ABC's new show, No Ordinary Family, is a derivative retread of stuff we have seen before, but I have to admit that it presents its rehashed cliches in an entertaining fashion. Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz are fine as the lead characters, and the production values are pretty good. If this show appeared a decade or two or three ago, it would no doubt have been received with open arms by fanboys-and-girls looking for live-action superhero adventures.
But this is 2010 and we have seen all this before. The superpowered family idea has been done with the Fantastic Four and more recently The Incredibles. The concept of a world of supergifted people, some good and some evil, is nothing new, with The 4400 and Heroes still fresh in viewers' minds.
Yet, the show does manage to have heart, a likable sense of humor, and surprising moments of creativity in its plotting, even if so far those moments are few and far between. I wish the powers of the characters were more original -- the dad has super strength, the mom has super speed, the daughter can read people's thoughts, and the son is suddenly a super genius. The villains in the first few episodes can teleport and have telekinesis. Hopefully the writers will show some more originality as the series progresses rather than just regurgitate tired old staples in the genre.