A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Heroes Reborn is a drama about people with special powers and the forces that oppose them. The superhero angle may interest younger kids, but parents may find this drama to be too intense for them. Characters are suddenly dispatched on-screen (usually shot). Dead bodies and blood are seen on-screen, although there's no gore. Characters are frequently in mortal jeopardy. A major terrorist event kicks off many plot points; viewers see the devastated Ground Zero and hear about distraught relatives who lost their lives. A deadly future cosmic event is referred to; we see scenes of space with fiery swirls. A man cuts off his own hand (offscreen) to escape shackles, and boys fight over a girl. Expect infrequent cursing: "What the hell?" or "This guy sits on his ass all day." There's some flirting, dating, and kissing.
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What's the story?
HEROES REBORN picks up after one of the original Heroes characters came clean to the world about her superpowers. Her admission inspired thousands of other Evos -- "evolved humans" -- to come out. Threatened, non-Evos fought back, and Evos began facing discrimination. Then a massive terrorist attack was launched in Odessa, Texas; Evos were blamed and now are being persecuted. Luke and Joanne Collins (Zachary Levi and Judi Shekoni) lost their son in the attack, and now they're attempting to wipe out all Evos. Meanwhile, Illinois high schooler Tommy Clarke (Robbie Kay) can teleport people and objects, but he just wants to pass for a normal student. In Japan, Miko Otomo (Kiki Sukezane) mysteriously finds herself living a real-life computer game. In Los Angeles, Carlos Gutierrez (Ryan Guzman) is El Vengador, a masked underground hero who protects Evos and ferries them to safety in Canada via an underground railroad. And in Austin, Texas, Noah “HRG” Bennet (Jack Coleman) built a new life after the Odessa disaster and has forgotten what he once knew -- but operatives from his shadowy ex-employer Renautas won't let him move on.
Is it any good?
This creditable reboot eschews catchphrases (remember "Save the cheerleader"?) for tense drama that resonates with modern viewers. The response to a terrorist attack is relatable, and retaining Coleman as Noah Bennet is a smart move that helps old viewers anchor themselves but doesn't demand new viewers be conversant with Heroes mythology. Certainly the freshest new character is Miko, whose journey into a real-life video game has interesting consequences. However, the show suffers from its many plot lines -- just as viewers grasp the importance of what's just happened to one character, we're on to another -- and additionally has sci-fi-no-questions-answered syndrome, in which one character asks another for a simple explanation and hears some variation on "There's no time!" We like it anyway, but all viewers may not.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why shows in which characters suddenly have superhuman powers are popular. What types of dramatic possibilities does this setup hold? Why do people like to fantasize about being more than human?
Are viewers supposed to relate to, empathize with, or dislike the "Evos" in Heroes Reborn? How can you tell?
Heroes Reborn often tells the audience the date and location of scenes with text overlays. Would you be able to tell where you are without these overlays? Is it helpful or distracting?