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Heroes: Season 2 Review

Image for Heroes: Season 2

Why we’re holding out for next season

★★★★★

The zeitgeist has always been a double-edged sword. As glorious as it is to be the obsession du jour, it only takes a minor misstep to tumble into ill-favour - as Lost briefly discovered. But now Lost is enjoying a renaissance, while its erstwhile successor, Heroes, is left standing. Tim Kring’s superhero saga was lavished with praise on its debut.

The series - a stylish, tights-free tale about superheroes in America - captured the public imagination and proved compulsive viewing. Even the first season had its ups and downs, though. Peaking halfway with the excellent future-set episode, Heroes ended with a so-so finale. The writers should have taken pains to nail the second season, but they failed. Beginning four months on, we pick up with the heroes having gone their separate ways - irritating given that it took an entire season to bring them together. The disparate narratives are entertaining, but wholly fail to capture the original story’s energy. Instead they range from the mundane to the ridiculous as Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) wallows in guilt, Micah (Noah Gray Cabey) goes to live with his aunt and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) becomes embroiled in a wearisome amnesia scenario involving Irish gangsters. The greatest indignity is saved for Hiro (Masi Oka), who slips from star to afterthought, stuck in feudal Japan trudging through a protracted subplot that should have been wrapped up in a couple of episodes.

The promise of a far greater evil, so tantalisingly hinted at in last year’s climax, is criminally wasted on the least threatening villain imaginable and, crushingly, the series’ second baddie proves equally inert. The lion’s share of glowering duties are thus left to a freshly de-powered Sylar, who remains a series high-point despite spending most of the year off filming Star Trek.

Don’t get us wrong, the problem isn’t that Heroes’ sophomore effort is bad - far from it, this remains one of the better genre shows on television - but that it all feels so lazy. Season 2 should have taken this series to new heights; instead it drifts along complacently on a current of its own hype. Kring has publicly acknowledged the season’s failings, which is encouraging. In the meantime, this 11-episode blip (cut short by the writers’ strike) is sufficient to keep fans amused until the show hopefully returns to form for what is promised to be a new and improved third season.

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