Heroes Reborn Season 1 Review

Mitchel Broussard

Reviewed by:
On September 19, 2015
Last modified:September 19, 2015


Finally, a reboot that works - Heroes Reborn resets its pieces onto the season one playing board with a new mystery, new characters, and new powers that all lead to some fantastically bizarre moments of television.

Heroes Reborn Season 1 Review

Thankfully, as well, the show is forced to work under the constraints of the thirteen hours NBC has given to Kring and his writers. Some stories are suffering from a bit of a fast-tracked feeling – the L.A.-set one especially – even in the premiere alone, but it’s also quietly liberating. There’s no time for it to meander or waste time now, and the writers manage to not only introduce an interesting central mystery to propel the season forward, but do so in a way that makes all the seemingly disconnected side stories feel necessary and relevant.

Levi’s Luke Collins sort of acts as a through-line for a lot of the stories here, as well. Billed as the new big-bad prior to the show’s debut, Luke is a bit of a cipher in the first two hours of Reborn. He and wife Joanne (Judith Shekoni) do some pretty nasty stuff, but she seems to be the one most motivated by a past action that’s haunting them both and leading them down a particularly dark path. Luke’s kind of just along for the ride, occasionally wary of following through with some of Joanne’s more nefarious plans, but ultimately just as broken as she is. Levi is reliably fantastic as always, and Chuck fans will get a kick out of his playing against type here, but he’s just not all that interesting yet.

But, what is maybe the most interesting thing about Heroes Reborn is its timing. The first season of Heroes debuted in 2006, a time before there was a DC televised universe and anyone knew who Iron Man was. Now it’s 2015 and every pilot season has nearly as many superhero genre shows as crime procedurals. Reborn acknowledges this in a really interesting way: by ignoring it all. The show mainly sticks to the format that made season one soar – here’s a big mystery, here’s a displaced group of heroes, here’s where they connect – and largely puts up its blinders for everything else.

That could be ignorant, but it works with NBC’s new show. There’s something cathartic and quaint about an original superhero property (yes it’s essentially X-Men) that doesn’t need to connect to some shared universe or abide by the rules set by its corporate overlords or fear what fans will think of its interpretation of the source material. It’s got a lot of sins to atone for in its past, but Heroes Reborn largely rides the nostalgia/reboot train far more successfully than most TV shows and films have over the past few years, and should leave returning fans – and some newcomers okay with a learning curve – largely satisfied with its idiosyncratic weirdness.