ORBzine - No Ordinary Family TV Review

No Ordinary Family

Season 1

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 1] Pilot
Shown 28/Sep/10

The Powells are an average caucasian American family. Two parents, a teenage son and daughter, a house in the suburbs ...

Jim Powell (Michael Chiklis) is a sketch artist for the LAPD (a step down from The Shield). He also has super-strength and super-hard skin, like his character in Fantastic Four (but without the mutated appearance). He tells his friend, the Token Black Guy - who is also the DA. Together they can fight crime!

Stephanie Powell ( Julie Benz ) is a scientist, which begs the question of why she has a family with a menial who looks like Vic Mackey. She discovers she can run faster than 700mph (without a sonic boom?). She tells her ditzy lab assistant ( Autumn Reeser ).

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 2] No Ordinary Marriage
Shown 05/Oct/10

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 3] No Ordinary Ring
Shown 12/Oct/10

The parents are at a wedding when the after-party is raided by three gun-toting thieves. They take the mom's wedding ring, and The Thing tries to get it back. However, he isn't skilled enough at his superpowers yet. Luckily, this means the story is stretched out to episode-length.

Genius boy still hasn't told his parents he has a power. But his sister knows - she blackmails him into doing all her homework. And he offers to tutor a hot chick at school.

The Mom has to dodge a blood test at work. It's part of the mandatory physical work-up.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 4] No Ordinary Vigilante
Shown 19/Oct/10

there is a vigilante gunman in the city park. Tim Kelleher ( Dark Skies ) is the main suspect. The Dad and the DA investigate. The Cops only want to protect the muggers!

The mom closes in on the science behind their powers.

The son joins the football team. His ability to calculate angles means he knows where to throw the ball, although strangely his physical abilities seem improved enough to go through with it.

The daughter is shut out by a clique.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 5] No Ordinary Quake
Shown 26/Oct/10

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 6] No Ordinary Visitors
Shown 09/Nov/10

The mom ( Julie Benz ) is shocked when her parents ( Cybill Shepherd and Bruce McGill - Quantum Leap ) pay a surprise visit. Typical interfering TV grandparents, they criticise everything our protagonists do. Can the family secretly use their superpowers to impress the grandparents and effect a happy ending? This is mainstream US TV, what do YOU think?

The teen daughter discovers she can see images in another person's head, as well as hearing thoughts. This helps her read the mind of a classmate who witnessed a crime. But when she tells her dad (a police sketch artist) he has to interfere.

As for the sidekicks ... The DA (token black guy) is sent out to do surveillance despite having no Field Agent skills. Meanwhile, Autumn Reeser (the cute little lab tech babe) gets to have dinner with the whole family for some reason!

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 7] No Ordinary Mobster
Shown 16/Nov/10

The sidekick DA is gunning for Albanian mobsters. But when they go after him and his partner ( Amy Acker ), The Thing gets involved. But things go wrong when the extortionist sees his face!

Julie Benz investigates her predecessor's fate. She even goes to Mexico so she can interview his widow. Her boss is keeping an eye on her. His minion knows that there is another super-powered man in the city, but hasn't made the connection yet.

The teen daughter pretends to know a lot about modernist art so she can impress a hot guy. She fails to realise that men have a word for people who hang out with them and share common interests - FRIENDS!

The teen boy gets tutored by Autumn Reeser . Despite being a college-educated scientist she is over-awed by complicated words like methodology and standard deviation. She's pre-occupied with on-line dating, so the teenager sets up his own online profile. How can someone so smart not see how this will obviously go wrong?

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 8] No Ordinary Accident
Shown 23/Nov/10

The Thing (Michael Chiklis) tries to catch a group of violent car-jackers. But his powers start to cut out on him at the worst times.

Scientist/wife Julie Benz tries to uncover the reason for the problems. Her nerdy girl assistant Autumn Reeser dates a guy, but unknown to them he is part of a conspiracy to conceal the source of the superpowers. The other sidekick, the DA, gets to date Amy Acker - though despite her being a genre star there is no hint that she may have a story arc.

The son tutors a Football Jock in math class. He is too successful - the Jock passes the test, but the teacher assumes he is cheating so fails him anyway. The son tries to hack the computer, but just makes things worse. Luckily the evil carjackers are in the neighbourhood!

The daughter pretends she can speak Japanese to impress a Hot Guy. This backfires too. They have never heard the term Personal Gain Clause because they are mainstream (and thus Genre Blind) ... They should pay more attention to nerdy girl assistant Autumn Reeser .

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 9] No Ordinary Anniversary
Shown 30/Nov/10

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 10] No Ordinary Sidekick
Shown 07/Dec/10

The Thing (Michael Chiklis) tries to catch a group of violent armed robbers. His sidekick is caught by the cops, who declare him a hero for the vigilante deeds. But the robbers' leader is still out there, and has a plan involving a Money Train.

Nerdy girl assistant Autumn Reeser brings her BF to meet the family. The psychic girl cannot read his mind, and tries to uncover the reason for the problems. It turns out he met her on the fake date that JJ arranged in No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 7] No Ordinary Mobster.

JJ goes to a Genius club and meets a girl his own age. She's great at chess, but when he talks to her his powers don't work.

The Chinese-American rival (Reggie Lee - Grimm ) tries to contact Scientist/wife Julie Benz . Naturally, some loose ends have to be tied up.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 11] No Ordinary Friends
Shown 04/Jan/11

Jim saves the life of Dave Cotton (Ricky Shroeder - NYPD Blue). Dave brings his wife over, and the Powells actually make some new friends. But will Stephanie blow their secret?

Jim stakes out the city's art gallery to prevent a theft worth 8 million dollars. Surely with security guards, city cops and a hefty insurance policy this is unnecessary. And is Dave Cotton the expert art thief? In a city with a population in the millions, what are the chances?

Nerd girl tries to lose her cherry to her new BF.

Maths boy tres to keep his GF.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 12] No Ordinary Brother
Shown 11/Jan/11

The nerdy girl assistant Autumn Reeser gets to close to the truth about her BF. Rebecca Mader tries to get rid of her ... by promoting her, and sending her to Miami.

The Thing's brother stops by. He is Bosco from Third Watch, and as unlikeable as ever. It turns out he is in debt to a loan shark. What are the chances that he will be absolved of all sin, and there will be a family reunion moment? In a bland mainstream show like this, a virtual certainty.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 13] No Ordinary Detention
Shown 18/Jan/11

The police station is in lockdown, It gets taken over by a gang of gun-toting thugs. The Thing decides to take them out Die Hard style. But Joanne Kelly is around to cramp his style.

The lady doctor is in lockdown. She's treating the telekinetic Stalker, who is in extreme withdrawl. Rebecca Mader wants him to get back on his potion again.

The kids end up in Detention together. Real Breakfast Club stuff.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 14] No Ordinary Double Standard
Shown 08/Feb/11

Julie Benz wants to be a crime-fighter like her hubby. But while super-speed is useful in some circumstances, it's not the most practical combat skill. Not compared to super-strength and bullet-proof skin, anyway. And Hubby is a Law Enforcement professional, working as a sketch artist for police detectives. OK, he may not have a detective's shield - But he performs a vital back-room task, like the CSI teams do. And his sidekick is a District Attorney!

There is a double standard at work - the female characters get to do science AND crime-fighting, while the males are made to look inept at their day-jobs. Did Benz' character in Dexter think she could do as good a job as her BF, the title character?

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 15] No Ordinary Powell
Shown 15/Feb/11

The Family know that the evil scientist is behind the supervillains. They decide to investigate. What a shock when they discover that he has had them under surveillance! The evil scientist sends his tame shapeshifter to kill The Thing. Despite knowing for weeks there is a shifter on the loose, they don't expect anything. The shifter can duplicate his body mass, and thus apparently his strength ...

The kids investigate a cold-case murder. Luckily, the girl doesn't just have mind-reading powers. She can Push people - like the woman in Alphas .

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 16] No Ordinary Proposal
Shown 22/Feb/11

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 17] No Ordinary Love
Shown 01/Mar/11

The Mad scientist gets a new sidekick - Eric Balfour ( Haven ). We also get a mysterious appearance from Lucy Lawless .

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 18] No Ordinary Animal
Shown 22/Mar/11

A female jogger in a red hooded top gets menaced in the woods. Like the intro to the pilot ep of Grimm , but without the catchy Eurythmics song.

Eric Balfour ( Haven ) is assassinating anyone with superpowers. The Powells close in on him, but they are on his hit list too. Luckily, an unlikely person has a new superpower!

The son is given a high-level math paper by his teacher, who has a mysterious motive. Meanwhile, the daughter uses her power for Personal Gain(tm) by cutting class.

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 19] No Ordinary Future
Shown 26/Mar/11

Michael Chiklis (The Shield) may not look like The Thing in Fantastic Four any more, but he still has the character's strength. This comes in useful when he takes on a conspiracy of corrupt cops. Unfortunately, superhuman brute force and ignorance can be unpleasantly high-profile.

Julie Benz has her powers boosted by regular injections of a special serum. She can now run at FTL speeds, which means if she times it right she can travel in time. As with Hiro in Heroes , a power like this can just be too damn powerful for the good of dramatic tension. But it helps her see a dark future - in two days time, the Men in Black will be after her family!

Lucy Lawless is the Season arc's recurring villain. She brings back a dead hench-person, to keep surveillence on Autumn Reeser . The ditzy lab assistant is pregnant with a super-sprog ...

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 20] No Ordinary Beginning
Shown 05/Apr/11

The story starts with some false jeopardy. The DA sidekick is on a plane full of convicts, about to crash. Then the story starts, a couple of days earlier.

Lucy Lawless starts a house-cleaning exercise. She fires the mad scientist, a bad idea because he is ruthlessly obsessed with Dr Powell ( Julie Benz ). Then she kidnaps JJ the genius-boy. Only he can solve the equations.

The DA tells the super-family to work as a team for a change. Then he goes to look after the pregnant sidekick. Her BF ( Dark Knight Rises ) turns up again - but is it him or the shapeshifter?

Dr Powell ( Julie Benz ) can run fast enough to go back in time. But she only remembers she has super-speed when it is useful to the plot. She defeats six guards who have automatic weapons, but forgets her abilities when there are only 3 guards with pistols. Later, she has to be REMINDED she has a superpower! And a villain escapes by walking quickly, while super-mom only runs at the same speed as her teenage kids!





No Ordinary Family

No Ordinary Family No Ordinary Family [Season 1, Episode 10]
Shown th October 2010 [Wednesday]

No Ordinary Family

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