No Ordinary Family

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: D | Grade It Now!
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No Ordinary Jasper
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Let's try something different, this week. If you want to know what happened in the episode, click on the "recaplet" link, above. If you want to read my fevered pissing and moaning, read on.

I mean that 'fevered' part. I'm sick and tired -- thanks to actual germs. But I'm also sick and tired of keeping my fingers crossed for No Ordinary Family. So far, I've kept them crossed for a few reasons: I love the cast; I love the premise; I love having a family show back on my TV; Lost is over; I got tired of covering How I Met Your Mother; and baby needs a new pair of shoes. What's more -- in just a few short weeks, I've become quite fond of the characters. In many cases, that's because of the actors who play them, which goes back to my feelings about the cast, so to say more would be redundant (if I haven't already been redundant -- see FEVERED above). But No Ordinary Family is boring me to tears -- if not death.

What is wrong with this show? I guess it's trying to be a so-called "dramedy" but it's neither funny enough, nor dramatic enough, to make me care. Every single thing that happened in this week's "No Ordinary Visitors" is completely and utterly predictable. There was no twist, no surprise. What I'm saying is -- there is no reason to watch it through to the end -- unless, like me, you're getting paid to do so (and even then, TWoP just doesn't pay all that much for weecaps, yo). And honestly? I spent a good bit of the episode talking hockey online with my Canadian cousin, without missing one important plot point -- BECAUSE THERE ARE NONE. Right now, No Ordinary Family is taking TWoP's "We watch it so you don't have to" philosophy way more literally than it ought. I mean, we provide our service for the viewers, not for the writers. God.

Look at the home-invasion A-plot. Where are the stakes? The invaders don't even appear to be supers (which would at least advance the Powells' arc). Okay, I'll admit at first that I thought the guy who gets the pot of boiling water in his face was a super. But he doesn't heal instantly or anything, so he isn't, so who cares? I already know he'll be caught or otherwise stopped by the end of the episode. In the meantime, he just stalks around with his ugly red face and menaces a teenager with a gun and threats of future violence.

And that teenager, Trent Stafford (played by Jackson Rathbone, aka Twilight's Jasper Cullen) spends the episode looking shell-shocked. In theory, I get the reason for that, but it's boring as hell to watch. While Rathbone is cute (and puts me in mind of a young Jeremy London, here), there's no there there. Rathbone's post-invasion Trent looks exactly like his post-Bella-blood-exposure Jasper, without (thank heaven for small favors) the ridiculous Jasper Cullen wig. There's no reason to think he's going to be a recurring character, so there's no reason to get invested in any chemistry between him and Kay Panabaker's Daphne. Since there's no real chance he's going to be a recurring character, why not up the stakes for Daphne and for the Powells? Why not have Daphne fall for him, then have his home get invaded, then have him do the PTSD shuffle, then have Daphne read his mind, and then kill him off? All I could see while watching him was a metaphor for how much potential this show squanders -- week after week. And you want to talk about waste? Well, then, let's talk about the B-plot.

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No Ordinary Family

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