The Thundermans is an American comedy television series created by Jed Spingarn that premiered on Nickelodeon on October 14, 2013, and ended on May 25th, 2018. The series stars Kira Kosarin, Jack Griffo, Addison Riecke, Diego Velazquez, Chris Tallman, Rosa Blasi, and Maya Le Clark.
Phoebe and Max Thunderman are twins who, although they have opposite personalities, share a common secret. The teens, along with their parents and younger siblings, are superheroes. But the family must keep the superpowers under wraps and live a normal life. Phoebe and Max have the same powers - freeze breath and the ability to move objects via telekinesis - but use them in opposite ways. Good-natured Phoebe tries to do the right thing, while troublemaker Max wants to become a supervillain. Little brother, Billy, can move at superspeed while little sis, Nora, has laser beam eyes. Dad, Hank, can fly and has extraordinary strength, but mom, Barb, can generate lightning from her hands. Does this family want to lead a normal life? Good luck with that.
Why It's Not Considered Thunderous
- Its premise, while somewhat interesting, just feels bland in general.
- The Thundermans have very one-dimensional, argumentative, and generic personalities that we've already seen thousands of times before. In other words, clichéd personalities:
- Phoebe, a nerdy teenager who loves things such as fashion and school, is always set up as the "good guy," but most of the time she acts selfishly to get what she wants at the expense of others, especially Max. She also always has to scream or be loud whenever something happens.
- Max is the rebellious teenage boy.
- The twins are supposed to set good examples for Billy and Nora, but they're just as bratty and obnoxious as they are... if not worse.
- Hank is the bumbling idiotic father who is the Nickelodeon version of modern Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin.
- Barb is the mom that wants to forget their hero life and she also wants to be the woman of the house to the point of threatening her husband.
- The parents play favorites with their kids, showing a clear preference for Phoebe over Max, That’s not saying much, though, since they treat Phoebe like absolute crap as well.
- Nora is the manipulative spoiled brat who constantly manipulates people into doing something that they aren't supposed to do and usually ends up with what she wants and minimal consequences. Likewise, Billy is the clueless and stupid idiot who always gets manipulated.
- Chloe is just a generic baby with a bossy personality. Her habit of saying "baby" after every statement also gets irritating pretty quickly and it feels like a poor attempt to her like Michelle Tanner on Full House, who was a rather charming character.
- The writing is mostly poor, as it consists mostly of cringy and lame attempts at humor.
- Every character must be so hypocritical. For example, they tell someone not to do a certain thing...before they do that same thing. This could make them bad influences.
- Horrible episode titles ("Parks and T-Rex", "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "May Z-Force Be With You", "Orange is the New Max", etc.) all showing how overly reliant it is on pop-culture references.
- Terrible acting. In fact, it even makes you feel like the actors were picked off the street, which wastes the talents of Kira Kosarin, Jack Griffo, Addison Riecke, Diego Velázquez, and some others.
- The promos SPOILED the last 4 episodes from the show, including the series finale, "The Thunder Games".
- Tries way too hard to be hip and current as it has references to twerking, internet lingo, roasts, selfies, social media, bottle-flipping, and even dabbing.
- Horrendous and pathetic soundtrack that is beyond forgettable.
- Some of the characters look older than they are supposed to be. Phoebe and Max, for example, are supposed to be around 14, but they look more like college students.
- The family is extremely abusive to each other. In addition to this, the show also relies on cruelty for comedy.
- That racist Asian stereotype Mrs. Wong.
- It overuses so much unnecessary and out-of-place dating drama.
- The laugh track plays at the unfunniest lines, which is a recurring theme in lots of bad sitcoms.
- The comedy is cheap, with bad jokes and toilet humor.
- Bad and cheaply-made special effects that look like it was made with a low budget.
- It even had a terrible crossover with Henry Danger.
- The show has many bad morals, such as:
- Breaking rules
- Sibling rivalry
- Committing crimes (breaking, vandalism, and theft)
- Wiping out people's memories
- Ditching school
- Not being yourself
- Starting drama
- Not learning from your mistakes
- False advertising: The teasers, trailers, and promos say the show is a superhero show, but that would also be at the heart of the belief that there is crime fighting, but the show has little to no crime-fighting at all!
- The franchise, characters, and theme song are eerily similar to Wizards of Waverly Place. Plus, both shows have unlikable families who care about fame more than justice.
- Max's relationship with Dr. Colosso is sometimes kind of creepy, considering Colosso is a grown man in a rabbit's body.
- The concept of Splatburger is gross, and somehow Ms. Wong ended up taking over Splatburger from JJ with no explanation of what happened to the pizza parlor.
- As the series goes on, the family becomes obvious when they use their superpowers, but somehow they never get caught, creating a major plothole.
- The theme song is catchy.
- The fourth and final season was a minimal improvement in terms of the writing and characterization, but not by much.
- Occasional good episodes, like:
- "Thundermans: Banished"
- "Rhythm n' Shoes"
- "21 Dump Street"
- "Come What Mayhem"
- "Thunder in Paradise"
- "The Thunder Games" (which was a good way to end the series)
- The episode "Are You Afraid of the Park?" has Nora and Billy calling out Phoebe and Max for their selfish behavior. So does the one where they go to the game convention, as they choose to go into the game room with Fifi and Matt over Phoebe and Max because they were unhappy with the selfish way that Phoebe and Max had been treating them.
- Usually, the kids do get punished for their actions and usually attempt an apology.
- The idea of a superhero family is an interesting concept for a show, but was poorly executed. The Incredibles and The Villains Of Valley View (a Disney Channel sitcom) is a great example of this concept done much better.
- Carlos PenaVega from Big Time Rush guest-starred in the episode "No Country for Old Mentors".
- There are some funny and heartwarming moments.
- It is filmed in front of a live studio audience, so it has genuine laughs from a real audience.
- Dr. Colosso and Phoebe's best friend Cherry are likable characters. The Thundermans are also likable at times, especially in Season 4.
The Thundermans received mixed to negative reception, it holds a 5.6/10 on IMDb, on Metacritic it holds a score of 43 based on 17 critics as well as a score of 4.6/10.