“Heroes” (2006)

'Heroes' O.k., it’s been on for 2 months and I was initially non-plussed when I saw a preview back at the end of August.

As ‘Unbreakable:The Series’, I was sure it would be cancelled before October, but it’s managed to hold on, and gain my attention, in part owing to my brother retuning from Europe and taking an immediate interest.

Personally, I’m not invested in the drug-addicted (cliché) artist, though his dealer is a hottie. And the A.D.A.-turned-politician (played by Adrian Pasdar) is as much a non-entity as is his brother, the lover of the art-dealing hottie. OTOH, what’s drawn me into the show are a number of tertiary characters — specifically Charlie, the Odessa TX waitress that Hiro time-travels 6 months into the past to try to save from Sylar the Hero killer. And Claire the cheerleader daughter of the would-be bad guy with the horn-rimmed glasses calling the shots for all of the mind-controlling hero-types.

As a lifelong comic book reader my problem with these kinds of shows is often about tone: I hated Unbreakable and I’m not fond of ‘Smallville’ or Spider-Man and as far as I’m concerned X-Men 2 was mostly good, but the franchise broke as soon as Bryan Singer left to do Superman Returns .

AFAIC, the only really good comics-to-screen adaptation was Blade , and that franchise quickly began to stink as soon as Stephen Norrington left to go get hammered by Tom Rothman and Sean Connery over at Fox, when he was hired to direct the career-ending League of Extraordinary Gentlemen .

That said, ‘Heroes’ has gotten mixed reviews from poles as distant as Nerve.com and the Ain’t It Cool.com Talkbacks . At Nerve, Will Doig seems to have a problem with the show’s self-conscious importance, so much like Armageddon or something like that. But the surprising accumen of some of Aint-It-Cool Talkbackers nails the show for its pacing and the uneven performances of the leads.

It’s had a strong first season and now has a guaranteed pick-up for 2007. Let’s see if it remains as strong during its second season.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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