_Heroes_ has become the show that I love to hate, which is ironic, considering my raving accolades of the show during its first seaons (right up until the debacle that was called the season finale). It’s actually quite gratifying to see several other sources around the web share my disdain for Kring and his sub-par writing. I’ve never been sorry that I turned my back on _Heroes_, and I can ignore the disappointment that I feel about Kring’s mis-management of a show that had the potential to be bigger and better than _X-Men_.
I realize that a lot of my friends are still huge fans of _Heroes_, and to that I say, You have my deepest sympathies. I’ve no doubt that _Heroes_ has many interesting and fascinating tidbits, but unfortunately you have to dig through the rest of the rubbish to find them, and by then even those tidbits have been tainted by the overall foulness of the rest of the show.
So where did Kring go wrong, aside from just being a generally mediocre writer? In my opinion, he went wrong by violating one of the most important rules of writing for TV – he created a cast that was far too large to follow in episodes that span only one hour a week. Even in the first season, I complained that he gave too little face-time to most of his characters, which made it extremely difficult for viewers to get involved with them. There were a dozen characters, each with their own storylines, none of which really started to overlap until the last handful of episodes. It’s extremely difficult to get vested in a cast of characters that you don’t spend any time with.
Now, most popular TV shows have a cast of between 5-9 characters, but what makes that work is that these characters share lives, events, trials, heartaches, and so on. They are involved with each other, and through their interactions we learn about the way they think, how they feel, who they love, etc. The size of the cast of rarely changes, and if it does, it’s only to add or subtract one or two characters at a time – and if one leaves, there is typically another entering to replace them and maintain balance. _Heroes_ has never had that kind of synergy and depth, and we as viewers cannot care that much about these characters.
The other side effect of having too many characters on so many different sub-arcs is that it leaves the storyline thin and stretched. I don’t doubt that Kring has some amazing conspiracies and secrets woven into the fabric of his show, but with so many characters gallivanting about the country doing their own thing, there just isn’t time in an hour to flesh any of these plot points out effectively. As a result, the writing comes across is sloppy and slipshod, and Kring – rather deservedly – gets a bad rap.
What Kring really needs to do is trim his cast of characters down to about eight or nine favorites, kill off the rest, and bring his chosen ones together as a team to face off against crime and villainy. Then, I think, he stands a chance of salvaging _Heroes_ from a fate worse than death.