Eric S is one of the new writers on the site. He’s a big fan of TV and has done some crazy things that I frown upon heavily like sending nuts to poor hapless assistants at CBS and making their week horrible as they try and figure out what to do with the nuts. As long as he didn’t send them blood the next season for MOONLIGHT… anyway he has an interesting take on HEROES, because he has never watched it. He has the POV of someone on the outside looking in. This is an important POV, one that NBC should be paying a lot of attention to. So I’m posting this article with a forward to explain why you’re seeing it. Anyway enjoy:
Heroes: From the Outside Looking In. By Eric S.
“Heroes” epitomizes everything that is wrong with NBC. A strong statement, an awful lot is wrong with NBC, but this show is symbolic of it all. To be fair, I have not seen a single episode of “Heroes,” so my criticism isn’t of the show itself, but rather is how I view the situation from the outside looking in. The show did not make it onto
my personal DVR for its freshman season, too much else to watch, too little time. The way I looked at it, if it did well, maybe I would pick up the DVDs and catch up before season two. I meant well, but I was busy that summer bombarding CBS with nuts (yeah, I am one of them.) There would still be time to catch up later, especially if the writer’s strike occurred and I needed filler programming. I still neglected to catch up on the show because from what I heard from friends who were watching the show was that they were losing interest through season two, a discouraging thing for a potential viewer to hear. Besides that, I still had “Jericho” and now “Moonlight” to worry about! The biggest “Heroes” faced when it came to attracting me, quite frankly, was its network.
I used to watch NBC a lot, and just like everyone else. I also watched them squander the success of “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “Frasier,” “ER,” etc. as they padded their schedule with forgettable filler in the years prior. So when those shows began to exit the schedule and the network began to collapse under the weight of all of the holes they were left with, I turned to the channel and didn’t come back. My confidence in NBC deteriorated rapidly, I watched very little of it, and therefore I saw almost no previews for their new shows. Out of sight, out of mind. I would read about them in TV Guide, I’d see a commercial or two, and I picked up on a few shows, “Studio 60” comes to mind.
However, when it came to filling out my own schedule, I simply stuck to the networks whose programming I had more confidence in. Clearly, “Heroes” had enough viewer confidence to be a breakout hit in the fall of 2006. By the time I was ready to get around to catching up on it, however, the deterioration had begun. I read negative comments here and there, as I said before I spoke to people who weren’t enjoying it as much, so I opted to watch something else. When I read about backstage turmoil, knowing that is never a good sign for a show, I lost even more confidence in it. Plus, it’s a genre show, one I’m going to need to watch from the beginning to want to see it, and why invest time in catching up on a show that appears to be a downward spiral. Hmm, a genre show that is quickly collapsing in the ratings, backstage turmoil, and it airs on NBC, a network which even the president has said that being #1 is no longer a viable goal. Not exactly confidence-instilling, and certainly not attracting me as a viewer.
I was impressed to see that NBC was taking steps to try to stop the bleeding, when I read that Bryan Fuller was returning following “Pushing Daisies,” I thought perhaps the show would manage to not so much turn the ship around, but rather stop the bleeding. Maybe, at best, they could hold on to a decent cult audience which, for NBC, isn’t something that can necessarily balk at at this point. But ratings remained in literal free fall for the rest of this season the point that I am convinced the show is doomed.
For the fans, I hope I’m wrong and that the show can turn around creativity wise. But from the outside looking in, I just don’t see anything worth a summer catch-up marathon to prepare myself for the upcoming season four. The news that Bryan Fuller quit and that the backstage turmoil continues puts the nail in that coffin as far as I’m concerned. If I’m wrong and I read impressively good reviews for the upcoming season, and if ratings up-tick and the show is given a new lease on life, then perhaps next summer I’ll finally buy those DVDs.
It’s too bad, I personally love a show that is driven by strong characters. If you have a weak plot, then you have weak characters, and not even a good actor can redeem that. It’s going to take more than the same turmoil that brought “Heroes” down in the first place to fix it. Similarly, it’s going to take more than the same powers that be that brought NBC down like the titanic to make any traction with the network as a whole. But “Heroes” remains on a deathward spiral, and it seems pretty symbolic for what is happening to its network as a whole. At least that’s my view from the outside looking in. Who knows, maybe this time next year I’ll be watching “Heroes” instead of wondering what happened to it.