Gripping characters and stories save ‘Heroes’

Robert Taylor

The cast of “Heroes” prepare for their first season. PHOTO COURTESY OF NBC

Credit: Jason Hall

One of the most promising pilots of the Fall season, “Heroes” has its share of problems, but an excellent cast, concept and cliffhangers ensure that viewers won’t have a choice but to come back for future installments.

Several people across the world have realized, or are in the course of discovering, that they have powers beyond those of mortal men. How and why isn’t addressed yet, nor is why these characters have been chosen or what their relationships to one another are.

Because of the lack of any answers in the pilot, nor the promise of any in the near future, the show will fail or succeed on the quality of the characters, and if the pilot is any indication, it’s going to be quite a winner.

Although some stories – such as Ali Larter’s down-on-her luck mom and a whiny cheerleader – easily outshine others, the pilot strikes just the right balance among the stories to keep the viewer eager for more. With so much backstory for each character and the need to keep viewers enthralled enough to return, it’s a miracle it comes off as good as it does here. The actors each jump into their characters immediately, and viewers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens to these guys and girls next.

There is one subplot which fell apart, however. That is the story of a drug-addicted artist who paints prophetic artwork. There is no reason to like the guy and no reason to keep him around for long.

There are several revelations and cliffhangers that take place during the last moments that will have viewers gasping for air and ensure that they will be longtime viewers of the series.

It’ll be interesting to see if “Heroes” can continue to strike such a great balance between the characters in future episodes and whether the mysteries it sets up will have payoffs sooner rather than later. But for now this viewer can’t wait to see what’s coming up next.

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].


Premieres: Monday 9 p.m.

Stater rating (out of five): ??? 1/2