Making the Extraordinary ordinary

Published March 5, 2023

Poster for the Disney+ show Extraordinary featuring Máiréad Tyers sitting on a sofa looking at the screen, slightly fed up

Recently I’ve been trying to dive a bit deeper on the Disney+ streaming app, looking beyond the obvious Marvel and Star Wars categories to see what else is out there. Lots of people were talking about Extraordinary, a new comedy that is, admittedly, set in the world of superheroes, but couldn’t be further from the multiverses we are dominated by.

I watched this in super quick time - the episodes are short and very entertaining, so never dragged, and I was almost disappointed when it ended. The premise follows a young woman who lives in a world where everyone gets a superpower when they turn 18… except she hasn’t found hers yet. It’s not clear whether she doesn’t have one yet or whether she just doesn’t know what it is, but either way, the struggle of being non-powered in a powered world alongside all the many different powers colliding makes for some great TV.

There are two things I liked most about this show - the cast, headed up by Máiréad Tyers, is just adorable. They bounce off each other well and really seem to get on like friends do. I love the episode where Jen and Carrie have fallen out and ultimately, they reconcile without a big peace deal or massive apology scene. Really, they just realise they’re better off with each other in their lives and so they should just start getting on again. Love it.

The second great thing is how the powers all interact with each other. Everyone has a different power: some can fly, some have strength, some can go through walls. It sounds messy and it can be, but it also can make for some great moments. Carrie being able to channel dead people helps Jen connect with her late father, Jen’s sister’s super strength helps her out of a tight spot (literally), and Carrie’s boyfriend being able to turn back time makes having a break up conversation with him very difficult. So clever and fun the way these elements weave in and out of each other.

Plus, of course, it has Siobhán McSweeney in and as we all know from Derry Girls, she’s legendary. I’m so glad a second series of this has been announced because it feels like a world that is completely rich for storytelling in the future, regardless of whether Jen finds her power or not.

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