3. No Ordinary Ring
After thinking very positive things about the tonal changes that accompanied episode two of this show, I was slightly shocked by how unsympathetic I felt in the declining viewing audience they suffered, after seeing the third instalment.
The dark demise of Jim’s police partner at the end of the previous story really upped the narrative for me, but by the end of this one, all that good work had been undone as it descended into a morass of sentimentality.
The whole premise of the stolen wedding ring and Jim’s rather poor attempts to recover it wasn’t actually the worst thing in here. That nomination goes to the very lightweight humour they paced out the story with, that was hysterical in the way that joke books of the very young make you chuckle more in pity sort of way.
George can be funny on occasions, but aside from one sideways lawyer gag that he had early on, he just became annoying for most of the scenes.
The worst for him, and Michael Chiklis, was the really sad stereotype playing that accompanied Jim’s attempts at dancing. I’m a middle-aged white guy that lives in an ethnically mixed family, and nobody has yet condescended to help me ‘dance’, ever.
My take would be the one that Bill Murray uses in Stripes, where he asks the black guys to help the white guys in getting their marching in sync, and then a fight breaks out. It wasn’t funny and it seemed like something plucked from a 70s sitcom.
That aside, I’m also getting pretty bored with the angst of Daphne (Kay Panabaker, who is 20), who’s making her supposed sixteen-year-old teen look like about eight years old.
If they can’t get over this stage of the story soon, I’m going to have to record the show so I can fast-forward through any part involving the children.
More concern gripped me when they squandered good opportunities. One scene where, for just a moment, I thought the show might take flight, was unceremoniously ditched in the sea. It was the one where Jim and Stephanie go to a wedding that’s then raided by armed robbers. For just a second, I thought they’ll instinctively go into action, but they didn’t.
Stephanie’s inactivity in this sequence was totally ridiculous, on the basis that she could have run outside and got all the jewellery back without the crooks even realising they’d been mugged. Yet, instead she did very little. Strange how, when it’s her funding for her science project, she’s willing to go to very long lengths to get results, whereas people being robbed at gunpoint isn’t motivating enough!
This show is turning from No Ordinary Family, into the people that whine about having super powers. I’m not sure I want to see people complaining about having powers, in the same way I don’t want to really listen to bankers explain how tough it is to spend all the bonuses they make. These characters need to get lives soon, or they’ll be axed before they’ve come fully out of the phone booth.
They need to stop trying to make us laugh, and need to start entertaining us with the premise. Just a thought.
Read our review of episode 2, No Ordinary Marriage, here.