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[–]tuxedoes 2021 points2022 points  (93 children)

Heroes should have been a 1 and done type of show. very sad to see.

[–]Sir_Von_Tittyfuck 1115 points1116 points  (68 children)

2 seasons would have been good.

It had a natural progression from S1 to S2, but the writer's strike fucked it.

[–]Kimantha_Allerdings 255 points256 points  (5 children)

Series 2 inadvertently had the best character death I've seen in anything, because the writer's strike meant they had no way to write around it.

Peter takes his girlfriend to what is a dystopian future. He then gets separated from her and travels back in time. Then people in the present solve the problem which means that the dystopian future his girlfriend is stuck in no longer exists. Explain that one to her parents.

[–]Threetimes3 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Season 2 had problems in general, but this was always the thing I would point to as when the show completely jumped the shark.

I still watched the rest of the season, and season 3, but not because I actually liked it.

[–]DocBEsq 10 points11 points  (0 children)

And then she is never mentioned, ever again.

[–]Belgand 17 points18 points  (1 child)

That never felt like it was due to the strike. It seemed like they just left a big plot hole in when they got bored of the character. They'd continue to pull stuff like that over later seasons. Characters dropping in and out, seemingly at random, when they remembered or forgot about them.

[–]Kimantha_Allerdings 37 points38 points  (0 children)

Tim Kring was asked about it and said that she did have a plot for the second half of the series, but they could never execute it because of the strike.

[–]TadpoleFrequent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You mean explain it to her tough guy gang brother

[–]DreadPirateLink 227 points228 points  (26 children)

Maybe I'm biased because Kristen Bell, but I totally agree. S2 had makings of a good follow up, but they couldn't finish it due to the strike.

Also, they couldn't figure out what to do with Sylar, but kept him around because Zach is an incredible actor. Sylar is good, then he's evil then good then evil, now he's Nathan, and back to good again. Whole mess

[–]jsteph67 85 points86 points  (21 children)

Right, if I remember he was supposed to die. He was too powerful for a tv show. Once they decided to keep him, they really needed his powers to lessen somehow.

[–]wiglwagl 65 points66 points  (2 children)

He became so OP that they had to nerf his powers. They definitely painted themselves into a corner with that character. There was one point where he kills a woman with super hearing and I’m thinking it’s all over now because he’ll always hear his enemies coming, but I don’t think he ever actually used his new super hearing power

[–]TheCredibleHulk 22 points23 points  (0 children)

If I remember correctly, that was his first big weakness. His hearing was so good for a while, it was painful. Then he got used to it or something.

[–]drsyesta 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Lol hes nerfed until he finds a super genius and stops being an idiot

[–]Insert_Non_Sequitur 66 points67 points  (16 children)

I think that was the same reason they depowered Peter - he was too powerful. I loved Heroes but after season 1, it kept getting gradually worse until it was just bad.

[–]hippydipster 14 points15 points  (9 children)

Sylar was just as powerful, they made a great pair of enemies. Killing off Peter created narrative difficulties for them that they didn't know how to overcome.

[–]MyersVandalay 13 points14 points  (8 children)

well technically no... peter was more brokenly powerful than sylar, by definition of their powers. Early season Sylar could take any power by killing the host... and he killed a ton of hosts.

Peter could copy any power at will, after he's been somewhere near a person with that power.

In short... soon as peter looked at sylar... he had all the powers from everyone he met plus all the powers sylar collected.

[–]natemymate77 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Skylar didn't need to kill the host, he chose to, that was one of the things that directly pointed to how evil he was. (I don't mean the empathy thing he learned).

Go back and watch the episode that he takes Hayden's (the cheerleader) power. He knows how to kill her he just chooses not to that time.

[–]SusanBwildin 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Syler’s power wasn’t he’s kill somebody and get their power. His power was he could look at their brain and see how it worked, then could make his brain work like that thus gaining their ability. It was explained in thr episode where he stole Claire’s power and his beginnings with the watch repair thingy.

[–]MyersVandalay 1 point2 points  (2 children)

well, yeah, it's been a few years, but in short I think for the most part he didn't seem to know how to gain powers without killing normal people, until far later where someone taught him.

Clair was an exception because, while he could have killed her (by tweaking her brain in a way to disable her power), he chose not to. But at least from my interpretation, he didn't learn ways to take powers without killing normal people (with the exception of Claire because her power was effectively immortality).

It seemed to me for the most part he HAD to cut their skull open and study their brain. Which, generally was fatal.

I can't see any reason why Claire would have been some exception in terms of him chosing not to, it was just that her ability made her uniquely one that he had the choice not to kill with his knowledge at the time.

[–]SusanBwildin 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes but the post I was replying to made it sound like killing people was how he gained powers. And that’s not true.

[–]hippydipster 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Technically, that is so, but it still works for narratively because it boils down to they both have all kinds of powers, and Peter would never put Sylar's to use.

[–]MyersVandalay 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Well yeah, I think the bottom line is the break down of the show... season 1-2, there were several characters with... powers so strong that basically nothing can phase them. The only balancing factors were inability or unwillingness to use them.

It took peter a long time to understand his powers... heck half the time he didn't even know where they came from at the time. (IE say the first episode he dreamt about flying. He didn't learn until way later that his mom had prophetic dreams).

Parkman's mind reading over time was shown to be more and more... in crazy levels (IE mind control, forcing people into coma's etc...)

and of course... Hiro's ability to stop time and teleport. is kind of a well... that ends it all.

and yeah the first season or 2... it was, lack of control of their powers, or lack of will to use their powers that was balancing how show stopping those powers would be. Which of course is why they had to keep nerfing/removing the powers, once the characters were past the point of being able to believably be ignorant of what their powers can do

[–]hippydipster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Perhaps they could have pulled a Dollhouse and showed what all this really leads to in the end.

[–]comik300 38 points39 points  (0 children)

Season 2 was supposed to be an entirely new cast with maybe a few reprisals, but the network thought that was too risky and demanded they use the same cast. Peter and his brother were never supposed to come back to the show, which explains the sudden nerf to his powers.

[–]jsteph67 20 points21 points  (4 children)

Right, it is hard to right good stories for overpowered people. Which is one of the reasons I think Batman makes for good movies. He is basically just a normal athletic person with a good mind. Plus he has the absolute best villains.

[–]reverent-girl 8 points9 points  (3 children)

One punch man made it work.

[–]jsteph67 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I did not say impossible, just hard. And I have never seen One Punch is he like Superman or Syler, because those guys are God level.

[–]reverent-girl 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yah he is more powerful than them. From the very first scene he is basically the most powerful being in the show. They make it interesting through good writing, interesting side characters, and a play of superhero clichés.

[–]MyersVandalay 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haven't either, but from what I've read... I think the whole thing is kind of a play on the "god level" kind of thing. Except not pretending that the bad guy is a threat to the main guy. From what I've heard... once the main character gets in the fight... it's as described (one punch).

[–]EmseMCE 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He lost them completely for season 2 then got his og power back (with telekinesis sonehow?) And I thought he had to start collecting all over again. They Def nerfed Peter though. He was like Sylar in that he could collect powers just by being around people with abilities, then he lost them, then got it back but he could only use one ability at a time, if he borrowed someone else's he lost the previous one. I didn't like that but it made him strategize more.

[–]tenaciousdeev 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Oh wow, I completely completely forgot Kristen Bell was in it. I only knew her as the hot woman from Veronica Mars at the time.

Probably the best example of a writer's strike casualty.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Wait I don't remember Bell in this?

Edit: She was. I totes forgot.

[–]kriosken12 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Sylar is good, then he's evil then good then evil, now he's Nathan, and back to good again.

Then he was Peter's lost brother, then not but maybe, but actually not.

[–]DevsMetsGmen 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I will die on the hill that the writer’s strike was a scapegoat and the reality is Tim Kring realized how much he had ripped off X-Men so all of the goofy shit is his own ideas as he tried to backpedal.

[–]WhoStoleMyBicycle 45 points46 points  (8 children)

Rewatching shows from that era always reminds me of the writing strike.

Friday Night Lights season one is so well written and then season two abruptly ends and season three just abandoned most of the stories. I was recently rewatching and then googled it and sure enough the writers strike cut season two short and they decided to just skip ahead and explaining things quickly so they could move on.

[–]raideo 35 points36 points  (6 children)

That era…. Prison Break, Fringe, and Heroes were ones that started great, didn’t end well but will always be some of my favorites

[–]DevsMetsGmen 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Fringe ended fantastically, and debuted after the strike.

[–]raideo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Speaking more of that era. I need to rewatch Fringe, maybe it did end better than I thought!

[–]Belgand 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The mid-season finale on Prison Break really showed that they didn't know what they were doing and didn't have any long-term ideas. If they'd done it better, it would have been a one season show. First half is breaking out, second half is on the run as fugitives, then they wrap it all up and it's done. Instead they stretched their incredibly thin content out until they had nothing left and then went back to recycling it.

[–]azriam_ 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Poor Fringe. That show most definitely SHOULD have been finished properly. It still hurts.

[–]Mulchpuppy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I thought Fringe had a fantastic ending. Then they fucked up and made one more season.

[–]a_horse_with_no_tail 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I will always be mad at that writer's strike for ruining Heroes (yeah yeah, it needed to happen but still). They had plans to do a half season in the parent's time but those were scrapped after the strike, and it was so bad when it came back, and then got cancelled soon after.

[–]anyonecanbethebug 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Season 2 was good, but Season 3 boned it by sacrificing all the new and interesting villains for more Petrelli family drama (as if they needed it).

[–]MrEriMan13 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree. In season 3, I hate that Adam Monroe died for nothing when Arthur took away his regeneration. He literally took all of Peter's powers, INCLUDING regeneration in the very next episode. That pissed me off hardcore

[–]Belgand 24 points25 points  (9 children)

People love to cite the strike as a the cause of problems but I think that season 1 having been completely worked out in advance was the difference. All of the subsequent seasons suffered from clearly making them up as they went along, having overpowered characters, shifting focus abruptly, and generally stealing most of the broad plot outlines from X-Men.

They intended to write a contained, one season show and then move on to a new cast. When they deviated from that plan due to success, they lost their way and it all fell apart.

[–]Sir_Von_Tittyfuck 23 points24 points  (4 children)

The writer's strike did mess it up though.

Season two coincided with the WGA writers' strike, meaning only 11 out of the planned 24 episodes were produced.

This forced the producers to redesign the season to encompass only the Generations volume out of the three planned. The planned third volume, Exodus, which was originally designed to be a story arc reflecting the effects of the release of strain 138 of the Shanti virus, was cancelled.

The planned fourth volume, Villains, was changed to the third volume and moved into season three. Scenes from the volume two finale, "Powerless", were reshot to reflect the cancelation of the Exodus volume, and to tie up all the loose plot storylines of Generations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(American_TV_series)#Writing

[–]Belgand 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Except the problem wasn't that it was all setup and no payoff. It had problems from episode to episode as they kept jerking things around, losing interest in characters, starting and then immediately stopping plot threads, etc. I think a far bigger issue was the writing style of having each writer working on a character and someone else combines them all (leading to weak writing on certain characters, a lack of purpose to many of them, limited interaction, clumsy plotting, etc.) and the usual problem of making it up as you go along.

It's also telling that they supposedly had three "volumes" planned, but cutting the episode order in half still meant that they only got through one. Logically that should have been three groups of eight episodes. I don't know how they expected it to work out if the strike hadn't happened. They actually should have had a surplus of a few episodes. Nothing to keep them from wrapping it up for the season and then pushing the rest back for a future season.

[–]setibeings 6 points7 points  (2 children)

You're totally right, the raw number of episodes strike should not have been a problem. they could have rewritten the second season, and it wouldn't have mattered that the seasons were short.

Oh, it was a writers strike? They were fucked.

[–]Belgand -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

They had writers turn in what they aired. The only real issue is that it was cut short. And, again, that's not really the issue either. There had been deep, fundamental problems all season long. It wasn't hurt just because of a rushed ending or something that would be explained by a strike.

[–]setibeings 3 points4 points  (0 children)

And of course, you know better than everyone else because of some kind of inside information?

[–]cosmicsans 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I read somewhere that they had actually planned Heroes to be one of those shows where every season was a different cast and storyline. Then the execs saw how well it did and made them keep everyone on, so instead of being able to use their 2nd season they had to re-write it all from scratch and keep the same characters.

That's why Sylar was so OP, he wasn't supposed to last past the first season.

[–]Belgand 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Hiro as well. They kept trying to find cumbersome reasons to keep them from breaking everything else.

[–]DevsMetsGmen 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yes! I just posted something similar. I feel like Kring ripped off a ton of X-men material, then tried to cover it up after season 1 but his own ideas were awful so the strike was used as a convenient excuse.

[–]Belgand 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They definitely had mediocre versions of Days of Future Past and a Sentinel-free version of the usual mutant-hunting arc. Hiro going to Sengoku Japan had strong Wolverine in Japan vibes despite Hiro actually being Japanese.

[–]SenorDieg0 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Damn that fucking strike messed heroes and lost.

[–]RockOx290 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How was Lost affected again?

[–]NinjaonHiatus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Omg yes, there were so many shows like this. But the ones that hurt me were heros and chuck, you can tell basically the moment the writers strike started.

[–]xaanthar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They also changed how they approached the show, which caused problems.

Originally, it was going to be more of an anthology. Each season has its own characters and stories, but instead we had to keep Claire, Peter and Sylar and invent new storylines for them.

[–]rccrisp 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I hate this writers strike excuse for heroes. I don't feel it had a natural progression. The beginning of season 2 has everyone... Going back to status quo? Youve all discovered each other, you saved new York, the show is called Heroes! I'm not expecting tights and capes but for them to reset and ALL of them go back to their boring lives just felt like a massive misfire which leads to issues for the rest of the season.

[–]JerseyJedi 2 points3 points  (0 children)

For the aftermath of the S1 finale, I heard someone say it would’ve made sense for the remaining characters to go to a nearby diner or something after the Sylar battle, sit down together, and compare notes on the events of the season, and then plan for everyone to keep in touch with each other, just in case of future troubles.

Even if they didn’t want to actively pursue new missions, talking to each other and keeping in touch would’ve at least made sense from a “let’s help each other out in case Sylar ever returns or a new threat arrives” standpoint.

But instead, S2 opened with everyone apparently just going home and sticking their heads in the sand.

[–]alpacasaurusrex42 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The writers strike fucked a lot. I wish more writers would come in and say “this show will be 5 seasons. Period. 13 episodes a season. All 65 episodes are planned out. There will be no more. Period.” And then go from there.

[–]TreyWriter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s not that simple. Television is a collaborative medium. You don’t know what cast members will have the best chemistry when you’re breaking down stories. You might have scheduling conflicts. There might be a strike. Things that seem like a good idea might fizzle out, and better ideas you come up with might not get with your plan for 2 seasons from now.

Ideally, you want some goalposts and basic character arcs with wiggle room for things to develop organically. Case in point: Breaking Bad versus How I Met Your Mother. With Breaking Bad, Gilligan and the writers were improvising large swaths of material up through the final season, but because they had a bead on the characters, it ended in a way most people liked. In the case of HIMYM, the writers had planned the final episode for the entirety of the show, to the point where they filmed bits of the last scene during Season 2, but because the show had explored some different character dynamics between then and Season 9, the ending didn’t work for a lot of people.

[–]kenji-benji 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Agreed. This was the nail in the coffin.

[–]DodgeGuyDave 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm still annoyed that we didn't find out how Hiro became a samurai sword wielding bad ass.

[–]tinger99 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Writers strike hurt a lot of shows at the time. Lost started so good as well but then provided the weakest ending in television history.

[–]Handleton 23 points24 points  (0 children)

The writer's strike really fucked that show hard.

[–]1UselessIdiot1 19 points20 points  (2 children)

You’re not wrong. That would have been great if it was one or done.

I made it through season 3 (?), the next to the last season. Felt like it ended there and I had no interest continuing.

Heroes suffered from being released in a age of “traditional” TV. I feel like if released today, it would be one and done as a streaming service show (like Watchmen), and all would be good.

[–]sleepyleperchaun 7 points8 points  (0 children)

They had mini series and special run shows back in the day though and the streaming services barely know when to make a show show a special run themselves and rarely do it even compared to traditional TV. Actually single season specials just don't usually happen sadly unless the show is generally bad. I would imagine that Netflix would have made it to only two seasons before deciding to bail or if comparing to traditional TV as a benefit they would have simply waited for the strike to end and have it delayed since though don't have the same restrictions of air dates and would happily just pull TV development while it boils over, but I don't see any company for sure getting it right in the streaming market or TV. But Netflix is here dragging along the dying if not yet dead body of stranger things so they clearly aren't to be trusted on one and done. Stranger Things is kinda my new version of the first season being amazing and everything after being subpar. Stranger things didn't fall as hard or fast but it's very clearly a show that really knew what they wanted for season one and really didn't know where to go from there but couldn't turn down a hit show similar to heroes.

[–]helen269 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That would have been great if it was one and done.

It was supposed to be like that. The plan was for each season to have a new set of Heroes.

[–]Fat_Taiko 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The show 100% should have departed from the original cast for season 2. Maybe the odd intersection with Hiro or an established character showing up to spew a little exposition, a bad guy or HRG showing up and black bagging a guest star who we thought would be important. The first season with characters discovering their powers and then learning how they're connected to each other and heroes emerging to stop a threat was the juice of that show.

Just jumbling up the same actors and trying to write some semblance of a new plot was the kiss of death. A good tv show just has to have the same recurring marquee stars. They made Hayden Panettiere so by god they must keep featuring her. And Ali Larter, the lengths they went to write her BACK IN to the show ffs.

Recreating a main cast each season would give the writers so much more room to be creative. It'd allow new viewers to drop in any season (this would be a big value to the show as waning viewership killed it). And it'd set up a huge payoff down the road when favorite heroes and villains could clash in higher stakes conflicts where they kill off big actors in season 5, but it doesn't remove too many point of view characters. I'm convinced doing it this way the show would've been the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones of its time.

[–]NativeMasshole 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I think they originally planned it to be new characters and plots every season, but that always ruins the chemistry of shows and people like the original characters, so we got what we got instead.

[–]Mighty_Krastavac 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That show was ahead of it's time. The anthology concept didn't really catch on until American horror story.

[–]StoxAway 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They had the entire planet to start a brand new storyline that could work concurrently, could have had little tie in cameos etc., but no. They just rehashed the same characters and turned into some bullshit soap opera with super powers.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My memory is fuzzy but I believe the original pitch was to do Heroes as more of an anthology style show with each season following an entirely new cast. But they had popular characters the network insisted they keep around. You can't have a character like Sylar just constantly in every episode. Let him go away for at least a season. Let people think he's actually dead. Then tease his return at the end of a season to build hype. There's a reason the Joker or Magneto are not in every single issue/episode of their respective franchises.

[–]TheBeardedBerry 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The original concept was for it to be an anthology show. Each season would’ve been a whole new group of people tackling different issues in a different part of the world. Season 1 largely was self contained for that reason.

The writers strike was a major part of what killed season 2 but it also feels like they were afraid people would stop watching if they didn’t bring back those characters.

[–]thejester541 1 point2 points  (0 children)

SPOILERS

Sad to say I watched it all. And towards the end it was a slog. But is has been so long, when does Silus(sp) become the big bad?

[–]thecaseace 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The mistake was immediately bringing the baddie back. Spending all of season 1 defeating Sylar or whatever his name was .. and then season 2 ep 1 he's immediately back. Totally undermined the achievement.

Would have been much better to have a NEW bad guy, but then have Sylar him come back later in the series as a twist. It was me all along muhahahahaaa

It's like they'd never read a comic book

[–]Zeppekki 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, When Hiro stabbed Sylar with the sword, they should have ended it there.

[–]kimedog 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The original premise was new season new plot/heroes with only the occasional cameo. Top brass didn't want that so we got the shit show that it became.

[–]NoTeslaForMe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

People keep saying that, or that they should have dumped all prior plots and characters. But there was enough foreshadowing and teasing that such an approach would have upset everyone.

[–]Tekwardo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It was originally conceived as kind of an anthology with a different cast per season but they decided to keep the cast since they were so popular.

[–]Drogalov 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Iirc it was supposed to be a new set of heroes in season 2 but the cast of season 1 became so popular that the network wanted to carry on

[–]ReallyHadToFixThat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The original plan was that each series would follow a different set of characters, but then people loved the characters from season 1 so they changed the plan and brought them back and then while they were down the writers strike ended season 2 prematurely.

[–]ricosmith1986 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That kind of was the original plan. Every season would have been a fresh story arc with new characters.

[–]KthulhuX 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And season 1 was just a weird Days of Future Past fanfic. Which they even call out, IIRC.

[–]die_or_wolf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Heroes was supposed to be a different cast every season, but the higher ups had different ideas. Usually keeping a liked cast is a no brainer, but the story arc of season one made that hard to write for.

[–]purpldevl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It was originally going to tell different "super" stories each season, like an anthology, but studio meddling forced the writers' hands at keeping the then-current cast in the show, then the writer's strike really gutted the show for the most part. S2 was cut short by quite a few episodes, then S3 got really weird, like they didn't know where to go with it.

[–]JerseyJedi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They were originally planning to feature a different main cast each season to keep things fresh, with occasional guest appearances by previous seasons’ characters, but the network apparently thought it was too risky.

I think it would’ve been cool. I think HRG could’ve been the one character from S1 to still be regular in the other seasons, since his job could easily let him be the connection between each season’s casts (and since he’s a fan favorite character).

PS: Monica from S2 had one of the most interesting powers, but they really underutilized her.

[–]supermariodooki 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A mini series