Return of the Heroes in “Heroes Reborn”

Throughout the year, I’ve been making the effort to explore the methods of storytelling beyond the text found in books. Naturally, television and movies are other- and more often than not, more popular- avenues of doing so, which is why I take the time to explore each story of either medium, and always at a significant time in its history (i.e. series premiere, series finale, film release, anniversary of a release, etc.). Previously, I shared my thoughts about Disney movies and about four of them that I saw over the course of four weeks as part of the Disney Screen program. Today, I return to the television front as I zoom on a mini-series that premiered back on Thursday evening: “Heroes Reborn.”

There are people on this earth who are born with special powers, and for the longest time, that was something that was completely secret from the general public. However, several years after a girl named Claire Bennett exposed her ability before a group of reporters, everyone knows about these evolved humans (or Evos as they’re called) and after a terrorist attack that happened over a year before, they are frowned upon as the ones responsible for it happening. Since then, Evos have either gone into hiding, or would at least hide their powers. But now an opportunity is arising; to fight back against the government and save the world.

“Heroes Reborn” is a spin-off of the hit series, “Heroes;” which aired from 2006 to 2010. Similar to the mini-series, it followed a number of characters in multiple yet interconnected story lines about the powers that they hone and how it effects their lives- for better or for worst.

Both series are the creations of TV screenwriter Tim Kring; a man whom I have mentioned in the past as one of my influences when writing A Moment’s Worth. While I had heard of “Heroes” at the time of its hype, I never got into it then, for I have a tendency to overlook anything that is really hyped up. However, two years ago, after I got into another show of his creation called “Touch,” I took a look at “Heroes” more carefully, examining its basic synopsis, and decided to give it a try. Needless to say I was hooked… although like most people who’ve seen the series, sadly only to a certain extent.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first season; seeing these wide range of characters discover their abilities and develop them and how their story lines all came together. But from the second season to the show’s finale at the end of its fourth season, it made several mistakes that heavily impacted its reputation. One of them is that they were introducing too many characters at once. While the cast was already unusually large- having the third largest cast for a TV series at the time- along with these multiple story lines, to toss more into the mix became more confusing. Another thing is that the show also had a tendency for killing off characters; often really brutally as well as unnecessarily. Above all else, the show’s biggest flaw of all is that as it progressed, it focused less on the characters honing their abilities and more about the corrupt government and secret organizations who were out to get them.

Naturally from the synopsis that I gave earlier for “Heroes Reborn,” the government going after the Evos is more or less continued in the aftermath of their exposure by Claire. However, the fact that we are dealing with a whole new- and slightly smaller- group of characters who are not only learning to hone their abilities but also are rising up against the government, I have hope that the mini-series will bring back the thrill of something special that the first season of the original series had.

Conceptually the general story is fascinating; the story of a group of people who come together out of a shared experience; of obtaining special abilities. While we live in a time now where superheroes are all the rage, the “Heroes” story feels much more organic and real in terms of where these characters are coming from. Some of them are high school students, some of them work in offices, there’s a minor character in “Heroes Reborn” who serves as a priest, and more. It’s because these people are so ordinary in nature that it almost makes it feel as if what they experience could happen to you. That’s maybe my favorite part of it all, regarding both the original series and the mini-series. If you had the opportunity- whether given or makeshift- to become extraordinary, wouldn’t you want to take it?

“It doesn’t matter how ordinary you think you are or how much of a screw up you’ve think you’ve been, we have the potential to be heroes.”

-Carlos Gutierrez, “Brave New World,” “Heroes Reborn”


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