On Monday I finished watching season one of Heroes with a couple friends, so now I'm "only" a full season behind on two shows: Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. I gotta say... I loved it. It has all sorts of things that make it a great nerd-pleaser: drama, action, special effects, twists and turns, a conspiracy story, plot arcs that last forever, never seeming to be resolved, and of course, lots of superpowers. Really the only fault I can find with it is that it seemed that some of the episodes of the first season were all about advancing the season-long storyline, with little to nothing happening at the episode level. I felt the same way about 24; it was much more engaging watching it from the start than right in the middle, but I found Heroes to be much more engaging than 24... I just got bored with 24 after a half dozen episodes or so, even though I was into it at the start.
A lot of my favorite shows reward long-time viewers even as they're occasionally hostile to newcomers—Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise were, I imagine, pretty indeciperable to people unfamiliar with the series, and The X-Files was basically one big nine-season story arc that only sort of resolved at the end, even though many episodes stand alone very well on their own. And most episodes of Arrested Development, while still being quite hilarious solo, actually become better on a second viewing due to all of the references and in-jokes packed into each one. Heroes was the same way—the first episode I saw was the fourth or fifth episode of season one, and it wasn't really that interesting on its own. Not a lot made too much sense. But, I saw potential, and it seemed like the sort of thing I'd like, and everyone else in the world seemed to adore the show, so I bought the DVDs. I'm glad I did. I'd recommend it to you, but I'm pretty sure I was the last person in the world to see the series, so I'd be wasting my time.
(And TV is just so much better on DVD that I almost don't miss having cable.)