Exclusive Interview: Kay Panabaker on No Ordinary Family Character, First Season

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Kay Panabaker stars as a member of the Powells on No Ordinary Family.

On the series premiere, her character of Daphne receives the gift of telepathy, as discussed in our initial review of the show. Below, Panabaker talks to TV Fanatic about what kind of viewer would enjoy No Ordinary Family...

Tell us about No Ordinary Family.
It’s about a family that’s struggling. The mom is a workaholic and the father works for his own sanity, but he takes care of the kids. When we go on a trip for my mom’s science business trip, we crash, and we all get super powers. The show follows the family as they grow as individuals, as a family and as they grow as people with super powers. It’s cool to see the superpowers, but the heart of the show is about the family that’s struggling and the superpowers make that more difficult. You think it’d make it cool and make them closer, but often times it’s the opposite.

Kay Panabaker Promo Pic

[Photo: ABC]

Describe your character.
She’s a very typical teenage girl. She loves her phone, she loves hanging out with her friends and doesn’t really care about her family and the problems they’re having. As such, the power she gets is the power to read minds, which makes her more sympathetic. She now hears the real problems that people are dealing with and it makes her more compassionate. It doesn’t make her perfect overnight, she still fights with her family, but she has a really special relationship with her dad and with her brother.

So the powers each family member is given are matched to their shortcomings?
Exactly. The mom didn’t have enough time, so now she’s able to move really fast and get things done in a certain amount of time so she has time for everything else. Dad felt incompetent since he wasn’t able to do much, so now he’s almost invincible, and my little brother - who’s known as the dumb one - is now super smart. At times, it pulls the family apart. Kids get in trouble and the parents don’t know how to deal with it, and are dealing with their own stuff. The show really does highlight family problems, we just do it in a funny way and with superpowers, but it really reflects what’s going on.

Is it humorous to watch these characters discover their powers?
Michael Chiklis is hilarious. Mine is sort of depressing because she finds out that one of her friends isn’t as innocent or as nice as she would have liked to think. She’s in high school, so everyone’s inner thoughts are never really nice and she has to deal with that now.

Would you say anyone could watch this show?
Absolutely. It has the 8:00 time slot, so there’s nothing racy or very violent, it’s a really wholesome show. I think a lot of TV networks kind of try and go for a particular niche. You have the comedy shows that are good for the teenage boys, and you have this for the girls, and our show is very much comedy that everyone finds funny, and we have a family element that I just don’t think is in any family shows on the air right now.

I remember when Gossip Girl came out. I used to watch it with my mom, and we were shocked with what they were able to get away with at the 8:00 time slot, that’s normally the family time. Our show has questions of drugs and alcohol but it’s always in a very family oriented way, and nothing bad happens and it’s a realistic look at it on how someone would deal with that. Some of the storyline are developmental, so you’ll want to watch every episode to know what will happen, but at the same time you’ll be able to jump in and enjoy the show for an hour. I’m really impressed with it; it’s a very well written show.

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