THE ALMIGHT JOHNSONS
Axl Johnson- Emmett Skilton
Mike Johnson - Tim Balm
Anders Johnson - Dean O'Gorman
Ty Johnson - Jared Turner
Gaia - Keisha Castle-Hughes
Olaf Johnson - Ben Barrington
Valerie Johnson - Roz Turnbull
Zeb - Hayden Frost
OTHER ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS
EMPOWERED FAMILY SAGAS
No Ordinary Family
It's A Kind Of Birthday Present
Axl is about to turn 21 and his three brothers have a surprise for him for the men in his family become the living reincarnations of Norse Gods on their 21st birthday. When it turns out that Axl is the reborn king of the gods, Odin, he learns also of a quest, a curse and a group of women who want him dead.
The opening episode of this offbeat family drama has a lot of backstory to get through and a lot of characters to introduce, but manages to do so easily enough by not trying too hard. There are some exposition-heavy scenes and the final sign that marks Axl's rebirth as Odin is a bit of a stretch, but for the most part it's fun enough.
It helps that the characters are a little bit out of central casting. There's the elder brother who feels dutybound to be the leader to the exclusion of all else, there's the arrogant one who uses his powers of persuasion to get laid, there's the the angsty one who can't seem to connect and there's the young carefree one who's a bit shallow and a bit thick upon whom everything is going to depend. There's a loser flatmate, a girl who loves him, but who he doesn't seem to notice and a grandfather who's a surfer nutcase. It is to be hoped that these will develop into more rounded characters as the show goes on, but they are handy sketches to hang the opening onto.
The typical family interpersonal drama is then counterpointed by a mysterious group of women who seems hell bent on destroying the brothers for reasons unknown.
It's a show for adults and has the swearing and nudity to prove it, but the humour can be juvenile and that might split its audience. This, though, was a promising start.Top
This Is Where Duty Starts
Anders persuades Axl that he needs to start sleeping with Nordic-looking women to locate the goddess Frigg. He has the perfect candidate lined up, but Axl has his eye on someone else.
This is a fun episode that doesn't go anywhere very much to contrasts Axl's youth and Anders' selfishness with Mike's apparent serious nature. It is only at the end when Mike reveals why he is the way he is that things are explained.
The comedy could have been amped up, especially the battle between the two sports mascots, but the disastrous series of attempts to lose Axl's virginity is quite funny.
Mike's family drama is actually quite heartfelt and gives the episode its backbone.Top
God's Gift To Zebras
Ty meets and falls for his first Goddess. Axl thinks that he has also met a Goddess, the one that he is destined for.
This episode takes a bright and breezy tone that suits the show very well. The running time whizzes past and there is some funny banter to be had, with no half-hearted attempts at drama to get in the way of the fun.
Yes, it sneers at role-playing gamers, but then throws in a fight scene that is quite fun as well without going over the top.
THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS might be finding their feet.Top
You Gotta Love Life Baby
Olaf never grows old, which is a problem when it comes to relationships. Axl finds his sense of right and wrong confused when Olaf's latest conquest shows up pregnant.
The whole subject of relationships and families is thrown through the prism of the Johnsons' godly nature, most especially Olaf's longevity (stolen though it might be from the first HIGHLANDER movie).
Anders, on the other hand, has absolutely no moral qualms about steering a PR scandal to his own advantage and manages to come out on top almost despite his own actions. One thing is for sure, this is more of an amorality than morality tale.Top
This Is Not Washing Powder, My Friend
Just as his flatmate Gaia's father comes into town to take her home, Axl discovers a stash of drugs in his car.
The goddesses are trying to frame Axl to get him put away for a while, but Anders is the man to take them on at their own game. Axl certainly isn't since he is failing to make his flatmate understand that she has to live her own life, not her father's.
The plot feels overengineered and manufactured and anyone looking for a moral stance on the use of drugs needs to look elsewhere. The subplot about Gaia's father is stretched and repetitive and there is never any doubt which way it's going to go.Top
Goddesses, Axl, Come In All Forms
A funeral might just lead to the location of Frigg, but first it leads to the home of the reincarnation of Thor.
Parental expectation, physical beauty and the nature of attraction are given a sideways glance in this tale that is pleasingly bonkers to say the least. Goaticide by hammer, divine and drunken dancing and Axl finally showing some of Odin's grit are all moments that stand out. Add to that the sweetness of Ty's finally getting off with Ander's secretary and this is one of the best episodes yet.Top
Bad Things Happen
Mike's financial problems drive him to use his godly talents in a casino, whilst Axl is faced with three gorgeous women who want to speak to Anders.
The dangers of exploitation are under discussion as three women wronged by Anders decide to take a very serious revenge upon him and Axl is forced to call upon his true nature in earnest for the first time. There aren't any surprises here and it's a little heavy-handed on the moralising.
Much better is the Mike storyline, which proves to be quite sweet and leads up to the episode's twist.Top
I Can Give You Frigg
The goddesses discover the location of Frigg, but nobody can decide quite what to do with her.
Frigg has finally been found, which might move the plot along a bit although it takes the full episode for anyone to actually decide it's her and get Axl in the same room with her.
In the meantime, Mike wrestles with the fact that Val's ex-fiance is out of his coma and there is much to-ing and fro-ing over who has the best plan for Frigg now that she's been found.Top
Hunting Reindeer On Slippery Rocks
Axl and Eva have found each other, but her father is Loki and nobody can read the marriage contract.
Despite the fact that the main story is about Odin and Frigg coming together in terms Axl and Eva, the truth is that the storyline that everyone is concerned about is Ty and his girlfriend. Unable to stay physically in contact for too long, he almost freezes her as they sleep. Sometimes it's not so good to be a god.
As for the rest, this is a set up for the finale and as such is never going to really work on its own, but it really ought to have had a bit more to it than this.Top
Every Good Quest Has A Sacrifice
Axl is in love with his flatmate and wants to pull out of the marriage arrangement, but it seems that the contract with Loki is not quite as it appears to be … and neither is Frigg.
The season finale of the show has certainly enough loose ends to get through, but it does so in a disappointingly low key fashion. A few conversations and it's all over. Not that much of it comes as any great surprise either. The relationship between Axl and Gaia could be seen coming a mile off and the truth about Frigg is also no unexpected, although the resolution to the marriage problem is surprising.
The end of Mike's marriage is abrupt to say the least and a bit hard on the poor guy. The big reveal about Freya's identity sets up the show nicely for some family angst in any second season, but it is to be hoped that there can be a little more God action in there as well.Top
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