Over the weekend, NBC canceled Heroes, one of my favorite shows of the last few years. Now as any fan of a tv show, when it gets canceled, the natural inclination is to go and blame the network. That’s not what I’m going to do here. In fact, I’m going to blame the people who watch the show. The fans of Hereos. That’s right. What does this mean you ask? I have a lot to say about this topic. I’m not going to get really specific about the show itself. I’m going to track its lifespan and just give you my personal feelings. So let’s get into it.
Heroes premiered in the Fall of 2006. For those unfamilar with the show, I will boil it down for you. Basically it was ordinary and regular people discovering they had super powers. It was X-Men, but more down to earth and less comic bookey. For me, the first season of Heroes is the single greatest season of dramatic television of all time. It has everything you want out of a tv show. Countless great characters and intense storylines that had you salivating for the next weeks episode. I loved every minute of it and I will never forget this season of great TV. I was not alone. Ratings were off the charts and everybody couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the show was. So when the first season ended for the summer, naturally the anticipation and hype for the next season was ridiculous. This is where the downfall of what could have been one of the greatest TV shows ever made began.
This is where internet hype and “fanboys” get me really pissed off. The hype for Season 2 of Heroes was just to much to live up to. There were unrealistic expectations. So of course, Season 2 of Heroes did not live up to the hype and led its own fans to bitch and complain beyond belief. This really ticked me off. Was Season 2 as good as Season 1? No. But the heart of the show was still there, and I still enjoyed the season a great deal, and it was still one of the better shows on TV by far. The characters and great storylines were still present. It just moved a little slow and introduced a couple bad characters. But the backlash it got from this season from all outlets was completely unfair and shocking. It’s like condeming a sports team that won the championship the year before, but they just arent in first place during the regular season the following year. Just give it some time. And the second half of this season got amazingly good. First season caliber. But the problem is it started to lose serious viewership because of all the bitching and complaining that filtered down into a number of websites and magazines. At one point, Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on how bad it got. A cover story! I’ve never seen anything like this. For some reason, this became TV’s biggest new hit to absolute joke in the span of months. I’ve never seen a television show fall this quickly from grace. And it was so sad for me to watch.
And then something happened that was not the fan’s fault. The Writers Strike. Out of all the shows to be effected by the strike, Heroes by far got it the worst. Going back to a sports analogy, it was Mark Prior all over again. Career injuries that the show never recovered from. Because of the strike, Heroes had to endure a 9 month layoff before returning to television. And when it finally did, things started to really go downhill.
First of all, because of the strike, the writers had to detract from its original storylines and plots. That’s never a good thing. But this really goes back to the fan complaints. They wanted faster storylines. More excitement. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The “fanboys” think they know better then the writers. How wrong they are. So the writers gave these fans what they wanted. And what happened was a bad third season of complex storylines and characters constantly changing their peronalities and motives week to week. There were some great moments, but overall, the show tanked in quality significantly. I even admit that. I really wish the writers just kept doing what they were doing from season 2, and fans should have just trusted it was going to get better. But no. People had to complain, so the writers had to adjust to these complaints, and it became worse.
I went into the fourth season with little hope. But I was more than pleasantly surprised. Season 4 of Heroes was very close to Season 1 caliber. It made me excited to be a fan again, and I felt rewarded for sticking with the show. The ending to the season left a great foundation for future seasons, but unfortunately we will never know what they are. Season 4 was Heroes‘ last season.
So that’s the history of Heroes and my personal feelings on the show from season to season. But aside from fans of the show demanding too much, this is not the reason it got canceled. I want to get into my real frustration.
The ratings for Heroes became terrible the last two seasons. NBC had no choice but to cancel the series. But what really angers me to no end is that Heroes was the most illegally downloaded show of last year. This is tragic. I hope everyone out there who chose to illegally watch it are happy. It’s all your fault Heroes has been canceled. Because you chose to not watch it at its regularly scheduled time, Heroes is no longer with us. What really astounds me though is that NBC lets you watch it for FREE legally online! And people still chose to watch it illegally because they wanted to avoid a total of maybe 4 thirty second commericals! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! At least if the NBC online downloads were better, maybe the show could have been more marketable for 1 more season.
So it’s not as if nobody watched this show. Millions did. They just did it illegally. And not only that, DVD sales are great for Heroes. People watch the show, it’s just nobody knows they watch it. I guess if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears or sees it, it doesn’t really fall.
So that’s my eulogy on Heroes. Supposedly there may be a TV movie to wrap the series up, but I doubt it. I will always have the DVDs and remember the good times. I think the ridicule this show got and the countless negative articles written about it were so unfair. Even at its worst moments, the show still had solid entertainment value and interesting plotlines. Why so many lashed out at it when there are so many other horrible shows out there is something I will never understand.
And to all the fans out there; this show was canceled because you nitpicked and complained and watched it illegally. I think this is the saddest end to a TV show ever. Canceled because people were watching it.