Friday, May 8, 2015

TV Review: The Almighty Johnsons

Netflix has been insisting for some time that I watch a show called The Almighty Johnsons. However, this is the same service that has been begging me to watch Ancient Aliens, Digimon, and the Nicholas Cage version of Left Behind for quite a while now. So, suffice to say this website totally knows me I am always hesitant of accepting recommendations. However, all my regular shows are off taking a hiatus for the summer, and I had time, so I decided what the hell. Live life to the fullest. Go out on a limb. Take a chance. What's the worst that could happen?

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 show. It's on Netflix. You can stream the entire thing and get caught up in the sexy, silly, divine fun of it all. You will empathize with Snotra being treated like a doormat and cheer on antiheroine Sjofn and totally wish you could trade places with Zeb, friend to the gods.

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,

Fire Lyte

1 comment:

  1. "Inside each of the Johnson brothers beats the heart of a Norse god."

    You pretty much had me there. Even if it is loosely-based, I am always looking for anything depicting my Gods that isn't Marvel. Not that there's anything wrong with Marvel. I enjoy the Thor movies for the most part, but it is nice to see something different for a change. I probably wouldn't have watched this show if you hadn't posted this review, so thank you.

    As for my own guilty pleasures, I am sticking with Supernatural and Buffy these days. Plenty of sexiness in both shows.

    ReplyDelete