TV REVIEW: The Almighty Johnsons Season 1 Episode 2 – This is Where Duty Starts

So we already know that it has been decided that Axl (Emmet Skilton) is the living incarnation of the Norse god Odin, his brothers are also Norse gods whose fate is tied up in his, and there are some women with bows and arrows who are not best pleased about this whole situation. This week, Anders (Dean O’Gorman) convinces Axl that to find the goddess Frigg, he must start sleeping around and that the natural starting point is a slightly Scandinavian looking professional netball player. That is not going to end well. Meanwhile, Mike (Tim Balme) learns that his old friend Rob – who is in a coma – is talking in an ancient language, and that he can’t get his wife pregnant.

The Almighty Johnsons has a certain charm to it. It is shot in a familiar way; anyone who has stayed home from school or been off sick from work will recognise the lighting and sets as being the staple of any daytime TV show. The difference is that this show is actually trying to deal with Norse mythology in a modern environment.

It is hard to tell whether the acting is ever so slightly over the top, or it is a communication problem between the Kiwi accent and ears that are not used to hearing it – ‘netball’ can be very wrongly misheard in this episode. Some of the brothers, like Ty and Mike, go for the understated, subtle performances, but Axl appears to be all about the full frontal nudity and the over the top performance. This actually fits the character, as he is an immature 21 year old, but we can only hope that as Axl learns and grows that his performances calm down slightly.

As for the quest the men are on, this is an interesting one. How indeed does one go about finding a goddess who could be in any guise at any age and in any part of the country? (It is fairly safe to say that Frigg is in New Zealand somewhere). The idea that these incarnations are somehow held back until Odin finds his power is also an interesting one, this means that everyone has something to gain – and something to lose – depending on how Axl’s quest goes. Norse mythology is interesting, and probably the least filmed of all the ancient European religions, so it is great to see The Almighty Johnsons go with this ancient lore.

The problem – and I hope I am wrong – is that the show appears to be setting Gaia (Keisha Castle-Hughes) up as Frigg. She has been under Axl’s nose for a long time, and it would be disappointing if the show took this easy road. It is great to see Castle-Hughes return to our screens after her incredible turn in Whale Rider, we can only hope that she is given the space to show what she is capable of.

In all, an interesting episode of The Almighty Johnsons that picked up from it’s action packed pilot episode. There is still a lot of ground to cover and a lot of questions to be answered, but the show is heading in the right direction for both sci-fi fans and those interested in Norse mythology.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: