The Racialicious Roundtable: R.I.P. Heroes

Hosted By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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The show has lost its’ direction, its’ heart, and most damningly of all, it’s lost its’ point.
- May 4th, 2009

Ever wanted to mourn something but just couldn’t? That’s about how I felt Friday afternoon, when the word got out: Goodbye, Heroes.

Really, nobody should’ve been surprised. Not to wish anybody out of a job, but really this show should’ve been canned after the conclusion to Volume Three, when its’ last really intriguing idea – dueling Companies – sputtered to a halt after a year when … well, when Mohinder almost turned into The Fly. That about sums it up. And it’s worth noting that we ended our reviews and Roundtables for this show in the middle of last season because readers were asking us to ditch it for FlashForward – which is a whole other matter, one we’ll discuss on Thursday. For now, though, we gather the ‘Table again, not to praise Tim Kring, but to bury a vision that started out with a lot of promise, only to see it buried in waves of privilege and peroxide.

Your first reaction to the news?
Andrea: “Oh.” Nothing more, nothing less. Because there was nothing left to the show…or I reached the last stage of mourning over it. I accepted that it was crap by Tim Kring’s design.
Mahsino: Well they’ve been threatening to cancel it for a while now, so my reaction was “Finally”.
jen*: It’s about time. That and wondering what ZQ will be doing next. (Star Trek 2 isn’t coming out fast enough for me.)
Diana: Meh. Whatever.

futurehiro1Which was the jump-the-shark/all-downhill moment for you?
Andrea: The show’s been a blur of Grand Canyon-jumping as soon as the second season started. With some triple-jump action over Mt. Everest when they kept killing off/letting go of characters of color, which I felt started in earnest in the second season.
Mahsino: I think the most wtf point was the fact that Peter never went back and saved Caitlin from that apocalyptic future. The whole season was based on him trying to rescue this girl he was “in love” with and by the end we were supposed to forget all about her. Also, once I started to realize that future-Hiro was never going to happen.
jen*: I second the future-Hiro realization. But I think the moment they lost me was when they killed D.L. I never could get over that. I’ve just been along for the ride ever since.
Diana: For me it was when they turned Sendhil into a bug. That was so not sexy and totally unnecessary.

What, if anything, could have saved this show?
Andrea: Tim Kring could have been an adult and apologized when the fans (especially the fans of color) pointed out that the show was climbing in the handbasket when it jainked on the storylines. Instead Kring wanted to blame the fans for setting the standard so high for his creative team. What sealed the show’s fate, IMO, was when fans of color (IIRC) stated the characters of color were disappearing, Kring’s blithe response that the show was “about the Bennetts and the Petrellis” anyway…what’s that adage about karma being a bitch?
Mahsino: If they had gone back to what made it so successful: a diverse cast of everyday heroes with extraordinary abilities. I think they were supposed to change out the characters seasonally, and that could’ve avoided the whole Benetrelli fiasco.
jen*: If they’d cancelled it at the end of last season. Then, at least we’d have fonder memories. This year it seemed they wanted to shoot, maim, and torture the shark, just to make sure we got the point. (I mean, seriously, carnies and sorority girls? did they forget what the show was about?)
Diana: John Cho. But seriously, there was nothing that could have saved it once they lost the mojo that made the first season so compelling. I think if they focused on the stories as foreshadowed during the first season, rather than going on so many tangents, the show would have been much better.
Arturo: I’ve always said that, if this show really wanted to ape X-Men stories, it really should’ve just gone for it after the end of the first season. You had all the characters lined up in the same site, with similar-enough motivations, to really pursue the story of them trying to better the world around them. Instead, every year they ended up in the same pissing matches for the first 12 episodes before finally coming to some semblance of competence.

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Parallels between this show and FlashForward?
Andrea: Besides the questionable writing, which led to a lot of boring episodes, both shows couldn’t quite grasp the concept of locale. When both shows wanted to convey the action was outside of the US, they went for some of the most stereotyped ideas about various countries: the power-hungry superstitious Somalians (FF) and Haitians (Heroes); the homogenous, uncreative Japanese (FF); lazy costuming to signify characters being in China (FF); oh –and let’s not forget the jangling sounds of “La Cucuracha” blowing from the car horn in Mexico (Heroes).
Mahsino: Both have main characters (Peter and Mark) that I couldn’t really give a hoot about.
jen*: Hmm. Echoing Andrea’s comment about the writing, the big season opener, snooze-fest, and then big season finale path that FF is on is quite Heroes-esque. Maybe network patience ran more thinly for FF because their initial season didn’t grab people the way the beginning of Heroes did.
Diana: FF did not hit its groove quickly enough and Heroes did not maintain its flow. Both shows’ writers needed to listen more to their fan base which can get fickle with a quickness.

ando1Open Mic!
Mahsino: So my brother still watched it, and from what he told me, they ended at a reasonable place, so good for them, I guess.
Andrea: At least Adrian Pasdar had a good run. And James Kyson Lee got some love … though, from what I understand from the director of Akira’s Hip Hop Shop, he got more Racialicious lurve from starring as Akira than as Ando. (Shirtlessness help…just saying.) And I discovered that modern-day Adonis, Sendhil Ramamurthy. Again…shirtlessness helps.
jen*: I loved this show. I did. And I was very forgiving for a long time – even after D.L. But when the powers that be don’t care about fan opinions, the end of the road is on the way. I’m not sad to see it go, although I would’ve liked to see a finale where Sylar actually blew up the world or something cool like that. Oooohhhh – even better, if that vortex dude came back from the parallel universe I assume he sucked people (and himself) into, and brought back alterna-world versions of past heroes that have bit the dust or otherwise just been dropped from conversation [like Molly, or Monica] and everybody came together to wipe out that one horrible carny-dude … and Danko if he’s not dead. Shirtless Mohinder could help.
Diana: Whatever. I’m glad it’s over. Now James and Sendhil are free to be shirtless elsewhere.