Pint-sized superhero drama is great for the whole family
In a medium oversaturated with spandexed and caped crime fighters, it’s refreshing to stumble upon a superhero story that doesn’t revolve around gritty events. In fact, this week’s show features a superhero who still likes to have his Mommy put him to bed at night, but who can blame him, considering he’s only eight.
Netflix’s “Raising Dion” tells the story of a young boy who wakes up one day and discovers her can move his breakfast around with his mind. Little Dion is excited to discover his powers and can’t wait to show his exhausted mom his new magic tricks, but quickly becomes disappointed when he can’t quite control his telekinesis and nearly knocks his mother with a lamp. Nicole is already struggling to raise Dion on her own after her husband died in a freak storm and is forced to figure out how to train her son to control his explosive powers. Nicole leans on Dion’s godfather Pat to help her wrangle her son’s ever-changing abilities which include teleporting, telekinesis, making energy balls and invisibility. While Pat and Nicole try to hide Dion’s powers, they discover that the little tyke isn’t the only one with abilities.
At school Dion faces a series of challenges as the new kid and has a hard time fitting in with his new peers. The only student that will give him the time of day is a little girl, named Esperanza, who uses a wheelchair.
In addition to crafting a compelling and refreshing superhero narrative, “Raising Dion” takes the time to discuss diversity and toxic masculinity in a child-friendly manner. Given that the series focuses on a pint-sized hero, the show is a family-friendly drama, one that mom and dad will want to watch with or without the kids.
Alisha Wainwright provides a powerhouse performance as Dion’s mother Nicole. Wainwright easily balances Nicole’s mama bear instincts for Dion, with her character’s fierce passion for dance. It’s Nicole’s fear and curiosity which propel the narrative forward and provides the series with such heart. Jason Ritter plays the awkward and goofy Pat with an electric energy that allows viewers to peek into the bond he has with Dion. Ja’Siah Young excels as Dion, playing the sweet and bubbly child who can’t get over how excited he is to become a superhero.
“Raising Dion” has one season available on Netflix. Viewers might also enjoy the family-friendly series “Alexa & Katie,” which follows two tweens as one fights cancer.