Tim Kring, 2015-2016
The superhero drama Heroes was a hit when it premiered in 2006, but soon devolved into a notorious mess. One of its biggest problems was that the creators seemed to care little for the present ("What's going to happen next?"), focusing instead on glimpses of the future ("Egad! How will that come about?"), the past ("Gasp! You mean that all along…?"), and alternate timelines. The problem was that the creators clearly had not worked any of this material out ahead of time, leading to what one reviewer memorably called "the greatest narrative Ponzi scheme in television history". Recapping the story of Heroes in sequential order, with all of its conflicting backstories, makes it look absolutely ludicrous. For instance, here is a brief excerpt describing the company that hunts down and imprisons superhumans:
It has as its front a paper company called Primatech. Also, it is controlled by the guy in charge of the Mafia, whose name is Linderman. Also, it is funded and controlled by the U.S. government. Also, it is funded and controlled by a private business. Also, it is funded and controlled by a wealthy, politically connected New York family named Petrelli.
Adding to the messiness was the fact that the creators seemed very keen on inflating their universe to the size of DC's or Marvel's as quickly as they could, and were soon juggling several dozen characters. So here we have Heroes Reborn, relaunching that universe five years after the 2010 cancellation of the original series, pairing up a handful of those characters with several dozen completely new ones. And which pretty much immediately fills up its new storyline with timeline disruptions and memory wipes and precognitive visions and all sorts of other evidence that, holy macaroni, these people learned nothing. Like the original, the new series forgets its own established plot points, and virtually every scene raises questions that begin, "Wait, why don't they just…?" So I guess it's not too surprising that the attempted relaunch flopped both with the critics and in the ratings, and was not renewed.
But, uh, I still kind of liked it! I mean, if there's anything that is more relevant to my interests than cutting away to "7957 years in the future" and a world where the oceans have boiled away, it's a cute teenage girl fending off a solar flare, and Heroes Reborn has both of those. Seriously — I know this isn't actually good, but it's got superpowers and apocalypses and freakin' boy/girl twins in it. I watched the whole thing in 3½ days. &shrug;