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November 07 2008

Heroes: 6 writers who can fix things. With the ousting of the show's showrunners, IGN looks to 6 writers who can still salvage "Heroes," most of whom are connected to Joss.

Nice set of writers, all of them could really shake up Heroes. NBC should pay big bucks to get Bryan Fuller back if ABC cancels PD, but I think the one writer who might do Heroes the most good is Jane. Yes, yes, Dollhouse, but I think Heroes desperately needs her particular brand of humor, whereas on Dollhouse she is one amongst many good writers who successfully combine both humor and drama.
Jeff Bell would be a very good showrunner for Heroes. I'd hire him.
I don't want Bryan Fuller doing anything else if Pushing Daisies is canceled that isn't Wonderfalls. Okay, I'm just bitter Wonderfalls is just too awesome.
Really thoughtful article, and the writer clearly has tastes very similar to mine :)
"According to Variety, series creator Tim Kring is said to be working to, "get back to the show's comicbookish good vs. evil themes and to emphasize character development more than plot twists."

That's good to read. They have definitely nailed the problem and solution.
I stopped watching this year, I do hope they can fix it because I did enjoy it immensely at one point.

And the Middleman is over? Good idea, great writing, horrible acting.

[ edited by Xane on 2008-11-07 16:30 ]

[ edited by Xane on 2008-11-07 16:30 ]
Yeah, I read that Kring was going to focus more on Characters and simplify the story a bit now, and that is something I have been desperately hoping for since I started watching the show. I've watched every episode, and I don't even like it very much, but I watch it all the same because there is so much potential there.

But yeah, Jeff Bell could bring that show to new levels of awesome. Jane I'm not sure if her style really fits the tone of the show as it is now, but if they decide to switch it up it wouldn't be too bad. Bryan Fuller should really just stick to doing his own thing, because then it is always awesome.
After Fuller left, I was kind of hoping they'd hire someone (like the folks listed in the linked article) to replace him. I remember thinking David Greenwalt (given that his last job was at an NBC/Universal show) would have been a good fit.

Fuller is a tremendous talent, it's clear that taking the voice out of the creative process and replacing him with no one hurt the show. Making it worse, though I'm sure some folks disagree (especially given the Joss connection), is the whole Jeph Loeb being a mediocre writer thing. If he was essentially in charge of the writing, that clearly explains the awfulness of Season 2 and 3. He wrote some pretty good comics with Tim Sale back in the day, but he's disliked by a fairly significant number of comics fans. His books sell, sure, but sales are not indicative of quality.

Jeff Bell would be awesome, pretty much all the folks listed would be an improvement over Jeph Loeb. All of them can write dialogue, which has been a weakness of Heroes for a long time. Basically, the show needs to be a little more self-aware, it needs a sense of humor and it needs to tone down the melodrama. And focus the story on the non-shitty actors.

Fuller would be best for the show, though. Unless ABC is afraid that Fuller going back to work for NBC/Heroes would lead to such success that they give Pushing Daisies the back nine out of fear, he'll probably be back working on the show in December.
I felt that the worst episodes in season one, particularly in terms of dialogue, were written by Jeph Loeb and by Tim Kring, and the best by Bryan Fuller, so I'm not really surprised by the decrease in quality. I suspect that Kring might be a good idea guy who doesn't really have that much line-to-line writing chops, although the fact that I can't really think of many good ideas in post-season one suggests not. (Season two had a few good moments, but they depended mostly on acting and directing, not the quality of the scripting.)

Anyway, granting for the moment that Heroes does have some impressive actors (especially Jack Coleman, who took his ill-defined bit part and RAN with it, and of course Kristen Bell), I'm not really sure right now that it is worth saving; I still watch it out of morbid curiosity, but the show doesn't have much going for it anymore, since all the character arcs have either gone into repetition or complete left-field changes, and the overarching story is getting less and less internally consistent. Surely just seeing our writers join an already-good show and propel it to great would be better than seeing them struggle to salvage a travesty? But of course, television being what it is (and Dollhouse is being put on FRIDAYS, god damn it), maybe I should hold out hope that our writers get on ANY show that has a better chance at surviving.

Hey, does anyone else wish that Malcolm McDowell's appearing in episodic television had been on a better show?


[ edited by . on 2009-01-15 04:29 ]
I watched 'Heroes' avidly in S1, but by the second I'd given up as I felt no investment at all in the characters. I sat down to watch a S3 episode and found it just so painful and annoying that I barely made it half way in.

What a pity, as the show had an awesome premise, but the writers (and some pretty piss weak acting- Adrian and Milo the exception) stuffed it up.

Even WITH one of these new writers, I fear the salvage effort may have been left too late...
Yeah, just give me Chuck anyday.

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