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Why we love Extraordinary, the series that celebrates magnificent underdogs

Releasing in March on Disney+, the second season of the British series Extraordinary continues the hilarious and touching adventures of Jen and her loved ones, more underdogs than extraordinary.

If the 2010s gave us serial gems on “Twenty Something” – Girls, Large city OR Insecure to name just a few: Stories focused on coming of age seemed to run out of steam lately. Not to mention the arrival of an heiress, as watchable as she is saucy. Created by Irish Emma Moran, who signed her first series, Extraordinary plays with our imagination invaded by superhero films and series.

Extraordinary, what is it?

The plot takes place in a world very close to ours, with the difference that everyone has their own superpower. Well, almost everyone. Jen (Máiréad Tyers) didn’t see her power manifest when she turned 18 like the others. Now 25, she lives as a roommate with her best friend Carrie (Sofia Oxenham) and her boyfriend, Kash (Bilal Hasna), and works in a costume shop, run by an older woman with the body of a preteen (some powers don’t make life easy!). Frustrated, envious, bad at herself, Jen tries for two seasons to understand why her powers seem absent to subscribers.

Broadcast in 2023 on Disney+, the first season ofExtraordinary it laid the foundation for a universe full of promise. Jen met her boyfriend Jizzlord (Luke Rollason), a shapeshifter who had spent several years in the skin of a cat (!). Fans of surreal humor, you’re in the right place! We also followed the adventures of Carrie, who has the ability to contact the dead (like Whoopie Goldberg in Ghost) but not to dump her boyfriend, Kash, an expert in procrastination and with the power to turn back time. What he didn’t hesitate to do to avoid breaking up with Carrie at all costs!

A little praise to imperfect women

The immaturity of Jen and her friends gives rise to many grotesque and very funny situations. That’s one of the reasons we really like it Extraordinary. Jen deals with this big mess coming into adulthood. In this period in which we still don’t really know who we are, we often have no money and we can no longer count on our parents for the slightest problem. Jen handles this with… the opposite of grace. Online with Hannah in Girls, Jen regularly demonstrates self-centeredness, embarks on a strange relationship to say the least with a catman who is even more lost than she is, and runs away from anything resembling introspection. When she decides to go to therapy in season two, she ends up kissing her therapist!

Extraordinary
Extraordinary

In a society that expects perfection from women in all areas (aesthetic, moral, professional…), characters like those of Jen or Carrie, who must manage her “people-pleasing” side to assert her needs, have something fun and cathartic about them. Jen is the opposite of these strong and resilient female characters, who always make the right decisions and think of the collective good. Obviously we need role models in life (hello Buffy!), but we equally need to see flawed female characters who we can identify with more.

During the second season, Jen meets Nora (Rosa Robson), Jizzlord’s ex-wife (who had lost her memory during her life as a cat, long story!). A not exactly feminist rivalry arises between the two women. But the most memorable moment remains Nora’s tantrum in episode 6 during her son’s birthday. After years of conforming to the role of the perfect modern mother, she lets out all her frustration and explodes in redemptive rage: “What are you looking at, idiots! No, it’s not perfect!! I get up at 4 in the morning. I haven’t eaten sugar for 15 years. And this is how you say thank you!!!” he shouts, devouring the birthday cake and throwing madeleines at his guests.

A pop series

These characters embarrassing, often losers but never pathetic, are still finding who they are (Kash explores their strangeness in season two) and growing before our eyes, with small victories in life and deeper realizations. Jen, for example, realizes the importance of truly mourning her father, after avoiding him for a long time.

Never boring, Extraordinary makes the most of its original premise: everyone has powers except Jen. The series shows great inventiveness in unlikely comic situations : we had to think of the miniature restaurant, which makes its guests pale but not the dishes, the latter become enormous in comparison (a small piece of pasta will be enough to satisfy you)! He never shies away from the trashy and the scabrous. We’re in a British spirit going all out, to a deliciously pop and punk soundtrack, with twenty-year energy.

Extraordinary
Extraordinary

Extraordinary it could have quickly got lost in sketch scenes and become a big nonsense without the pen of the very promising Emma Moran, who found the right balance between comedy with a fantastic tendency (season 2 ends with a cliffhanger, we await the official renewal for a solid season 3) And existentialist drama about a crucial moment in our lives.


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Source: Madmoizelle

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