×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Heroes Reborn’

With:
Jack Coleman, Ryan Guzman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Henry Zebrowski, Gatlin Green, Rya Kihlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane

Few programs have generated more initial enthusiasm than “Heroes” did when it premiered in 2006, before proceeding to demonstrate how quickly that heat can fade when the producers begin losing control of such a complicated dramatic enterprise. Enter “Heroes Reborn,” which could easily be titled “Heroes Remade,” a revival of the series that combines characters old and new, replicating the original’s intricately woven template while introducing a new slate of super-powered players strewn across the globe. The two-hour premiere plants plenty of potentially interesting seeds, while offering scant guidance as to how many of them will actually bear fruit.

“Heroes” owed an obvious debt to the “X-Men” franchise, which, when introduced in comic-book form, created an analogy about teenagers feeling different — like outcasts. The relationship between those feelings and gay rights later entered the picture, and that link is even more conspicuous here, as the series opens with “Evos” (basically the show’s term for “mutant”) having come out into the sunlight, while someone brandishes a “God Hates Evos” sign.

The good times, however, can’t last, and an act of terrorism again pushes Evos into the shadows. Investigating what happened is Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), whose daughter Claire is presumed dead, largely because she’s busy starring in a series on another network. And once again, the show is wrapped in a mysterious conspiracy, where “Save the world” (sorry, not the cheerleader) is the vague mantra.

NBC was wise to introduce the series with two episodes, which provide a tiny bit more clarity than a single hour would have. Among the new characters, the most interesting is Tokyo-based Miko (Kiki Sukezane), whose search for her missing father takes her into a new and fascinating dimension. The show makes less interesting use of Zachary Levi (“Chuck”), who has a motive for harboring a grudge against Evos.

Beyond Coleman, a few original cast members are featured in the pilot, and several more are shown in the “This season on” tease. Yet while that should kindle a sense of excitement among those who enjoyed the show, considering it’s been five years since its demise, and given how the series fell apart in its third and fourth seasons — along with the current assortment of plots that are, literally, all over the map — the most helpful power of all would be the ability to remember the significance of those various connections.

In addition, despite how liberally “Heroes” borrowed from comic books, the show’s tone and style felt relatively novel at the time. Today, with a more ambitious roster of Marvel and DC properties currently available — as well as sci-fi projects like Netflix’s “Sense8” — the freshness label has long since expired.

Given that, “Heroes Reborn” — whose competition includes Thursday-night football until “The Big Bang Theory” returns — faces a formidable challenge. Without possessing quite the same nostalgia factor as “The X-Files,” the show must seek to recapture its early days while establishing new threads to reach beyond that core. All told, the premiere isn’t a bad step in that direction, but it’s unclear whether enough untapped power resides in the premise to ensure that the series can save itself, much less the world.

TV Review: 'Heroes Reborn'

(Series; NBC, Thur. Sept. 24, 8 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Toronto by Tailwind Prods. and Imperative Entertainment in association with Universal Television.

Crew: Executive producers, Tim Kring, Peter Elkoff, James Middleton; co-executive producer, Holly Harold; supervising producer, Seamus Fahey; producer, Kevin Lafferty; directors, Matt Shakman, Greg Beeman; writers, Kring, Elkoff; camera, Anette Haellmigk, Alan Caso; production designer, Matthew Davies; editors, Louis Cioffi, Martin Nicholson, Tom Costantino; music, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman; casting, Jason La Padura, Natalie Hart, Kendra Patterson. 120 MIN.

Cast: Jack Coleman, Ryan Guzman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Henry Zebrowski, Gatlin Green, Rya Kihlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane

More TV

  • Good Omens

    Religious Group Mistakenly Petitions to Get Amazon Prime's 'Good Omens' Removed From Netflix

    Upwards of 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for Netflix to cancel the fantasy series “Good Omens.” But the TV series, adapted from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 satirical sci-fi novel, is distributed by Amazon Prime, not Netflix. The petition was first launched by the Return to Order campaign, a Christian organization under [...]

  • Maura Tierney as Helen and Dominic

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Drops 'The Affair' Final Season Teaser (Watch)

    In today’s TV Roundup, Showtime drops a teaser for the fifth and final season of “The Affair,” and Kid Cudi and Big Boi join Shudder’s “Creepshow” anthology series.  FIRST LOOKS AMC has released the first trailer for its forthcoming anthology series “The Terror: Infamy.” Premiering August 2, the Ridley Scott-produced show features a cast and [...]

  • Bello Nock

    A&E Orders Stunt Series 'Impossible Live,' Special 'Volcano Walk Live'

    A&E Network has ordered a live stunt series titled “The Impossible Live.” The series, which hails from KEW Media Group’s Essential Media Group, will consist of five two-hour episodes featuring daredevils performing death-defying stunts such as parachute-less jump from a plane onto a speeding train, a motorcycle jump off a cliff in which the daredevil [...]

  • Monte Carlo TV Festival: Stars Mingle

    Monte Carlo TV Festival: Nominees, Jurors and Star Guests Mingle on Riviera

    The Monte Carlo Television Festival drew to a close Tuesday with “Escape at Dannemora” winning the Golden Nymph in the limited series and TV movie section, and “My Brilliant Friend” winning best drama series. “The festival is testament to the fact that as the industry adapts and evolves with the times, good storytelling never goes [...]

  • PMKBNC

    PMK-BNC Executive Joy Fehily Resigns, Will Consult and Manage Seth MacFarlane (EXCLUSIVE)

    Top Hollywood publicist and executive Joy Fehily has resigned from her post at public relations firm PMK-BNC, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. Fehily steps down in the midst of a five-year deal with the show business institution, insiders said, which reps A-list actors and below-the-line talent as well as huge brands like American [...]

  • Schitt's Creek Wigs

    'Schitt's Creek': Inside Moira Rose's Iconic Wig Collection

    Moira Rose, the family matriarch of cult classic “Schitt’s Creek,” is known for several things: her pronunciation of the word “bebe,” her love for her TV family (and sometimes Alexis) and her countless vibrant wigs. Played by the always delightful Catherine O’Hara, each episode (and wig) is a joy to witness on screen. “I think [...]

  • Brandon Flynn

    Brandon Flynn on Hollywood Double Standards and Never Actually Coming Out

    Brandon Flynn has a flourishing Hollywood career. The 25-year-old quickly shot to social media superstardom on Netflix’s hit “13 Reasons Why” with millions of devoted followers and, shortly after, was cast on HBO’s “True Detective.” And yet, the rising star has received just as much attention for his personal life as his professional career. In [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content