Stars: Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Henry Zebrowski, Toru Uchikado, Clé Bennett, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Rya Kihlstedt, Gatlin Green, Judith Shekoni | Created by Tim Kring
It seems 2015/2016 shall be marked as the TV season that saw the resurgence of old shows reborn in mini-series form (or “event series” as the US networks so desperately want us to call them). Its also the year that these returning shows, The X-Files and Heroes Reborn, did nothing but disappoint the fans who loved the shows and hoped – beyond all hope it turns out – that these new iterations would recapture what made the original series so good.
Heroes Reborn comes from original series creator Tim Kring (Heroes, Touch, Daybreak) and begins a year ago, in Odessa, Texas after a terrorist attack leaves the city decimated. Those with extraordinary abilities are blamed for this tragic event forcing them into hiding or on the run from those with evil motives. For better or for worse, some are fated to cross paths with the original heroes from the past, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Yet, together, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world and mankind…
Sounds good doesnt it? Yeah, don’t get too excited.
Ultimately, and to put it the bluntest and most succinct way possible. Heroes Reborn makes EXACT SAME MISTAKES that the original series of Heroes did. TIm Kring and co. have seemingly learned absolutely nothing from the backlash against the original shows latter seasons. This new iteration does, at first, feel like a return to the awesomeness of the first season of Heroes but by mid-way through this 13-episode series we’re back in familiar territory – rehashing the same ideas and – more importantly – the same PROBLEMS, that plagued the NBC series post-writers strike… In so much that the story is dragged out to cringe-inducing length, with characters thrown into the mix at random and then dropped once their particular “use” is over, without any satisfactory conclusion to their stories; and yes, that’s even AFTER reading the tie-in comics that (try to) expand on the shows characters. Though to be fair, there’s no real satisfactory conclusion to this ENTIRE mini-series!
The core story – of the two children of Claire Bennett – is sound and does hold your interest, as does the character arc of burgeoning “hero” Luke Collins (Zachary Levi); it’s just the rest of Heroes Reborn falls incredibly flat. Worst of all, the part of the mini-series that revolves around returning characters, including Matt Parkman – which besides being ultimately uneccessary, actually makes a mockery of the characters development on the original NBC series – Mohinder Suresh and The Haitian, are only used to tie this version of Heroes back to the old one rather than providing any essential character or plot development. Even Hiro, whose predicament is at the centre of a LOT of the early episodes of this series, is, when alls said and done, little more than an extended cameo.
At least there’s a benefit to watching Heroes Reborn on DVD or Blu-ray – you can skip through the risible portions of the show, perhaps even the odd episode, and there’s not the huge break 10 episodes in which I think killed any momentum the series was, slowly, building.
If you liked (to some extent) and watched all four seasons of Heroes, as I did, and you’re willing to feel frustrated once again, then give Heroes Reborn a watch. Otherwise it’s safe to avoid this redux.
Heroes Reborn is available on VOD now, the series is released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 9th.