The comic book and superhero fan community loved Heroes - for at least the first season, anyway. The second season added some cool new characters, but started to lose something from the intrigue of the first. The third become a convoluted mess with time travel and alternate futures and, well, it was hard to keep up with, so most viewers didn't.
Now, creator Tim Kring is giving it another go with the thirteen-episode limited series, Heroes Reborn. In the new series, evolved humans have gone from a few isolated incidents into a major part of the general population. After a disaster, public perception of the "Evos" quickly shifts from welcome and awe to fear and distrust.
If you're on the fence about Heroes Reborn, we've seen the first two episodes, and have five reasons you should give the new take a shot.
That Old Season One Feeling
There was something so gloriously simple about season one of Heroes. There was the catchphrase, "Save the cheerleader, save the world." There was a sense of discovery and wonder. The first two episodes of Heroes Reborn definitely recapture that feeling, but turn it on its head. The fear that Claire experiences is magnified about 1000 fold, put out into the world. It's, as Greg Grunberg likes to say, "Heroes on crack," meaning it takes the themes and blows them up. The deep characterization and time spent on individuals in these two episodes likewise feels just enough like that first season to make this a worthy successor.
Crazy New Powers
With great superhero show must also come great and cool new powers. Well, that's certainly the case here. Sure, there are a couple of old standbys, like some fairly bargain-variety telekinesis, superspeed, and invisibility, but then there are some brand new ones. A take on teleportation that certainly seems more curse than blessing also provides a really cool (and scientifically accurate) special effect to it. A crazy new power that's unlike anything I've ever seen (and assisted by... something... don't want to spoil it) is an ability for the modern age. It's all very intriguing, and should help people go "woah, cool!" once more.
These Kids Are All Right
While the whole assembled cast is very good, the younger stars Gatlin Green and Robbie Kay, who play "normal human" Emily and "evo" Tommy, are major standouts in the premiere. These two can easily anchor a show all their own, and for large swathes of time actually do. Their give-and-take is natural and impossible to teach, and the charisma of these young actors oozes off the screen. They're relatable, sure, but they're also intriguing, and I can't wait to see what part they play in the larger story.
Is it Paranoia Or Are They Out to Get You?
Speaking of that larger story, there is something very strange in the background of the first two episodes. Maybe it's experience from the first season leaking in, but while there are several disparate stories, you can't help but wonder about how they're connected. The feeling is uneasy - can you trust what people are saying? Is the show lying to you? It's an odd but exciting way to drive mysteries forward; or maybe I'm just being paranoid.
Zachary Levi is Terrifying
Zachary Levi, that lovable scamp from Chuck. He's the guy that runs the anti-Comic-Con during San Diego, and drinks while playing geek trivia with friends on TV. He's also utterly terrifying in Heroes Reborn, and it makes his character so very interesting. Alongside Judith Shekoni, who plays his wife on the show, these two are clear villains from early on - however, they have a purpose, and that drives them with some slight level of sympathy. It's a completely different role for Levi, and he plays it well. It's exciting to see someone step out of their comfort zone, and even more exciting when that includes some righteous fury.