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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Ordinary Family - No Ordinary Vigilante review/recap

Four episodes into this show, it’s still in our top five of the new season. But it hasn’t returned to the overarching plot point of there being other people with powers on the show since episode two. It’s entertaining, but we wouldn’t be devastated if it were cancelled. We still like the tone and care about the characters, so we hope the show realizes its potential as a must-watch family show soon. It's still really easy to watch, so that's a plus.

Here’s what the family members were up to this week:

Jim - Jim is putting on a hoodie and roaming the park to catch muggers. His pitfall was his refusal to wear a moustache and other things to disguise his very distinctive, round head. Jim spotted a vigilante out in the park, shooting the muggers, and was affronted. The cops were on this vigilante’s side, but Jim didn’t think what the guy was doing was right. Pause while we call the kettle black, because Jim is a dangerous, inept, and careless vigilante as well. While he was whining about how the new vigilante shoots people, we couldn’t help but remember last episode, where Jim threw a bad guy off of a roof onto a cop car. Jim went out to the park again to look for muggers and the vigilante, but he was spotted and mistaken for that vigilante when another mugger was shot. Jim and his lawyer friend tracked down the vigilante and tried to bust him, but no one picked him out of a lineup. Jim talked to the man at the bar, and the man gave Jim a great life lesson about spending time with your kids. Seriously. Then the cops shot the vigilante in the park in a set-up while Jim was at home with his kids. One thing we thought was weird about this storyline was that this whole episode, the show was trying to show that the cops are inept and lazy. So now we NEED vigilantes? What is this, Gotham?

Stephanie - Stephanie has a new lab assistant, and it’s that Asian guy who was competing with her for the research funds. Asian guy revealed that a former scientist who disappeared was working on the same research Stephanie is working on (the stuff about what’s wrong with her family). Stephanie’s assistant, Katie, revealed that the former scientist was dead. Stephanie is coming across as the typical, shrew, working, perfect wife right now. We hope they do more with her character. Her relatively healthy marriage is unbelievable, because of the lack of equity in the marriage. She makes more money AND is way hotter than her husband? No wonder he is feeling insecure. If Jim were the hot one, this marriage would probably work and make more sense. When one partner is way better than the other one, the better person either takes the other for granted, or the one with less going for them starts to feel insecure (think of "The Reacher" and "The Settler" from How I Met Your Mother). We think that spells trouble. But this is TV, where all women are hot, and the show needed some sort of conflict for this marriage, so Jim is poor and useless.

JJ - Desperate for peer and parental acceptance, JJ used his super brain to get really good at football. Apparently, football is all math, physics, and trajectories. The pilot of Friday Night Lights has already shown how intellectual football is, but we appreciate the reminder. JJ’s math professor, who needs to get a life, was still following JJ around and trying to find signs that he is cheating. After seeing JJ excel in football, he called the Powell mom and dad and said that he thought their son was using a drug, like Adderall. JJ refused to tell his parents about his new abilities, so we assume that this “what’s wrong with JJ” storyline will continue into next week. This was the most unbelievable storyline of the episode, for two reasons. 1) JJ is teeny tiny. Even if he could know when and how to throw a football, eventually, he will be tackled and crushed like a bug. Not a good idea, JJ. 2) Don’t they have a JV football team at this school for the coach to suggest he go for until he gets a little bigger? We also have a beef with JJ keeping his powers a secret for this long. This isn’t a dark or entertaining secret, like Laura Linney’s on The Big C. It’s not going to be fun when JJ’s secret is revealed, unless the reveal is spectacular. It’s just going to be awkward, we think, so the show isn’t generating intensity with this particular plot point that is getting way too much screen time.

Daphne - Daphne heard a man at a liquor store think about how he was dipping into the cash register. Next, Daphne used her powers to read a popular girl’s mind and find out where a cool, no-sophomores part was going on. When she went to the party, however, the cool girl said, “We have a strict no losers policy,” and tried to throw her out. Desperate for peer acceptance, Daphne told the cool girl that she could get them alcohol. Fortunately, the stealing cashier worked both early afternoons and late nights. Yeah right. Daphne tried to blackmail the store cashier into selling her lots of booze, but the man knew she couldn’t prove his crime, so he called the police, and Daphne was busted. In the end, we saw JJ actually do something unselfish, for once, when he assured his parents that Daphne didn’t drink at the “cool” party. He was there, since he made the football team and is now cool, so he could attest to that fact. JJ did not get in trouble, and his father even made a great speech about how everyone needed to work hard and be good, like JJ. Typical parental response to the youngest child acting up. Ugh.

Episode grade: C+

Watch it here:

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