How lame has “Heroes” been this season? Let us count the ways…

1. The flashbacks to 1600s Japan. In theory, showing Hiro come face to face with his historic hero (Kensei) could’ve been cool. But then the producers decided to make Kensei a drunken English mercenary. Whaaa? Maybe it’ll turn out that Hiro is actually the real Kensei…but so far, the attempts at comedy have been clumsy. The show’s best character needs to get back to the future– now.


2. What’s with all the subtitles. On “Lost,” the Korean subtitles have grown less frequent as characters learn English. On “Heroes,” not only is the Japanese still comin’, but now there are two characters who speak Spanish. Great, more subtitles! Maybe next the cheerleader could take French classes. Anyway, what was once kinda cool is now just annoying.

3. Enough with the really bad product placement. Four words: “Oh, Dad! The Rogue?!” Right– because a new crossover from Nissan is what every teen girl wants these days. And while we’re on the promo soapbox, how ’bout you cut back on the constant on-screen promos for “Heroes” comicbooks, websites, cookbooks, plush toys…. One promo tells viewers to “discover more while you watch” by going to NBC.com. I’m sorry, NBC, but this season is confusing enough without surfing over to “Heroes” websites while I try to figure out this show. (Of course, I’m composing this blog post while watching episode three, but still….)

4. How about some new villains to go with the 50 billion new heroes? There’s no Syler, no Mama Petrelli. Gimme someone to boo and hiss, please!

5. Stop telling so many stories. You need a flowchart, an atlas and a dictionary to keep up with all the plotlines, locations and languages on the show this season. Instead of throwing out so many ideas, why not focus on one or two really good ones?

“Heroes” was very much a guilty pleasure for me last season. I tolerated the less-than-amazing writing and over-the-top acting because the storylines moved quickly, the concept was cool, and it was all mindless fun. Then came the confused mess of a season finale, in which producers failed to pay off any of the major storylines– indicating that maybe they were making things up as they went along.

I hoped this season would get off to a rousing start, returning the show to its Saturday morning serial best. Instead, I’m more confused by the show than ever, and– most worrisome of all– just plain bored. That’s one thing I’ve never been with “Lost.” Even when it went off on a tangent, the show’s characters remained compelling, and the writing among the best on TV.

Fair warning, “Heroes”: You’re getting dangerously close to being dropped from my Season Pass list.

— Josef Adalian