First, the actors go on strike and now the muse has too. How did it happen? In the beginning is was all so simple: Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.
Now the show is all over the place, scattered and frantic like Britney Spears at a coke party.
…so what happened? (To save a “!SpOiLEr AlERt!”, I’ll stick with abstracts)
I have two guesses.
First, the strike. It threw off the timing (and plot direction) of the show in mid-flight. The writers were forced to wrap-up it up prematurely (I mean, how else were they to sell the DVD’s over the summer?).
If you watch the bonus features on the DVD set, you know that originally, the bad guys won. The vile containing the virus breaks on the floor of the vault at the paper mill, slips into the ventilation system and spreads to the town. Within hours (or a few shows really) the result is mass death, yelling, screaming, (cats and dog making love) and millions dead, bleeding out of their mouths in cities everywhere.
But then, the actors walked and screwed the plan, leaving producers tripping over their shoelaces for an alternate ending–one that would make due ’till Fall when a new plot could be drawn in the sand. The result was last year’s nicely-packaged but anti-climatic Disney World finale where (ta-da!) the vile lands–not on the ground–but softly in the palm of the all-around nice guy Peter Petrelli. And the world is saved. For now.
My second guess is the writer’s got lazy (too many off-season piña coladas by the pool).
Part of the charm of Heroes is its balance of fantasy and emotional realism–sure people can fly, but the characters are developed. They have believable investments in the plot. Their reactions to situations are consistent with their background. Their goals are reasonable, etc.
But now, the fantastical is so far outweighing the realism that viewers with any self-worth are catching on (and tuning out). Character development is a-bye-bye and Coincidence is God almighty.
The show has lost 20% of its viewers since the premiere a month ago, but luckily for Heroes, TV is bad everywhere. Even with the loss, the show is the fifth-most watched on TV. But it’s still not a reason to care about a cheerleader. If NBC wants a loving audience it’ll have to save the show first.