Heroes will be back for a fourth season. Does that prospect excite you? Bore you? Bounce off you like bullets off Superman’s chest? Count me as being…well, if not exactly excited, then really interested. Even though I’ve been pretty disappointed with the season, I remain enthusiastic and fascinated by its premise and potential. Especially right now: I don’t think the Big Theme of “heroism” has ever been more relevant. The whole idea of “sacrifice” – the chief quality of heroism – is certainly a tricky value to adopt here in these rough economic times. And then, there’s The Dark Knight and Watchmen, big, bold movies that dare to give superheroes a makeover into more complicated, more flawed creatures. Will kids these days leave our current moment even believing in the concept of heroism? All of this makes for great dramatic grist for Heroes, which at its best isn’t just fun, it has the ability to reflect back to us our of-the-moment attitudes about heroism. Of course, the show shouldn’t be pedantic or obvious about it. The Monica/Katrina storyline in season 2 was a little too on the nose. (But I dug the actress, and I really liked the character’s photo-memory power; I kinda wish the show could find a way to bring her back.) And the current national security/Homeland Security-themed storyline feels a little behind the times to me; “Fugitives” might have landed better in the first half of season 2.
Not that I want to try and give Heroes any more unwanted free advice than I already have. And not that I want the show to be all self-serious. This sentiment has been expressed before by others, but let me say it, too: When I was a kid, growing up geeky in Seattle and coming of fanboy age on X-Men by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and Daredevil by Frank Miller, I dreamed that one day I’d be able to see stuff like what I was reading on TV. Those stories were just so cool, and I knew in my bones that if someone had the nuts to bring this stuff to the masses, mainstreamers would dig it, too. At its best, Heroes has done that, and I really see no reason why it can’t do it again.
This is all to say that I’m happy to see that Heroes is getting another turn at bat, and I’m rooting for it to hit it out of the ballpark next year. But what do you think? Are you pumped that Heroes will continue? And what would you like to see the show do during its fourth season?