Blu-ray Review: “Heroes,” season four
Creator:: Tim Kring
Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere, Zachary Quinto, Jack Coleman, Masi Oka
It's amazing to look back on NBC's Heroes now that it is completely over and ended, and realize the ups and downs that it went through. Over its four year run, it went from being one of the highest-rated and most popular shows on television, to a passé thing that was easy to make fun of. This didn't stop it from being a weekly tent-pole show for me throughout the entirety of its run.
Yeah, the show did get pretty bad, and it's really unfortunate that more people didn't tune into season four. Mainly because it is actually pretty damn good (at least better than seasons two or three). Unfortunately, engaging new characters, more planned out story-lines, and less wishy-washy characters couldn't save the series.
The look of the show doesn't get the blame at all, as it looks absolutely amazing, especially in Blu-ray. I hadn't ever watched Heroes in HD before, and it is by far one of the better-looking ones out there. Maybe the visual style just goes along with the type of show it is, but that isn't to discredit the fantastic visuals.
It is telling how much care and work was put into the final season, primarily from a feature called Deconstructing Sylar. They delve into the psyche of the show's primary (sort-of) villain, with a discussion between series creator Tim Kring, one of the lead producers, and Sylar himself - Zachary Quinto. It was interesting to see the insight and evolution behind the character both in the times when we loved him and hated him. It's a fantastic feature that gets you into the head of the killer, and helps you decipher his demons.
Heroes Revolution was a pretty fascinating feature too, as it displays the phenomenon that Heroes became and how they figured out how to market it. It shows how they decided to weave comics, web series, and other mediums into the canon and legacy of the Heroes TV series. Putting insight behind how or why they handled an aspect of marketing is very interesting, and helps us get a better idea as to why Heroes blew up the way it did.
Aside from those, there are some pretty interesting design features that explain how they crafted some of the sets. The most amazing of which was a living and breathing carnival full of super-powered individuals. So much thought and care was put into those sets that some major motion pictures might get a little defensive. Seeing how these ideas were crafted and turned into an incredibly convincing set is astounding.
Sadly, this box set does carry the series' legacy, and is full of moderate letdowns. First off has to be the awful packaging. As soon as I unwrapped the box and slid out the inner-case, the discs flew out and landed on the floor. Luckily, the discs were Blu-ray and have the added durability, because they could have gotten pretty scuffed. Not only that, but it is a struggle to get the discs back into the box to where they won't fall out. If I wanted the discs to fly, I would call up Nathan Petrelli.
Aside from the packaging issues, I was awfully disappointed that there were no post-cancellation features - even something like a retrospective that could at least explain what went down in the final years. That's the stuff that we really want to see as fans. even if it is only in the form of a post-cancellation series finale commentary. But no, there's nothing. In fact, there isn't a single commentary in the entire set. This is surprising on all counts, and is usually a rare occurrence on any season box set.
It's a shame to see a show that seemed to be getting back on the right track got cancelled the way that Heroes did, but I also can't seem but feel that it was for the best. Unfortunately for those of you who stuck by the show through thick and thin like myself, this set doesn't fill the void. It leaves us just as the show often did - moderately disappointed.
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