An Open Letter To Tim Kring
Dear Mr. Kring,
When I first heard NBC was doing a reboot of Heroes I thought, “I loved that movie! And what’s not to love? Henry Winkler, Harrison Ford, Sally Field…
But then people said, “No. Not the 1977 movie where Jack Dunne (Winkler), a Vietnam vet who turns out to have a case of lacunar amnesia, escapes a mental ward in New York City intending to start a business as a worm farmer in Eureka, California. (This is a real movie)
They’re rebooting the Heroes TV series into a new limited series called: Heroes Reborn. (Seriously, this is a real idea)
Then I thought, “and this is the same network who won’t even listen to my pitch for an update of Cop Rock? (This time it’s about a motorcycle gang and it’s set to Folk Rock. Working title: Mumford and Sons of Anarchy) Well let me tell you: I haven’t been this excited about the return of something since my last Herpes flare up. Now I know how immunologists must have felt when, after believing they had functionally eradicated measles, mumps, and whooping cough; they started seeing cases pop up across the country. Thanks again, “Doctor” Jenny McCarthy.
I’ll admit Heroes had a great premise and a good first season. But then it went screaming downhill. Not even downhill but off a cliff. It didn’t just jump the shark, it was eaten by the shark and when he shat it out they aired it. Truly unwatchable. And when someone can say, “Ali Larter” and “unwatchable” in the same sentence? Well frankly that’s saying a lot.
The show was terrible. If you looked up, “terrible tv show” in the dictionary it would probably say: See Heroes. Followed by: Wait, we didn’t mean actually “see” Heroes because it was a terrible show. We just meant Heroes would be a good example of a terrible show.
But if you insist on doing this. And I know what you’re going to say, (I don’t but I assume it’s something about the kids needing braces) I have a couple suggestions on how you can fix the show Heroes and make it good.
1. Please don’t do this.
I’m sorry but my gut reaction is still the strongest. Unless it opens with Hiro going back in time and stopping them from writing, filming, and running seasons 2 through 4, the memories are too strong. Do a new show. Did I mention my idea? Mumford and Sons of Anarchy?
2. If you insist on doing Heroes change the reboot name.
Change it to something that will let people know your intentions. Something like:
3. Don’t Hire Joss Whedon.
I know you’re thinking, “What? Joss Whedon is great?” Sure. Joss Whedon is great. But have you seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? It’s like the Heroes of TV shows about a group of secret agents who investigate superheroes without ever actually encountering any.
Joss Whedon used to make amazing shows. But I feel like he’s been coasting lately. And worse yet, where there’s Joss Whedon you’re going to find Jed Whedon sniffing for crumbs. Jed Whedon is the Zeppo of the Whedon family. He’s the Billy Baldwin. And they’re going to pitch ideas like this:
Hiro works in a sandwich shop making… hero sandwiches! Get it? He’s building heroes!
In addition to Hiro we introduce a character named Sue and a character named Bert. And in the pilot someone will say, “Super Heroes?” And then they say, “No we’re Sue, Bert AND Hiro!” Get it? What? I don’t know they’re British scientists or something.*
*This is a real idea from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I shit you not.
4. Do Hire J.J. Abrams because he’ll make it into Star Wars and everyone loves Star Wars.
Remember when that farm boy went into outer-space and fought and evil villain all in black? Remember when the evil villain in black blew up that other character’s home planet? Remember when the hero ran around on the ice planet? No, not Star Wars, Star Trek! They gave J.J. Abrams the Star Trek franchise and he gave us Star Wars! And everyone was like, “This is the best Star Trek eva!” Except for people who said, “I’m pretty sure this is Star Wars. Look! There’s even a bit with a space sword fight.” But no one really cared.
5. Two words: Heather Locklear
And by Heather Locklear I mean Kate Upton.
Heather Locklear was Aaron Spelling’s ace in the hole. Whenever his show started to tank he would bring Heather Locklear in. Melrose Place, Spin City, she always brought a bump in the ratings. And don’t say, “oh so she’s like Ted McGinley?” No. Ted McGinley is brought in to kill shows, not save them. In fact I can remember watching Heroes Season 2 and thinking, “I can’t wait until Ted McGinley shows up.”
But you don’t want the real Heather Locklear because she’s like 50. A totally hot 50. But 50 nevertheless. Because then you’re back to the Ali Larter problem. Where she starts out 30; but towards the end of the run she’s pushing 35. A totally hot 35, but still. Kate Upton is 21. She still has 3 solid years of smoking hotness ahead of her.
6. Don’t get so wrapped up in the Mythos. Nobody cares.
Remember how great Alias was when it was just about Sydney dressing up in cute outfits?
Did you know Head Hair Designer Michael Reitz was nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series at the Emmys 5 years in a row (2002–2006); as well as 3 nominations and 1 win at the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards? That’s how you make a good show.
Don’t over explain stuff. They never explained why there were no black people on Friends, but only black people on The Game. It just “was”.
But enough general ideas. Let’s get down to brass tacks.
7. None of that “Save the Cheerleader” crap.
Sure sweaters and pleated skirts seems cool but watching high school cheerleaders prance around makes me feel funny, and not good funny. Instead, you do lifeguards.
We set the whole thing on the beach in Los Angeles. Tons of hot chicks in red bathing suits. And get this, instead of using special effects to make them run really fast, you just show them running in slow motion.
Kate Upton’s powers are that she can float, but just a bit. Not exciting enough? Have you seen this?
And now the character of Isaac Mendez is a troubled body painter who paints the future? And even if he can’t paint the future who really cares, right?
8. That wasn’t a new idea. Isn’t that just Baywatch?
Yes. But you don’t have any new ideas either! You’re just remaking a series that you already made. Why not remake something people want to see? And why isn’t somebody doing this?
I also toyed with the idea of you just showing episodes of Nashville with just minor edits showing Hayden Panettiere being blown up and regenerating. Sort of like how they made the original Power Rangers TV show. But that’s probably illegal.
Although speaking of illegal. How about splicing in some video of Panettiere making out with Milo “Uncle Peter” Ventimiglia?
That would bring a whole new sexy/incest Game of Thrones angle to the show?
9. A new idea? Fine. Oust Jeph Loeb, bring in Lisa Loeb.
Come on that’s adorable, right? What is her super power? How about melting hearts?
Jeph Loeb is not the stamp of quality he once was, either. He’s done some great comics, true. But remember when Dinero did Raging Bull, but these days Dinero will do… apparently anything?
Today I learned that Jeph Loeb’s real name is Joseph. Just like Joss Whedon. News flash. If your name is Joseph, your nickname is Joe. Maybe Sef. Or Seffy.
As an aside, J.J. Abrams real name is Jeffrey Jacob. His nickname is perfectly acceptable. L.L. Cool Jay’s real name is James. The L.L. stands for “Ladies Love” also perfectly acceptable.
I know she hasn’t done much recently but she still has a real hipster vibe. And people love that.
10. It takes place on an island.
All of the characters crash land on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific. All kinds of supernatural and science fiction stuff happens while they’re on the island. But most importantly, Kate Upton still gets to wear a bikini.
Wait, isn’t that…
You didn’t let me finish.
And in the series finale, the fate of the world is decided in a basketball game between the Harlem Globetrotters and a team of robots. The End.
If you don’t like ideas 2 through 10, please refer to idea #1.
P.S. I loved Crossing Jordan. Why can’t you just bring that back?