The Almighty Johnsons: Haulin’ Asgard

Axl struggles to accept his destiny on the Almighty Johnsons.
The Almighty Johnsons (Photo: ALL3MEDIA & South Pacific Pictures / SyFy)

SyFy has brought over the New Zealand dramedy The Almighty Johnsons to fill out its Friday night schedule. Is this show the fruit of the gods?

Show

The Almighty Johnsons, Fridays at 10pm on SyFy.

Premise

Axl Johnson learns on his 21st birthday that he and his brothers are the reincarnations of Norse Gods. Once Axl learns about which god has assumed his body, he must embark on a quest to find his beloved, otherwise the entire family will die. The show is a comedy/drama/action adventure.

Pedigree

The show is actually an imported series from New Zealand, with the first season produced in 2011. There were a total of three seasons (36 episodes), though the the third season came about partially due to a fan campaign involving mailing twigs to the broadcaster. I guess that makes the show as good as Jericho?

Who is The Almighty Johnsons For?

That’s a tough one. I haven’t seen either Thor movie, so maybe if you were into those this could be a re-interpretation? I suppose if you think the movie Dogma still holds up this might be your jam. It is definitely more for bros than it is for a general sci-fi audience.

What Works

There weren’t too many special effects in the first episode, but from the clips for upcoming episodes we can see the quality is better than SyFy’s typical programming. There are also some interesting ideas at work. I like that the other incarnations have varied skill sets, such as God of the Hunt and God of Poetry, rather than God of Fire and God of War.

What Doesn’t Work

I’m somewhat baffled by the casting. The main characters are supposedly brothers, all with the same parents, yet they could not look any less related. Although this does help in telling who’s who and remembering who has which powers, I had to wait until they explicitly said they were siblings before I knew what relationships the characters had. The pilot also suffers from a case of pilot-itis, so this might be a show where you could drop in on episode two and get caught up quickly.

Verdict

I probably won’t be checking in again. That’s not to say the show is bad, it just didn’t press the right buttons at the right time. The good news for those of you who do stick with it: SyFy has the second season, so there’s a good chance you’ll see most of the series.

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv