Heroes: Season One

Heroes: Season One
The words comic book, fan boy and geek will be thrown about willy-nilly in reference to NBC’s breakout hit Heroes in the weeks following this first season box set and the arrival of season two. But there are only a couple of truly nerdy elements to this superhero redo - the fact that actor Masi Oka (Hiro) worked as a technical director at Industrial Light & Magic; that onetime Prince cohorts Wendy & Lisa do the score; and that acclaimed comic artist Tim Sale is responsible for the prescient paintings of Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera). That’s not to deny Heroes some comics cred but this is a mainstream dramedy more interested in X-Files style mysteries and conspiracies than a crime-fighting team in tights. Having caught mainstream attention through savvy marketing ("Save the cheerleader, save the world”), this box set aims to satisfy its most middle-of-the-road consumer - the "making of” and various featurettes have the glossy sheen of corporate products, rarely going down the rabbit hole of geeky detail. The show itself of course, is tailor-made for the DVD age - broken into 22 "chapters,” this season (or "Volume 1,” titled Genesis) is TV crack, delivering hit after hit of cliff-hanger. It’s not flawless - the show’s inability to stage exciting action sequences is painfully obvious in the much-hyped finale - but its strengths (strong acting, great character development, compelling intersecting storylines) more than fill the gaps. The pressure is on for "Volume 2,” since the obvious "origin” elements have been taken care of, but few viewers who see even one episode of season one won’t be glued to Heroes’ every move. Aside from the featurettes, the 71-minute original pilot (not longer, just different) offers an alternate origin for Greg Grunberg’s Matt Parkman, but is otherwise covered in the first two episodes. Plus: episode commentaries, deleted scenes, more. (Universal)