So episode four arrived and the big question I was asking myself, apart from just what Parkman was listening to on that walkman (which, wasn’t revealed much to my disappointment but still very much keeps the Hammertime dream alive for one more episode) was, why was I so nervous? I mean this should be the highlight of my dreary week, an escape from the 9 to 5 and wind ravaged wasteland that exists outside of TV world. But it’s not. Instead, as the credits rolled I was at once excited whilst at the same time crossing everything I had repeating the mantra ‘Please don’t screw it up Kring’.
You see watching Heroes this season hasn’t been the carefree and joyous ride that I enjoyed during season one. Back in these innocent, naïve days when I had not discovered the awesomeness of the show I had no expectations, in fact I had very little hope seeing as TV execs have a history of screwing up my television enjoyment (for evidence here I cite Firefly as a case in point). But then my friends and I sat down and watched the entire series; back-to-back during one glorious week of geek and we all fell in love with the show.
So, I can hear you all asking, what does this have to do with Heroes season 3? Well what I have described above are just some of the causes of a little known and horrible little condition I like to call sequelitis, or its postmodern equivalent prequelitis. Sequel / prequelitis is the term given to that condition you find yourself in when you just know you aren’t going to enjoy the future instalments of your favourite movie or TV show. Often the condition isn’t bought about by the quality of the entertainment itself, more the way in which you first watched it, the specific time and place that it will always hold in your heart. It is a state of mind that creates insurmountable expectations of what you are about to watch and is often accompanied by phrases such as ‘It’s not as good as the original.’, ‘What did that say the first one didn’t?’ and ‘Die Jar Jar, die you Gungan bastard!!!’.
I think one of the cases of prequelitis that many of us can relate to is the Phantom Menace and for that matter the whole of episodes 1 – 3. The Gungan idiot, aside Phantom Menace actually isn’t that bad a film and neither are Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith. Sure, they suck in places, but no more so than the original trilogy, but we were never going to see them objectively were we? Everyone has a story of when they first watched the original trilogy and they are films that have so invaded our consciousness that it is hard not to hold a sense of shared ownership.
So when we all sat down to watch The Phantom Menace there was no way in hell our expectations were ever going to be realised and I feel that season 3 of Heroes is suffering from a similar case of sequel / prequelitis, or to use the Victorian term ‘a great expectation’.
It certainly holds a special case in my heart and I think given its global success it had the same effect on much of its audience by finally offering a televisual event that actually delivered. Add to this Kring’s admission of fault at the end of season 2 and it creates a melting pot of overwhelming expectation and critical awareness that means that Heroes cannot possibly satisfy us as we either subconsciously compare it to its breakthrough season or become super-aware of its faults.
I’m certainly not saying that season 3 is faultless as it does have its flaws; I think it is just that we have been quicker to leap on them after Kring’s possibly ill-advised admission and perhaps it would be interesting to witness our reaction had he not commented on the quality of season 2. But I am suggesting that we all approach the show with a little more patience and give it a chance to step out of the shadow of season 1 and show us what its made of.
I mean if you go back to the early episodes of season 1 I’m sure I wasn’t alone in not having a clue of what was going on, but enjoying it nonetheless, so whilst season 3 is challenging, confusing at times, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable. And just as with season 1 it will only start firing on all cylinders once all of these interweaving plotlines start to converge in the second half. Until then I for one am going to enjoy the ride because that’s what it has been so far, an entertaining ride with twists and turns taken at breakneck speed.
So I realise that I have said nothing of consequence about episode 4 but you all watched it right? You all enjoyed your trip to the future, even if it did raise as many questions as it provided answers? We all enjoyed the levelling of the playing field between Peter and Sylar and the cataclysmic results of the ensuing battle. We enjoyed looking into what might be and trying to work out how they got there and for me this is where Heroes is at its best and after my grumblings about the villains last week, the episode was a return to form that really got me going.
That just leaves me with last week’s predictions, how did I do? Well on the Tracey front it looks like I was spot on with Zimmerman admitting she was one of a set of Triplets experimented on in their infancy. And indeed Parkman is kept away from the rest of the cast, so not doing bad there either; but what of the future? Well seeing as how you ask:
- Parkman will get board of following his Tortoise spirit guide a la’ Homer Simpson and kick the slowpoke until a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash arrives to guide him through his spirit walk.
- One a more serious note Peter will find a way of combating the hunger, offering to help present-day Sylar who rejects him out of pride.
- The speedster is indeed working for a rival company.
- Hiro and Ando (possibly joined by Elle) will do battle with Adam Monroe.
Read Daniel’s prior review and predictions here.