Heroes is back with a bang

by Paul William Tenny

Heroes "The Second Coming"Crossing Jordan was an ensemble medical drama starring Jill Hennessy that ran for six seasons on NBC. I only ever saw one episode and while it held my interest for the hour, it wasn't anything to write home about, although six seasons these days is actually one hell of an accomplishment. Jordan won the ASCAP award for Top TV Series three years in a row and had the unfortunate luck of having its original debut set for Tuesday, September 11th 2001.

So why is any of this significant?

If you had asked me at anytime in the first half of this decade who had created Crossing Jordan and what his future held, I'd have shrugged indifferently and told you to check cable in a few years. Not to undersell the man, but the world hadn't heard of and didn't really care about Tim Kring, even though Jordan was well received in the ratings and perhaps NBC should even be faulted for canceling the series too soon.

I for one am glad that they did.
Heroes will never see the kind of ratings that Lost did when its second season debuted, but really, very few series whether they be sitcoms, drama, or reality ever reach those heights. Bouncing between 8 and 12 million viewers won't make NBC thrilled, but the excitement the show generates and the high ratings it scores in the most important demographic (young males) more than makes up for not getting up there and challenging the likes of House on Fox.

And Tim Kring is the man responsible for the first legitimate hit NBC has had for as long as I can remember.

Volume 1, a.k.a season one, snuck up on me but didn't take very long to win me over. I blame NBC for not doing a better job of selling the show via intelligent advertising but that's neither here nor there -- by the time the finale aired, this was more than the best new show on network television, it was in my opinion the best period. House may make you laugh and cry while Lost makes you scratch your head, Heroes sucked you in and made you feel like your destiny was to watch these characters discover theirs, and that there was something enormously cool waiting for all of us at the end of that journey.

Volume 2 began too slowly, introduced too many irrelevant characters, and was mercifully put to rest by the writers strike. You saw it, we all mourned it, so let's no go there again.

Volume 3, "Villains", began for me late last night (Thursday) when I popped in the screener NBC sent me earlier this week into the DVD player and sat down foolishly expecting something great. I say foolishly because that's how I went into the second season and came away perhaps more disappointed than I should have been. Like many people I expected the sophomore season to be even better than the first, or at least on par, whilst taking for granted what an amazing achievement that first season really was. The truth is that something that well executed doesn't happen very often and even within the same series, is rarely repeated.

But this time was different, I went in with moderate expectations of quality rather than godliness and was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot closer to the deity of old than it was the confused crap we had dumped on us last season.

A show doesn't have to exceed its introduction to still be good, and Villains proves that Heroes and Tim Kring don't actually have anything to prove at all. This volume kicks off with a bang, literally and figuratively. There's no ambiguity here, although there are some things you'll see in the first few minutes that will take some time to understand, it's more like whetting your apatite than teasing you with a puzzle that takes the fun out of watching great television. Do you remember how early in the first season that you saw New York explode, or when Peter would see something from the future that seemed unavoidable yet never came to pass?

You really, really wanted to hang around to find out what it mean and what would happen.

That is what you can expect in "The Second Coming", and what I believe we can expect from Villains this year. Right from the very beginning we get our season-long arc. In "Genesis" it was self discovery and stopping New York from being nuked. In "Generations" it was stopping the virus meant to strip heroes of their powers that would end up wiping out a significant chunk of Earth's population. In Villains, it's...well, we're not sure yet. I know something but I can't really tell you what it is without compromising the season premier.

You'll have to be satisfied until Monday knowing that there is something that will drive Volume 3 and that you'll get a handle on it in the premier. There's no waiting four or five episodes while a bunch of new, uninteresting characters are introduced while our heroes are marginalized. Only one of the newbies from Generations even shows up in the premier, so you'll certainly be happy about that. In fact, every major player still living from the last season (except Micah) makes an appearance in the premier, some with fewer scenes than others. Each seems appropriate and we know they'll all play their part as the season unfolds.

To give you something to look forward to, if you're a fan of Ando or Mohinder, I think you'll be happy with how the premier plays out and it looks as if these two characters will stop being decorations and become real players.

You'll see what I mean.

As last season was intended but never had the chance, this season will be split into two volumes, with the first half of the season being Volume 3, a.k.a "Villains", and the back half is Volume 4, "Fugitives".

No, you don't really have any idea what Volume 4 is or how it will play out, at least as far as the premier is concerned. The first 12 episodes are all about villains and I think it's going to be a wild, extremely fun ride. Not convoluted or confused at all. And I want to stress this as strongly as possible: this is not season 2. This is not Generations. You might as well forget everything that happened in Generations with only one or two exceptions, the most important one being the finale in which Nathan is shot.

Second Coming picks up where that episode left off, no "four months later" to bore you into the ground. Although I have to admit, once we reached that point, "four months ago" was a very satisfying episode that I think got the series back on track. Regardless, Kring and company recaptured the magic. I really truly believe that they just reached too far too fast for season 2 instead of sticking with what worked. The TV series as a comic format did work, but trying to elevate it to "epic" is where they veered off course.

Not volume 3.

Although the mystique from back when everyone was learning who they were and what their purpose was is gone forever -- you can't have that experience twice anymore than you can fall in love for the first time twice -- everything else that you loved about this series has come home.

And just to leave you with some tortured thoughts over the weekend, it appears that not every villain in Villains is going to be new, but I'm not going to give you anything else.

You'll just have to tune in and see for yourself.

in Feature, Television


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You are clearly misplaced in your assessment of the television show Crossing Jordan (2001-2007).

This was one show that NBC truly made a mistake with in its abysmal decision not to return Crossing Jordan for a seventh season. Unlike shows that stay on well past their prime, Crossing Jordan was still in full swing and had a myriad of stories left to tell such as who killed Emily (Jordan's Mom), where did Max disappear to and why (Jordan's Dad), what was Dr. Macy's "demon," would Jordan and Woody finally get together and so much more.

Crossing Jordan was an awesome television show on the NBC network. It lasted for six sesons and 116 episodes.
Season one was a ground breaker in that it showed a female lead (Jill Hennessy) who was strong, smart, independent, beautiful, vulnerable yet willing to take risks to find the truth. Jill played the character of Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh with such aplomb, realism and strength that I was hooked after viewing the premiere episode. In fact, I never missed an episode in six years!

A part of what made Crossing Jordan such a great show was the fantastic acting of its unconventional cast and the coolest music ever by Wendy and Lisa. You could not view an episode of Crossing Jordan without stopping by Best Buy the following day to pick up a CD or two of the songs heard on the show.

The writing was second to none. There were no gimmicks. You were able to watch the characaters grow and evolve. Their weaknesses and vulnerabilities were shown and this only caused the viewer to draw even closer to each of the characters. No character grabbed a hold of you like Jordan! Jill nailed the role each and every week!

Crossing Jordan truly ended way before it should,have but thank goodness the network at least had the foresight to release the show on DVD (May 2008).

Do yourself a favor and purchase season one. You will not be disappointed. In fact, it will leave you begging NBC to hurry and release the remaining seasons ASAP.


the show has already started! and its looking great!! Claire is soooooooooooooooooooooo hot! :P

sylar is even more powerfull now.. claire doesnt feel pain.. mr petrelli pena rol... peter looks cool.. matt is lost in africa.. lol... really lots of things happend! The butterfly effect! love this show.. for those who want to download.. check my blog... ;)

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