So the new fall TV season is upon us. Well, sort of anyway. Much of the really good stuff that a lot of us tube-tubbies have been waiting for — can you say Lost anyone? — is actually still weeks, if not months away.
In the meantime, the new shows offered up by the networks so far seem to be a pretty mixed bag. ABC's FlashForward is probably the most promising of a lot that otherwise includes Courtney Cox's Cougar Town, a new batch of witches from Eastwick, and the jacked-up, joy-riding EMT's of NBC's Trauma (warning: look before you open a car door anywhere in their immediate vicinity).
And then there is Heroes.
Few shows in recent memory have fallen so far, and so fast as this once promising series from NBC and producer Tim Kring. The first season was pretty much a knockout (save for a less-than-satisfying ending). In each of its subsequent seasons however, Heroes has played itself out in such a way as to suggest that the writers never expected to make it past season one, and that once they did so, had no idea of what to do next or how to otherwise move forward.
If there has ever been a television series where it seemed the writers and producers were making things up on the fly as they go, Heroes is it. Characters dying and coming back to life are such a regular occurrence on Heroes that the sort of shock value that television deaths are intended to produce has been pretty much stripped clean away.
Once-strong characters like the deliciously evil Sylar (the still superb Zachary Quinto) and shadowy government spook Noah "HRG" Bennett (Jack Coleman) have had their "good guy/bad guy" roles flipped so many times, you'd think this was the WWE's Monday Night Raw. Of the other characters, Ali Larter's Tracy Strauss replaced an earlier character she played when the writers apparently couldn't figure out how to advance her original storyline.