A Family Less Ordinary

I’ve really taken to the TV Show called No Ordinary Family (ABC, Tuesdays, 9pm) partly because, well, in all honesty, I miss Heroes.  But mostly because I’m beginning to really like the characters and what they go through to balance possessing extraordinary abilities with everyday life.

Jim (Michael Chiklis) is the head of the not so ordinary Powell family.  He is a police sketch artist who wants to do more.  He developed the ability of super-strength and invulnerability.  We already know Chiklis can play a superhero, so Jim is no stretch.  However, I like the restrained excitement with which he plays his character, tempered with an “all around good guy” vibe.  Stephanie (Julie Benz) is Jim’s wife, and is a very successful scientist at Global Tech, Stephanie developed super speed, which has come in very handy on more than one occasion.  (Fanboy Segue: Benz played the vampire “Darla,” one of my most favorite characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.)  Rounding out the family are Daphne (Kay Panabaker), the daughter who developed the ability to read minds as well as tactile postcognition, and JJ (Jim Bennett), the formerly not-so-smart son who ironically developed super intelligence.

Supported by “sidekicks” George St. Cloud (Romany Malco), District Attorney who also happens to be a good friend of Jim’s, and Katie Andrews (adorably portrayed by Autumn Reeser), Stephanie’s lab assistant, the Powells are able to evolve into a superpowered family you can get behind.  And now that new characters (both good and bad) continue to be introduced– not to mention that the character of Will/Joshua (played by Josh Stewart) continues to evolve into something more than just a hired gun for Dr. King– I’m making space in DVR to catch the Powells do their thing.

What I appreciate most about Family is that, unlike Heroes, they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.  Of course, it helps that it’s family friendly (probably slated for syndication on ABC Family at some point), so it has that aw-shucks and a we’re-just-trying-to-be-normal-even-though-we-kick-ass approach.  It is perhaps this lightheartedness that makes me appreciate it more.  Oh, sure, there’s a badass villain who happens to be Stephanie’s boss, Dr. King (portrayed by Commander Decker! a.k.a. Stephen Collins) but even that character (for now) seems pretty harmless.

Let’s just hope they don’t jump the shark at some point by suddenly granting powers to the previously non-powered (*cough* Ando *cough*) or by doing something else that is purely nonsensical.  I’d like to be able to enjoy the Powells for a very long time.


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