TV Review: Nickelodeon’s ‘The Thundermans’

The Thundermans TV Review

Sitcom about a super-powered family clones "The Incredibles," without the wit or charm

There’s a secret power at work in “The Thundermans,” all right — namely, the ability to brazenly pilfer the plot of Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and transform it into a live-action series with virtually no wit or charm, except perhaps in the eyes of prepubescent kids who might find the attractive teen leads dreamy. Granted, there has been no shortage of similarly themed fare in the cable space — having super-powers remains one of those enduring childhood fantasies — but this lifeless effort makes virtually no pretense of original thought, other than perhaps the audacity to harbor absolutely no fear of copyright attorneys.

In one of those moves that makes about as much sense as anything else here, the show actually premieres with its fourth episode, which skips all the exposition in the pilot (also screened) about how the Thunderman family relocated to this quiet town, having given up crime-fighting with the hope the kids could “have a normal childhood” free of their costume-clad origins.

Dad (Chris Tallman), the original Thunderman, is a little paunchy these days, but he still thinks nothing of flying through the roof and zipping off to Hawaii if he’s craving macadamia nuts. Mom (Rosa Blasi) and the kids all have powers as well, though it’s not made clear if these were inherited, which is probably giving the whole exercise more thought than anyone associated with it bothered to do. (Incidentally, someone forgot to give them the “no capes” memo.)

The focus is primarily on the 14-year-old twins, Phoebe (Kira Kosarin) and Max (Jack Griffo), who, in what’s now the premiere, engage in a war of pranks. Both have powers — she can levitate and zap things; he yearns to become a super-villain — while their little brother (Diego Velazquez) runs super-fast (yes, also straight out of “The Incredibles”) and their sister (Addison Riecke) can shoot beams out of her eyes.

Aside from the initial flurry of special effects to establish the premise, “The Thundermans” quickly degenerates into just your run-of-the-mill live-action sitcom for small fry, albeit with a shared family secret they do a pretty poor job of keeping. The rule “No non-supes in the house,” for example, is quickly violated.

“Thunderman, away!” dad shouts before embarking on one of his leaps into the great unknown.

Indeed. And if flying through the roof isn’t an option, for these purposes exiting through the door or simply using remote control at lightning speed will work equally well.

TV Review: Nickelodeon's 'The Thundermans'

(Series; Nickelodeon, Sat. Nov. 2, 9 p.m.)

Production

Produced by Nickelodeon Prods.

Crew

Executive producers, Jed Spingarn, Dan Cross, David Hoge; co-executive producer, Nancy Cohen; producer, Patty Gary-Cox; director, Jonathan Judge; writers, Hoge, Cross; production designer, Josee Lemonnier; editor, Timothy Ryder; music, Ron Wasserman; casting, Christine Smith Shevchenko, Alexis Frank Koczara. 30 MIN.

Cast

Kira Kosarin, Jack Griffo, Chris Tallman, Rosa Blasi, Addison Riecke, Diego Velazquez

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  1. Jenny says:

    People before you say anything. Thunderman is very good. Don’t judge book by the cover. It’s better than Thunderman because it was live action. And plus Kira Kosarin is here. And plus she is better than Ariande Grande cause she never lick the donut and curse. Jack is not really evil. So what if it was a ripoff? It just Nick’s idea. They proboldy (sorry if i spell it wrong) ask permission to Disney. So yes. Any question or comment?

  2. Curious critic says:

    I’m more confused that both Disney and Nickelodeon are on this premise that what’s in now are shows starring actors playing as twins or a group of identical siblings. There are four – count em’,four – t.v. sitcoms with this premise. Liv and Maddie, I Didn’t Do It, The Thundermans, and Nicky, Dicky, Ricky, and Dawn. And all of them are bad. The disney “twin” at least has the variety of other characters even if many of them are trying to hard. Where as the nick “twin” shows try to impliment premises to cover off their mediocre stats as sitcoms. With Thundermans it’s the superpower and with the other the premise is: “Oooh with have twins….x2!” That means it’s twice as good as a regular twin show, for which it is not.

  3. Disgusted Parent says:

    This show teaches children how to be rude and fat. All the little girl does is eat. And the teen son is a Villain? What the hell. Terrible show thumbs way down.

    • Katie Cross says:

      Ok, you guys all say that you turned the show off pretty quickly. Well, if you watched it enough to understand the characters you would know that Max isnt really villain material becuase he is actually really kind when he doesnt keep his feelings inside. Everyone praises Phoebe for the work she does when Phoebe typically can never be successful without the help of Max. There was one exception to that. Max doesnt want to be a hero becuase Phoebe has the same powers as him and so only one of them could be a hero, and Phoebe has always been better than him at most things. So if he couldnt be a hero, and he had powers that really shouldnt be wasted, then what is the only option? He could only be a villain, and his parents have never really supported him very well when he helps Phoebe save the day. Max isnt really a villain if you understand him as a character. By the way, how do you think the little girl actress in this show feels about you calling her fat? Also, if you want to get rid of people being rude on Nickelodian then they would have to get rid of every single show ever made. Like Sam and Cat, I Carly, Spongebob, and the rest of them. Your also a parent and the show wasnt aimed to have you enjoy it, it was aimed to make the kids love it. All of the characters are relatable to every type of kid also.

  4. DERPYAngel says:

    Wow this show is terrible,it’s a dog with a blog rip off and that show is bad enough!

  5. Angelique Solak says:

    The only thing worse than this show is the obvious laugh track that they play every five seconds.

  6. Mary says:

    Worst show ever hop it will never show on TV again

  7. Mary says:

    This is the worst show ever I hope the show cancels and never shows on tv again

  8. David says:

    What is the advantage of saying “in the cable space” instead of “on cable”?

  9. Bill says:

    Good god, this show was horrible. Painful to sit through. I had my kids switch to a movie. It was that bad.

  10. Right? says:

    A kids show on a kids network that you say is only going to appeal to kids? What is Nickelodeon thinking??

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