Sci-fi comedy drama No Ordinary Family comes to screens in the UAE
A cross between The Incredibles and Heroes, No Ordinary Family follows seemingly everyday family the Powells, who gain superhuman powers following a plane crash. Dad Jim is a police sketch artist who finds he has extraordinary strength (he can also jump over buildings and is flame-resistant). Mum Stephanie is a scientist who can run really, really fast. Daughter Daphne is telepathic, while son JJ is exceptionally intelligent and can learn new languages in minutes.
The family, who live in California, are used to their quietly conventional life and struggle to deal with this new reality, faced with the burden (or gift) of super powers. Lead actor Michael Chiklis, who plays Jim Powells, explains.
What drew you to No Ordinary Family and the role of Jim? I was looking for a great script, something that I could enjoy and live in. You can’t just look at a pilot as a standalone. Obviously you have to look at something for its long-term potential, and this was so fresh and different and presented so many possibilities that I thought: Wow! Also, it was something entirely different from [Chiklis’s previous show] The Shield, and a huge removal from [previous character] Vic Mackey. So for all those reasons and more, I was very attracted to this.
The entire cast has great chemistry. Was that something that you had right away, or did you work on it? I was very involved in the casting process because I was brought in as a sort of partner with writers Greg [Berlanti] and Jon [Harmon Feldman], and I believe that’s a necessity in all things, whether it’s television, film or theatre. I think chemistry is massively important on so many levels. Also at this stage in my career, if I’m going to go and spend 12 to 14 hours of my life every single day on a set, I want to enjoy the people I’m around. I want to feel like they’re kindred spirits and they’re fun and great to be around, because it goes in the life’s-too-short bin for me. I just think the world of all these people.
What is it about the genre that appeals to you? The superhero genre is really coming into its own, and the scope of the show is rather large. It’s intimate and a family show, but the superhero thing makes it all the more exciting. If we can pull this off, it’ll be something really, really special for people to watch every week.
Do you prefer to play drama, comedy or action? I love the fact that we get to do it all. I think any actor wants to cover a lot of bases and it’s wonderful to do a scene that’s light and fun and hilarious, then follow it with a hard-hitting action scene. That keeps things fresh and fun.
So it’s not like Vic Mackey with powers? No. Not at all. This guy’s not Vic Mackey at all. This guy is heroic in spirit, and he’s a good man. There’s no ambivalence about that. He’s an ordinary guy. He’s very much an everyman, and something extraordinary happens to him and his family. It’s about parents who have super powers, and that’s a well-made and entertaining show. You add the super power element to it and it heightens all the different questions we can ask in the show.
If you could have a super power, would super-strength be your first choice? Yeah, it always has been. I don’t know why. Sometimes you often feel very vulnerable in the world, and I guess there’s something really appealing about the idea of being invulnerable. No Ordinary Family season one airs at 7pm every Friday on Showseries and OSN Series HD.