Friday, October 09, 2015

"Heroes Reborn": Kring is back, but his concept strains credibility

NBC has provided a sequel to its popular “Heroes” series of a few years back with “Heroes Reborn”, which premiered on September 24, 2015.  Again, the main creator is Tim Kring.

The series focuses on the aftermath of a terrorist attack on Odessa, TX during a symposium sponsored by a company connected with the “Heroes” or “EVOS”, or random ordinary people with “powers”. Many in the general public blame the EVOS (without much foundation).  The attack seems to have been a nuclear detonation.

The attack is supposed to have destroyed the entire city.  The opening of the Pilot (“Brave New World”) shows demonstrators with Westboro-like posts saying “God hates EVOS”, as if homosexuality could be equated with arcane powers, although the people with powers in the series are straight (so far).

Episode 2, part of the same 2-hour premier, is called “Odessa”, followed by “Under the Mask” and (Oct. 8), “The Needs of the Many” (an almost Marxist idea).  In that episode, some “heroes” have been captured and placed in high-tech harnesses to harvest their abilities.

Odessa is about 20-miles west of Midland, part of the “Petroplex” in West Texas, about 340 miles or so from Dallas on I-20.  The cities are much smaller than Dallas and Ft. Worth.  I last visited the area in November 2011.

As in the original, the people with “abilities” are quite randomly distributed (maybe that would please Ayn Rand).  One of the nicest is a teen, Tommy (Robbie Kay), who shows how to make a flower disappear as if by magic.  (Objects go to whatever destination Tommy is pondering when he touches it, the ultimate telekinetic power.) Tommy has to fend off the high school bullies, who see “powers” as a way of escaping or cheating on the real challenges of manhood (as if it were like homosexuality).  But that poses another question: a teen who uses his powers smartly ought to be able to make himself popular with the right crowd in the real world.  There is an obvious comparison to “Smallville” and teenage Clark Kent (who could catch his own forward pass).  And there is also an analogy to super-smart or geeky teens (ranging from Mark Zuckerberg, who started Facebook at 19 and who some people believe is an alien, to medical innovator Jack Andraka, now a freshman at Stanford).

NBC’s official site is here.

Update: Nov. 5

"June 13th Part 2" has a prologue where Hiro is forced to become an instant parent to keep two hero children separated. one grows up to be the teen Tommy.

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