The first half of “Heroes’” first season was arguably perfect. The characters were complex, there was plenty of suspense, the con- cept was unique for network tele- vision at the time and one phrase perfectly captured the essence of the plot: “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” “Heroes” had everything going for it, and fans and critics were excited for what was NBC’s riskiest show yet.
Then the 2007 writer’s strike happened. While “Heroes” did push through, the quality had suffered significantly. What promised to be an epic season finale turned out to be a flash in the pan, as the apocalyptic exploding man was thwarted faster than the speed of light.
“Heroes” had seriously lost its momentum and did not know how to return to its initial greatness. It was great to see actresses like Kristen Bell and Dania Ramirez come on the show, but both stars had ridiculous powers that made them forgettable and a part of the show’s trend of showcasing strong — though ultimately uninteresting — women. The show ended in a carnival setting, which was an apt metaphor for a television series that had become a sideshow act.
Given that people look back at the series and shudder at the pain- ful four seasons the show survived, it is interesting to hear the news that Microsoft is thinking of reviv- ing the series as a way to launch original content on Xbox Live.
Adding original content could mean that Microsoft is aiming to compete with Netflix. That idea is not even that outlandish considering that Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” lacked the critical success of the service’s other original series “House of Cards,” presenting Microsoft with a potential opening.
However, many of the actors from “Heroes” have moved onto different ventures in television and film, the most successful being Hayden Panettiere, who now stars on ABC’s “Nashville.” It is unlikely that any of the original cast would return to the show’s relaunch.
There may be a chance showrunner Tim Kring would come back to helm the series on Xbox Live, but Kring is busy with “Touch” on Fox.
Kring may not even care about “Heroes” anymore — a prequel miniseries and a TV movie sequel to the series were rejected by NBC.
As nice as it would be to see “Heroes” return to its former glory, it may be in the best inter- est of Microsoft to launch original programming on Xbox Live with a different show. The name “He- roes” has been tarnished by some mistakes in the majority of its ex- istence, and it seems everyone has chosen to forget the show.
Perhaps it would be more inter- esting to take the idea of a show about superheroes and turn it in a different direction. But if the sta- tus of “Heroes” over the past few years is indicative of the show’s fu- ture, it may not be the right show to begin Xbox Live’s first foray into original content.
Marcus Jones is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.