And...for once...Netflix got something right.
The official synopsis of The Almighty Johnsons is this:
Inside each of the Johnson brothers beats the heart of a Norse god. But they can't fulfill their destinies until brother Axl finds his soul mate.
The show takes place in New Zealand and features a storyline that's somewhere between a sunny CW teen dramedy and an HBO sexy supernatural guilty pleasure. The premise centers upon the Johnson family: four brothers and their various relatives that all just so happen to be reincarnations of Norse deities. While this concept isn't exactly new, it does offer quite a bit of novelty in the way in which the gods are depicted. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
The series starts by following Axl, the youngest of four brothers that, on his 21st birthday, finds out that he - and his entire family - are reincarnated Norse gods. Which god Axl is will become evident at a ceremony that takes place at the moment of his birth. His brothers have all been living with their godliness for some time, and, naturally, each deity has their own powers and perks of godhood.
Naturally, the youngest Johnson is selected to be Odin, king of the gods, and is then told that it's pretty rare and incredibly important for Odin to be reborn. Yadda yadda yadda, back story back story, Odin must find Frigg and marry her so that the gods can ascend to Asgard and be fully restored to their original divinity. If he doesn't find the woman who is the reincarnation of Frigg and he dies - either by accident or naturally - then all the reincarnated gods die in a terrible natural disaster.
So, the plot: Odin must find Frigg.
Hijinks ensue. 3 seasons of hijinks before the show was cancelled, but the main storyline wrapped up by the end of it so it leaves you feeling pretty satisfied. And it's something that you can binge watch on a weekend and be done by Monday.
What I loved about the show is the fact that it never took itself too seriously, but it also didn't divorce itself from moments of suspense or danger. People died. People made mistakes. People were real. They didn't overpopulate the cast with a never-ending litany of pretty faces and guest stars. They kept, mostly, to their original group and let them become characters you truly cared about.
I also enjoyed the sheer volume of Norse mythology that was included. To be honest, because of how Hellenistic pop culture is when it comes to mythology, I've gotten pretty rusty when it comes to other cultures' pantheons. I knew the basics, but other than the big names I'd forgotten how rich and deep the well of Norse mythology actually was.
I found myself pulling out my battered copy of Arthur Cotterell's Encyclopedia of Mythology in order to rediscover the myths I'd read as a child.
And, for the guilty pleasure lovers out there, there's plenty of frivolous sexy time going on. However, unlike American television, the gratuitous nudity is mostly on the part of the men.
Oh... did I forget to mention the men? I mean... It's not like it's the most important part of The Almighty Johnsons, but...well...take a look.
|Emmett Skilton/Axl Johnson|
|Tim Balme/Ullr - god of the hunt and all games|
|Dean O'Gorman/Bragi - god of poetry (and getting women's pants off)|
|Jared Turner/Hodr - god of dark and cold|
|Ben Barrington/Baldr - god of rebirth and bodyodyody|
It's a fun reintroduction to Norse mythology - though, I will not lie, it is still loosely based on that mythology, but given that it's still quite fun.
What other shows are you watching, Rioters? Any other sexy, fun, supernatural guilty pleasures sitting in your queues? Leave them in the comments!
Love and Lyte,