“What every secret crime-fighter needs: a lair…with wi-fi” – George
Hot off the heels of the cancellation of Heroes, another show tries to make a name for itself in the superhero genre. Taking a cue from The Incredibles, No Ordinary Family is about a family whose plane crashes while vacationing in South America. When they get back, they slowly but surely come to the realization that they all have super powers. Perhaps not the most convincing origin story (the only explanation given is that the lake they crash landed in was full of “sparks” or “shines” or whatever), but nonetheless, super powers afterward. Jim, the patriarch, discovers he has some weird combination of super strength, relative invulnerability, and the ability to jump really high and really far. The mom, Stephanie, can run real fast, the daughter, Daphne, can read minds, and previously learning disabled son JJ now has super intelligence.
It sounds like it could be an interesting premise, and the show gets some points for having a very lighthearted and introspective feel to it (as opposed to the poorly executed foreboding doom and gloom feel of the later seasons of Heroes), but overall, I don’t get a sense that the producers really knows where the show is going. By the end of the first episode, we’ve discovered some neat applications for everybody’s new super powers (Mom can now spend more time with the family since she can get anywhere instantly), but I wasn’t left with any kind of curiosity as to how the show would proceed from there, which is not the most promising sign. Jim’s always wanted to make a difference, and with his newfound powers, he can now fight crime on the street. Yay? Admirable, but it’s just not very exciting and doesn’t do a good job of filling up an hour of television. Also, the problems of the family seem to be the same problems that every family goes through: it’s tough to balance time for everything in everyone’s lives, kids and parents are drifting apart as everyone grows up, parents feel not completely fulfilled, etc etc etc. I feel bad for the family, but honestly, your problems are just the same as everybody else’s. Also, I just don’t see how superpowers are supposed to fix them.
At the end of the episode, they attempt to up the ante by revealing that there are others out there with similar powers, and there even seems to be something akin to an evil organization. Worse, one of the evil conspirators just happens to be the family’s marriage counselor! The problem is, the bit at the end felt way too tacked on, almost like an afterthought. I appreciate the notice that yes, there is something deeper going and there are more mysteries to uncover, but there’s really not that much to get excited over, since no indication of any of their insidious plans are given. Much like the premiere of The Event, there just isn’t a lot that happens in this hour of television. There are some interesting and likable characters, but I’m just wasn’t very compelled by their story in the premiere. At the end of the day, I feel like this is an interesting premise, but that there’s not much more to it then that. It is by far the most disappointing of the new shows I’ve tried to pick up this year. I’m willing to give it at least one more shot, but it better pick up the pace like The Event did, or I’m going to be dropping this one.