Fall 2010 TV season preview

Julie Benz and Michael Chiklis in "No Ordinary Family."
Julie Benz and Michael Chiklis in "No Ordinary Family." (Eric Mccandless/abc)

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

When not penning letters to the editors of Entertainment Weekly, fangirl and chubby hubby continue to grieve the finales of "Lost" and "24," and they're a bit miffed that "FlashForward" flashed out. They'd like a complicated puzzler drama and a new espionage nail-biter -- "Rubicon," "Fringe" and "True Blood" are seeing them through. For comedy, they still hold "Arrested Development" up as the gold standard.

In addition to "The Walking Dead," try these:

"No Ordinary Family"

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m., ABC. Grade: B-

A serious-minded, live-action riff on "The Incredibles" doesn't strike me as such a hot idea, but I gave "No Ordinary Family" a fair chance on behalf of fans of shows like "Heroes" and "Smallville" (i.e., relatable superhumans) and I think it just might work. Michael Chiklis ("The Shield") gives it his barrel-chested best as Jim, the paterfamilias of the Powells, who survive a plane crash in the Amazon River, where they are affected by some sort of magic algae. Back home in suburbia they each discover new mad skillz. Dad's now superstrong and Mom ("Dexter's" Julie Benz) can run 600 miles per hour. Their two teenagers are predictably freaked-out. "I don't want new abilities!" the mind-reading daughter squeals. "High school is hard enough as it is!" Wait until she meets the supervillains . . .

"The Event"

Premieres Monday, 9 p.m., NBC. Grade: C+

Although there's no firm replacement for "Lost" or "24" this fall, no one is working harder to lure fans of both than NBC's "The Event," which has a minority POTUS, a la "24" (Blair Underwood), with a doomed airliner (with oddly Oceanic markings) that's about to dive-bomb on his Florida retreat. Then -- island-time-warp-like -- the plane suddenly disappears with everyone on board! (That's the event?) Laura Innes (Dr. Weaver from "ER") seems to know why it happened. The chronology is everywhere ("23 minutes earlier"; then "11 days earlier"), but time-stamp titles are typeset in "24's" comforting CTU-like font. It's a high-strung mess. (Maybe you feel like a high-strung mess?)

"Hawaii Five-0"


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