SyFy has imported a new show from New Zealand, The Almighty Johnsons, which follows a superpowered family that gains their powers at twenty-one. In the words of the Variety article, “a lack of resources breeds ingenuity”. And hopefully, this will be the case with The Almighty Johnsons. The show was a relatively low budget production, as all New Zealand native productions are (a population of less than five simply cannot sustain the massive television productions that the United States’ national production companies can). This is even more true because it is a fantasy show, based around the premise that a family has inherited the powers of the Norse gods, and that a boy about to turn twenty-one is going to inherit Odin’s great powers on his birthday. While this sounds like it requires a big budget production, Variety (and I) am more open to a lower budget version of this. Well-executed special effects done in limited bursts have been the secret to many television shows after all. Even in the highest budget shows, sacrifices need to be made, and learning to make these sacrifices and cut out these darlings is essential to creating something worthwhile. The directors that never learn to do this are the ones that produce crap. The ones that are best at it produce the best material.
It is obvious from the article that the people reviewing the show already saw its New Zealand run or previewed it here, which I have not had the privilege to do. But from their review, I look forward to seeing how they seem to have solved budget issues for special effects and differences in how the Commonwealth and the United States view obscenity with blurred scenes or skillful editing.