contributions of Jack Coleman here; when Noah told Peter that he just didn’t have it in him to get tangled up in another adventure, I really believed him. Coleman meshes especially well with Hayden Panettiere, and H.R.G.’s scenes with his “Claire Bear” always feel like the most realistic relationship on the show (followed by Hiro/Ando). But Fuller is not merely the master of human scenes; he also excels at thinking through the implications of superpowers. Just because Hiro can travel back in time does not mean he can save a man from himself, as Hiro’s funny/sad encounters with the hapless, hopeless Tadashi proved. I hope HEROES does not let Fuller escape.

Originally published on SoapOperaWeekly.com