Characters that almost single-handedly ruined a television show

Maya Herrera — Heroes

NBC’s Heroes brought forth a comic book mentality, an interconnected world and sense of adventure before such a thing became completely oversaturated in cinema and television alike. When the series climaxed in its debut season, creator Tim Kring was left with quite the problem, namely trying to top a season that introduced lovable time traveler Hiro Nakamura, power-slurping villain Sylar and the iconic phrase “Save the cheerleader, save the world.”

When Heroes returned for its sophomore season, they gave it the old college try with the addition of a new character, Maya Herrera. Played by the gorgeous Dania Ramirez, Maya and her twin brother crossed the border from Mexico into the United States, seeking help in controlling her powers, as black liquid leaked from her eyes, poisoning everyone in the vicinity. Great party trick.

A great amount of time was spent developing Maya’s story, which was met with apathetic viewer interest. She represented Season 2 going off the rails, with no hero to rescue it. Her character didn’t connect, lost among the other slow, plodding stories of the season. Worse, Maya remained mostly independent of the series’ established characters. She was seen as an intermission, not an addition to the mythos of the show. Maya showed little prowess as a hero, had repetitive scenes and ended up being hoodwinked by Sylar, who predictably kills her brother. He died. Viewers shrugged.

With a writer’s strike causing the season to close with just a handful of episodes, Maya is cured, and rushed out of the series. Kring showed some tact (rare for Hollywood), admitting they had screwed up the season, specifically mentioning the newer characters, while apologizing to fans. Kring promised to get things right, so Maya was never seen again, curing Heroes of its own poison, at least until it was canceled, rebooted, and canceled again.