Heroes Reborn – Episode 1 – Brave New World review

Screenshot 2015-10-11 20.49.03

It’s been just over 5 years since Heroes belly-flopped off our screens, and, as Sheldon Cooper put it, “Heroes gradually lowered the quality season by season till we were grateful it ended”, so did anybody feel the need for it to come back?

As it happens, it has, with Heroes Reborn, not quite a 5th season, not quite a reboot, but somewhere between old and new, and whilst trying to make a case for its continued existence, it also falls into the same old traps that it fell into back at the end of the naughties.

Whilst it’s not a disaster, there’s some neat stories, characters and moments scattered between this movie length first episode, it also falls between the worst the show ever produced, and just about meh. It will only really be understood by those that held on until it’s demise 5 years ago, and ignored by those who dropped out before that point.

We begin this jumbo sized episode with humans and evos (people with powers) living side by side, before an explosion kills a load of people at Primatech Paper, starting a year of distrust, mutant, sorry, evo hunting and sets up the rest of the show in this brief 5 minutes. During this time we are reintroduced to Noah Bennet, who speaks some sort of final message to Claire, before she’s apparently blown up off screen, along with Noah who mysteriously survives.

So begins his quest to uncover secret after secret, leading him to meet some old friends and bringing him back into the world he had apparently left. We are also introduced to a whole host of new characters gifted with or without powers, who proceed to shoot, get shot at, punch, or get punched.

After about a minute, it’s business as usual. The same music, the same style, the same font. There is a whiff of nostalgia for the rush you felt when watching the first couple of seasons, but this is quickly forgotten, because this first episode is so run of the mill and spends all its time setting things up. For a show that really needs to capture the interest of everyone, let alone the fans who want it back, it hasn’t done a good job of being the best it could be.

The characters are mostly all cookie cutter. The performances aren’t particularly dazzling. It feels like it’s an amalgam of all the ideas they didn’t have time for last decade, thus there are too many scenes of introductions in which people discover or utilise their powers as a means of beginning a storyline.

Though there are some interesting threads, particularly a storyline involving a teenager and his burgeoning relationship with a fellow high schooler, which takes us into an interesting ethical dilemma, and it seems like these might be actual likeable characters, but, we’ll see.

Some of the new powers are quite interesting, if unoriginal, and even seeing old faces doesn’t provide any real joy, but it has a knack for balancing stories, even if it does chat the proverbial one too many times.

I made some points whilst watching the episode:

  • It starts off with a cheesy voice over and bit of imagery, and really obvious sound effects
  • It really hasn’t changed at all, has it
  • When a character receives a text, it appears on screen and the background blurs, which is nice.
  • Argument interrupted by laughter cliché
  • Blood is oil
  • Like the car fake out bit
  • It occasionally has retro music that sounds a bit like ‘It Follows’
  • The cinematography is nice, when there’s no effect work to muddy it up
  • Fan service shock value
  • Overacting is rife

For a very long pilot, not a lot happens in Brave New World, and whilst it’s nice to revisit a show that I rather liked in my youth, it hasn’t managed to recapture what made its first season great. We’ll have to see in the episodes to come, whether it can improve upon this rather unexciting episode 1.

Rating: C+  5/10

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