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Power to the People: “Extraordinary” reviewed

Pity poor, Jen (Máiréad Tyers), a lone wolf on Erin Moran’s new show Extraordinary: In a sea of people granted unique superpowers at the age of 18, she’s still waiting for hers at 25. Jen lives with her best friend, Carrie (Sofia Oxenham), and Carrie’s underachieving boyfriend, Kash (Bilal Hasna), in a grimy London neighborhood. She is minimally employed selling party equipment; badly treated by a handsome hookup (Ned Porteous) who literally flies away after sex; and jealous of her half-sister (Safia Oakley-Green), their mother’s pet, who gains a power like clockwork on her 18th birthday.

Carrie, a wallflower who has always existed in Jen’s shadow, finds an expressive outlet in her ability to channel the dead, and the sisterly bond between these is a nice contrast to the lacking one between Jen and her half-sister. Moran charts a nice balance between raucous laughs – one man’s superpower is a guaranteed orgasm to his every touch, another’s is apparently visible farts – and real sensitivity: powers or not, both Jen and Carrie are floundering in their own ways just as most people in their twenties do. (Two other characters – Siobhán McSweeney as Jen’s chaotic mother, who can control technology but doesn’t understand how it works Luke Rollason’s Jizzlord, a human who keeps turning into a cat, also add to the mayhem.)

The show begins to lose focus towards the middle of the season, making more room for Jizzlord and only occasionally including the more interesting family dynamic. While overly broad, though, Extraordinary has very earthbound observations to make. It’s worth a watch – maybe even a binge.