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No Ordinary Family Review: Behaving Like Charlie Sheen

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I had high expectations for "No Ordinary Love," given that two former Battlestar Galactica ladies were stopping by to generate some mayhem. While there was fun to be had, there were a few things that just didn't sit well with me.  

Before I go there, I have to give kudos to the clairvoyance of the writers for including a well-placed dig at Charlie Sheen, which couldn't have been more timely. Knowing these episodes were filmed weeks ago, George's reference to Jim "behaving like Charlie Sheen" caught me completely off guard and elicited almost as big a laugh as actually watching any one of Sheen's interviews this week.

Tricia Helfer on No Ordinary Family

It was wonderful to see the intoxicating Tricia Helfer back on my TV screen in all her enigmatic glory, perfectly cast as a siren-esque villain, but how disappointing to find this was a one-episode-only appearance. Perhaps maybe it was for the best because she so obviously trumped the chemistry between Chiklis and Benz. It's not Benz's fault, though; Helfer could have chemistry with a paper sack.

What didn't make sense was how quickly Stephanie believed that Jim really was leaving her and the kids, going so far as to cut pictures of Jim out of family photos. It effectively painted Stephanie as both gullible and a little dense. Jim was so adamant about not trusting Sophie just a few hours prior and just suddenly fell in love with her? After all the Powells have been through and seen, I don't buy for a second that Stephanie - the supposed smart cookie that she is - wouldn't have figured, or at least suspected, something more sinister was at play. 

For that, I'm afraid I have to revoke my earlier kudos to the writers.

As much as I'm on board with any and all Dr. King scenes, I'm not understanding something about his involvement with Stephanie. Just last week, King deduced that Stephanie was helping Joshua, which should have made clear that she was aware of his abilities. Didn't that prove she had been hiding her knowledge of the supers from him? Why does he seem so trusting of her this week? Or maybe he actually doesn't trust her and he's just playing her? 

Whatever the case, it all just seems a bit off kilter. 

Speaking of off kilter, I get where they were going with the "true love conquers all" scenario between Jim and Stephanie, but I couldn't enjoy her speech about their lives together, because the whole time I was thinking to myself "Take the friggin' bomb and run!!" A real superhero would address the danger at hand, and then work on the personal stuff, people!

Which leads me to a greater gripe: why does it have to be Jim who always saves the day? Recently, he came to the rescue of Daphne and J.J., and this week he wouldn't let Stephanie take the bomb and run it out to the desert to explode in the middle of nowhere. He had to step in and toss it to the heavens. Did that really make sense? What if the bomb hadn't exploded before it hit the ground, and ended up killing innocent people? Why can't Stephanie be allowed to do more with her powers than change clothes really quickly?

The side story with Daphne repeatedly having to deter Chris' line of questioning about the family's abilities was smile-worthy, if not a bit distracting. I'm at the point where I want the Powells working together, not on separate tangents, which is why I did like having J.J. tag along with George to investigate Sophie. 

Now that there is a Wolverine running loose, and the mysterious Mrs. X has it out for Dr. King, I wonder if King and the Powells will be joining forces in the near future? It appears we only have three episodes left to find out, since the season had its order cut by two episodes. I'm hoping we get some amount of resolution because a second season seems unlikely at this point.

I found "No Ordinary Love" to be mostly alright, despite a few speedbumps. What did you think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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No Ordinary Exasperation. Always soap opera styled, this show. And from the second episode I knew they had a plan that would intrigue us and hugely disappoint simultaneously... Guaranteed to be canceled with this formula, which is sad, because so many of us are actually cheering for the show based on all the elements that COULD be harnessed for a total winner. (sigh, again) The production team clearly opted for 70's tv ala Hulk, 6million dollar man, kung-fu, instead of Fantastic 4 or Incredibles. (ok, i'm done sighing, they get the fate they deserve.) But to have gone through all the bother of casting this very decent team, and to have embraced the Marvel-esque formula in various ways, only to have it all come to naught. That's a drag. How apropos that Lucy Lawless be cast here, as the writing for N-O-Family fairly matches the IQ level that Xena-WP devolved to shortly into its lifespan. While I really liked the No Ordinary Powell episode, it makes no sense that Jim would kill someone, his first kill, and think nothing of it after all the other moral dilemma tripe they have him struggle with. This kind of disconnected character to plot relationship gets extra deep this week as Steph becomes retarded, and George heals instantly from what should have been broken ribs, caved-in sternum, spinal injuries and maybe a concussion. It's kiddie show, why should I care? And it can't be saved by my two cents at this point. But if it could it would have to happen by the miraculous arrival of all the writers from X files who might understand what to do with it. If Married With Children was able to re-invent itself after the first season, albeit a gradual descent into farse, then surely N-O-F could make an about-face of sorts. Oh... who am i kidding? Nevermind.

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Seemed a soap opera too much, with the upscale of love dovey moments. I expected more from Stephanie who clearly surprised on her knowledge of her husband. By the point they reached the true love conquered all, I couldn't really care. It somewhat disappointed me that the "true love" didn't kick in before and Jim's obsession would be revealed to him. There were many disappointments here and as much I route for the series week after week, this episode puts a dent in the shows appeal to somewhat bleak.

No Ordinary Family Season 1 Episode 17 Quotes

I can prosecute this from my Lay-Z-Boy.

George

Stephanie: Speaking of friends with boundary issues.
Jim: Hello, George.