Heroes

k0c9djYWe all know what happens to episodic high concept television shows. Right “Threshold,” “Invasion,” “Jack & Bobby,” “Surface,” and “Push, Nevada”? And audiences aren’t essentially welcoming to shows with interesting concepts, and storylines, and brains. “Heroes” is one of those shows. It’s episodic, it’s high concept, potentially one-note, and hopefully will be greeted with high ratings.  But the previous effort from NBC with a show featuring disconnected characters experiencing an occurrence, tanked, and “Heroes” can suffer the very same fate.

Audiences are dumb, and if its not a show featuring hoes and a snaggle tooth rapper, or a glorified karaoke contest, chances are “Heroes” doesn’t have a chance in hell. And that frightens me, because “Heroes” is too amazing to have it be cancelled. Since I was a small child, I’ve always had a fascination with the concept of good versus evil, and I just enjoy reading or watching about this constant struggle. “Heroes” is a show that explores those very concepts, and it tackles the superhero genre, and I can’t help but fall in love with it. “Heroes” is based around people with powers, but it also has a strong sense of characterization, and emotions that make it worth watching by everyone, or anyone who enjoys comic book lore. “Heroes” challenges the concepts of heroes and who we can decide in this life are heroes.

It also shows how heroes with powers can use them to potentially be evil, and what causes us to act in this manner. The first episode plays games with the audience, but in a good way. It makes us think something will happen when it doesn’t, it enlists red herrings, and it signals to massive arcs that will keep its audience ravaging for more. At the end of the first episode I was thrilled and I just couldn’t wait for September 25th. The essential questions people will be asking are: Where is it all leading to? Will these people ever meet? If so, will they be enemies? Individuals? Or will they form a team? Who is this man with the glasses investigating this new science project? One can only imagine. Sadly, these are the same questions I found myself asking for “Surface” and that series only last one whole season on a cliffhanger that will never be answered.

Either NBC are morons, or they’re too ambitious for their own good. But it’s great to see these networks trying for something other than mind numbing brain mush for once. “Heroes” signals that these networks are trying, even if they’re cashing in on the superhero fad, and unlike “Smallville” it performs those feats in an adult and intelligent manner. But they do it in the most understated manners. A painter with pre-cognitive abilities, a cheerleader with an unbreakable body, an accountant in Japan who can bend time and space, a nurse who thinks he can fly, a stripper who may have an evil twin working with or against her, and that’s just the tip of the delicious iceberg. It’s the down to Earth atmosphere that makes this new series so utterly engrossing. “Heroes” could very well be “X-Men: The Series,” a show about different people from all around the globe discovering their own abilities.

It can basically be described as an amalgam of many things, though. It’s the dramatic realism of “Unbreakable,” mixed with the wonder of “X-Men,” the real world coincidences of “Crash,” and the supernatural dynamic of “The 4400,” and you basically have “Heroes.” And I fucking love it. Hell, the series even references “X-Men” directly, because “Heroes” exists in a reality where “X-Men” is just a comic book, and what’s happening is an amazing occurrence in reality. Did these powers exist all along, or has this new solar eclipse sparked the pure brunt of these people’s abilities? The writers of “Heroes” pull off an incredible feat; they write a show about people with amazing abilities, and build up some potential villains for the arc, yet never include any sort of action, or demonstration that requires amazing special effects or a tornado or cataclysmic event.

Their powers are grounded in reality, and yet are so utterly fantastic. Though the performances are great, you’ll be inclined to think more about the story, and where the writers are taking this. Not to mention you’ll wonder if any one of these people has the ability to fulfill the prophecy set forth. I can write a twelve page review, and it wouldn’t properly express how utterly taken aback I am by this new series. Suffice it to say, “Heroes” is amazing, and the pilot will hold twists, turns, mysteries, questions, and one hell of a surprise ending that had me literally swearing up a storm in shock. If you’re a comic book fan, or are a connoisseur of good taste, I strongly urge you to watch “Heroes” when it comes to NBC September 25th. I’ll surely be watching.

Premiering on NBC September 25th. Check Local Listings