The TV Addict Defends His Take on HEROES

heroes season 2 cast photo

In response to yesterday’s post entitled, “HEROES: Most OverHyped Show Ever?”, reader Josh wrote, “Why do you feel the need to constantly be negative when it comes to Heroes? Here’s an idea: quit worrying about how the show’s second season will or won’t turn out and just watch. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to be so critical, even before the season begins.”

First off, let me say right off the bat — this TV Addict cannot wait for HEROES to return. The stunt casting of Kristen Bell (VERONICA MARS), David Anders (ALIAS) and Nichelle Nichols (STAR TREK) almost makes up for season one’s lackluster finale. There’s no denying the fact that Tim Kring and Co. have done a phenomenal job of building the anticipation for season two all summer long.

NBC on the other hand is playing a dangerous game by taking their one modest hit from last season and passing it off as a ratings juggernaut. In a recent press release, NBC states, “HEROES will Celebrate Its Extraordinary Domestic and International Success by Sending Cast to Seven Cities to Promote the August 28 DVD and HD DVD Release of “Heroes Season One” and the Beginning of Its Second Season,” Since when does an average of 14.3 million viewers qualify as an extraordinary success? In fact, at the end of last season, HEROES didn’t even rank as one of the year’s top twenty shows. Not very heroic, getting beaten by Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer.

The other factor quickly pushing HEROES towards the edge of over-saturation is NBC’s merchandising department. Is there really a need for HEROES clothing, trading cards and video games? How many more months until we get the Matt Parkman doll? I give it six!

Look, I understand the need to make money and promote the show. No doubt HEROES — with it’s ballooning cast of thousands — isn’t cheap to produce. But one can’t help but wonder. What’s NBC and Tim Kring really focusing on — the story-line for season two, or the upcoming launch of their Masi Oka line of bobble-heads?

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  • Rae

    While I see your point, I have to say that your average TV going audience? Isn’t really experiencing the hype as much as those of us who are looking for any and everything we can get our hands on about our favorite shows. My (offline) friends watch the show and didn’t even know there were new promos out much less about the tour, etc., etc. Is it really being overhyped if the audience you’re really trying to reach doesn’t know about half the things you’re doing?

    It feels overhyped to us but really NBC is just flexing their PR muscle to get the word out there about the show and, as they do have the most buzzed about show from last season, I don’t begrudge them that. Part of keeping a show on the air these days is making a marketing success so, while I do want Tim to focus on the storylines, I also know that he to juggle all aspects of what he’s doing and PR for the show is a part of that. So, I don’t really think they’re going overboard. I mean, just think if they weren’t doing anything and only focusing on their new shows… then we’d be bitching that NBC never gives us anything on Heroes.

  • Um, this is the new NBC we’re talking about. They don’t have Friends or Seinfeld anymore and ER ain’t what it used to be. 14 million viewers IS a boffo success for them 😉

  • shanna

    I think it is a fine lin. You look a a show like Buffy which had a strong cult following that spawned tie-in like dolls and comics, etc. (btw if they did the online comic as an actual one I’d probably buy though I enjoy getting it for free) then NBC is doing a great job of driving that cult momentum.

    Where it might fail is new viewers. If people who haven’t been watching the show tune in to season 2 and it’s not up to par they’l have lots of backlash. Plus, what kept the fans engaged in franchises like Buffy was that coming back to the show it was intereesting. I just don’t want Kring and Co. to get caught up in the tie-ins and let the integrity of the show fall to the wayside.

  • I agree with TV Addict. I think that heroes is the most overvalued show of the last years, considering the disappointing first season and the non-long term organizations in plots that creators seems to follow: they care more about the publicity and to “pimp” the product, just think about the ads for season 1: “The best new show on TV”; “The new Lost!” and so on… We didn’t watch the show yet so they could be right, but now, after season 1… give us a break!!! It’s annoyng because we know that is a mediocre show. Fascinating, yes, but in the end… poor. They still have to learn how to make real good television (and by good television I mean shows like VM season 1-2, Buffy… Buffy has a real cult even after many years. The heroes cult.. I think it’s kinda fake, for now.)
    So… I prefer if they would work their brain to prove these amazing things that publicity praises, instead.

  • tdot

    Its not a ratings juggernaut, I remember when it was getting 11-12 million near the end of the season. But i know ratings will be fine in the new season, I cant not wait for the new season, i think that the new characters are gonna be awesome, espesially Kristen Bell!!!!!!!!!

  • Josh

    I see what you’re saying, but I think Rae makes a great point. I know I always forget that my point of view is a lot different from the average TV viewers who don’t visit TV sites or blogs, watch promos on YouTube, etc. My dad watches the show and he has no idea about promos, tours, merchandise, DVDs, all that.

    You can’t really blame NBC for embracing what is pretty much their biggest show, when you factor in things like internet buzz. The other networks generally do a similar amount of overpromotion with their biggest hits.

  • Rae,

    Your point is completely valid. But in response, I’ll say — I’m really only writing from my point of view and the view of my readers. Yes, I’m watch more TV than the average person, but odds are, if you’re visiting — you have a slight TV addiction problem as well!

    Would you not agree ‘TV whore’ 🙂

  • KayDee

    There’s a fine line between promoting a series and over-exposing a series. As we’ve seen often enough in the tabloids and the media, when something gets too much hype, the public turns against it. I don’t think all the exposure is going to hurt “Heroes” at all this season. But if NBC continues in this vein next year and the year after, people will become numb to the series’ charms and search for something else to satisfy their viewing pleasures. It happened to “Lost” when expectations exceeded the shows premise, it could happen to “Heroes,” which – if anything – if even more hyped than “Lost” was after its first season.
    I don’t watch “Heroes,” but would hate to see the love of so many go under because of the show and characters being constantly waved in people’s faces.

  • I agree that the overhype is a risk, especially in combination with other things. Like the admission that they make things happen just ’cause they want to (like having to scramble to explain why Peter didn’t fly at the end) rather than because they work for the story.

    I enjoyed it while I was watching it, but I never looked forward to it from week to week. I think it would benefit from some severe cast-and-storyline trimming, from not holding out a prize with one hand and yanking it back with the other (defeat of Sylar), from making some of these people actually heroic instead of constantly whining (except Hiro, he rocks :).

    Anyway, if there are very many fans who feel borderline about it like I do, the bigger they hype the show, the more suspicious and reluctant it will make me.

  • kevin

    Not to be bitchy, but I think it’s hillarious that you’re complaining about Heroes being overhyped, but there’s a huge banner on the side of your page advertising the season premiere.

  • kevin, the irony isn’t lost on me… believe me. But hey, something’s gotta pay for my server! And if anything, it proves yet again that is completely independant and a pawn to no network!