ABC’s superhero family drama “No Ordinary Family” has some quality components, but sadly none of them are original—part “The Incredibles,” part “Heroes” and part every superhero, ever.
Jim Powell (Michael Chiklis) is your typical family man who’s losing touch with his workaholic wife, Stephanie (Julie Benz) and his two teenage kids, JJ (a whiney Jimmy Bennett) and Daphne (Kay Panabaker).
So, he decides the family should join Stephanie on her business trip to South America and their plane crashes into the Amazon River—shocking.
They survive, but something has changed. One by one, they each realize they’ve come down with a case of the superpowers. Jim is basically a Thing/Hulk hybrid except he looks normal, Stephanie becomes the Flash and the kids get some powers as well. Spoiler alert: the kids’ powers are nothing new to the superhero game, either.
With a pretty good cast in Chiklis, Benz and Romany Malco playing Jim’s best friend, I wanted to like this. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the fact that everything in the pilot was ripped straight from a previous source or wholly banal.
The family elements are very “Incredibles,” and the parents’ careers outline predictable future plots. Jim is a police sketch artist who will undoubtedly take a more hands-on role in crime fighting and Stephanie is a scientist who’ll surely figure out the origin of the Powells’ abilities. Even the best moment of the pilot—an exciting climatic finish—felt like season one of “Heroes.”
If you’re an easygoing fan of the genre, “No Ordinary Family” will surely hit the right notes, but if you’re looking for some revolutionary superpowers/heroes/villains, this isn’t it.
“No Ordinary Family” 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC 2 ˝ stars