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Heroes: Season 2 (2007)

Universal Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 8/26/2008

All Ratings out of
Show: 1/2
Video: 1/2
Audio: 1/2
Extras: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/28/2008

As stated in my review for Heroes: Season 1, I'd never seen a single episode of the show until I started watching it for these reviews. Assuming that I would eventually see the show on DVD, I avoided learning too much (if anything) about it. (Although I couldn't avoid those "Save the Cheerleader! Save the World!" ads.) However, I did hear reports about how the ratings for Season 2 had gone down and grumblings from fans about the quality of the show. I really enjoyed Season 1 and while watching it, all that I could think was, "What do they do that goes so wrong in Season 2?" Well, now I know.

(Spoiler Warning!: It's impossible to discuss Season 2 of Heroes without discussing the events of Season 1. So if you haven't seen Season 1 and wish to remain in the dark, please stop reading now.) Instead of beginning right after the events of the finale of Season 1, Season 2 of Heroes starts four months later, and we find that the characters have gone their separate ways. Claire's (Hayden Panettierre) family has moved to Costa Verde, CA, in order to try and start over again. Claire has been ordered to keep a low-profile so that she won't draw attention to herself and her powers. Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) and Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) are living in Brooklyn and watching over Molly Walker (Adair Tishler), the little girl who can find anyone in the world. Suresh has been recruited by Bob (Stephen Tobolowsky) to work for The Company and he accepts the position in order to spy on them. As seen in the epilogue to Season 1, Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) has teleported to 17th Century Japan and finds someone there who needs his help. Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) has left her son Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) with relative in New Orleans so that she can seek help with her multiple personalities. Sylar (Zachary Quinto) is missing and presumed dead. And as for the Petrelli Brothers, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) has disappeared, and Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) has fallen into a deep depression.

It was immediately very easy to see why fans of Heroes turned on the show in Season 2. After watching the characters spend the entire season finding one another and bonding in Season 1, the powers that be behind the show decided to scatter them again for the beginning of Season 2. That's the exact opposite of giving the people what they want. One of the best parts of Season 1 was watching the characters learn that they weren't alone in their plight and watching them work together. It was like Marvel Team-Up come to life. So, what a letdown to start the second season and find everyone separated. This was an interesting experiment, but it simply didn't work. Watching Peter and Nathan go at it, or seeing how Hiro and Ando (James Kyson Lee) relied on one another gave the show heart and that was sorely missing here.

The show also stumbles by adding new characters. Maya (Dania Ramirez) and Alejandro Herrera (Shalim Ortiz) are siblings who are on the run in Central America. Twins? Doesn't Tim Kring (creator of Heroes) know how much "The Wonder Twins" from SuperFriends are despised? And now he's going to bring us this brother and sister act where they rely on one another for their powers? No thanks. In addition, the family in New Orleans where Micah goes to live is annoying and lackluster, despite the presence of Nichelle Nichols. (Are we eventually going to see everyone from Star Trek on the show?) Heroes also asks a lot of its viewers by having them wait eight episodes to learn exactly what happened after the events of Season 1. It's almost like they wanted to drive viewers away.

However, if you can stick with it, the last few episodes of Season 2 are pretty good. The only truly interesting storyline of this season is the conspiracy to kill the founders of The Company. The story does a good job of tying together events from the past and the present and there are some nice plot-twists here. The last two shows offer some shocks and we finally see some action.

I watched all 33 episodes of both seasons of Heroes back-to-back and, despite the potholes and plotholes, enjoyed the show. However, I can see how those who watched it in real time got very fed up with the series. Again, things picked up at the end of Season 2 and maybe that's a good omen for Season 3.

Heroes: Season 2 gets off to a rocky start on DVD courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The four-disc set contains all 11 episodes of the show's second season. The shows are letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, but daytime exterior shots reveal a notable amount of grain. There are no defects from the source material. The colors look good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture has good depth, but closeups show a slight lack in detail. The DVDs carry a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects here are top-notch and they are nicely detailed. The music sounds good, but it's only the music which leaves any impression on the rear channels. There is some mild bass at times, but nothing great.

The Heroes Season 2 DVD set contains several extras spread out across the four discs. Disc 1 has two DELETED SCENES from "Chapter One: Four Months Later". "Heroes Season 2 'A New Beginning'" (15 minutes) has series creator Tim Kring and the cast discussing the show's new direction. The various plotlines are discussed and the bulk of the piece is interview footage. The disc features AUDIO COMMENTARIES for the episodes "Chapter One: Four Months Later" with Creator Tim Kring, Co-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb & actor Jack Coleman, "Chapter Two: Lizards" with Executive Producer Allan Arkush, actor Greg Grunberg, & Co-Executive Producer Michael Green, and "Chapter Three: Kindred" with Director Paul Edwards, Co-executive Producer J.J. Philbin, and actor Zachary Quinto.

Disc 2 has five DELETED SCENES from "Chapter Five: Fight or Flight" and three from "Chapter Six: The Line". "Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint" (24 minutes) is a faux-documentary which explains what was happening in the time period with Hiro visited. "The Drucker Files" (9 minutes) is a faux news report about a technological genius. We get AUDIO COMMENTARIES for "Chapter Four: Kindness of Strangers" with Kring, and actors Dana Davis & Adrian Pasdar, "Chapter Five: Fight or Flight" with actor Greg Grunberg and Executive Producer Greg Beeman, and "Chapter Six: The Line" with Co-Executive Producers Adam Armus and Kay Foster & star Jack Coleman.

Disc 3 offers two DELETED SCENES from "Chapter Seven: Out of Time", three from "Chapter Eight: Four Months Ago", and two from "Chapter Nine: Cautionary Tales". "Genetics of a Scene" (23 minutes) has Director Allan Arkush explaining the challenge of shooting Feudal Japan, Greg Beeman talks about shooting the introduction of the twins and the revelation of the end of Season 1, Arkush then returns to look at the finale set in Mendez's studio. The Disc has AUDIO COMMENTARIES for "Chapter Seven: Out of Time" with Director Daniel Attias and actor Masi Oka, "Chapter Eight: Four Months Ago..." with actor Milo Ventimiglia and Beeman, and "Chapter Nine: Cautionary Tales" with Director Greg Yaitanes and actors Kristen Bell and Ashley Crow.

Disc 4 starts with a "Season 3 Sneak Peek" (9 minutes), which I must admit, I didn't watch because I don't want any spoilers. "'Generations' Alternate Ending" (18 minutes) alters one of the storylines on the final episode slightly, so that some things are changed, but the conclusion to one of the main cliffhangers stays the same. Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb, and Jesse Alexander discuss the changes made to the finale in "Inside the Alternate Ending of 'Generations'" (11 minutes). "Untold Stories" (12 minutes) is a series of deleted scenes from Episodes 212 and 213, most of which involve Elle and Sylar. There are three "NBC.Com Featurettes". "Hotel Corinthian Explosion" (40 seconds) shows the implosion of a building in Vegas. "Maya y Alejandro Viral Video" (3 minutes) is a Blair Witch like short of the twins moving through a dark area. "Nathan and Peter Brooklyn Cam" (33 seconds) is a "home video" of the finale of Season 1. "Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art" (2 minutes) offers a detailed look at the paintings from the show. The DVD offers two AUDIO COMMENTARIES. "Chapter Ten: Truth & Consequences" features Director Adam Kane and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. "Chapter Eleven: Powerless" has Executive Producer Allan Arkush and composers Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has also brought Heroes: Season 2 to Blu-ray Disc. The shows are letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc holds a VC-1 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 18 Mbps. The image here is noticeably sharper and clearer than the DVD. The grain present on the DVD image barely registers here. The colors are very good and the brightness of the image is well-balanced. The colors look great and skin tones are realistic. The picture shows a high level of detail and the depth is good. This surpasses digital broadcast quality. The Discs carry a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are very good here and the action scenes reveal an array of sounds. The music is very good, filling the speakers during the chapter breaks. We get some surround sound here, but it's intermittent and usually corresponds only to action scenes.

The Blu-ray Disc contains some extras not found on the DVD. "Hero Connections - Network" is a reproduction of Mohinder Suresh's map and gives bios for many of the characters. We get a similar feature in the "U-Control" setting "Hero Connections - Bios". "U-Control" also offers picture-in-picture video commentaries, which mirror the audio commentaries from the DVD, with the added feature of being able to see the participants. Oddly, the Blu-ray does not have the "Season 3 Sneak Peek". Maybe they know that Blu-ray owners don't like spoilers.

Review Copyright 2008 by Mike Long