Last week I did a post about the new NBC show, The Cape and part of it focused on The Cape’s connection to his son. While not great, that familial bonding type stuff is my sweet spot and always sucks me in. The next day I read the female point of view from Susan Bischoff, Thoughts on NBC’s The Cape. For her the show failed because there was no chance of any romance blooming.
Later that day I put on the latest No Ordinary Family and realized I was watching the show Susan and I wanted. It’s a simple premise; dysfunctional family, the Powells, gets superpowers and what they do with them. At first the show may sound like the Fantastic Four or The Incredibles, but it’s more like a hybrid of the two.
The episode “No Ordinary Friends” is a good example of this, but first a quick rundown of the characters.
Jim Powell-Father/part time crime fighter. Powers=Superman like strength and invulnerability.
Stephanie Powell-Mother. Powers=Super speed. Works for Global Tech, the lab that (unbeknownst to her) is responsible for her family’s powers.
Daphne Powell-Daughter. Powers=Telekinesis. The typical self-involved teenager that’s still figuring out what she wants and who she is.
J.J. Powell-Son. Powers=Super intellegence. An insecure kid with an unnamed learning disability that’s been solved since getting his powers.
Katie Andrews-sidekick. Stephanie’s assistant at work and BFF. She knows about the Powell’s powers.
George St.Cloud-sidekick. Lawyer and Jim’s BFF. Establishes Jim’s “bat-cave” to help with his crime fighting. He also knows about the Powells.
Will (The Watcher)-evil dude with a heart. Dating Katie in order to infiltrate the Powells at the request of Global Tech’s boss . . .
Dayton King-just plain evil. He’s probably killed people. A lot.
Even though I’m going to stick to parts of the episode relevant to my point, I’m sure this will have spoilers in it, but I honestly don’t think it’ll ruin viewing the entire show.
The episode has three main parts:
Part one-Jim’s on the trail of a thief after a valuable painting. While figuring out his next move, he saves a guy, Dave Cotten, from being run over by a bus. He’s so grateful, he invites Jim and his family to his house and Stephanie is excited to do this because it’ll be a chance to do normal family stuff.
Through hanging with the Cottens, who are new in town, Jim begins to suspect Dave is the thief he’s after. Stephanie rejects his theory because she feels Jim is looking for crime to stop in everything they do.
In this I see a real struggle for couples to have balance between their together lives and their individual interests. With all the limited free time I spend writing, I can identify.
Part Two-The Cottens have two kids, Troy and Chloe, around Daphne and J.J.’s age and they agree to show the new kids around school. Conveniently, I’ll admit, the new kids help Daphne and J.J. work out some of their issues.
Troy gets J.J. out of the “friend zone” with a girl he likes by giving him competition and forcing him to fight for what he wants. The boys don’t go about this in the most constructive way, but how many teens are known for making sensible choices all the time?
Chloe’s self confidence proves to be a good motivator for Daphne to run for class president.
Part three-Things are getting serious for Will and Katie, causing Will to back off because he’s developed real feelings for Katie and has guilt over lying to her. He wants out of his arrangement with Dayton King. King has a problem with this because, you know, he’s evil.
All that drama happens every week on the show. Sometimes it’s done better than others, but it makes the characters human enough to me that I’ll continue to tune in for the actiony superhero stuff.
On a writerly level it’s interesting to see how the show balances different types of drama. I guess that’s what was missing from The Cape made clearer to me through Susan’s post.
Speaking of The Cape, I’ve watched the latest episode, Kozmo. It didn’t do much to move the overall story along and was weak as a stand alone. Scenes for the next episode seem like a more character driven story. We shall see.