Three episodes in and I’m glad that I caught onto this series early. Tragically I missed out on all five seasons of Outrageous Fortune. The Almighty Johnsons is making up for that.

Brief summary: the Norse gods walk among men. They are reborn in human vessels. After Christianity took over they sort of fell from power and can’t find their way back to Asgard. They emigrated from Norway and now live in Auckland.

The Johnson family are:

  • Olaf (Balder): grandfather of the Johnsons. He regenerates so he is eternally youthful and gets visions. He’s a itinerent surfer dude who bums off the rest. Initially I wasn’t convinced by the promo of a shaven-headed surfer as Balder, but he has such animal charisma he pulls the role off
  • Mike (Ullr): head of the family, god of the hunt and games. He can track anyone with a sniff and the probabilities favour him in any game he plays. Unfortunately it’s been revealed that early on he discovered winning has consequences that lead to his best friend being in a coma for fifteen years. With great power comes great responsibilities, and guilt.
  • Anders (Bragi): family arsehole, god of poetry. He can convince anyone to do anything, so long as deep down they want to do it. Likes the idea of returning to Asgard. Runs his own PR company.
  • Ty (Hod): god of things dark and cold, yay Hod! The god of fridges with the door closed, quite literally. He’s bitter getting the bum deal. This week his plotline booted up and it looks like it develops again next week. Fun to watch
  • Axl (Odin): just found out the family secret when he turned 21. His initiation was an entertaining scene. Not so much the All-Father as the god of munted stupidity. Can get his clothes off really fast. His quest is to find Frigg and if he doesn’t then the whole family is stuffed according to prophecy.
  • The balance of the programme is action and good comic writing. Tonight I watched from behind the bookcase as Axl thought he had found Frigg as Sonya the Librarian but she turned out to be a member of neo-pagan beer-party. Tragically I could see it coming. There was a good sword fighting scene. I also worked out which of the goddesses Ty met up with. Anyone who has read the Norse myths could guess it. Apple Martinis? Honestly!

    The enjoyable story telling and characterization make up for the fact that the Johnsons are mainly ineffectual at what they do. They are so far down the divine food chain that their powers are largely useless. This is in contrast to the gosh-wow special effects on No Ordinary Family, the American superhero drama which after one and bit episodes I’ve given up on. Take a lesson guys, this is how you do it