we received the DVD for season 1 of Heroes last week. Zack and I had been religiously avoiding watching or reading anything about the show, since it appeared to be the kind of serialized show that ought to be watched from episode 1 on, so we decided early on to pre order the DVD whenever it became available. All I really knew was that the premise was about ordinary people discovering that they had extraodinary powers and that there was a cuddly looking time traveling Japanese dude that all the fans were going bananas over. Oh, and of course, "save the cheerleader, save the world." Over Labor Day weekend, I managed to log in serious time mowing through the show (I'm up to episode 20); the new season starts in three weeks. So yes, it's very addictive. And worth watching.
Now, let me just say that I had a few reservations before I started watching. It's a show I should like - I've read comic books since I was a teenager, I go for the sci-fi/fantasy genre stuff and I'm anti-reality TV (okay, maybe except for Project Runway). But with few exceptions (Lost, Sex and the City) I'm pretty wary of a highly popular show; shows I like are usually not (Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Veronica Mars). Then they're cancelled (Arrested Development, Carnivale, Freaks and Geeks). And I dunno, the show seemed like a blatant X-Men ripoff. Plus, petite blond indestructible cheerleader? Blatant Buffy ripoff. But actually, it's done pretty well. By emphasizing the relationships between the characters, the show fleshes out the humanity of the characters - Matt the cop, and his wife, Mohinder and his departed father, Hiro and his friend Ando, Claire and her father, and (I think) most compellingly, the Petrelli brothers Nathan and Peter. Don't get me wrong - someone once tried to throw down and tried to say that Battlestar Galactica had nothing on Heroes (this person had never seen BSG before). I realize that they're two different shows... but BSG is more relevant to current events. More real, believe it or not. The storylines are a bit more Shakespearean, (though Mrs. Petrelli could give Gertrude a run for her money. Then again, the fans don't call Ellen Tigh Lady MacTigh for nothing. And Edward James Olmos and Mary MacDonnell carry just a little bit more gravitas on the acting front. Heroes is fantasy, a fairy tale. But I think I can find a place for both in my fangirl world.