'The Almighty Johnsons - Season 1, Unedited'
(Timothy Balme, Dean O'Gorman, Emmett Skilton, Jared Turner, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2014 / All 3 Media)
Overview: Meet the Johnsons: responsible Mike, smooth-talking Anders, cool and reserved Ty, and fun-loving youngest brother Axl. But these four guys are far from ordinary. Upon turning 21, each brother secretly became a Norse god with his own powers, except that their powers are not all that powerful anymore.
DVD Verdict: I have to fully admit that I really didn't know anything about this TV series before it was mailed to us to be reviewed! So, I sat down - and unexpectedly binge watched the entire first season, it was just that damn good!
Basically, 'The Almighty Johnsons' is a new South Pacific Pictures comedy-drama series about four brothers, raised in heartland New Zealand, who also happen to be the living incarnations of Norse Gods. They even have their own super-god-powers. Sort of - it's just that their powers aren't actually all that powerful. Well, not yet - but that could all change soon!
So, and here's where you're gonna have to stick with me, Axl Johnson turns 21 and his older brothers and his uncle Olaf (who turns out not to be his uncle, but actually his grandpa!) take him out to the middle of the woods and tell him he's a God. A Norse God!
As it turns out, Axl is the reincarnation of Odin, King of the Norse Gods, the All-Father. But he doesn't have full use of his powers yet as nor indeed do any of his brothers - who are all Gods too, of course!
So begins his quest to find Frigg (a Goddess) who is his life mate and destined wife, for once they bond Axl and his brothers will come into their full powers. But, if he doesn't find Frigg and dies before his quest is fulfilled his brothers will also die and there will be a great cataclysm!
So the quest is on and what follows is hilariously funny as the brothers try to help Axl find Frigg. Now, being that it is set in New Zealand, and all the actors are Kiwi's, there are a lot of words that will seemingly make no sense to you; or you will "mis-hear"! One prime example is when for two complete episodes the characters were talking about "nipple" a lot - when, in fact, they were talking about netball (a form of bastketball; or volleyball - it depends where you come from!).
Anyway, moving on and Axl's quest to find Frigg is interrupted by real life problems, such as his roommate Gaia's dad visits, and his other roommate, Zeb is just plain nosy - and causes a lot of unwarranted problems. Actually, his brothers' lives haven't been smooth sailing either as they try to make real lives for themselves in spite of their God-like powers.
If I had to compare this show to another show I guess I would say it has something in common with, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' I guess. I mean, it's dark fun and the characters and their powers mostly burden and ruin their regular lives. Also, based on that it's also a little like 'Northern Exposure,' wherein the situations they find themselves in are unique to the life they've built and the place where they live ie: modern New Zealand, home to Norse Gods!
The character development is nicely handled and by the end of the season I was really interested in all the characters - even the ones that annoyed me at first. I just found out the second show is in production and I can't wait to see what happens! I bet after watching this first season nor can you too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Episode 1 Commentary with Tim Balme (Mike), Emmett Skilton (Axl) and director Mark Beesley
Bonus Cast Interview