The Almighty Johnsons – why can’t Australia produce TV like this?

Earlier this year at a panel at Continuum, there was a discussion about why Australia doesn’t produce much, if any, SF or fantasy television that isn’t for children.  The consensus was that we have very shortsighted tv execs as both the children’s shows and others have done very well overseas.

So we who love all things speculative must turn to other countries for the type of television we like to watch.  It is usually the United States we turn to, but I recently watched a series produced by our next door neighbours, NZ, called ‘The Almighty Johnsons’.

The premise of the show is the Johnson family, four brothers Mike, Anders, Ty and Axl, are descended from the Norse Gods, who emigrated to NZ a couple of hundred years ago to escape persecution.  Their powers, which appear to them on their 21st birthday, are diluted and only the return of Odin will herald the return of their Glory.

The series begins with Axl’s 21st, where he discovers his god identity as Odin and his quest to find Frig, his goddess, and that when they ‘join together’ all the god’s powers will return and they will ascend to rule again in Asgard.

It sounds really heavy but this is actually a light hearted comedy with very typical Antipodean humour.  I noticed it is currently screening on Australian free to air so I urge everybody to check it out.

There are a couple of really great scenes and the scene where Mike convinces Axl of his godhood by playing paper rock scissors is a classic

The titles are a no nonsense listing of the boy’s names and who plays each character but it is kind of cool.  There is also a bittersweet love story there as well.  Everything a nerdy girl could want, cool Norse god powers, cute guys (did they hire every cute actor in NZ?) and a love story, as well as Nemesis goddesses.  I absolutely loved it and cannot wait for season 2.

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6 thoughts on “The Almighty Johnsons – why can’t Australia produce TV like this?

  1. I have only watched the first two episodes, but have recorded the third.
    I was intrigued that the mystery seems to be “Who is Frigg?”. But if you look at the cast list, one of the cast is Frigg. So don’t look if you don’t like spoilers!

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