Who doesn’t love superheroes? Who didn’t dream they had some special ability when they were younger? Well, I know I did, and since that’s obviously not happening, the next best thing is watching the people who do have the ability to fly, become invisible, etc.
Heroes is the X-men of television (and with this newest story line it has actually become a close copy) but before Heroes, there were other shows with non-magical superpowers.
No Ordinary Family is the newest show on tv about people with superpowers (not superheroes!). This one revolves around a family that has trouble connecting and suddenly discovers they have superpowers after a plane crash in the Amazon River. New show so hard to judge but so far, it’s has a lot going for it. It’s all about heart and has a great cast.
Mutant X is on the slightly corny, overdone sound effects versions of superhero shows, but it still has action packed scenes and a mystery here or there to keep you interested. Minus the fact that I find Emma to be an incredibly annoying character, the cast is fun and interesting.
Though this show fits into a slightly different category, Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles is a show full of fight scenes, done both by Terminator Summer Glau (who should always play someone slightly socially inept because she’s so good at it) and Human alike. John Connor has decided to fight back, seeking out the company that will eventually develop the terminators that will take over the world. Personally, I’m extremely disappointed that this show was just canceled, but I’m also not surprised.
Moving back to something a little older, Dark Angel, done by James Cameron is another fun show ended before its time. This one is about Max Guevera, a genetically engineered super soldier who escaped with her unit from the government’s boot camp and has been on the run ever since. When their identity is revealed to the public they must fight to protect themselves and avoid being recaptured. Jessica Alba is the star of this one and while her line delivery in Honey left something to be desired, she does a much better job here.
Firefly is similar to Dark Angel in the genetically engineered part of the story line, but it takes place in space, adding to the intrigue level as we learn that the government is hiding something that is in the mind of the telepath River (Summer Glau once again).
For Superman fans comes Smallville, a show about Clark Kent before he became the man in tights. (And we slowly but surely get to be the development of that costume, which is entertaining among other things.) While the later seasons are a little lacking (and lose some of the bigger cast members) it’s still interesting to watch the hero’s growth from the teenager who nearly burns down the barn as his heat vision kicks in to the butt-kicking hero we all know.
The 4400 is a little different than the other shows because its plotline includes aliens, but they are mostly just a detail and not the show. The show revolves around the people who were abducted by aliens and then returned with supernatural abilities that made everyone else afraid of them.
Dollhouse only sort of fits into this category, but it’s close enough. Echo (Eliza Dushku) is a doll, meaning she is a person whose entire memory has been wiped, allowing her to be imprinted with new personalities and skills to suit the clients of the company responsible. But there’s a hitch (well, a couple really)–a psychopathic doll has fixated on her and she is beginning to retain pieces of her memories from the wipes. Hopefully this show doesn’t go the way of Firefly and Terminator because it is so different and full of unexpected twists and turns.