NBC’s serialized fantasy about ordinary people developing superhuman abilities is a fun, comic book epic of a series that succeeds, I think, because it emphasizes character over special effects. How would you really feel if all of a sudden you could, say, turn invisible?
Each season is a “volume” and each episode is a chapter in that volume. Volume 1 introduces us to said everyday folk in various parts of the world and details how they freak out at or welcome their abilities and eventually unite, kind of, to fight off a villain.
And what cool capabilities these people have. One is indestructible, one can fly, one can read minds, one can teleport and stop time, one can see the future and one can absorb everyone else’s abilities. Said villain just takes them without asking. And there are people without powers, of course, like the mysterious company man and the scientist from India, who know about all this.
Volume 1 was a nicely plotted and paced introduction with cool and clever special effects. Volume 2, titled “Generations,” picks up four months later and is entertaining but not quite as good as its predecessor. The storyline’s not quite as appealing, the characters are once again separated and it seems like every new person we meet can do something special.
That being said, new characters played by Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and former Alias villain David Anders do prove interesting, and the season picks up steam when the writers finally bother to elaborate on events from the end of Volume 1. A shame, then, that the recent writers strike cut Season 2 short with only 11 episodes. Makes me anticipate Volume 3, titled “Villains,” even more.