Monday, September 19, 2011

ABC's No Ordinary Family, Season 1

Imagine a family consisting of a father, mother, son and daughter starting to fall away from each other. Some of us would be used to it as it tends to happen, especially when the children become teenagers and the parents are caught up in their own careers. The family decides to come together, spend some time together and take a trip to South America. Along the way, the plane they are traveling in crashes. They fall into a body of water where they end up breathing in unknown substances from the lake. Unknown to them, they each develop super powers which enable them to do unique things, the father can leap buildings in a single bound and has a new super human strength. The mom can run faster than the speed of light. The daughter can hear the thoughts from others and the son goes from a C student to super genius. If one didn’t know better, they would almost thing No Ordinary Family starring Michael Chiklas from The Shield and The Fantastic Four, and as his wife, Julie Benz, known best for her role as Dexter’s wife in the Showtime series Dexter is based on the Pixar film, The Incredible’s If one doesn’t take the series too seriously they will find a ABC series that deserved more respect and viewership than it received.

One of the benefits of new technological advancements is that a television series like No Ordinary Family can appear almost like a feature film as to the quality of acting, special effects, and story. In those regards this is a pleasing series that deserved another chance to bring in an audience. Michael Chiklas and Julie Benz do a terrific job as does their supporting cast. Everything about the series proved enjoyable, with quality editing, direction, and always entertaining enjoyable story.

I was especially pleased how the story developed. Each character grew into their part, especially true with the children who have their own special powers and issues related to those powers. In some of the same ways as series Smallville, the characters develop in such a way where we find ourselves caring about them and the struggles they are going through. While far from perfect, the issues related to growing up are addressed in a way most can relate to.

At the heart of the series is the desire of the characters to serve their community and those in trouble. While there are sacrifices to be made, those sacrifices take into consideration the role of family and the gifts they have been given. Each character has their own issues and difficulties to face, yet there is a willingness to serve their fellow man. Often times we see individuals in movies make these kinds of decisions, yet never take into consideration the cost of those decisions. That is not the case here, there is a love of family, an understanding of gifts, yet also an understanding of what could be lost when serving others. The difficulty of those types of decisions hits home to me in No Ordinary Family. There is a cost to pay, but ultimately, the need to serve their community and using their gifts for the wellbeing of their fellow humans come at a cost, but a cost that is worth it.

I enjoyed No Ordinary Family. It is a series that deserved a chance for continuation as it was well done, and promoted the family. It promotes more than that though, it promoted the need of each person using their gifts for the good of their community. Those are themes we just don’t have enough of and it was a refreshing program in comparison to all of the other programs on the air. One of the only negatives regarding the DVD series for me was the lack of special features. While there are a few, they are not listed on the product and are not enlightening to the series. ABC unfortunately never gave the series a chance so it doesn’t surprise me that they didn’t put more into the DVD, that isn’t a reflection on the product though, it is a reflection on ABC, there are many fans who wanted more. Watch for yourself, see how the show could have gone places, places we need, and places we deserved.

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