Great, just what we need. Another superhero show. With the DC universe getting a reboot and Marvel entering phase 5 of its cinematic universe, it’s starting to feel like someone put DJ Khaled in charge of metahuman content. Seriously, even Aquaman can drown in this many shows.
But for those who can’t get enough caped crusaders or want a fresh take on the genre, there’s an “extraordinary” new show that’s flying under the radar. This one might even surprise those of us who are sick of all the supes.
*Warning: This article will contain some light spoilers for Extraordinary and Amazon’s The Boys.
What’s Extraordinary about? Who stars in it?
Extraordinary is a British superhero comedy created by Emma Moran and starring Máiréad Tyers as Jen, a 25-year-old woman who struggles with her lack of powers. In the world of Extraordinary, most people get their powers by the time they leave puberty and late bloomers like Jen feel like social outcasts. She relies on her best friend Carrie (Sofia Oxenham) for emotional support.
Unlike the MCU and DCU, most of the adult population has superpowers in Extraordinary. Rather than having an in-depth origin story, powers appear to be completely random. For instance, Carrie can use her body as a vessel to summon the dead, a power that she uses to troll Adolf Hitler and settle estate disputes. Carrie’s boyfriend Kash can rewind time, a power that seems to only get him in deeper trouble.
Just like in the real world, Jen has to navigate life while feeling like she’s been left behind.
What are people saying about the show?
Extraordinary appeals to a wide audience. The tone of the series falls somewhere between Millenial and Gen Z and the characters’ pettiness, insecurities, and general lack of self-awareness provide a timeless foundation.
Extraordinary currently has a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and 93% from users. The new show has earned a glowing consensus from charmed viewers: “Amiable and cleverly constructed, Extraordinary grounds the fantastical and makes it all the more accessible and thrilling as a result.”
Despite the show’s critical success, it’s still relatively unknown. Extraordinary recently dropped 24 spots to number 50 on IMDb’s list of most popular TV shows despite being a new release. It currently has 5.6k user ratings on the review site compared to over half a million on Amazon’s superhero show The Boys. Despite this difference, I found season 1 of Extraordinary to be more enjoyable than the last two seasons of Amazon’s flagship show.
What makes Extraordinary different from The Boys?
Extraordinary might seem like a cheap knockoff of The Boys at first glance. But The Boys tends to take itself rather seriously. Even in the show’s most comedic moments, there’s always a dark tone lurking underneath. For instance, the scene in which Homelander forces The Deep to eat Timothy. It’s silly, but it’s also hard to watch. The Boys might be a dark comedy but it is first and foremost a satire of corporations, Hollywood, and the abuse of power. It is quintessentially American entertainment.
Extraordinary, on the other hand, never loses its lighthearted British charm. It’s a silly world filled with peculiar characters that feels grounded, despite the endless supply of flying characters.
That doesn’t mean the show is family-friendly. It’s filled with foul language, sexual content, and gross encounters. There’s even a character with the power to make anyone orgasm with a single touch, which leads to the household cat earning the name Jizzlord. But no matter how absurd or raunchy the show gets, you still feel at home watching it. If you’re in need of a giggle then this is the show for you.
Where can I watch Extraordinary?
You can watch the first 8 episodes of Extraordinary on Hulu in the United States and on the Disney+ Star platform internationally. The studio must be happy with the product because Season 2 has already been approved.
Extraordinary isn’t the superhero show we deserve, but it’s the one we need. While it’s currently under the radar, I expect the show’s popularity to ‘take flight’ as viewers get wind of what it has to offer.