‘No Ordinary Family’ – ‘No Ordinary Marriage’: Where’d the van go?

10.06.10 7 years ago 27 Comments


A review of last night’s “No Ordinary Family” coming up just as soon as I’m Urlacher…

On the plus side, “No Ordinary Marriage” dropped the narration device that was so redundant and annoying in the pilot. (Hopefully, if Jim and Stephanie go back to that marriage counselor, their discussion will be isolated to those scenes.) On the minus side, even without the narration, the show felt the need to spell out its various themes – in particular, Stephanie’s fear of what the powers are doing to them – over and over again.

A lot of new shows do this, as part of that whole “repeat the pilot six times” philosophy where you want to make absolutely sure that potential new viewers get what the show is about. “Chuck,” which has some elements in common with this show (including writer Allison Adler, who co-write this one with Jon Harmon Feldman), couldn’t stop using the word “secrets” in its early episodes. Even today, “Chuck” has a tendency to hammer home its themes, but usually gets away with it because the overall show is so much fun.

And that, I think, is going to be the key to “No Ordinary Family” holding my interest long-term. Right now, I’m fully engaged whenever Jim and George are testing the limits of Jim’s super powers, and to a lesser extent when Stephanie and Katie are doing it. The show around that stuff – the marital conflicts, the kids’ problems at school, even the larger arc with Stephen Collins and his Sylar-ish henchman – still feels pretty, pardon the pun, ordinary.

I like the concept, love Chiklis and some of the other people involved, so I’m going to stick it out for a while and hope that this turns out to be (on a creative level, not a commercial one) like “Journeyman,” where things get a lot more entertaining once the writers stop feeling the need to hold the audience’s hands. But the blogging may be intermittent until/unless that happens.

What did everybody else think?

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