Heroes: Season 3 [Blu-Ray]

Heroes: Season 3 [Blu-Ray]
An abysmal second season of NBC's flashy superhero drama left viewers wondering if Tim Kring and company had anything left to say about their collection of bland, interchangeable characters and the corporate conspiracies that threaten them. While season three doesn't entirely alleviate this concern, still suffering from weak characterizations and flat, declarative writing, some intricate plotting and a couple of standout episodes later in the season ― namely "Cold Snap" ― easily sustain the series, making for a pleasant diversion. Divided into two chapters ― "Villains" and "Fugitives" ― Heroes tackles X-Men territory by exploring the grey areas between heroes and villains, along with the military mindset and implicit social dread of difference. Things start out with Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) travelling back in time to shoot his congressman brother Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) in order to stop him from revealing the existence of those with special abilities to the public. Of course, Nathan lives, undergoing a religious experience, meeting an alacritous young woman named Jessica (Ali Larter), who looks suspiciously like Niki. Hiro (Masi Oka) discovers a formula said to alter DNA, giving regular people superpowers, which coincides with Mohinder's (Sendhil Ramamurthy) experiment that goes a little awry, leaving him covered in bedazzle beads. Sylar (Zachary Quinto) takes Claire's (Hayden Panettiere) ability, leaving him invincible and her unable to feel pain, spurning her journey to the dark side and his dalliance with the corporate life, working for Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose). A romance sparks between Sylar and electro girl Elle (Kristen Bell) after her father is killed, while Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) hangs out in a desert with a turtle, eventually getting horned up over a young woman with a shady past and some duplicitous ties named Daphne (Brea Grant). Because this series isn't particularly gifted on the human drama front, never really grasping the concept of building up internal conflicts and exploiting personality faults for narrative heft, the plotting is insane. A lot happens in season three involving shape shifters, military operatives and a total eclipse, masking these flaws in basic storytelling. The third season Blu-Ray package is quite possibly the most impressive television box set available to date, boasting a crystal-clear 1080p high-definition image with depth and English DTS-HD master audio that sounds theatrical in a good home theatre. In addition to the many interactive "Hero Connections" networks and high-def special features on effects, stunts, writing and props there are alternate stories for secondary characters, which are poorly produced and written, along with the "U-Control" feature that allows the viewer to turn the picture-in-picture visual commentary track on and off during an episode. In fact, there is so much supplementary material that few will get through all of it. (Universal)