It's no secret that Heroes is faltering and has been faltering for some time.
There are a few theories out there as to why, including a sophomore slump, convoluted storylines, bad writers, bad writing, and cleaving too much to comic book tropes. That last theory is my own.
One of the main reasons I once found Heroes so appealing was its subtle -nonchalant even- approach to its subject matter.
In its first year, Heroes was a comic book trying not to be a comic book. It was almost as if creator Tim Kring sneaked that major element past NBC:
NBC suits: So, Heroes is a television show that's really a comic book, right?
Tim Kring: Comic book? Pshaw!
Heroes isn't a comic book. It's a television show about ordinary people who just happen to have extraordinary abilities.
But Heroes got away from that and jumped the shark with New York being devastated by a nuclear explosion. The writers then followed that up by making everyone lose their powers, only to have them suddenly regain them. Make up your minds, writers.
Anyway, since the new season has started, I've tried to watch Heroes, but I just haven't been able to get through an entire episode. Actually, I haven't been able to watch more than ten minutes, including tonight's episode.
I won't spoil much (since I didn't watch much), but the writing was very weak tonight. There was a particular scene where Hiro, who is running a Heroes-for-Hire organization, responds to a co-worker's call for help.
The co-worker, Tadashi, has humiliated himself at a party and is preparing to leap to his death off a building because he has lost face. Hiro arrives at the top of the building and seems somewhat confused; he believes he has prevented this scenario in an alternate timeline.
Tadashi assures Hiro that humiliation was not averted, says good bye, and leaps.
It's here I turn the channel. Why? Because at no time does Hiro attempt to convince Tadashi not to jump, that he has much to live for. You'd think that's why Tadashi places the call; he wants to be convinced not to take his life, he wants to be saved by a hero.
Now, while that would have been very cliched writing given the cliched situation, I think it would have made the scene at least somewhat believable. Instead, we get Tadashi as a plot device to further whatever storyline the writers are pursuing with Hiro.
For me, the entire scene was implausible and fell flat.
Unfortunately, however, this season of Heroes so far is just the same.