Here's my bit on the new superhero dramedy from ABC. I guess I liked it a bit more than you did, but I share some of your concerns. We all know what happened to the promising Heroes. It was as if Tim Kring had read the collective minds of genre fans everywhere and gave us exactly what we wanted, at exactly the right moment in time, whether we knew we even wanted it. Take the premise of M Night's Unbreakable and take it a few steps further. What would it be like if real people had superpowers, minus tights and capes? Then, as we watched, some of us faithfully, we witnessed the whole thing gradually fall apart. Some would say it happened faster than others, some would even say it was beginning to show the signs of improving at the end. But no-one could argue that it held on to that season one promise of potential timeless greatness. Now, comes ABC studios' "No Ordinary Family". When I got the pilot, I let it sit there for a day, staring at me. Should I even watch it? If I give it a chance, will it fall apart just as I'm getting really interested? Or would it suck right out the door, like a cheap ABC Family series that shall remain namelesX.Yes, either could happen. But this morning I gave it a shot, and it was more than worth my time. The pilot stars some familiar faces, depending on your viewing habits. The lovely (but now enhanced/augmented... ptech..plegh..spppt..YUCK) Julie Benz (Dexter), the talented and diverse Michael Chiklis (The Shield, Fantastic Four), Romany Malco (Weeds), Stephen Collins (Star Trek : The Motion Picture), as well as many other faces you will recognize/be surprised to see. And it works. On many levels. The family chemistry is nearly perfect, believable and somewhat realistic. The premise for the family gaining their powers is no sillier than any comic book's origin story. The comedy and geek-out moments are perfect without being too referential or obscure. Malco: Here's what we know so far.. you can jump just over a quarter mile in a single leap... Chiklis:(interrupting) A single what? (both stop) Malco:(mildly perturbed)fine...single BOUND. Chiklis:(grinning ear to ear)Hee heee hee. The writing is great, as well as the approach. Instead of throwing our "Heroes" (if you'll pardon the expression... please) into a save the world or everyone you love story right off the bat, they focus instead on the family itself and the struggles they're dealing with. Sure, some of it is predictable. The dad is a slightly demoralized, not henpecked but perhaps inadvertently emasculated, aging "used to be" head of the household. The mom is an over-achieving supermom with a more successful career than her husband. The son is an under-achiever with self-esteem issues, and the daughter is a texting-obsessed, sex-fearing, boy-crazy, cookie-cutter teen-girl sharing perhaps a bit of her brother's self-esteem issues. Pretty much, the modern family TV stereotypes. But it rises above it all. Maybe it's the writing, maybe it's the casting. Could be both. The real work they have ahead of them as the series moves on is fleshing out the kid's characters, the only aspect of the show that fell a little flat. And if the show lasts 4 or 5 seasons, in hindsight (as in many shows.. yes I'm looking at you LOST) it may have been a good idea to cast at least one of them below 15. Why do all TV families have to have teens and tweens these days? Demographics? Nefarious executive proclivities? (shudder) A little less with the stereotypes when it comes to the son and daughter could propel the show to greatness. Sure, it seems the show is about the parents primarily, but there they were... just feeling under-developed and over-seen. Considering how believable the friendship between Chiklis and Malco was right away, it was just a little surprising the kids were so under-written. The effects were consistently top-notch and used well. A fight in a parking garage was so well done, I had to watch it a few times to take it all in. Chiklis' Hulk-like "flying" was perfect and just clumsy enough. Benz's super-speed was done with a creative approach (are you watching, potential Flash producers?). This is a show worth watching and I'll loyally stick with it every week until season's end, no matter how it pans out. Chiklis and the rest of the cast is really like-able and I hope we see a great season, uninterrupted and in order. As long as they don't try to save the world before the end of the season. Been there, done that, got the Sylar Lives shirt and coffee mug. If YOU would like to give it a shot, you might still have a chance to at noordinaryscreening.com with the CaSe SeNsiTiVe password Extraordinary (capital E). It's a fun 44 minutes, much more so than I ever expected. Is it perfect? Not even close. But it IS fun and good fun at that. You won't feel stupid for watching it. And it was nice to see a show not, so to speak, "blow its load" in the first season. Sometimes, it can be better to set your sights a little lower right off the bat. The stakes don't always have to be so high. And neither do the writers. Yours, gotilk (aka goatlicker, gotlik, gotmilk, goatmilk, susan, etc etc ad infinitum) ."No Ordinary Family" begins its battle against "NCIS," "Glee" and "The Biggest Loser" Sept. 28.
Aug. 23, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST
Opened it now, gonna pause it watch it sometime later tonight. I doubt I'll get too into tho. I didn't like Heroes, not even the first season really.
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST
but it might be because I previously loaded it.
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST
ill be watching the whole season but im a sucker for the superhero shows and will also be watching the cape :/
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST
I'll let you know.
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST
Pretty entertaining. Nothing spectacular. The pot specialist dude from Weeds is a good fit as a DA and the hottie wife from Dexter is still hot. Have to see more before I make up my mind on whether to watch weekly or not.
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST
Vuz when studios grrenlight sequels before the 1st is even released..it MUST BE GOOD!!
Aug. 23, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST
This one, The Event, and the JJ Abrams show.
Aug. 23, 2010, 7:13 p.m. CST
Julie Benz is a lovely woman. And a damned fine actress.
Aug. 23, 2010, 7:37 p.m. CST
Naturally it reminded me a bit of "The Incredibles" meets the first season of "Heroes", but I think there's a lot of potential. I liked the introduction of a villain (villains?) and Romany Malco's character (though I kept jokingly wondering when he'd freeze something.) However, I didn't like the old overdone "interview" gimmick, and I hope it doesn't become a regular part of the series (which was eluded to.) Also, I was actually kind of liking the idea of JJ not having any powers. I think it would have made his character more interesting and more relatable to the audience. Instead, they gave him a power you could see coming a mile away. Still, I think if they don't mess it up and can sustain an interesting enough story arc it could be a pretty interesting show... at least for one season.
Aug. 23, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST
This was posted on Usenet on Monday 8/23/10
Aug. 23, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST
You know what it is.
Aug. 23, 2010, 7:57 p.m. CST
Definitely has some potential to be good TV. Hopefully it gets beyond the traditional "Look what I can do!" superhero cliches quickly. Here's my pros and cons: Pros: Some good one-liners (see above, leap vs. bound) Wife's increased metabolism due to super-speed Wife drafting from her own wake on the track The final fight sequence Actually going out to fight crime (unlike "Heroes") Cons: Some cliched dialogue The boy kinda got the shaft in this episode Did we really need to see him catch a dozen baseballs? Getting tired of the faux-documentary style (though I hear that will be changing)
Aug. 23, 2010, 8:08 p.m. CST
gone. Or at least not focused on as much. Although great casting for the therapist.
Aug. 23, 2010, 9:18 p.m. CST
that is all. except that i wonder if they are worried because this has not yet reached 50,000 people and nobody cares. hmmmmmm.
Aug. 23, 2010, 9:28 p.m. CST
by andrew coleman
Where the girl bitches about having powers because high school is already too much drama. Looks stupid and pointless. This makes me sad Heroes is gone.
Aug. 23, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST
I wasn't overly impressed. I'll give it a chance I guess. Wasn't as good as the hero's start, but couldn't end any worse.
Aug. 23, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST
by The Outlander
Painful lack of originality and very bad dialog. I can't believe ABC filmed such a badly written pilot and then decided to release it early online. Doomed to failure.
Aug. 23, 2010, 9:49 p.m. CST
...That you people don't all have Hollywood deals. I mean, if you know everything, you should be running this show. This was a clever pilot with decent characters and a great plot for an origin show. Yes, the kids were underdeveloped, but hell, it's a pilot. You can't focus on every character at once. Heroes had a ton of promise and completely failed to live up to it. Here's hoping this one does. I also have to admit I have a bit of a crush on Darla...er...Julie Benz.
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:28 p.m. CST
I love all the ingredients, but, man...that was a shitty tasting cake! Not even a good initial taste with a shitty after taste... having super powers is not a conflict in on itself anymore! Been there done that! And those kids CAN NOT act! Berlanti = shitty kid dialogue that reveals parental problems...not realistic in the least
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST
whose to say some of us don't have careers in television....?
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST
The world seemed empty. Someone would notice a guy jumping around on buildings or whatever. There was not one other person at that race rtack or whatever? It was just kind of weird how blatant it was that they had to ignore the realities of the world at large in a show where its supposed to be a sort of real-world, documentary-esque look at a real family turning special. Like the kids reactions to finding out their parents are special was just ridiculous. And the kid not getting powers, they'd at least have to talk about not telling people about this and keeping it a secret, etc. Everyone just accepted everything in a pretty silly way in my opinion. I know you can't cover everything in just 44 minutes....but the world in which the show takes place just seemed either retarded or dead. Other than that, some great moments and decent fun. i doubt i'll continue watching though to be honest.
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST
by Bass Ackwards
Can predict every plot point from the premise. But it's nit horrible, it's standard fare done well. The superhero equivalent of Castle, no harm no foul television.
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:34 p.m. CST
all the BS login stuff and signing up...forget it.
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:41 p.m. CST
is the pilot of the plane supposed to be an important character?...they originally hired Tate Donovan for the role but then fired him along with the Asian chick who played the police officer...I liked the CGI fight in the garage...the show looks decent but with a little fine tuning could be much better...that other NBC super hero show 'The Cape' looks more promising
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST
The casting of Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz (already like this character more than Rita from DEXTER), Autumn Reeser, and Romany Malco is pretty awesome. As has been noted, the story seems to be very much in the vein of THE INCREDIBLES, but I think if they can avoid retreading the same ideas, they can have a decent show on their hands.
Aug. 23, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST
You nailed the thing I just couldn't put my finger on there. The world felt empty. Spot on. And if you really put some effort into it, you could get some better reactions from the kids regarding finding their powers/discovering their parent's powers.
Aug. 24, 2010, 12:47 a.m. CST
I agree that the boy got the shaft in the screen time department, and they could have easily pushed the wife testing her powers business to the second episode to give more time to the kids. I'll add this to my Tivo queue, but I'm not going to make any real effort to watch it weekly. Still, it was better then I expected, and most likely a million times better then The Cape.
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:23 a.m. CST
If you tell me stretching and invisibility, I'm going to never watch this.
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:31 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST
great special effects and they had fun and the powers had some emotional payoff for the characters. i liked that. plus they look like they will have other people with powers that are cool. like the bad guy in this episode.
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:49 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:50 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:53 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
"Dr. Chiles," as addressed by Reverend Camden.
Aug. 24, 2010, 2:25 a.m. CST
The writing is heavy-handed, there was no room for the material to breath and scenes that should have an amazing impact were way too short and showed a flaw of creativity from the director and writer(s). The scene in the garage was way too damn short and ended abruptly. And was it just me or did Julie Benz and her character really irritate the hell out of you? Every line in this episode was written as if the audience was lobotomized. Don't explain everything to me in lines. I get it that the mom is overworked and doesn't have a lot of time in the day, so don't tell me that six times in four scenes. I get it. I really wanted to like this. I think the casting is great but the writing was horrendous. Not to mention that the atmosphere just seemed "blah." Anyone with me? This whole thing felt hollow. It has potential but ABC should really consider bringing in a new group to run the show.
Aug. 24, 2010, 2:39 a.m. CST
the 'Asian Guy' was in the movie Drag Me To Hell and he also played one of the lead bad guys during the final season or 2 of Prison Break
Aug. 24, 2010, 2:48 a.m. CST
are a miserable and benighted category of person.<p> We should not disrespect the memory of the late Robert Culp by watching inferior superhero shows.<p> I personally must atone for watching seasons 2-4 of Heroes.<p>
Aug. 24, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST
by Grimmjow Jeagerjaques
Thanks for the heads up Herc, I wouldn't have known about it if it weren't for you. As for the show itself, not bad, not great but not bad. It's definitely better than the latest Twilight wanna-be shit show that ABC's airing, what it called? The Gates? Watched the first ep. of that and was done. The parents were decent, kids were both stereotypical teen douches, I wish the parents would just smack the PSP & phone outta their hands. Cool fight in the garage. Overall decent pilot. I've seen better, both Supernatural and Glee's pilots kick this pilot's ass. Putting it on against Glee is NOT a good idea. Glee is going to kick this show's ass from one end of the block to the other. I'll catch it on ABC.com while it continues not to suck but unless the rest of the season is off the fucking hook or it gets a better slot I don't see this thing setting the world on fire. Good luck though guys. I'm actually rooting for this one.
Aug. 24, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST
by Cletus Van Damme
...could be good. Definite potential there.
Aug. 24, 2010, 8:43 a.m. CST
It's good. It's not earth-shattering but it sets up a storyline, some teases with the son and other supers and Chiklis is lovable. Plus, Denz is SUPER-HOT as a MILF.<br /> <br /> What's not to love. It's easy watching television.
Aug. 24, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST
That asian guy was also featured heavily on this summers Persons Unknown show (also on NBC..they must like him) and in Tropic Thunder and Star Trek briefly. I keep seeing the guy popping up in everything I seem to watch lately.
Aug. 24, 2010, 9 a.m. CST
Damn stubby fingers.
Aug. 24, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
that says "You have to do what I say." But I stopped watching Prison Break during the south american prison season with Whistler.
Aug. 24, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST
hmmm. its weird its on the same channel as Modern Family, considering they blatantly ripped off the style. I just figured it was on NBC cause thats their style....finding something popular, than slapping that style on whatever their next product is. It really was modern family with superpowers...I'm surprised its so incredibly similar in style. Tho I keep hearing the faux-doc style doesn't stick around past the pilot.
Aug. 24, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST
...but with superpowers? Typical network suit-think. Well Heroes failed because there was too much geek crap, we'll keep the powers but downplay them and make a light family dramedy... but the solve crimes. Yeah, that'll work. They ought to have one character be mongoloid and have him be the one with the most powers. Super-Corkey!
Aug. 24, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST
Nothing extraordinary but very entertaining. I'd like to see the world they develop and when it ended I wanted more. So that's a good thing. It is a risk cultivating in a garden that has been so over grown lately.
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST
We all know you can't judge a show by its pilot, since it's made to make the networks happy rather then the viewer. But NOF held up for a pilot and likely will get better as it moves on. I still liked "Terriers" and "The Event" the best of all the upcoming pilots, but NOF was in the top 5.
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST
...nothing to spectacular either. Still, it was good enough to spark my interest in the next episode which means it must be a pretty good pilot
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST
It has the guy from The Shield in it and The Shield was shit. And it has the woman from Dexter in it and Dexter was shit. It looks like The Incredibles and The Incredibles is shit. It's no Lost. I will always love Lost. Nobody could possibly love this shit.
Aug. 24, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST
if you wanna get buzz for a show, you dont limit the pilot viewership and you dont force people to register on your site<p>i take it that they have now maxed out, cuz i am unable to see it...not that i care all that much<p>the showrunner sounds like a tard when he says the reason heroes failed was because of the long arcs....so this show is gonna do monster/prob of the week<P>from what i have seen, the characters are sitcom cliche', but it may work as weekly brain dead fodder
Aug. 24, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST
Heroes failed because 1. You cannot sustain an end of the world, everyone is going to die scenario for EVERY story. 2. The Heroes didn't have enough limitations. 3. They listened to the audience instead of listening to their instincts (re:introducing a new set of Heroes for series 2) and sticking to their guns. Flexibility is one thing, doing something you know isn't going to sustain the show is another. 4. They lost some GOOD writers. 5. When they introduced new characters, they did it too quickly, didn't flesh them out, wrote them and cast them poorly. The long story arcs were the least of their worries. My opinion.
Aug. 24, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST
But I've been wrong before. Hell, I thought Firefly would get at least 3 or 4 seasons. I was sure of it. At first. I thought Lost (which I loved) would last maybe 2 seasons when I was enjoying season 1. I assumed Breaking Bad was just too good to last longer than 1 season.
Aug. 24, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST
Aug. 24, 2010, 5:25 p.m. CST
If you tried to compost me, it'd take 10 thousand years for me to biodegrade. I Swear. Ask anyone. If you buried my foot in well fertilized soil, I'd NEVER grow. If you placed me in a decorative position in the lobby or waiting room of a dentist's office, the police would be called rather than me being appreciated for my understated if superficial natural aesthetic value. If I worked for a studio, I'd be able to move out of my parent's basement and expand my diet well past ramen and diet mountain dew.... I'll stop now.
Aug. 25, 2010, 4:38 a.m. CST
so attention suits...the idea that you can limit anything is dumb<p>my complaint is that too much was packed into the 44 minutes, which couldve easily been expanded to 90<P>could be good...but i see a possible train wreck coming<p>i wonder if it bother's chikless to have bigger boobs than his female costar
Aug. 25, 2010, 7 a.m. CST
by David Cloverfield
It's like the Anti-heroes. They're fighting crime and enjoying their powers by the 25th minute. No "oh no I'm different" brooding. I love that.
Aug. 25, 2010, 7:24 a.m. CST
by David Cloverfield
whines so fucking much in everything, ever. This is how writers see their kids? "High school is hard enough, without awesome superpowers!" I hope the writer's brats get the message.
Aug. 25, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST
It was vintage Berlanti. <p> I'm also amazed that I haven't read any snide comments about the plane crash into the glowing magic water. LOST much? <p> Oh, and if you want to read a non-plant review, check mine out: http://themidside.blogspot.com/2010/08/no-ordinary-show.html
Aug. 25, 2010, 6:36 p.m. CST
I like your review better. Great writing. AND I'm shocked I'd forgotten that great line.. "I have a lair.. with wi-fi". I also should have emphasized how much it bothers me that teens (especially female teens) seem to want to reject their superpowers in these stories rather than embrace them. In reality, they would not only embrace, they would FLAUNT and Facebook them. I really hope they don't take her character along the same arc as ClaireBear's.
Aug. 25, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST
You have bad eyes or are not paying attention. She had some D-sized 2500 dollar water balloons put up in there a while back. And they are VERY obvious.
Aug. 25, 2010, 6:46 p.m. CST
watch it again. Maybe I was slightly unfair. It was really fun.
Aug. 25, 2010, 7:01 p.m. CST
"Fun" is a great way to describe it. That was one of the reasons I really loved the show. It was overwhelming positive. <p> I also agree completely about teenagers. However, what you described is a new paradigm brought up by communication technology and the political culture. Differences used to bring shame, now any attention is good attention. I would imagine Berlanti would play with this idea, as he wrote teens well in Everwood.
Aug. 26, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST
had nothing to do with their getting powers and that they are guinea pigs of the company the milf works for?<p>btw, its one thing to enjoy recently gained powers (see spidey) its quite another to have those around not only not freak out, but then go out and spend thousands on a "lair"
Aug. 26, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST
but on the subject of differences? Superficial differences are fine, but having been around a few in the last several years, I can tell you that any significant differences will still bring about crushing shame. Superficial being things as simple as hair color or clothing, or as significant and all-encompassing as being gay or bi. (or "lesbian for guys" as many are at parties) The latter being significant, but superficial in its PRESENTATION. (I don't want people thinking I mean being gay itself is a superficial thing.. I absolutely do NOT.. I instead think in SOME cases it's a way of getting needed attention or fitting into a subculture) I think we are entering an era of "everything all over". You can see signs of it in music culture as there are fewer cliques and more people listening to ALL genres. It's a good thing, really. But I'm not convinced younger people are beyond casting out or singling out people with differences that do not conform to the pre-determined, current lists of "acceptable diversities". For instance, as much as I loathe "young republicans", it is increasingly common for young conservatives to be treated pretty poorly by their peers. It doesn't help them much by being essentially intolerant of everything that doesn't resemble a hardware store ad from the 50s, but the intolerance does seem to approach cruelty at times. And the "weird kids", whether they be nerds or weirdos are still treated pretty badly. The idea that "any attention is good attention" is not a new thing though, of course. You can trace that back to the first dulcet tones of Hollywood gossip writers, even in the beginning knowing full well that "any publicity is good publicity". And since the onset of social networking and their microcosmic version of 15 minutes of fame being extended to about 45, it's hard for me to blame the kids themselves. Seems to me to be a symptom of the popular social tools of society rather than an aspect of the newer generations' personalities. And then we have people in our age group dismissing it ALL as ephemera, when in fact the tools available on the Net and the mobile net can be used for many things other than letting your friends know what you had for lunch or FML assertions. It must be difficult for these writers to relate to teens when their views and opinions of the social norms of the time are so limited, misinformed or inaccurate. One of the more stupid ideas floated about by your average 40-plus writers out there is that we are living in a time when we are "more connected, yet more distant than we have ever been". BS. Just because you're not a part of it, does not mean it's not working for the people using it on a daily basis. From the outside looking in, sure it may seem cold, distant, distrustful, even agoraphobic. But it's not. Not even remotely. (see what I did there? lol) I never watched Everwood. Was it worth watching? I got a very sort of Dawson's Creek vibe from it and avoided it.
Aug. 26, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST
There are definitely some differences which are still so extreme that they would cause a teen to be ostracized, but most of the time whatever it was would bring some people to the teen's defense as others belittled him or her. Your statement about 40+ writers intrigues me because it's something I often think about. Why do so many adults seem to have forgotten what it's like to be a teenager and treat them like they're people you can't communicate with? <p> As far as Everwood, I watched and loved the first two seasons. I found it to be more mature than Dawson's Creek as it took on a lot of adult issues and handled them adeptly. Then, the end of S2 became cliche and I pretty much checked out, but watched the final episode when it was canceled. In my book, it's an underrated show.
Aug. 27, 2010, 1:46 a.m. CST
Thanks. I will give it a shot on DVD.