Save Heroes

I know many of you are fans of the show Heroes.  I also know that many of you are just as frustrated as I am about some of the show’s less desirable elements, such as the way they treat many of the characters of color. To that end, I created Save Heroes. To wit:

…if we, the fans, are going to hang in there for the long haul, continue watching Volume 2, and go on to watch Volume 3, then we need to know that Heroes‘ problems are going to be addressed. Because it’s not about just getting rid of troubling characters and ditching inconvenient plots, it’s about understanding why those characters were troubling and why those plots made the audience twitch. And beyond that, Mr. Kring needs to understand how issues of race and gender play into both aspects.

All of these issues have been explored, sometimes at length, in blogs and on message boards in fandom. But is Tim Kring seeing all of that? Probably not. Does he care what the fans think? Of course. Is he capable of change and growth? Obviously. Therefore we, as fans, have to find a way to make our voices heard.

We need to write a detailed critique of the plot, character, race and gender elements of Heroes. We need to have one place where the producers and writers of Heroes can come and find what fandom has to say on these issues.

That’s the purpose of this website. We don’t need to Save Heroes from cancellation or network misuse, we need to Save Heroes from itself. Because it’s not a lost cause. It’s still capable of being the amazing show it was in season one. No, it’s capable of being even better.

How can you help Save Heroes? Easy. Just give your opinion on the Plot and Characters or Race and Gender issues in the show. We’re inviting all fans to contribute to a collaborative document in which we provide constructive, respectful criticism of the current season. Whether you offer your original thoughts or point to existing posts on the Internet, all ideas are welcome. Once we have enough contributions to create a coherent document, we’ll put it together in total and digitally sign it.

I would love it if some of the folks who’ve been making insightful comments here would go contribute.

10 Responses

  1. I don’t know if Heroes can be saved. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but what could writers possibly learn about race and gender in a couple months that they didn’t learn in their adult lives and writing careers. It’s possible that they don’t see them as a problem, at least to the general audience.
    The issue that most bothered me was the portrayal of DL. Yes, he saved Nikki from a bullet and became a fireman (before he died), but what about when he was BEGGING her to “escape jail” because he couldn’t make it in the world. Started out being a wanted criminal. Not a good image of a black man. And here was a guy that was using his power before almost everybody else, but couldn’t react fast enough to save himself and Nikki together.

    And as far as gender, you don’t have to be a writing genius to see the mistake of making the women of Heroes emotionally incompetent. Even Clair didn’t want her powers, where a guy would have become the next X-Games champion. Today, sci-fi is full of strong, super-powered women. And the networks made money. I just don’t think the writers can empathize with the views of another culture. Best thing they could do is listen to criticisms like this, but then they’re writing would be fake, which would probably be worst.

  2. And “The Haitian” should be moved up to a pivotal role and not some silent servant. And he should be given a name. Come to think of it, what was DL’s full name? To all the critics of the “magic negro” phenomena in Hollywood, I can only say look at the percentage of stories where there is a person of color that’s the young, inexperienced hero and a white person is the mentor. Should at least be 12% right?
    Why couldn’t you have started a blog entitled “Save Daybreak” back in winter 2006? That was an ABC show that I would have loved to see continue.

  3. Wow, I have so much to write at Save Heroes but I’m in final’s week!

    *backlogs thoughts until I can get them all out!*

  4. Even Clair didn’t want her powers, where a guy would have become the next X-Games champion

    Not to deny the problems that Heroes has with race and gender in te slightest (how much effort would it have taken to make Simone interesting enough ON HER OWN to keep around?), but niether Peter nor Nathen wanted their powers. Nathen pretty much denied his until the end of Season 1, and we haven’t seen him do much flying this season either.

  5. True, Nathan and Peter didn’t want they’re powers, but only after they either hurt somebody (Nathan’s wife) or thought they would hurt somebody. Clair knew exactly what she could do but still just wanted to be “normal”. I don’t have a big issue with her situation though. I think most every teen wants to fit in some kind of way. But the writers hardly showed a female character comfortable with they’re powers unless they were evil. At least until Memory Muscle Monica came on the scene. Maybe they’re starting to turn it around.

  6. I initially liked the Catholic touch of Maya causing eyes to “bleed” as some paintings and statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary were said to have cried actual blood-tears. But in Catholic tradition, this is a sign of holiness and redemption, not death. I don’t like it that this legend has been perverted into something EVIL and WICKED and I consider it subtly anti-Catholic, as well as blatantly anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican.

    Immigrants bringing forth DISEASE, huh? And where have we heard that one before?

    Maya as in Mayans? Or Maya as in the Hindu deity? The Buddhist concept of illusion? Do they even know, or did they just pick a cool name out of abyss?

    Do they do these things deliberately or what?

    ~*~

    I cross-posted the above comments at your new site, but here I will second hw’s comments and say I don’t know if Heroes can be saved…

  7. I have noticed that “certain people” never seem to notice racism even when it is pretty blatant. There aren’t many black people in any major network program, so that isn’t really the complaint. The fact that there aren’t many of them just makes the stereotyping all the more obvious. Here is a quick walkthrough of ALL of the black people that I have seen so far on “Heroes”…

    (1)Old Guy in Wheelchair from Season 1: Character of little/no consequence. Killed off early in the season.

    (2)The Haitian: Mute black man taking orders from white superiors. If he’s not taking orders from Claire’s dad.. Then in the future(5 Years Gone) he’s taking orders from the idiot Cop.

    (3)Peter & The Psychic Painter’s “Girlfriend”: Black woman. The only licentious character on the show. Killed off, but not before dating the junkie and then sleeping with Peter. Again.. not a hero and not a particularly likable character.

    (4)Nikki’s Husband: Black convict. Flawed hero. Neither prominent nor important. Sure, his wife is a hero, but she’s also a stripper/prostitute(?) His most prominent moment in the show is when he “loyally” takes bullet for Niki.

    (6) Black Cheerleader: An extra. Bad Guy. One of the evil cheerleaders. Non-character; just prominently placed in the cheerleader scene of season 2 episode one to be seen and despised.

    (7)Black Thug in Ireland: Non-hero. Bad guy. Beats up Peter. Again non-speaking black man taking orders from white superiors. See also Haitian supra.

    (8)Nikki’s Biracial Son: No problems with him. He’s the exception that proves the rule.

    There aren’t many blacks that have been in the show at all and these are their roles. Only 1 out of the only 8 black characters in twenty-four episodes I’ve seen seems to be respectable. Tell me I’m wrong.

    See also abc’s Lost.

  8. Saw some more episodes… apparently ANY and ALL white people are able to tell ‘ol step-n-fetch “Haitian” what to do. Saw episode 8 and even the psychotic 24yr old girl gives him orders.

  9. Yeah, what’s with the without-a-name Haitian man taking orders from just about everyone? I liked DL but yeah, why did he have to be a convict(though to a large degree, he was framed by Jessica). And the way they killed him off after making it look like they were going to kill him off in a different way was stupid. They obviously just viewed him as an expendable character.

    I liked Monica, very promising but at season’s end, she had to be rescued by a White woman.

    Simone, intelligent and I liked her, but it was all about the White guys in her life. I liked her father and would have liked to see him with a bigger role. Wasn’t he one of the original heroes but they don’t do many flashbacks with him? But they just killed him off like he was an extra.

    Why was Nikki’s super-human strength framed as a mental illness unlike those of the men’s powers (i.e. Matt’s telepathy wasn’t viewed as him experiencing auditory hallucinations but an amazing power).

    It kind of reminded me of X Men 3 where Jean Grey was at the highest level of super powers yet they had her experience what appeared to be a type of nervous breakdown. I guess women can’t handle really super duper powers like men can.

    Especially what was bothersome was the use as a plot device, Disassociated Identity Disorder, one of the most misunderstood and misportayed mental illnesses? But how mental illness is defined and portrayed in the show is problematic to say the least.

    Maya, ugh. I like the actress but not the character. I didn’t really buy into her ditching her brother and hooking up with Skyler, who of course is a White man. though I think plot truncation played some role in that too. Like Simone, her loyalty to White male characters got her killed but because there’s this plot development springing up about Clair’s life-saving blood, she’s back to life. So Maya was saved from her own bad choices by a White woman.

    Hiro is portrayed more as a little boy and comic relief along with his friend, Ando who’s not particularly developed though the actor tries his best with what he’s given. I would have liked to see more interaction with Hiro and his father, played by George Takai who I really like. But almost all the intergenerational heroes focus was of course on Peter and Nathan and their mother (who I don’t really like and wish they’d kill off) rather than Hiro and his father.

    The most developed parent-child relationship is Clair and her father HRG man in season one, “Noah” in season two. I love Jack Coleman’s portrayal. He did play a character who was both good and bad on a daytime drama he was in about 20 years ago and did a decent job with a much more rigorous production schedule.

    Mohinder went into serious decline this season. I didn’t really buy him and Matt (whose backstory still remains unexplained as to where his wife is) were foster parents of sorts to Molly. Nothing he did this year made any sense.

    Overall, it was terrible this season though I thought it was in slow decline last season, not long after “Company Man”. It did what “Lost” did the second season, split all the charaters up, sent them to faraway places and then brought on these new characters, putting them front and center. New characters shouldn’t be front and center right away but slowly developed.

    Mercifully, it appears the writers’ strike which will be a long one truncated this season, one reason besides poor story arc building as to why the finale didn’t make much sense and there wasn’t as much emotion invested into it. And as much as I love Skyler, I just wasn’t overtaken by excited anticipation when he said, “I’m back” in the teaser for next season which might be nearly a year away anyway.

  10. Hi there. I know this is old, but did any of you guys receive feedback from the creative team about your comments? While more and more people have complained about the decline of the show, it seems like they are talking about all the wrong things. After watching the first couple episodes of the second half of the third season, it looks as if the gender and ethnic portrayals are worse now than they were when in previous seasons. How is that even possible???

    So I was wondering if you guys had better luck – at least in reaching them.

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