TV Review - Heroes Reborn (Premiere Week)

Heroes was a TV series that was nominated for Outstanding Drama at the 59th Emmy Awards following its introduction in 2006. That introduction or its first season was pretty fantastic. It was a dark and realistic portrayal of what people with super powers might experience. It was a great, comic-book adaptation that wasn't an actual adaptation of a comic book. Writer Tim Kring was merely inspired by comic books. The writing, directing and action were all superb. As it went along though, the quality took a sharp decline and after four seasons the show was cancelled.

Since then, several other TV shows about people with super powers or straight, comic-book adaptations have been put on and have been successful. This might have contributed to the network deciding to resurrect this series. Kring is back and like other TV series that are returning he's basically picking up where he left off. However, the main cast is not returning. Kring has made a ton of new characters. In fact, Kring has made nine, new characters who exist in four different cities, mostly in the United States but one that's abroad.

One of the new characters is Luke Collins, played by Zacharay Levi (Chuck). Luke actually has no super powers. He's a hunter of people with super powers, people also known as Evo. He and his wife, Joanne Collins, played by Judith Shekoni (EastEnders), had a son who died in a terrorist attack, orchestrated by an Evo. Therefore, they're out for revenge against all Evos. They kill a roomful of them in Chicago, except for a teenage boy who manages to get away.

Robbie Kay (Once Upon a Time) plays Tommy, the teenage boy in question who escaped Luke and Joanne. He's a skinny and awkward kid who has a crush on Emily, played by Gatlin Green. Emily works in the ice cream shop. He's bullied by Brad, played by Jake Manley. Brad isn't your typical jock. He does have his layers but Brad realizes along with Emily that Tommy has the power of teleportation.

Ryan Guzman (Step Up Revolution) plays Carlos Gutierrez, a young army veteran in East Los Angeles who is a horny drunk, but he has a brother named Oscar, played by Marco Grazzini. Oscar has secretly created an underground railroad for Evos. Oscar does so as his alter ego, El Vengador, inspired by Mexican wrestling. Carlos takes over for his brother when things get rough.

Toru Uchikado plays Ren Shimosawa, a Japanese gamer in Tokyo who visits a young girl named Miko Otomo, played by Kiki Sukezane. Miko is also an Evo. She has a katana sword  that allows her to enter video games and fight with great skill.

Those are the nine, new characters. They're arranged to exist in four story lines that intersect occasionally. There's also a fifth story-line that's probably going to bring these disparate characters together even more. That fifth story-line involves a character from the original series, Noah Bennett, played by Jack Coleman.

Noah worked for a company called Primatech that used to capture and study Evos. At the opening of this show, the headquarters of Primatech is destroyed in a 9/11-style bombing that occurs on June 13. From that point, the show really cements itself as a live-action version of The X-Men, but whereas that comic series and subsequent films tackled social issues like xenophobia, racism and even homophobia, this show skates over that.

There is a diversity of characters here, but it's odd that there hasn't yet been a gay character in Kring's roster.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Thursdays at 8PM on NBC.

Note: This show is being reviewed as part of a series of one-episode reviews during premiere week, which for the major TV networks runs from late September to early October.


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