"Heroes" fans (a rare breed these days) were dealt another blow after a season of gut-punches when ace show writer/producer (and "Pushing Daisies" creator) Bryan Fuller announced he would not be returning next season. Fuller has been responsible for some of the show's finest moments (he penned the season one classic "Company Man") and his season three episodes gave us some excellent special effects (Ali Larter finally did something cool with her ice powers), wisely killed off useless characters (Daphne, we wish we never knew ye) and featured the heroes acting like intelligent adults and not mopey babies for once.

Can "Heroes" survive without him? Or is the once solid show broken beyond repair? If we are forced to endure another season of "Heroes," (and considering the state NBC is in these days, we could be in for several more) the show's remaining writers will have to make the following changes:
A New Sylar Must Emerge
No, not the actual Sylar who is now repressed inside of Nathan Petrelli or some such nonsense. We need a new villain now. Sylar's path from villain to hero to hero/villain and then back to villain was more painful than Hayden Panettiere's emo boyfriend from season two. Creepy bald hero hunter Danko was a step in the right direction, but grew tiresome as the season wound down. We need a new super-powered "big bad," someone as compelling as Sylar in season one. "Lost"'s Ben with teleportation or something. Anything. And, please, don't make him spend half the season looking for his weird hermit father.

Mohinder Needs To Shut Up
Can someone tell me why Mohinder is still narrating this show? He hasn't played a central role since season one when he tried to find the cause of everyone's abilities but mostly hung out in his dad's dingy apartment. At this point wouldn't, say, Peter, or Claire, or, heck, even Ando make more sense as a narrator? And if Mohinder's droning, heavy-handed narration is meant to provide an average Joe's point-of-view on all the super-heroic derring-do, that concept was pretty much thrown out the window after he turned into himself into a cheap knock-off of Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly." Doogie Howser didn't let pal Vinnie write his pithy computer journal episode send-offs. So why are the Heroes letting boring old Mohinder tell their story?

No One Should Be Safe
You know why "Lost" continues to be exciting and relevant? Because there are stakes. Because the choices that characters make matter, and no one is safe from death via bullet, strangulation, or smoke monster. On "Heroes," characters long out-stay their welcome, and in true comic book fashion, when they finally do die, they don't seem to stay dead. (Is Tracy really still alive? Come on!) "Heroes" creator Tim Kring once said that the show was meant to refresh its characters every season, but the main cast proved to be too popular to eighty-six. Well, guess what, Tim, they're not popular anymore. Time to take a page from Greg Grunberg's other show "Alias" and hit the reset button. Or just detonate a bomb in the Petrelli household.

Matt Parkman Should Stay Single
From suddenly deciding that annoying hipster motor-mouth Daphne was his soul mate, to hanging out in the desert with his "spirit turtle," poor Mr. Grunberg has been saddled with some of the worst storylines on television. So what did Tim Kring and the rest of the "Heroes" braintrust do in response to fan outcry that they were ruining one of the show's most likable characters? Brought back his boring wife and gave him a super-baby. Parkman is at his best when he's using his mind powers in clever ways instead of moaning about love and fatherhood. Send him back to the police force to solve super power-related crimes, or let him finally lead the heroes as a cohesive team. "Heroes" constantly rips off "X-Men" anyway. Why not make Parkman half Cyclops/half Xavier?

Hiro Must Grow Up

This season Hiro went from being a beloved character who indulged his inner ten-year-old to literally being ten years old. And after he stopped believing he was a child, he had to hang out with Parkman's toddler. ("Toddler Touch 'N Go" has got to be the stupidest thing ever uttered on the show, which is saying a lot.) We've seen glimpses of Hiro as a badass sword-wielding samurai from the future. It's time to let him embrace his destiny, and give Hiro and Ando's "Mutt and Jeff" antics a rest for a season or so.

Honestly, we can think of at least five more problems with the show. How about you? Do you think "Heroes" can return to the heights of its first season? Or will it forever be a super-dud?

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