Prior to the start of the fall TV season one of the shows I was able to pre-screen and write about was NO ORDINARY FAMILY. I had high hopes for the television show because I am, for lack of a better term, a geek who loves me the super powered people.
The first half of the season for NO ORDINARY FAMILY was a super hero tale with family drama undertones. The lives of the STEPHANIE (Julie Benz) and JIM (Michael Chiklis) on the super hero portion of the show while DAPHNE (Kay Panabaker) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett) showed us the difficulties in dealing with a new level of teen angst from having and hiding super abilities. The blend was mildly entertaining for the first few episodes but the “freak of the week” super villain had already been played out to the extreme with SMALLVILLE and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER so it was sometimes painful to watch the stories unfold when we’ve already seen them done in a superior way.
The latter part of the season started to see the show shift to a full-blown super hero show with a shifted focus and a greater exploration into the forces of evil that were at work behind the scenes. Instead of just STEPHANIE’s boss DR. KING (Stephen Collins) being the master manipulator we were introduced to a still unnamed character played by Lucy Lawless who is more sinister than DR. KING and isn’t very happy with the things that he’s been doing in his city.
The use of Lawless just screamed stunt casting to me but I can’t blame the show runners. Trying to cash in on the geek chic is a smart move since Lawless was previously connected to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, a show whose core audience might also be potential NO ORDINARY FAMILY fans. Of course Lawless was introduced the same week that they GALACTICA’s Tricia Helfer guest star as well.
Truth be told the tonal shift of the show probably isn’t going to be enough to save it from the ultimate of TV super-villains, the television executive. The show premiered to decent numbers but has sagged ever since. Confidence in the show cold easily be perceived as low when the final order for episodes was cut down to 20 from the standard 22-24.
With last nights season finale we can only hope for the best since this may be the last episode of NO ORDINARY FAMILY ever produced. Just as Julie Benz promised via her Twitter account , “all your questions will be answered… And then you will have more questions!”
By the finale’s end we knew how the POWELL’s were able to have their powers permanently where others were not, we knew who the real big bad was and we were given a possible new direction should the show be picked up for a new season. The possibilities of a renewal, however, aren’t looking very super.
Here’s what else tonight has to offer.
FOX - 8:00 PM: Tonight on AMERICAN IDOL the remaining nine finalists compete to songs in the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME. Someone please tell me once again how these theme nights can show you just how good of a future pop star someone will be?
DISC - 9:00 PM: Tonight the MYTHBUSTERS return and they try to do the… uh… impossible… as they tackle the believability of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE MASKS!
TLC - 9:00 PM: Strap on your padding, tape up your hands and get that mouth guard in to prepare for the premiere of EXTREME COUPONING! It’s couponing… to the EXTREME!
FOX - 9:30 PM: REAPER’s BRET HARRISON returns aside CHRISTIAN SLATER in the new FOX comedy BREAKING IN. Fans of SMALLVILLE may be interested to see former LEX LUTHOR MICHAEL ROSENBAUM with one of the silliest faux-hawks ever to grace a head of hair (yes he has HAIR!).
OXYGEN - 10:00 PM: Tonight is the series premiere of TORI & DEAN: sTORIbook WEDDINGS. Now the couple are wedding planners and I’m sure it is going to be completely TORIble.
BRAVO - 11:00 PM: TOP CHEF MASTERS premieres with new show host CURTIS STONE.
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