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Heroes: Brave New World

When this fourth season finale aired, we didn't know that it would be the end. Although I'll admit it did have a final bit that was fairly satisfying and would have sent the show in a new direction.

As I mentioned earlier, I reviewed every episode of Heroes up until "The Fifth Stage" but couldn't make myself continue. So in order to finish the run of reviews and satisfy my urge for completion, below are links to what I thought were the best reviews of the series finale.

Jennifer Thomas at Entertaining Ideas had a somewhat positive tone:
The Heroes season finale wasn't bad, it wasn't spectacularly good either, but the last few minutes were perfect. It needed to end with something major beyond taking down Samuel, and having Claire jump to her presumed death (to the news people's eyes) only to pop that arm back in the socket one more time was the best way they could have ended the season. Here's the problem -- if Heroes does get a fifth season (and if it doesn't, despite the To Be Continued, it didn't end on a massive cliffhanger) it could set up something very intriguing, but could they deliver on that? (Link deleted because unfortunately, this review is no longer on the web.)

Dan Owen at Dan's Media Digest wrote:
My expectations have deflated to such an extent since Heroes came back from hiatus that I was just relieved this finale, "Brave New World", slipped by innocuously without causing me to roll my eyes more than five times over the hour. There were even a few genuinely good moments that worked because they were logical and surprising, but unfortunately the majority of this finale was a rote conclusion that just left you feeling deflated that this -- this -- was the pay-off to nineteen hours of invested time. (For the entire review, click here.)

Matt Richenthal at TV Fanatic wrote:
For months on end, season four of Heroes has caused us nothing but anger and anguish. It's been an abysmal, illogical, slow-developing series of episodes. But we were finally able to laugh out loud at the conclusion of this week's episode, which revolved around Claire and HRG fighting. Yes, again. If that doesn't get your heart-racing for another season of this show, nothing will! (For the entire review, click here.)

Steve Heisler at the A.V. Club wrote:
I swear to God, the first line of this episode was, "Claire, help me get these rocks off." I can think of no better way to describe the ensuing 59 minutes and 50 seconds than that: Resolution via multiple deuxes ex machinas so random, it's almost as if they had no plan at all to begin with; stakes so low, it's almost like Heroes has made it its M.O. to never kill a major character (nor will they, at the very least, maim one); ideas so ill-conceived and poorly executed, you'd think the show was written by committee and the writers had given up--really been phonin' it in there for quite some time. (For the entire review, click here.)

Steve Heisler also interviewed Tim Kring right before the finale. Kring's description of how the show was written and filmed makes sense of a lot of complaints we all had about the later seasons of Heroes.

In conclusion (yes, I actually have a conclusion), I think Heroes is an object lesson on the importance of good writing. This show began with a terrific premise, several wonderful actors (one of whom was lucky enough and talented enough to jump to a major movie franchise) and a highly successful first season that gave them a huge fan base. They had it made.

And then they screwed it up. As I went to lengths to explain.

Instead of building on its strengths, the Heroes Powers That Be (and I'm not going to blame it all on Tim Kring) treated their characters with an ultimately fatal lack of respect. They didn't give characters that the fans cared about enough screen time, kept adding characters we cared nothing about, and refused to let any character actually die, even after killing them off. They constantly changed and revamped superpowers, and inserted multiple timelines that muddied up the progression of the story. Heroes became difficult to follow and a chore to review. When I enjoy a show enough to want to review it I'm rarely sorry, and I usually have no trouble hanging in until the end. Heroes was one of the few shows that I was sorry I ever started reviewing, and I felt such relief after finally dropping it like a ton of bricks.

I hope that aspiring show runners learn from the mistakes that this show made. But I doubt that they will.

Over and out,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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