Heroes is Finally Canceled, But Does Anyone Care?


I suppose it was inevitable, but NBC has finally canceled Heroes.  After a spectacular and engaging first season, the show never managed to regain the glory that made it so great in the first place.  Instead, storylines were regurgitated, inconsistencies popped up seemingly every new episode, some characters never seemed to change or learn from their experiences, and some characters went through so many ridiculous changes that it was impossible to keep track of who the hell they even were to begin with.  I’m guessing many people will be happy Heroes is canceled, arguing that it’s about time the show was put out of its misery.  I’m not upset about it by any means, but I try to remember Heroes as it was during Season One and not as the frustrating mess it became.  That’s a lot easier said than done.


I don’t think there are too many people who would argue that the first season of Heroes wasn’t any good.  Sure, much of it was stolen from derivative of X-Men, but this was a prime time television show on a major network, not a show specifically tailored for comic book fans.  The show took its time, never revealing too much at once, and slowly introduced us to different, dynamic characters whose paths would cross under the most unreal circumstances.  Each episode showed just a tad bit more of the big picture and slowly but surely, the phrase “save the cheerleader, save the world” began to have some meaning.  Season One of Heroes was a carefully crafted, well-written, thoughtful show, and I actually looked forward to Monday nights because of it.

Back during Season One, I actually cared about Claire’s relationship with Noah (especially since it was unclear just what Noah’s motivations were).  I cared about Hiro and Ando’s friendship and Hiro’s quest to fulfill his destiny and become a real hero.  I cared about the Petrelli family and their relationship with one another.  And of course, I cared about the mysterious Sylar and why corpses were found with the top of their heads missing.


If Sylar was Season One’s main villain, then surely, Peter Petrelli was its main hero.  And really, pitting these two characters against one another was quite clever on the part of the writers.  On one hand, there’s Peter – an empathetic guy who works with terminally ill patients.  Peter was able to absorb the abilities of others because he was able to empathize with them and discover for himself the feelings and emotions each on of these people was experiencing.  Peter was always reluctant to use his power, and his selflessness seemingly had no limits.  Sylar was the opposite of Peter in almost every way.  He was unable to empathize with anyone and his self-centered thirst for power made him virtually incapable of doing so.  Like Peter, Sylar could obtain the abilities of others, but Sylar’s method was through intuition – a cold, calculated method that allowed Sylar to break down any system, no matter how complex, to its smallest components and see how everything worked.  There was no room for feelings, no room for sympathy – just the cold, hard facts.  It seemed as if these polar opposites would be battling for eternity, but of course, that wasn’t the case.

There’s a part of me that wishes Heroes had ended after the first season.  The season as a whole was perfect, with episodes such as “Company Man” and “Five Years Gone” standing out as particularly spectacular.  There were several genuinely clever moments, too, like when Noah “thought out” an escape plan for Parkman to “hear” when the two of them were imprisoned in separate rooms.  But as we all know, the following seasons were huge disappointments, and none of them came close to recapturing the allure of the first.


In Season Two, I liked the idea of Peter getting his mind wiped by the Haitian immediately following the events at the end of Season One, and it was cool to see Hiro travel back to feudal Japan.  Many of the episodes felt rushed, however, and there is no hole more glaring than Peter’s girlfriend Kaitlin being trapped in the future and then never alluded to again.  Another problem was that Hiro, despite his adventures in the past, never really changed as a character.  Since day one, he’s been focused on being a real hero and has had a child-like quality about him.  That’s all well and good, but by the time Heroes ended…well, Hiro was focused on being a real hero and had a child-like quality about him.  It’s a shame we were teased with the bad ass samurai from the future, because Hiro never approached anything resembling that character.  In fact, at one point he actually became a ten-year-old version of himself, which really wasn’t all that different from the Hiro we were used to.

Like Hiro, Claire never changed as a character, either, and her stupidity and failure to learn anything from Noah having to bail her out every other episode only added to the frustration I felt about Heroes.  Giant battles took a back seat to Claire and whatever dorky boyfriend (or girl) she was dating.  I don’t have a problem with examining what Claire was doing with her life, but at least make it relevant to the show’s big picture.

The one character who did change quite a bit – Sylar – was neutered and re-written so many times that it became a waste of time trying to piece together his past.  Sylar started out as a sociopathic killer,fell in live with Elle, killed Elle, became an empath, had mommy issues, had daddy issues, was a Petrelli brother, was not a Petrelli brother, turned villainous once again, and finally repented for all he had done, only to be accepted by the people he hunted and tried to kill over the years.  Simply amazing.  The most interesting character on the entire show was skewered and prodded so many times that he became a concoction of inconsistencies.  Making him and anti-hero never worked, but it sure as hell didn’t stop the writers from trying.


If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that I reviewed each episode of Heroes not too long ago.  I actually thought this past season was the best since Season One – especially with the addition of Robert Knepper to the cast – but it all fell apart with Sylar coming to save the day.  Overall, it wasn’t terrible – some episodes were pretty good – but it also made me realize that this was the best the show was ever going to be again.  Compared to the Arthur Petrelli disaster and Sylar’s roadtrip with Maya, it was great, but again, it didn’t come close to Season One.  So why watch?  I’m guessing that the few fans that remained, including myself, watched not to see what would happen next, but with hope that the show could get back on track and recreate the magic of Season One.  Most people realized that wasn’t going to happen about two seasons ago, but not me.  Oh well.

Very rarely have I enjoyed and looked forward to a television show as much as I did for the first season of Heroes.  It’s just a shame that viewership and ratings aside, the show would have been better off ending a few years ago.  I never enjoyed bashing the show during later seasons; it was frustration at lost potential and not the desire to have some laughs at the expense of a train wreck.  With Heroes officially being canceled, I’d like to remember the show for the greatness of Season One.  I just don’t know that it’s possible.


  1. Rob May 17, 2010
  2. Madison May 17, 2010
  3. Sam May 17, 2010
  4. Kristoph May 17, 2010
  5. sarah May 17, 2010
  6. Dave May 17, 2010
  7. Rob May 17, 2010
  8. Laura May 17, 2010
  9. Ugo Strange May 17, 2010
  10. Inviktus May 18, 2010
  11. Veritas May 18, 2010

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