I don’t know who – if anyone – asked for a Heroes reboot, and still, NBC has given us Heroes Reborn. There was no way the new miniseries could live up to the spectacle that was Heroes’ first season, but the first two episodes (they aired on the same night) weren’t as bad as the woeful third and fourth seasons. After Heroes “saved the cheerleader, saved the world” – that’s a play on the first season’s tagline – its quality deteriorated with each subsequent season. So you could rate Heroes Reborn by how it falls on the Heroes grading scale: it’s better than the second season and therefore watchable.
I have a confession to make. I stopped watching Heroes after the first few episodes of season three, but once the show made it to Netflix, I binged on the remaining episodes. Even though the fourth season was lacking in many areas, it was interesting and I liked how the final show ended: Claire exposed the existence of supers to the world. Those final two minutes of Heroes made me a little curious about what would – or could – happen next. Heroes Reborn fast forwards the story to a world fully aware of evolved humans.
“Brave New World” and “Odessa,” the two episodes of Heroes Reborn that debuted on the September 24th, introduced us to a heap of characters. Both episodes felt rushed when compared to the original series’ first season. That could be because many characters in the first series were related to one another and they had a lot of scenes together. As far as I can tell through the first two episodes, most of Heroes Reborn’s characters don’t have the same connective tissue, so we’re left with several disparate story threads.
I can’t remember when we were first introduced to the tagline, “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” but it felt like that line was uttered within the first four episodes of Heroes’ first season. Granted, we aren’t to the fourth episode of Heroes Reborn but Heroes’ first season lasted for 20 episodes, while Heroes Reborn is a 13 episode miniseries and we only caught a glimpse of the over-arching threat that should bind the heroes together. I won’t spoil it – because I don’t know enough about it to spoil it – but the big threat looks like the eye of Sauron.
In fact, we saw so little of this threat and the hero protecting the world from it that when I saw a promo picture of the cast, I didn’t recognize the blonde girl. It took me a minute to remember that she’s the one keeping an eye on the eye of Sauron. Speaking of the cast, the new cast works well enough. Heroes Reborn didn’t include too many members of the original cast – Jack Coleman as Noah Bennet and Jimmy Jean-Louis as The Haitian are the only main cast member we saw in the first two episodes – but they rehashed many of the same character types. Tommy is the new Claire. Miko is the new Hiro. Molly returns but with a new actress, Francesca Eastwood, portraying her. The only characters I found new were the two grieving parents/bounty hunters Luke and Joanne Collins, played by Zachary Levi and Judith Shekoni, and the Mexican superhero who wears a luchador mask.
The first two episodes of Heroes Reborn were good but they didn’t blow me away like the first season of Heroes. But then again, I didn’t expect Heroes Reborn to be as good as the first season of Heroes. I’m concerned that we don’t know enough about the main narrative with only 11 episodes remaining. Heroes Reborn better hit the gas on bringing these characters together soon. A catchy slogan wouldn’t hurt either.
The first two episodes of Heroes Reborn weren’t the first two episodes of the original Heroes, but “Brave New World” and “Odessa” weren’t as bad as Heroes seasons 2-4 either. There’s enough to the first two episodes to keep me watching for a while.