Clearly, season two of Heroes benefits from the ability to binge watch. Because I have very distinct memories of watching it live and literally feeling like every other episode was verging on bad, and I was just one more lackluster one away from dropping the series. This time? When I watched 11 episodes in about five days? None of that.
I think part of why I didn’t care much for it the first time around was because the cast was so large and there were clearly characters and storylines that I cared about so much more than others. I was just annoyed when the bulk of an episode was Hiro in 1671 Japan or new characters Maya and Alejandro trying to run from Guatemala to the US without killing too many people with Maya’s oily tears of death. Because then I had to wait a whole week for everyone else to be in the forefront again. (And honestly, I didn’t really care about Peter and Caitlin in Ireland, either.)
But with the benefit of the next episode being a click (if that) away, I was able to watch those stories in a new light. Sure, Hiro in Japan was still not my favorite, but it wasn’t because I was just annoyed by Hiro. He’s grown on me now that there’s less “FLYING MAAAN!!!!!” and the like spewing out of his mouth, and he is a pretty good character. But it’s hard to watch good characters make bad choices. Not that falling in love with the swordsmith’s daughter was bad or even really a choice, but the world would probably have been a better place if he’d just left when he intended to or been a little more honest with everybody.
I ended up really enjoying season two, though not as much as season one. Season one had a lot of individual strings that all came together to a common end at Kirby Plaza, whereas season two just felt like a handful of different stories that intersected here and there. As a uniting feature, mysterious murders and the threat of a virus that could kill 96 percent of the world’s population wasn’t quite as punchy as “Save the cheerleader; save the world” and “stop a human nuke from destroying New York.”
The next two seasons will largely be new territory for me. I know I officially stopped watching during the season three premiere, but there must have been a few other episodes I just happened to pick up here and there. Because I know I saw an unexpected team-up episode, and I remember being annoyed that at least one character disappeared into the ether over the break. But again, I suspect the binge will work in Heroes’ favor throughout the series.
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