Well, it was announced this week that Heroes is officially canceled. This doesn’t come as any surprise, considering how the show’s performance has steadily declined over the last few seasons, along with the quality of the show in general. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it was good that NBC finally put it out of its misery, but this is where I disagree. Yes, Heroes fell a long way since its amazing first season, but I’ve always believed it would just take one good kick to get it back on track.
Why? Because for all its flaws, Heroes has a great core concept, and a nice assortment of interesting characters. And although some of them got completely lost in the shuffle last season (Mohinder) and others spent the season spinning in circles accomplishing nothing (pretty much everyone except Noah), what makes the characters cool is still there: Peter has an unmatched sense of duty, Hiro longs to be a real hero, and Sylar is just plain cool.
I guess I never really felt the show had lost its edge until the last season. While lots of people lost faith in the show after season one, I actually liked seasons two and three for the most part (though I still wish they hadn’t stripped Peter of all his powers.) They weren’t as strong as the first and they certainly had their lulls, but I still enjoyed them. But season four? I think I continued to watch out of obligation to a show I’d become attached to, hoping it would get better.
The problem wasn’t necessarily the general arc of the season. The idea of Samuel and the carnival was really cool and had potential. The real issue was with the characters themselves. They spent six episodes or more accomplishing tasks which should have taken one or two. In essence, season four was the season of tail chasing. Hiro, Parkman, and Claire somehow spent the entire season running in circles. While each had things that needed to be done, it took them so long I’d sometimes forget if the episode I was watching was actually a rerun. Claire also suffered the most from unclear motivations for her actions. She seemed to turn on a dime and make rash decisions for no apparent reason. It got really annoying after a while.
I really hope there ends up being some kind of wrap up to the show, because the way the series ended isn’t a fitting conclusion. Maybe the idea is there (Claire revealing their existence to the world, redemption for Sylar, closure for Hiro), but too many characters didn’t have a solid wrap up (hell, Mohinder wasn’t even in the finale.) Again, all the elements are there for them to do something great, they just have to grab it by the horns and do it. That’s why a feature film or TV movie would be ideal. They would have a set amount of time to wrap everything up, which would eliminate the wheel spinning that plagued season four. They could focus on a solid story that gives a good, cathartic end to the series and its characters. Considering how strong the show was when it started, that’s something it deserves.