‘Extraordinary’ Season 2 review: The superpowered comedy digs deeper, trips itself up from Mashable

The first, lauded season of Extraordinary proved having superpowers doesn’t mean you’re good at using them, and it definitely doesn’t mean you have your life figured out. Set in a world where everyone gets superpowers (ranging from flying to time-bending and other more niche and relatively useless powers) when they turn 18, the series hinges on 25-year-old Jen (Máiréad Tyers), who by the end of Season 1 was still waiting for her power to emerge.

Picking up exactly where we left them, Season 2 sees the show’s core four — Jen; her best mate and medium, Carrie (Sofia Oxenham); Carrie’s fresh ex and time-bender, Kash (Bilal Hasna); and Jen’s newfound love and cat shapeshifter, Jizzlord (Luke Rollason) — looking for fresh starts and spiraling through the major markers of modern relationships: breaking up, new partners, secret families, exorcisms. You know, the regular stuff. 

Creator Emma Moran and her writing team move Extraordinary‘s characters forward into some more ridiculous, heartfelt, and superpowered hijinks that fans of the first season will get a kick out of and newcomers will likely be baffled by — if you haven’t seen Season 1, you will have no idea what the hell’s going on. Boasting the same high-energy editing and frenetic performances, Season 2 dives a little deeper into the motivations of its four protagonists, gives Jizzlord the backstory we (and he) never knew we (and he) wanted, but unfortunately gets a little tripped up by how much time is dedicated to women fighting over a man (noooooooo).

Extraordinary digs into Jen’s bookshop-shaped subconscious.

Mary (Siobhán McSweeney), Jen (Máiréad Tyers), and Kash (Bilal Hasna)
Credit: Hulu / Disney+

Having finally secured the funds to start her superpower Discovery Clinic program, Jen begins the confronting but necessary process of inner reflection with the help of cardigan-clad coach George (Julian Barratt). In order to help Jen figure out what’s holding her back from her power, George’s job is to literally take them both inside Jen’s subconscious. It’s a manifestation of every thought she’s ever had, realised as a crumbling shithole of a bookshop, haphazardly organised in sections like “one night stands,” and “good dogs I’ve seen,” and books with titles like Boys I Have Ghosted, Weird Things You’ve Thought About While Masturbating, and Chippies That Give Me Free Chips. Jen follows her outlandish actions and disconnection with intimacy to their uncomfortable core: a book called Daddy Issues, unceremoniously rendered in her mind-library as a giant hardcover tome sitting in the bubble machine-flanked “trauma corner.” 

Through this extremely literal representation of therapy, the series sees Jen having to address what might be holding her back, and here it means (woo! Get out of my head, show!) unprocessed grief. Tyere brings a flawless chaos to Jen, completely throwing herself into the character’s impulsive decisions and hilarious quips. She’s an unrelentingly riotous protagonist whose life decisions make for some truly excellent comedy: a scene in which Jen does a furious public reading of an erotic merman story is a highlight. Though the season has Jen spend way too much time in a limiting storyline seeing her trying to bring down another woman (we’ll get to that), it’s Jen’s newfound love for Jizz, her supernatural relationship with her late father, and her clashing with her no-bullshit mother, Mary (the ever-superb Siobhán McSweeney), that allows Tyers to really dig into Jen’s deeply relatable complexity.

Season 2 uncorks Jizzlord’s past life.

You know Jizzlord (Luke Rollason) as a cat, but what kind of man was he?
Credit: Hulu / Disney+

Feline shapeshifter Jizzlord’s history remained a mystery for Season 1, but in the finale we saw him suddenly reconnected with his wife, Nora (Rosa Robson), and young son, Alfie, in a supermarket. Secret family ahoy! Despite understandably freaking out (which gives Tyers and Rollason plenty of room to banter), Jen and Jizz attempt to embrace Nora, a telepathic Instagram lifestyle influencer wife who is “sweet, successful, and smells like Jo Malone,” as well as their little shit of a child who Jizz keeps accidentally scaring just by being himself. As Caitlin Welsh wrote of Rollason in her Season 1 review, “He’s both an instantly lovable cinnamon roll, and deliciously off-putting at all the right moments.”

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While this backstory gives Jizz more to do than cat things, the storyline unfortunately trips up Extraordinary‘s second season for me, with Jen’s primary motivation of gaining her own power waylaid for half the season by her determination to crush Nora — and vice versa. While the narrative does allow Tyer to spit hilarious poison at her pristine influencer nemesis, and Robson leans into the smug facade of it all, it feels less satisfying to watch Jen caught up in this fight. Season 2 spends way too much time pitting these women against each other, while Jizz is able to simply sit wide-eyed and watch, unable to choose between them (granted, he’s been a cat with no memory for a while). 

Nora (Rosa Robson) appears “sweet, successful, and smells like Jo Malone.”
Credit: Hulu / Disney+

Meanwhile, in another (albeit finished) romance, Carrie and Kash’s storyline sees the pair trying to navigate their breakup while living in the same house. Hasna’s stubborn, change-hating Kash goes on a journey of self-discovery, including of his own sexuality and expansion of his time-bending powers, while Oxenham’s Carrie is determined to live on the edge — “not over it, but right up there.” Bonding with her new colleague Clark (Kwaku Mills), trying DIY bangs, and using her powers to get advice from Princess Diana, Carrie is looking to smash her breakup out of the park without actually processing it, until her ex Kash gets a job at her workplace (no!). Moving on, together, proves difficult for the pair, but Oxenham and Hasna imbue their characters with such earnest defiance that it makes for a sweet journey — all exorcisms aside.

Extraordinary still leans into the bizarre, to great effect.

Carrie (Sofia Oxenham) finds her own power beyond her relationship in Season 2.
Credit: Hulu / Disney+

As anything but a standard superhero series, Extraordinary relishes in the more bizarre narrative twists, character quirks, and surreal visual moments, like the first season. Without spoiling anything, decisions are made, trysts are had, musicals are improvised, miniature Italian restaurants shrink customers and serve single strands of pasta as enormous novelty meals, and superpowered people still wander around with their own personal rainclouds and ability to spray paint from their fingers.

Like the show’s giant void, which characters can cast their unwanted goods into, the series holds many a random, ill-advised happening, which might throw some viewers off. But Season 2 allows these flawed characters to dig a little deeper into their insecurities, fears, and ultimately, what makes them actually powerful beyond their magical talents.

Extraordinary is streaming on Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ in the UK.

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