This review may contain spoilers.
14. No Ordinary Double Standard
I’ve decided that this show is perfectly named, because over time it’s boiled down to a mixture of three different components. There are the ‘ordinary’ parts, where people do or say very ordinary things, usually bickering about nothing of great substance.
Then there are the ‘family’ parts, where the Powells do things that the writers have decided all American dysfunctional families do, like having abrupt breakfast conversations or arguing at bedtime.
And then, because this is supposedly about superheroes, there are the other parts where, on occasion, I’m tempted to shout ‘No!’ at the TV in a banal Yu-Gi-Oh! way.
This week’s episode, No Ordinary Double Standard, is mostly ‘family’ with a dash of ‘ordinary’ and the occasional ‘no’ moment. Being a parent myself, I’m well aware of the hypocrisy of many choices I’ve made in respect of my children, but I can’t imagine a world where I’d think this was interesting enough to make it the centre of the TV show. If that wasn’t a thin enough foundation, they then occupied much of the rest of the show with a childish competition between Stephanie and Jim as to who has the best powers.
So, was there any redemption in here? Well, I actually rather liked the effects of the super-villain that could turn himself into smoke, even if some of the parts where he used this power didn’t make much sense. At one point he attacked Stephanie and held her up against the wall, but wasn’t actually solid at the time.
What’s slightly frustrating is that the whole Doctor King subplot has some interesting moments, as it’s revealed that he’s programmed the people he made super-human so they couldn’t attack him, in theory, but it clearly doesn’t work. This begs the question what power does he have, as you’d have to be a pretty stupid evil scientist to hand out superpowers like candy, but not to have any yourself!
The problem with Dr. King is that he’s a bit slow working out the Powells have powers, and his relationship with Joshua usually translates into some ‘No!’ dialogue from Katie.
When this show first started, I quite liked Katie Andrews, but as it’s gone on, each of her appearances makes me cringe with the painful I’m-a-geek dialogue they give her. Surely, they can portray she’s a comic book fan without making her sound like she’s been medicated for her own good?
They’ve also managed to find their ‘transporter’ crux, which is the ability of two characters now to do the ‘these are not the droids’ trick on others. I can assert right now that for Daphne this is just for her to learn a preachy lesson about respecting others, and the pitfalls of manipulating people.
For all its other faults, and I could go on for some time and bore you all, it’s worst one is exactly how little of this is engaging. There’s very little super about any of the characters, and the Brady Bunch isn’t a model that I’m keen to see revived.
I really think the creative team here have had their chance, which I think they’ve entirely blown by now. I want much more action, more driven narrative and less whiny Powell children and their insipid parenting issues. But I’ve almost faith we’ll ever experience anything more than we’re been given up till now. Disappointing.
Read our review of episode 13, No Ordinary Detention, here.
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