Every week it’s inevitable that someone will tell me, well I liked LOST, but it’s no Heroes. I like both shows, and I’ve been as vocal as anyone about how the first 3rd of season 3 was such a failure. What I’m tired of, and what spurred this article, is the comparison. I’ve been known to do it myself, but usually when I compare it’s based on a specific point, not just in general. There are obvious similarities, large cast, science fiction/fantasy situations, and of course the serialized nature, but is it fair to compare a series that as of this writing has only been on for 13 episodes to one that has been running for 55? LOST has definitely faltered but has Heroes been on long enough to prove itself against LOST? The ultimate answer to me is no.
Heroes has grown into a phenomenal series but it’s not innovating, or breaking new ground as a series like LOST did. Heroes is in fact riding on the coat tails of the success of 24 and LOST and the Spider-Man and X-Men films. Without those series and films, you’d have no Heroes. Hopefully Heroes will learn from the mistakes that LOST has made this season, but only time will tell. We should really revisit this discussion once Heroes has been on for 50 or 60 episodes and then we’ll know if it was able to maintain its current level of quality. If we’re going to be forced to constantly compare the series, then let’s really do it, because as great as Heroes is and as bad as the first 6 episodes of LOST was this season I believe that Heroes still has a lot to learn from LOST.
I’m a big fan of Heroes but from early on I complained (with much negative feedback) about how the first few episodes drug and until recently I complained about some of the characters getting no interesting development. I never cared for the Nikki/Jessica storyline until the last few episodes. The thing that LOST was able to do so well in the first several episodes was to develop a large cast of characters and get us caring about them, either via flashback or through events on the island. Right away we were intrigued by the Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Charlie, Sayid, Boone, Shannon, Locke, Michael, Claire, Jin and Sun. By episode 13 through the brilliantly written back-stories, these characters motivations are clear, almost on an intimate level.
Even with all of that we still get plenty of mysterious characters including Ethan and Rousseau. Here we are at episode 13 of Heroes and Hiro’s story is already starting to turn to filler and characters like Simone, Matt, and Isaac have no real attachment to the series and very little character development. As much as I love Heroes they still have a great deal of work to do as far as character development, balancing, and drama. Has there been a scene as moving and dramatic in all of Heroes as the final moments of the recent “Not in Portland” episode of LOST? The answer is easy, no. That kind of drama, when done well, helps to invest the audience in the characters. Like I said, they need to learn from the mistakes of this season of LOST, which almost died under the weight of the Others.
Of the two series Heroes has the most potential for longevity if they can keep from dragging the plot down with too much filler. After the destruction of New York has been stopped the heroes could potentially begin another all new adventure. LOST is similar to Prison Break in that you can’t keep these people on the island forever because the audience will get tired of the filler. Prison Break managed to build a story outside of the prison but many critics have stated that they think the series has lost some of its energy since the actual escape. So Heroes does have that going for it, the creators have plenty of time, and plenty of new stories to fix whatever issues that need to be fixed. Lost has a finite amount of time to get it right, and apparently the creators have decided that time will be a total of 100 episodes.
LOST has a lot to make up for with the sub par first 3rd of this season and Heroes has a lot to prove, so that’s one thing they do have in common, they both damn well better be good from here on out.