Save the cheerleader, save the world, pass the popcorn. Global held an advance screening of the third season premiere of Heroes last night on the big screen at the Varsity Cinemas in downtown Toronto. The joint was packed with radio and newspaper contest winners, all anxious to see a series knocked off the air for nine-and-a-half months due to last winter's writers strike. In all, only 11 episodes aired last season, half the usual amount for a network drama.
The two hour premiere, which airs Monday night at 8 on Global and NBC, kicks off a year of "villains." Creator Tim Kring, who promised Volume Three would be "the best season ever" in a short promo clip shown before the feature, explained how "every hero could be a villain" this season. That cutie blond cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere)? Flash forward into a nasty future and she's a raven-haired assassin. Damn I hate when that happens.
Brought my son Daniel--a devoted Heroes fan--along for the screening. He declared it a solid, if not spectacular opener, although he seemed annoyed at how some of the bad guys had somehow crawled back into the series after having their brains squished in previous episodes.
Not having seen much of Season Two myself, I was reminded of all the humour Kring and Company squeeze into this action series, especially in the scenes featuring Masi Oka (Hiro) and James Kyson Lee (Hiro's buddy Ando). Hiro's now a corporate big shot, thanks to his daddy Mr. Sulu (George Takai). Those three provide great comic relief to Heroes' darker moments, and by the look of things, there are plenty of darker moments to come.
The other thing I noticed watching two episodes of Heroes back-to-back on a big screen is how damn short this thing is. Suck all the commercials, promos and main titles out and you can pack two hours of Heroes into one hour of real time. It's like having Hiro blink through the commercial time for you! Now that's heroic!