I watched all of these three shows on speciality networks, which are really starting to turn out to be my go-to channels when I want something different. However, “new” and “different” doesn’t mean “good”, and swinging for the fences doesn’t always mean a home run.
Common Law was like a 2012 version of Miami Vice, except the partners don’t get along and wind up in couples counselling. I’m sure that is interesting to someone, or they thought it would give it a comic edge, but all it did was make it boring. Yawn.
Copper had a better pedigree, looking at a cop coming of age in the working class ghetto of NYC in the 1800s. I watched the first episode, where you find out he is a relatively good cop, not entirely ethical, some rough edges, etc. Throw in politics above that he has no interest in, and life is both bleak and grand at the same time. Sure, there’s a backstory about his family and who might have killed them, and he used to be a soldier too. All the new shows have backstory, of course. And, oh look, procedurals are interesting, so let’s throw in some 1800’s forensics. Canada has a cleaner, upright version called Murdoch Mysteries, and I don’t watch it either. I watched the first episode and never found a single character for whom I cared about their story or their outcome. Another pass.
The Almighty Johnsons may be mislabeled as a “new” show, as it is more “new to me”. It is a NZ import, and I quite like most of it. The main plot revolves around 20-year-old Axl who has his 21st birthday and finds out he’s a god. Not a “golden god” like in Almost Famous, but an actual god. Norse, actually, building on NZ lore that the norse gods of old mythology sailed away and landed in New Zealand with their descendants. Axl has 3 brothers and a supposed “cousin” who turns out to be his official grandfather. Olaf is an oracle who tells them all what things mean, when he isn’t surfing, having sex, or getting high. An old soul in a young body. Axl’s brother Anders is the god of poetry and words, or as a goddess refers to him, the god of PR and bull****. He can tell weakminded women what to do and they do it, although most of the time it is just telling them to sleep with him. Another brother, Ty, is the god of all things cold and dark, which comes in handy as he is a refrigerator repairman — if he touches things, and uses his power, he can freeze them. Mike is the responsible brother, which is funny as he is the god of games — any game, any type of chance, he can win. And he refuses to use his power as everytime he does, someone near him seems to have bad luck as a result. Mike is married, and even his wife doesn’t know he’s a god. The only ones who do know their secret are a collection of four goddesses who are tired of playing second fiddle to male gods. But all that is about to change — Axl is actually Odin. God of gods. And if he finds his beloved goddess, Frigg, they all get their full powers. And so launches the quest — to find Frigg, unite the two lovers, and reap the powerful climax. So to speak.
Each episode is partly about the quest, and partly about the gods learning to live seemingly normal lives with normal issues, complicated by their pseudo powers. Mike is the luckiest man alive, but can’t get his wife pregnant; Ty falls in love and ends up always turning cold; Anders says he’s fine because he sleeps with whoever he fancies; and Olaf is just drifting through life, a free spirit. No one knows how to find Frigg, but it’s kind of silly — unless the writers don’t have any clue what they are doing, or they thought they were being coy, the “right” girl for Axl is clear. He has the hots for his female roommate, as does she for him…her name is Gaia. Yep, mother earth. Not a “goddess” per se, but obviously written in Season 1 to be his possible destiny, even if Axl is too blind to see it. She may not be Frigg, or she may be who knows, but she is the right girl for Axl. So far. 🙂 Of course, as of the last episode I’ve seen, he just met a goddess named Eva who blew him away!
Loving the show, will be sorry to see Season 1 end shortly.
See you around the channels…