Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Foot: No Ordinary Family "No Ordinary Sidekick" Review

Glory hallelujah Christmas miracles DO exist. The hiatus for No Ordinary Family has begun. After each episode, the newest preview for the next episode begun. I wondered if the show would successfully air twenty-two episodes in twenty-two weeks. Thankfully, the show disappears for a few weeks. Of course, tonight's episode had to leave the audience on the edge of its seat in anticipation for the next episode in 2011. Sylar II continued to act like his namesake whether he forced someone to kill himself or he wiped the memory of Daphne so that she forgot about her powers. Yes, No Ordinary Family has resorted to an amnesia plot. MOTHER OF PEARL.

"No Ordinary Sidekick" messed around with various arcs and began new ones. Frank, the detective, loves Jim after learning that Jim saved his life. George and Katie stopped being sidekicks for fifteen minutes until the plot demanded that the temporary schism end. Daphne nearly disrupted Sylar II's fabricated persona. Stephanie began unearthing the secrets of the powers/abilities. J.J. received a kiss from a cute blonde and, perhaps, a courtship looms for the annoying fourteen year old. Sylar II forced Dr. Chiles to overdose and pen a suicide note. Stephanie discovered the body. Following a conversation with Dr. King, she believed Dr. Chiles injected the various supervillains we met (by various, I mean two villains) with the serum. With Chiles dead, she tells Jim that the supervillains should decrease. And then, as already mentioned, Sylar II erases three months of Daphne's memory.

The most worthwhile part of the episode dealt with the progression of whatever Dr. King and Sylar II have planned. As always, the show moves at a snail's pace and a PGA tournament moves faster than the narrative. Stephanie seems too smart to fall for every story that she hears until a new story emerges. When King tells her that Chiles assaulted him, she believes him. Later, she believes Chiles when he swears he didn't hurt Dr. King. Upon finding Chiles' body, Dr. King throws Chiles under the bus with research that Chiles had nothing to do with. Naturally, Stephanie believes Dr. King. She believed Volston's wife. The woman believes everything and anything. When she inevitably figures out that Dr. King is the true culprit behind the crimes, the audience should have a similar reaction that Spike had when the Buffy characters realized that Ben is Glory and Glory is Ben.

Daphne unearths the information that Will doesn't exist, that Sylar II continually lies to Katie. Despite overwhelming evidence that the man shouldn't be trusted, Stephanie and Katie shrug off the concerns of Daphne. The sudden amnesia Daphne experiences by episode's end shouldn't be hard for the brilliant scientist or her husband who, despite being a sketch artist, does more police work than the entire force. But, considering the show treats its audience like morons as well as the show's love for overused family drama tropes and cliches, Stephanie and Jim will be baffled for maybe three episodes; however, the show might wait until May sweeps to cure Daphne of amnesia because she possesses the information regarding the true cause of Chiles' death. The show, remember, moves slower than the van in Inception.

Maybe Jim and Stephanie will gather the strength to work together after causing the death of the supervillain. Together, they might piece together (with the help of the suddenly insufferable Katie) that Sylar II disappears whenever a super-something needs covering up. Maybe Jim will quit solving tertiary crimes and bringing tertiary characters to justice considering Jim never helps any characters of significance. George can't even enjoy fifteen minutes of fame before the envy of Jim kills his buzz. Speaking of George, how can a show be taken seriously when the Amy Acker character simply disappears and George declares himself single? Where in the world is the show's bible?

"No Ordinary Sidekick" confirmed that Jim's an extremely self-involved, egotisitical hero. The show portrays Jim as a selfless, do-gooder but the man cares only for himself and the self-gratification that the solving the case-of-the-week brings him. The episode briefly embraces the self-involved hero to fuel the temporary schism between Jim and George but the self-involved Jim has dominated the story since the pilot. Such qualities affect the character when the actor portrays the character with selflessness even though the writing suggests otherwise.

This show treats its audience like morons. The show gives the illusion that it'll embrace serialized storytelling because of the superhero premise; however, the show follows the formula and structure of procedurals. Besides the 'we're-going-on-hiatus-cliffhanger,' each episode offers the kind of closure procedural audiences and are drawn to.

The amnesia storyline's the worst possible thing the show could've introduced. For a show on a shaky ground with the majority of anyone watching or writing about, the amnesia stuff just screams 'we are lazy and uninterested in original storytelling.'

Zack Estrin & Jon Harmon Feldman wrote the episode. Wendey Stenzler directed it.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.