Heroes, probably by far the best series in the history of television has gone off into its midseason with a cliffhanger which could not have been more exciting, mysterious, shocking and incredibly surprising.
Heroes tells the story of ordinary people starting to have supernatural powers (including phasing, manipulation of timespace and flight), but not with big battles or whole bridges being moved around like in X-Men, but from a human perspective: how would you react if you found out you could read other people’s minds (and hear loved ones say things you were never meant to know) or had a superstrong alter ego which sometimes overtook your body? The main plots of the different characters are slowly crossing each other within the series story arc as one of them travels to the future and eventually sees New York being destroyed by what appears to be a nuclear explosion. He comes back to the present, only to find he has five weeks left to find the other people with special abilities and stop whatever is causing the explosion.
Since its start, the series has had the best ratings in its time slot on NBC in over five years and is the most successful new series on television, which explains the incredible hype that’s going on in the US. Save the cheerleader, save the world – one of the catchphrases of the show – did not only appear in trailers after almost every other show on NBC, it also lead to people running around with t-shirts where the phrase was printed on and a wonderfully divers creativity of fans on hundreds of websites, including YouTube, where the tag “Heroes” gives you some of the best fanvideos ever made.
The series, although having already started off with eight simultaneous main plots (!), gets more complex with every single episode and stars some of tv’s best and since the start of the series, at the latest, most legendary actors, including among others Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls), Greg Gunberg (Alias), Hayden Panettiere (Ally McBeal), Adrian Pasdar (Judging Amy, Desperate Housewives), Nora Zehetner (Everwood) as well as Noah Gray-Cabey (My wife and kids) and, in the episodes to come, George Takei (Star Trek TOS). Most notably however the (probably) most intelligent actor ever in a tv series: Masi Oka, who not only is an ingenious actor but also works at George Lucas’ visual fx firm Industrial Light & Magic and, most notably, has an 180-plus IQ! (Between 90 and 109 is average, while anything above 140 is considered as excellent. Einstein is thought to have had around 180, though he never took a test and it is only an estimation).
With this cliffhanger, the show, in which a great deal of the dialogues are in Japanese – as two of the main characters are Japanese and speak hardly any English at the beginning – has once again risen the bar for quality tv – with the most beautifully rendered special effects scene since the pilot episode of Stargate: Atlantis when the city lifted itself up from the ground of the ocean.
Midesason however sadly means there won’t be a new episode for seven weeks, though this first teaser surely creates a great anticipation. I wonder whether they are going to play trailers in the movie theaters for the start of the season’s second half as well.