#TypesTuesday Heroes – Power of Imagination
Heroes, created by Tim Kring, tells the stories of ordinary people who discover that they have superhuman abilities. They are people you’d never notice twice, an overweight cop, a Japanese cubical worker, a small black kid. The plot revolves around how they find each other and work together to prevent a catastrophic occurrence. “Save the cheerleader. Save the world.”
The series was extraordinary as the first network series to emulate the aesthetic style and storytelling structure of American comic books. It used multi-episode story arcs that built upon a larger, more encompassing narrative.
I found Heroes extraordinary as the first series to feature all Power of Imagination main characters. Power of Imagination characters see or hear, or can access power that others can’t. Their reaction to this unique ability is affirming and all-embracing. They never doubt their vision, special insight, unique ability, or call from beyond.
These characters are launched on a quest when something in the wider world is disrupted, thrown out of balance, or is causing danger or deep divisions. They are reluctant heroes who are pushed into their roles by larger circumstances. Greatness is usually thrust upon them via a special message, personal intuition, vivid vision, or supernatural imperative that calls to them in some deeply powerful way.
In calling others to heed their vision, these characters naturally collect diverse individuals who share a common purpose despite significant outward differences and even conflicting agendas or opposing points of view. Their goal to keep the potentially divisive group together and to restore harmony and balance to the world.
The first season of Heroes was a ratings powerhouse for NBC. The first season stuck to the Power of Imagination structure and theme. As the show moved further away from finding others and joining together on a grand quest to fighting villains, weaponized viruses, and switching identities the show, in subsequent seasons, spiraled downward in the ratings. It was no longer the global phenomenon it was when it debuted.
Once you’ve established the emotional playing field for a show, you move off it at your peril.