Monday, December 01, 2008

Heroes, "The Eclipse, Pt. 2": Open thread

I had my "Life's too short" epiphany on "Heroes" about 90 seconds into trying to watch tonight's episode. Just couldn't bring myself to keep watching, even for the sake of the blog. Sorry. Feel free to talk about any or all aspects of "Eclipse 2: Electric Boogaloo." Don't know if I'll do an open thread every week (I don't usually do posts on shows I'm not watching) or if I'll give it another chance once the next "volume" begins, but I feel much happier without feeling some kind of obligation to keep watching.


Anonymous said...


doing the same thing again and again expecting different results is called... what?

step away from "heroes" my favorite tv blogger bud. stop watching.

no one will think any less of you...

Anonymous said...

I swore off the show, but ended up watching it again tonight.

Most of it was terrible as usual, but the Hiro storyline was great. For the first time in a LONG time, I really enjoyed something on this show.

Seth Green and Breckin Meyer made the show very irreverent in a Josh Schwartz/O.C. kind of way. That, and the way Hiro diffused the Sylar/Elle/Claire/HRG situation was very satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Alan --

Enjoy your freedom. I did the same thing about three weeks ago. My Monday's feel much more free, and I haven't even felt compelled to watch the ones collecting digital dust on my DVR. I even picked Austin City Limits on PBS HD this weekend over some unwatched Heroes.

lungfish said...

Perfect example of the lazy writing and deus ex machina that is prevalent on the show: Before Nathan flies off back to the US, he tells Peter to talk to T.K. (Tim Kring, presumably) at the embassy to get back home... just another contrived plot shortcut to get Peter out of the Haitian jungle.

Anonymous said...

I was at the interview where Tim Kring melted down and I can't believe the show can continue much longer with him at the helm. The comment where he shared a little too candidly what he thinks about viewers who watch when NBC has it scheduled was not isolated or something he meant as a joke as he spins in his apology.
He seems to care so little about the people he works with and the product he is creating, why should we.

And on a much happier note, how about Caprica finally getting the greenlight!

Other showrunners seem to relish the challenge that serialized drama brings, lets support them.

Anonymous said...

however, now with Kristen Bell gone, I certainly have reason to continue

Alan Sepinwall said...

however, now with Kristen Bell gone

Did they kill off Elle?

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced she's dead, but Sylar did slice her head then they cut away.

Considering NO ONE DIES EVER, I would not be surprised if she is still alive. Claire AND Sylar both died this episode again, only to be revived.

thedemonhog said...

First time I have commented here.

Alan: the reviews that you, Matt Roush and Maureen Ryan write are my favourites. And I especially enjoy your negative Heroes reviews. Please keep watching. Besides, aren't you getting paid for it?

Anyway, keep up the good work! (Or not, I guess.) ;)

Re: Dara - I was at the Screenwriting Expo, as well. I was the teenage (just about the only one) boy with brown curly hair who sat front row, centre for the Lost panels.

Anonymous said...

doing the same thing again and again expecting different results is called... what?

Hope and change.

Just kidding. Welcome, Alan! We don't really miss it.

Anonymous said...

If NBC wasn't such a black hole of quality, would Heroes survive to another season?

There's too little time to watch such pointlessly bad TV.

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't tell- can anyone explain the difference between Hiro-as-a-ten-year-old and regular Hiro? I forgot about that for most of last week.

This week, I made it through the episode in under 15 minutes, thanks to TiVo. Not sure if I'm weaning myself off, or if I've found a way to make it bearable.

Toby O'B said...

I gave it up about a month ago, and felt a bit guilty about it. This was a show I was so hyped on that first season; figured it would have an honored place in the "Toobworld Central" library. So when it reached this point where I just couldn't take it anymore, I was thinking it was my fault. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Appropriately enough, it's the same feeling I had when I gave up comic books, but I still like hearing updates on some of my fave characters. So I'll probably still check a few online reviews to see what's happening even if I'm not watching it.

(Kind of like the grandfather in "Lost Boys": "You got TV Guide, you don't need TV.")

Anonymous said...

You know, I've watched a lot of bad tv in my time. But the thing that kept me tuning into say, Melrose Place season 7, was that no matter how bad the writing or acting was, I still cared about the characters. But on this show? I honestly don't give a crap about what happens to a single one of them anymore.

Christy said...

Must have missed the last episode because I was lost at the beginning of this one. Sad thing is, I don't think I missed anything last week. Seth Green and Hiro = goodness. All else, meh. The show truly insults its viewers.

As to your continuing to blog the series - I only watched Sons of Anarchy because you were blogging it weekly. You have great power; use it wisely.

Anonymous said...

First half was awful, but the second half of this episode (after they all got powers back of course) had several cool scenes. The eclipse made no sense, whatever. But its end meant everyone unleashing abilities. Fun stuff. I don't expect much anymore I guess, and I enjoyed this one.

Steven Timberman said...


Might this have anything to do with how amazing and funny Chuck is?

I picked up season one last week and its made me realize that I don't have time for the usual schlock like Heroes that passes as entertainment.

And yes, I started watching Chuck because of your many glowing comments that it was a bunch of damned fun.

Sleepyhead said...

Brethren! Cast off your Heroes shackles and rejoice! How I made it 2 seasons, five episodes, and six minutes into this terrible faded husk of a show I shall never know. There are so many better ways to spend our given hours. Chuck?Amen. Yesterday's Simpsons? Amen. Firefly on DVD for the seventh time? Yes, I say unto thee amen.

Anonymous said...

If they spun off The HRG & Elle Show, I'd watch that.

Anonymous said...

I gave up on HEROES about three episodes ago. A few good characters trapped in a senseless plot and a universe that seems to grow smaller and more self referential.

An alternating Villain of the Week / Mythology episode story structure was desperately needed to get the show out of its same incestuous batch of characters. But the key problem seems to the be size of the cast that prevents this. HEROES also seems to suffer from what a particularly severe case of the Josh Whedon disease: the showrunner falls in love with particular actors and just can't bear to get rid of them when they've served their dramatic purpose.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Besides, aren't you getting paid for it?

I'm getting paid to watch TV in general. Which specific hours of television I watch are up to me.

leor said...

as someone who has generally defended the show to myself after watching (agreeing with Alan's reviews, but continuing to watch and somewhat enjoy anyway)...WOW did this show reach a new low with last night's episode! it was so incredibly bad, with the exception of seth green and breckin meyers.

nathan made peter seem like the genius of the family.

can one of the characters wake up and discover that it's all just been a dream?

Mrglass said...

What an awful episode, nothing made any sense.

I was really hoping Claire and Sylar would really die, but it was so obvious how it would turn out. And what kind of silly cliffhanger was that?

Hopefully the rest of the show would consist of all those stupid characters dying slowly and painfully one by one.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhck! I've been defending this show all season...I guess in some way I'm trying to rationalize why I keep watching...but the truth is, I wanted to keep up with what is going on in the hopes that the show will get good again. That's the real reason. Realized that last night. This episode was ridiculous...seriously, so much of it made NO sense at all.
Why would Sylar kill Elle?
Why would Nathan, out of no where, decide to support his father in giving people abilities?
Why leave your brother, who you supposedly love, in war torn Haiti???
Why would HRG stupidly kill Sylar, but not do it right, thinking that his abilities might come back? He's smarter than that.
The Parkman/Daphne scenes were unwatchable.
The only decent part of the show last night was Hiro and the comic book store guys. And you know if the Hiro story line is the best thing, you're in trouble. I have to say though, Hiro as a ten year old is much smarter than Hiro as an adult...good job on handling the HRG/Sylar/Claire situation.
How can a show that was SO brilliant in season one, be so bad, and so non-sensical? Hayden Panetierre was so cute in season one -- the character Claire was perfect for her, but this angry brooding thing is not playing to her acting strengths (i use the term strengths loosely...). I even liked her better when she was using her abilities to torment other nasty high school girls...LOL.

I think they should just end it all...and make a show about HRG catching people with abilities. But this crap they put on last week was insulting.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the epiphany Alan!

I know it makes you feel a little pervy and you are not the market for it... but Gossip Girl is extremely entertaining. Just sayin'.

And there's no need to get into the recap business for GG. has it covered just fine.

Anonymous said...

I cannot keep track of who's a hero and who's a villain. The only thing that is consistent is that they're all stupid.

Honestly, I think we're annoyed how the writers manipulate the characters' motives for pure shock value.

And it's not like the characters change slowly over time -- Sylar switched from bad to good and back to bad in one episode. It's exhausting keeping track of his massive mood swings.

I found it particularly gruesome what HRG did to Sylar. And not in a shocking way, but in a "we are never going to understand what drives HRG" way because the writers haven't figured it out yet.

Anonymous said...

Hayden Panetierre was so cute in season one

I was never hugely impressed with Panetierre's acting (I think she was just the best of the women on the show at the time; Kristen Bell has been acting her off the screen since she showed up) but I agree, Claire's current plotline is doing Hayden no favours. The recapper at TWOP suggested she and Ventimiglia are running lines together, which would explain a lot.

Speaking of Bell, I don't care how abused you are or how many daddy issues you have - what kind of psycho bitch are you if you go back to the guy who locked you in a freight elevator? You give "psycho bitch" a bad name, girl. Veronica Mars would be ashamed of you.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed last night's episode, except for the parts with Claire. Everything involving Hiro, Ando, Parkman, Daphne, and the comic store guys was very well done. And while I'm still not satisfied with the Sylar-Elle storyline, I did absolutely love how Hiro stepped in and took care of that situation: "Bad Man"! I'm definitely over the whole can-he-or-cannot-he-change aspect of Sylar's character. I had liked the direction they were taking him, but the whole back and forth crap is really tired, and I wasn't happy with his switch-back there at the end. He literally in five seconds went from being really interesting to kinda boring. I'm also over Claire's daddy issues - they need to move on, and give her something more interesting to do than whine about how HRG has a demanding job. I'm also quickly losing patience with Nathan, who is currently winning in the "which hero is the dumbest ever" contest.

Mrglass said...

I found out why this show is so bad, with many unrelated plots and dozens of isolated characters:

Heroes is written in an unusual manner, with each writer assigned to a different storyline (usually sticking with one character or pairing of characters). Kring explained how that worked when it came to the credited writer for an episode. After breaking the story and coming up with outlines, a first draft is assembled from all the different writers' elements. Kring said the first draft, "Is usually pretty hideous and has all sorts of problems and [notes are given] on it for better part of a day. Then, the same people go back and polish scenes."

Really makes you wonder just how bad is that first draft...

Anonymous said...

The comment where he shared a little too candidly what he thinks about viewers who watch when NBC has it scheduled was not isolated or something he meant as a joke as he spins in his apology.

Kring needs to go. Now. And where can I find his apology and/or interview? I don't know what he said about Heroes' viewers. Thanks!

I'll still watch because I still get a lot of enjoyment out of Hiro and Ando's storyline ("Bad man!" had me laughing last night), and I love HRG, but I've lost a lot of interest in everyone else, even Nathan (did Pa Petrelli steal some of Ma Petrelli's power of persuasion? How else is he getting otherwise smart characters to do such STUPID things!?). Note that Mohinder is exempt from that last statement.

Is Peter the new Punisher? He looked rather comfortable with that machine gun.

Anyway, I hope you at least keep an open thread each week because it's fun to read everyone's comments, even if I don't always agree :-)

Anonymous said...

The longest a total eclipse can last is 7 minutes, 31 seconds. In Tim Kring's mind, that's enough time for 2 one hour episodes.

For me, the series has finally jumped the shark. The show is now [predictably] a bore every week. Not even worth the special effects anymore.

I feel so bad for the series actors, who are far better than these cheesy scripts. I'm out.

Anonymous said...

I'm just about done too. It's just too much, especially if Kristin Bell is really off the show permanently. Not that I mind, really. She's way too talented an actress to be wasting her time on this slop. Hopefully she'll be out there for pilot season and will be in something good next year.

Anonymous said...

The only parts of the episode last night I enjoyed were the Hiro scenes. Even though the majority of the episode was senseless, I did love Hiro popping into Claire's house, saying "Bad Man", and teleporting Sylar away. I got quite the kick out of that.

Aside from the Hiro scenes though, this show has jumped a shark or three. Characters switch sides and motivations for absolutely no reason, and absurdly quickly. What the hell happened to Mohinder this season? And Sylar? Was Nathan always this dumb?

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching after episode _______. It jumped the shark when _______. _______ is a terrible actor/actress. I don't care about the ________ storyline. Commenting on this show makes me feel smart.

Anonymous said...

HA! That last anonymous "fill in the blank" post pretty much sums up the comments here. I find it hilarious that every week, people actively read a review about a show they claim not to watch, then proceed to tell us how bad it was and when they quit watching. Reminds me of comic book message boards where half the posts are by folks who don't read the books but just want to know what's going on while complaining about it. Actually, it reminds me of why I stopped reading comic book message boards.

Anonymous said...

i liked the beginning: any time spent hitting suresh is time well spent.
but then he opened his mouth,
and i immediately had to change the channel.

Anonymous said...

We obviously need a support group. I honestly don't think Heroes was that totally awesome in Season one. But it did have a ton of newness to it at the time and a lot of Potential. There were plenty of bone headed moves and episodes where you were like "OK but where did that get us?"but the characters flowed well together and had promise of more.

Claire was unique in the similar way to Micah in that they were youth growing INTO their powers as they were growing into themselves. Most of the others had to learn how to integrate their powers within their existing lives. Unfortunately, Claire turned out to be a whiny WASP with no perspective and they threw Micah away.

I think I can pinpoint the time I just stopped caring about Heroes- when Portman asked Molly, the girl he had saved and sworn to protect, to track down the bad guy. Not just track him down to the exact street and building, but go to the actual DOOR. I was digusted.

So I still read about it, still am open to it suddenly becoming all the Potential its had...but really, it's dead to me now.


Anonymous said...

re: dez

I went looking for that interview as well and I believe this post covers it.

Anonymous said...

Is Peter the new Punisher?

Yes, he's taken a vow to punish the audience.

I honestly don't think Heroes was that totally awesome in Season one. But it did have a ton of newness to it at the time and a lot of Potential.

And most of all: Fun.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:34 p.m., thanks for the link! For the sake of the show, Kring needs to go. Maybe they can persuade Bryan Fuller to take it on? Then he can kill off Sylar, Peter, Meredith, and Tracy, de-stupidify Mohinder (sorry, he's too pretty to go bye-bye), and focus more on Ando, Hiro, and HRG. Yes, I'm daydreaming....

Unknown said...

this episode wasn't bad, in my opinion, but when Nathan started talking about why he wanted to help his father I was just shaking my head. Stop people who have abilities by giving abilities to everyone? That's like saying we can end gun violence by giving everyone a free gun. What the hell?

Also, I did like the way Hiro appeared in the middle of Claire's whole drama and ended it. Kind of hilarious. I really do like him better as a 10 year old. When he tries to think about things, it just makes him look stupid, but as a 10 year old he thinks everything using his powers is cool, which is kind of what was cool about him in the first place: his innocence and enthusiasm. Also, as a 10 year old, less thinking and more "Okay, I'm doing this."

Anonymous said...

I never really liked Elle so I'm glad to see her go.

Slowly, my boy Sylar is proving that this was all a sham.

(As for the "Then who's the mom of little Noah?" thing, I don't even acknowledge that episode at all so this all makes sense).

Anonymous said...

Didn't Pa Petrelli teach Sylar how to absorb powers without lopping off scalps (that "empathy" mumbo-jumbo)? Or is his reverting to form supposed to show us he's EEEEEville again? Guhhh.

Matthew said...

Let me see if I've got this right.

Isaac had visions of the explosion destroying NY, which he painted. And he died before the explosion was stopped. But apparently he also had visions about how things would progress when NY was not destroyed, which he wrote about in the comic book. How does that make sense?

Jill said...

Here at Casa la Brilliant we swore off "Heroes" about 3 weeks ago. Last night we even deleted the three episodes from the DVR, having realized that even 40 minutes a week on the DVR was too much time to waste waiting for this show to get better. We are latecomers to "Boston Legal", so we have many happy reruns in syndication to look forward to, and "Spectacle" with Elvis Costello starts this week.

Mr. B. is a comic book/graphic novel fan, and even HE's fed up with "Heroes".

Michael Hickerson said...

This show has become the Emperor's New Clothes personified. Maybe if we dance around fast enough or bring up enough plot twists and cool special effects, the audience won't notice the plot holes so huge you could fit most of Nebraska into them.

I made the mistake of watching this back to back with Chuck on my DVR this week. While this week's Chuck wasn't my favorite of the season, it made Heroes look really bad in comparison. I think a lot of that is that things that happen to characters on Chuck actually carry over from week to week. No, Chuck isn't serialized but it's nice to see the characters act constintenly from week to week and to have large events have an impact beyond the closing credits.

I cheered when they killed Claire and Sylar. But, alas, they found the magic reset button to bring them back. That's why I doubted that Elle was gone until I saw it confirmed elsewhere.

And why do we take characters down paths only to hit reset buttons two scenes later? Syler's who redemption is reset in one scene, still looking for the motivation here.

Anonymous said...

You know, I have much more fun reading about how bad this show is than I ever had watching it :)
There's far worse shows out there, but at least those know their place and don't pretend to be anything other than throwaway trash entertainment. As a writer, there's no way I could sit through a show so badly written as Heroes. There are worse shows, but none that irritate me quite so much.