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'Heroes' Creator Apologizes to Fans

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'Heroes' Creator Apologizes to Fans

Old 11-07-07, 07:29 PM
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'Heroes' Creator Apologizes to Fans

(source:ew.com )
...
Kring himself is keenly aware that Heroes is broken. Here's his candid critique:

THE PACE IS TOO SLOW ''We assumed the audience wanted season 1 a buildup of intrigue about these characters and the discovery of their powers. We taught [them] to expect a certain kind of storytelling. They wanted adrenaline. We made a mistake.''

THE WORLD-SAVING STAKES SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED SOONER The premonition of nuclear apocalypse created a larger context that unified every story line last season. Kring now sees that Volume 2 (the first 11 episodes of season 2) would have been better served if Peter's vision of viral Armageddon had appeared in the season premiere rather than episode 7. ''We took too long to get to the big-picture story,'' he says.

THE ROOKIES DIDN'T GREET THEMSELVES PROPERLY New Heroes Monica (Dana Davis), Maya (Dania Ramirez), and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) ''shouldn't have been introduced in separate story lines that felt unattached to the show. The way we introduced Elle (Kristen Bell) by weaving her in via Peter's story line is a more logical way to bring new characters into the show.'' (That said, Kring says a few newbies won't make it beyond this second volume, which wraps Dec. 3.)

HIRO WAS IN JAPAN WAY TOO LONG Hiro's (Masi Oka) time-bending adventure in 17th-century Japan where he mentored samurai hero Takezo Kensei (David Anders) finally came to an end on Nov. 5. But Kring says it ''should have [lasted] three episodes. We didn't give the audience enough story to justify the time we allotted it.''

YOUNG LOVE STINKS Kring regrets sticking Claire (Hayden Panettiere) with a super-dud boyfriend and forcing Hiro to moon over a cutesy princess. ''I've seen more convincing romances on TV,'' he admits. ''In retrospect, I don't think romance is a natural fit for us.''

Yet while Heroes has finally found some dramatic traction, this second volume is pretty much a wash. The Dec. 3 episode has been retooled to function as a potential season finale a move inspired by the writers' strike and a desire to give the show ''a clean slate'' when it goes back into production for Volume 3. At that point, Kring wants to craft a rebooted Heroes that can attract new fans and win back those who've tuned out: ''The message is that we've heard the complaints and we're doing something about it.''
Seems like he's heard all the complaints and they're gonna work to correct it. I'm very glad that they haven't pulled a 24 and just stuck their heads in the sand and assume that the season is going well.
Old 11-07-07, 07:34 PM
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That's really awesome that Kring recognizes all those issues and is addressing them. I've enjoyed the season thus far but it certainly could be better and it sounds like it will be.
Old 11-07-07, 07:36 PM
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Wow ... I think he is being too tough on himself. I agree with most of what he said, but if they speed the show up we could end up with another Bionic Woman. A slower pace allows for drama tension to build overtime, otherwise its all action, which would turn me off completely.

I am betting that its 75% PR move and the show will change, but not as much as he implies.
Old 11-07-07, 07:37 PM
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I'll agree that most of those things are problems but I just didn't have a problem with the Hiro arc. I thought it was paced perfectly.
Old 11-07-07, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Timber
I'll agree that most of those things are problems but I just didn't have a problem with the Hiro arc. I thought it was paced perfectly.
I agree. Especially since Kensei/Adam looks to be playing a major role in the other heroes' storylines.
Old 11-07-07, 07:49 PM
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I think what he's doing is acknowledging the complaints more than agreeing with them. Honestly, I think it's a good tactic -- whether the fans are rational or not, they're the consumer. Tell them you're going to cater to them. It's just good PR.

Some of the complaints are spot on (West and the Wonder Twins blow), but some of them are expecting a little much from the show (the Hiro storyline isn't bad -- it's just a little slow, and slow is okay).

This makes me wonder if Kring asked NBC to kill Origins. If so, I think that's really shortsighted on his part. There are people who want to see standalone episodes set in this universe. Origins would have been a cool way to make those fans happy. In a way, the twins and Micah's cousin were essentially Origins fodder. It wasn't bad TV, but putting that stuff in the main story took us away from the folks we cared most about. That was the worst part about them.

I do think the best part of all of this is that Kring is acknowledging he is willing to admit the show can be better crafted, even if I believe he's being a little too eager to agree with the fans to be totally sincere. That jibes well with what I saw from him with Crossing Jordan. The flip side of that coin is that I imagine NBC gave him some fairly forceful notes that led to some of the trouble spots. For instance, I'm guessing NBC pushed the love interests. Hopefully, he avoids the network notes a little better for the next chapter and beyond.
Old 11-07-07, 08:03 PM
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I don't think the pace is slow, I will say it is what drove me away early in Season one, but now that I look back, I'm more tuned in now that story arcs are given time to develop and hold my interest.

I don't want a WWE-style build up and resolution. Either they take waaaaaay too long that I don't care when the pay off comes, or they move along too quickly and there is no stopping putting together meaningless high spots.
Old 11-07-07, 08:03 PM
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It was encouraging to read the honesty and humility in Kring's comments;this show has the potential to be one of the greats, but the weaknesses noted above (some of the same issues plagued last season as well) have resulted in less than compelling television. Here's hoping that the fresh start can still save it.

Tim, if I could humbly add a couple more criticisms:


TOO MANY CHARACTERS - even with 22-24 episodes, there are too many storylines to explore adequately,and their dramatic pull is diluted (see Lost).


MORE ACTION - extraordinary powers...and ordinary events. So often, when I'm expecting a big bang, there's a little pop. Knock some heads together! Blow stuff up!
Old 11-07-07, 08:13 PM
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I haven't had many issues with this season. The only sore point are the Wonder Twins, but I am willing to see where they go before I write them off.

Anyway, we'll see what happens but I agree that he is being too hard on the show. It's the "fans" that are really the problem.
Old 11-07-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mike7162
MORE ACTION - extraordinary powers...and ordinary events. So often, when I'm expecting a big bang, there's a little pop. Knock some heads together! Blow stuff up!
I think if this is key to you, you'll always be disappointed in Heroes (and just about every other TV show). The budget just isn't there to do too much of this stuff. I do really hope they do a Heroes feature at some point, though -- that way, we could get the big booms.
Old 11-07-07, 08:14 PM
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I think the main problem they had this year was that they had interesting story moving characters that they haven't used as well this year. I don't know if they had to introduce the virus in the first episode, but they definitely waited too long and spent way too much time on things that just didn't work (anything with Claire...ugh!).

The Hiro story...honestly, I think it might have worked better as just one self contained episode. Certainly, it was a long time to spend to basically just set up who the villian is. Especially since most of us had figured he played some part in the modern storyline given what his power was. It was a long way to go for a less than shocking reveal.

As for Zan, Jana, and their space monkey Gabriel Gray...they were brought into the story too much for what we were getting out of them. Really, we had them in four or five episodes and still haven't seen how they tie into the plot at all (you would have thought they would have learned that lesson last year with the Nicki/Micah/DL storyline which dragged down otherwise good episodes). The same with Ray Mysterio III, but I some what enjoy her storyline so I'm willing to wait on that one.
Old 11-07-07, 08:27 PM
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I'm glad to see Kring acknowledge that there are problems with this season. Hopefully, this isn't just public relations fluff, and he'll actually try to fix it.

I don't have a problem with the pacing. I think it's going ok. And the Hiro story was fine, but I probably couldn't take it much more.

My biggest gripe is that it's turned into The Hayden Panettiere Show guest-starring everyone else. The girl is pretty to look at. But I don't tune in for her. Episode after episode it's dating problems and Daddy issues. Put the cheerleader on the backburner.

I also hate the illegal alien Wonder Twins and the New Orleans storyline. That smacks of Law & Order "ripped from the headlines" crap. What's next? Mohinder on the No Fly List? A superhero stuck in Gitmo? Maybe next year the heroes can save us from global warming.
Old 11-07-07, 08:31 PM
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Good to see for sure, so there might still be hope. I gave up a couple of episodes ago, but I'd be willing to do a marathon to catch up, should word of mouth pick up. From the sounds of it, volume two might be a lost cause, but volume three might pick up.
Old 11-07-07, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBigDave

My biggest gripe is that it's turned into The Hayden Panettiere Show guest-starring everyone else. The girl is pretty to look at. But I don't tune in for her. Episode after episode it's dating problems and Daddy issues. Put the cheerleader on the backburner.

I also hate the illegal alien Wonder Twins and the New Orleans storyline.

Those are really my only problems with the show this year. I don't mind the daddy issues Hayden but the dating Hayden has been terrible.

Like someone said earlier, Wonder Twins and New Orleans should have been on Origins. If they were on Origins I don't think anyone would have voted for any of these characters to be added.
Old 11-07-07, 09:26 PM
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Good to see he's aware of the problems. However, I hope he realizes that the biggest problem is too many characters.
Old 11-07-07, 09:32 PM
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I really don't get the "too many characters" complaint (for this or for LOST).

To me, I don't care how many characters there are as long as the focus is on the best characters. Kring can have 100 characters as long as I get good stories involving Hiro, HRG, Peter, and Parkman.
Old 11-07-07, 10:02 PM
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I see the only problem with this year is the slow build up... Either than that, you have to bring in new characters. Maybe not so many all at once, and not so slowly, but still. I have to say though, I like that he at least sees issues, acknowledges them, and will try to make changes.

I have to say though, I hope he doesnt let fans "write" the show. Sure this season isnt perfect, but I dont think many more would be doing much better.
Old 11-07-07, 10:05 PM
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I agree with virtually all of the points the article brought up & am happy to see the show's creator publically acknowledge this. The first step to correcting a problem is recognizing you have one. Some writers just don't get this but Kring seems to have identified what went wrong and hopefully we won't see repeats of them. This show still has massive potential but I'm afraid the early season lull has permanently knocked off a few million fans.
Old 11-07-07, 10:10 PM
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Of course the down side to this is that, instead of trying new things, even if they sometimes fail, they just keep doing the same things every year, because it has worked in the past.
Old 11-07-07, 11:07 PM
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I applaud Kring's candor and willingness to accept the flaws in his own storytelling, but I wonder if he's not fighting a losing battle. Much like 24, Heroes had a an energy and newness to it that masked its numerous flaws. Viewers forgave the story contrivances, the superfluous characters, and the poor acting because it was something different, something that spoke to the comic geek in all of us, something we wanted to believe in. But you can never recapture that new car smell, and once you get a whiff of mold in the air conditioning, there's not much hope of turning back. Many people still love the show, and many will enjoy the changes they make, but I suspect the illusion is gone for a sizable portion of the audience, a result I imagine was inevitable even without this season's issues.

In any case, good luck to him. It will be interesting to see how this develops. I seem to recall J.J. Abrams apologizing for letting Alias run off the rails while he was away, but I never felt that train ever got back on track (for those of you who didn't like the car metaphor).

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Old 11-07-07, 11:14 PM
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THE WORLD-SAVING STAKES SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED SOONER The premonition of nuclear apocalypse created a larger context that unified every story line last season. Kring now sees that Volume 2 (the first 11 episodes of season 2) would have been better served if Peter's vision of viral Armageddon had appeared in the season premiere rather than episode 7. ''We took too long to get to the big-picture story,'' he says.
This is exactly what I have thought has been the problem, this season. IIRC, last season they established the "save the cheerleader, save the world" plot early on which drew the viewer in, and every week they moved the story along. This year, it meandered for so long without a point. I really felt like they could have compacted the first 5 episodes into one episode.

It feels like it is finally going somewhere now, but it took too damn long to set it up.
Old 11-07-07, 11:31 PM
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I don't really have all that many objections to how this season has unfolded, mainly because I was in it for the long haul, I was okay with letting things play out, but I fear that today's audience just doesn't have the patience for this style of storytelling anymore. Kring and company might have shot their wad too early if they started with the virus outbreak revelation in this season's opener, so you can't make everyone happy, just go with your gut and hope enough people are tuning in to stay a viable show.
Old 11-08-07, 12:59 AM
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Sure this season has been moving slow. Slower than the first one but after Monday's episode I think we're in for an intense ride for the rest of the season (or until the break depending on the strike). The way this season has worked is that they set up story after story culminating to this past weeks episode where they set up the final group of questions. Next week will begin answering them from the beginning. Hopefully now the show will pick up the pace like it did last season.
Old 11-08-07, 01:58 AM
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I found the "2 men and a little lady" storyline more annoying than any of the other issues brought
Old 11-08-07, 04:11 AM
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Its not that the pace of the first 3 episodes was slow it was that there was no pace at all. All 3 episodes were esentially carbon copies of each other. not to mention what little that was happening was pretty lame.

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