Tonight the new ABC series No Ordinary Family debuts. In the vein of The Incredibles, the series follows a family coming apart who gain superpowers during a family trip gone wrong. Sort of.
I checked out the early reviews (which are mixed but only one really negative), which I never do because I don’t want to be spoiled by things. I usually enjoy watching things unfold as they happen. In case, however, I didn’t mind being spoiled. Because I knew I wasn’t planning to watch it.
Now this could change as I hear more about it. Thanks to the internet it’s a lot easier to catch up on shows you’ve missed. As for now, though, I’m not really drawn into watching it. Why? Because this doesn’t appear to be a superhero show, but a family drama/Lost style mystery series. That’s not what I’m looking for. Heroes was already like that, and while No Ordinary Family doesn’t look ready to take itself quite as seriously, it still won’t be The Incredibles because there are a few elements that so far appear to be missing. Check this article from Zap 2 It
“What the show is at its core,” (actress Julie) Benz says, “is a family drama. We have developed super abilities, and the super abilities feed into the family drama, because it’s all the things we’re feeling we’re lacking in our lives, that we get.
“There is a bit of mythology, but at the same time, it’s more of this heartfelt family-drama show.”
That’s not what I want. I want a good old-fashioned superhero series. Even Smallville got that part right, even while going the Dawson’s Creek route with the Superman franchise. Some of the early reviews seemed to even indicate that this wasn’t going to be a crimefighting series. Michael Chiklis‘s sketch artist father character is the only one thinking crimefighter, along with a cop friend of his. Here are some of his comments.
It’s very likely that, coming off “The Shield,” Chiklis had his pick of hard-hitting, gritty drama scripts, but he had something else in mind.
“I want to entertain people,” he says. “Let me entertain you. We don’t have the constitution for (gritty drama) anymore, because we’re already too busted up from the world. You’re just like, if you see one more news item that shatters your nervous system, one more kidnapping, one more war … we’re on the precipice of the Great Depression.
“So let us entertain you.”
Now this I can get behind, but the next set comes immediately after that.
And in case anyone was wondering, there are no “The Incredibles”-type matching stretchy suits on the horizon.
“Oh, my God,” Chiklis says, “heavens, no. You do not want to see me in Lycra. No, no.”
He tells of a sketch he received, done by the artist who creates Jim Powell’s police sketches for the show, depicting Chiklis surrounded by the show’s producers, who are holding up a pair of superhero-style tights.
“The legend is, ‘Never gonna happen,’ ” Chiklis says. “I’m standing there, like, ‘Never gonna happen!’ It’s already framed in my office on my wall. It’s hilarious.”
You want to entertain me, Mike? PUT ON THE COSTUME! Don’t sell this show as a superhero series if you’re not going to all fight crime and put on the costume!
An interview with series creator Greg Berlanti seemed to further indicate that this won’t be a superhero story, but a supernatural mystery/family comedy-drama. And this is the guy both working on Green Lantern and putting together a movie based on The Flash. You’re not giving me a lot of hope, Greg. You know who is? Thomas Wheeler. Who’s he? He’s making this show!
It may not be lighthearted, but it’s a superhero crimefighting series. AND HE WEARS A COSTUME!
Some other reviews, via WordPress’ Zamanta service
- ‘No Ordinary Family’ not exactly super, but it’s worth checking out (seattlepi.com)
- No Ordinary Family Review: ABC’s Super Family Drama (cinemablend.com)
- TV review: ‘No Ordinary Family’ (sfgate.com)
- ‘No Ordinary Family’: Superpowered family surprisingly engaging (pbpulse.com)
- ‘No Ordinary Family’ Premiere Review: Family With Special Powers Not So Super (tvsquad.com)