Fall 2015 Pilot Reviews: Heroes Reborn

Show: Heroes Reborn

Airs: Thursdays on NBC at 8 p.m. EST

Do I Want to Watch More: This was never really a question. I’m watching more.

I love the original show, flaws and all. The cast remains one of my favorites and it was the show that got me back into fandom. It was by no means perfect – there was a lot that didn’t make any sense and the characterizations could be all over the place. But it’s my show and I love it.

When this reboot was announced, I said that I’d be in as long as someone from the original cast came back. I was just expecting guest stars, which would have been enough for me, but the announcement that Jack Coleman would be returning as a main character got me even more excited for the show.

With all that in mind, this was the most fun I had watching a new show all week. It’s not completely new, the music cues and the font/unusual surfaces they use to announce where and when we are remain largely the same. But as the promos explored, Heroes Reborn takes place in a very different world than Heroes did, even the one they set up in Five Years Gone (though there were some similarities).

Much of the fun revolved around two different sets of characters. First, Tommy and Emily are adorable and charming. As many have pointed out, they are acting as an inversion of Claire and Zach’s dynamic in season 1 of the original show. Fortunately for them (and me), that was one of my favorite storylines in the original and Robbie Kay and Gatlin have some of the most natural chemistry so far on the show. And as this is a show that requires lots of chemistry between the actors to work properly, that bodes well for their future.

Second, I’m far more intrigued by whatever Noah and Quentin are trying to uncover in the Renautus conspiracy than whatever the black hole is that seems to be threatening humanity. There is no doubt that Coleman is a compelling actor. Just ask any Castle fan who’s gotten to enjoy him recently as Senator Bracken. He is so skilled at playing the shady, desperate man with all the problems that particular combination of traits comes with and it was very rewarding to see him put on his horn-rimmed glasses again. I also like Quentin. He’s Noah’s opposite in many ways. He’s terrible at the shadiness and lacks the grit required to investigate a large conspiracy but he’s going to do it anyway. I’ll look forward to seeing how their differing personalities come together and clash in future episodes.

For a fan of the original Heroes, I think this will be a fun show. Thirteen episodes is probably the right length for it and if it were to continue, the anthology model is always what Tim Kring had in mind. We’re basically watching the first season again, with many characters filling in roles we’re already familiar with and eventually working toward them all coming together to save the world. So that is why I’m in. That is what I love about this show. Not the superpowers (which as always, are a little weird), not the villains, but the way these characters who have been largely isolated and feel alone come together to save the way. It’s in the way they find their connections to each other and the impact that makes on them that made the season one finale so fantastic in my mind and if they want to try to remake that, I will be in for as many seasons as they give us.

I’m less convinced that this is a show that will be appealing to new fans so if you watched this and didn’t watch the original, I want to hear your thoughts!

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3 thoughts on “Fall 2015 Pilot Reviews: Heroes Reborn

  1. So hello from your never watched the original.

    It was a show I always meant to watch and didn’t. And then when I had heard it lost its way I never prioritized it. My intention this summer to get to it before the premiere this week was also a quest of ambition I didn’t fulfill. So here I am your counterpoint.

    I will say first impression. I am intrigued and I want to like it, but I am not sure I do. Part of that is because there was a lot of previous connections/references to the original series that while it was evident it was from the past I didn’t understand because I didn’t have context. It didn’t break the show for me, but it was like being in a conversation that kept getting sprinkled with inside jokes that I wasn’t a part of.

    That said, what worked was the actors. As a Castle, Once Upon a Time and Chuck fan I didn’t have any doubts about what would anchor this show was its acting and on that front the show delivered in spades. I agree wholeheartedly what you said about Robbie Kay and his dynamic with Gatlin. They were interesting and his internal conflict surrounding his power had me a jump. I am particularly intrigued by his dynamic and interaction with Zach Levi’s character, who I thought really smartly took me from revenge to conflicted over the course of the 2 hours. I get his character. I like that he is more morose than menacing and I am really interested in how this sense of conscience that Kay’s character has presented plays out.

    I am with you, the giant hole in the Northern Lights is not interesting to me. I liken it to LOST and the smoke monster. The mysteriousness of the island became less and less important to what I valued about the show. For now at least, so is the vortex. I also found some of the jump around jarring. It was a lot to gather and adapt to for someone coming into it without prior knowledge and some transitions worked better than others. The Evermore segments felt particularly removed from the rest of the 2 hours. It was like watching a parallel show. The ending reveal was terrific though and was one of the main twists that will bring me back next week.

    1. I loved reading your reaction to the episodes. I was afraid there were a few too many callbacks to the original to capture new fans and all the jumping around between characters, locations, and times can easily be jarring and kind of off-putting, especially at this stage. It asks you to care about a lot of people and relationships at once and doesn’t always do a great job of selling them to you in connection with the greater story.

      Since I never mentioned him in my review, I completely agree with your thoughts about Zach Levi. His interactions with Kay are so interesting to me. He’s less convicted in the belief that what he’s doing is right and more acting out of sadness and a lack of other direction and it makes him a stronger character for it.

      I’m really glad the ending reveal was just as effective for you. I loved it and didn’t see it coming but once again, I was afraid that my reaction was due to the fact I really liked the character and not anything tied to the current show.

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