Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Ordinary Family

There's a gentle charm to ABC's new drama, No Ordinary Family.  The show is at heart a family drama despite the fact that the titular quartet all mysteriously gain super-powers during the first episode. 

The dad, played with relish and winking fun by Michael Chiklis, a mopey police artist finds new purpose as he experiments with his new powers (he basically has the original powers that Superman had in his debut issue:  he is super-strong, partially invulnerable, and he can leap about a quarter of a mile) with the help of his best friend. 

(Mom (Julie Benz), a workaholic with not enough hours in the day, gets super-speed.  The daughter, a high school student with boy issues, gains the power to read minds.  And the son, an underachieving student, becomes able to sort out complex problems.)

There is a conspiracy (of course) and much family angst (of course) and they even playfully name-check one of the X-Men at one point.  It's fun and breezy and the connections of family and friendship are kept in the forefront and, given time,  it could grow into something really engaging.

But it probably won't get the chance.  It will probably be swamped in the ratings by Glee and The Biggest Loser and (if it manages to hang on that long) by American Idol in January but I'm glad that the network took the chance anyway.

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