I’ve gotta say I’m still enjoying Heroes, and one of the reasons is that when I tune in each week, I can’t be really sure of what’s going to happen, unlike virtually every other show on network TV other than Lost and Terminator.
Every season, my wife and I try to sort through the genre shows and pick one or two that will actually be worth our time, and even though there is an embarassment of riches as far as genre television goes this season, and a lot of it is a hell of a lot of fun, in the end, most of it is as much a formula as back in the days of The A-Team or McGuyver.
Chuck and My Own Worst Enemy are both essentially Alias with two different slants. Every single week there is going to be a spy mission, every single week people will be using a ear-radio, and every single week there will be a new McGuffin to chase after.
Eli Stone, stripped of its supernatural elements, is just exactly like every other lawyer show.
Life on Mars is just a cop show. 70s cop case + some trippy random "clue to the mystery" (Mars Rover Robot or hallucinations of himself as a child) = the show every week.
Pushing Daisies has a great sense of humor and whimsy. But it’s still just Murder She Wrote with genre trappings.
Every element of Crusoe is so familiar I might as well just watch The Swiss Family Robinson, Pirates of the Caribbean and Gilligan’s Island on an infinite loop.
11th Hour pretended to be some cutting edge science show, but is actually just a gussied up version of CSI, House, and all those ridiculous procedural shows where the writers have to invent 4 false solutions to the problem just to stretch the show into a whole hour. What a waste of time.
Fringe is the X-files rewarmed. Every week = another mystery about "The Pattern".
Heroes so far this season has been really dark and byzantine. There are actually times when I have a hard time following it, and I appreciate the challenge. Part of what I’ve enjoyed this season is its similarity to comic books. That is, so many characters and powers you have a hard time keeping track of them, the continuity so convoluted that it makes your head spin, the recurrance of old characters, the revelation of mysteries that turn expectations on their head (the Petrelli patriarch is alive? And Sylar and Peter are brothers? WTF?), the rockin’ guest villains (the "black hole" guy, and the creepy corpulent puppet master guy), the twists that the writers put in to change allegiances and provide excuses for heroes to fight heroes and villains to team up with heroes.
Yes, it’s unlikely and operatic and over-the-top, and with all the mucking around with alternate futures and time-travel and changing alliances and rampant power losses and power gains, it probably won’t be long before continuity problems make the whole thing collapse in on itself.
Just like comic books.
And so much fun.
It’s too bad they fired Jeph Loeb (or he left. Whatever). I figure it’ll make Heroes worse rather than better.