Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panetierre, Zachary Quinto, Masi Oka, Kristen Bell, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar
Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Heroes is a show that grabbed a ton of fans with its incredible first season. The show was so well-done that an equally good second season was not only expected, but likely guaranteed. What wasn’t expected was the battles that the show would end up having to face along with many other productions as a nasty WGA strike cast a mighty shadow on the near future. Eventually, as depressingly anticipated by all, the strike did end up happening and it did indeed do its fair share of damage.
The NBC superhero drama was forced to completely cut its storyline off, re-write its projected path, and end the season early — an obviously difficult problem to face, like a 27-foot speed bump. The show’s team didn’t back down, though; they stood their ground and did their very best to do what they had to do to offer the best season they could while setting up for a return-to-form in season three.
While many people were completely let down by this sophomore effort, I found myself enjoying it a great deal. No, it was nowhere near the caliber of the first season, but it was still a strong story with compelling twists and some “hold your breath” moments. Most second seasons won’t match an amazing first season anyway, so the fact that they did a decent job after their entire storyline had to be scrapped is pretty damn admirable if you ask me.
One of the big negative things seemed to be the new characters. Claire’s (Hayden Panettiere) flying friend West (Nicholas D’Agosto) and aliens on the run Maya (Dania Ramirez) and her brother Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) never really had time to win over the hearts of the fans, though we have to keep in mind that these characters had very intriguing potential and didn’t have the chance to spread their wings. Then there was characters like Adam Monroe (David Anders) who through charm and mystery demanded that you watch his every move.
For those of you not familiar with the show, it’s about a group of regular people who discover they suddenly have supernatural powers — and this group has been getting larger and larger as the series progresses. There’s people with telepathy, super strength, and the most popular character, the high school cheerleader Claire, whose powers to heal from any injury earned her the nickname “Cheer-verine” by fans of the show. That’s just a tiny sample of the powers these “heroes” possess. And with heroes, we have villains, though it’s never quite clear who are the bad guys, except for one — Sylar (Zachary Quinto), who has the ability to absorb other people’s powers in a not so nice way.
In the end, this show is just plain and simply a hell of a lot of fun to watch. The first season is the better so far, but with a sure-to-be-intense 3rd season on the way, you absolutely have to make sure you catch this season and it’s plethora (El Guapo taught me that one!) of special features. And if you haven’t seen any episode of Heroes yet, get your ass out there and get them!
DVD Bonus Features
Deleted Scenes & Audio Commentary
Every disc has some deleted scenes and audio commentary from the episodes on that disc. Most are your typical deleted scenes, but some (such as one on disc 1) show unknown things, like what power Hiro’s father possesses.
Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint, The Drucker Files
On disc 2, there’s basically a History Channel special on Takezo Kensei, as if he were a real historical figure. It’s actually a pretty cool little feature behind the storyline involving Kensei and Hiro (Masi Oka). There’s also a similar report of sorts on someone named Drucker. I don’t recall the character in the show, but he was at one point affiliated with the Deveaux family.
Genetics of a Scene
On disc 3, a special feature that has a couple of the directors of Heroes episodes discussing how they approached and put together certain scenes.
This is the special feature to end all other special features for fans of Heroes. In the alternate ending, we see the ending of the last episode of season 2, but we see it how it was originally supposed to be, when it was not the season finale. Believe me when I tell you, this season was about to unleash some utter chaos when they had to cut it short. When they say “alternate ending”, they mean exactly that; it’s as opposite and different a direction as you can go.
Inside the Alternate Ending
When you see the alternate ending and see how insane the season was going to become, you can also see how complicated it is for them to go the other way and re-write the story. In this special feature, Tim Kring (Creator, Executive Producer), Jeph Loeb (Executive Producer), and Jesse Alexander (Writer, Executive Producer) talk about where they were going, what happened, and how they worked with it.
When the season ended early, they were in the middle of filming multiple other episodes that eventually had to be scrapped because of the story change. In these clips, we see some of the footage from those episodes. It’s not a lot, but one clip is incredibly graphic and symbolic of how insane the show was going to get. The thing about that one clip (judging by the title for season 3) is that it may be still symbolic for where the show is going.
These are some viral videos from NBC.com. Nothing too mind-blowing, but there’s a hotel being imploded in Vegas, a weird night time video having to do with Maya’s power, and a pretty cool Cloverfield-esque video of someone who caught the end of Season 1 on film where Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) flew up into the sky.
Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art
A quick look at some of the artwork used in the pilot for Heroes.