Alphas is a great show, and you should watch it
Just thought I'd pass along that the SciFi channel is into the second season of a really outstanding show called Alphas. Spotted a post on MeFi yesterday, and thought I'd give it a try. I'm only partway through the first season, but I'm really hooked!
Basic idea of the plot: it's sort of X-Men lite, with a new breed of humans called Alphas, who have teeny-tiny superpowers. It feels like real human bodies with unusual abilities, rather than outright superpowers, and the heroes are fragile, ending up hurt on a regular basis. They dress like normal people, no spandex.
To give you an idea of overall power levels, the 'super strength' guy can shove a parked van sideways, but has to work at it, punches fist-sized holes in sheetrock, can lift and move a soda machine by himself, and can break open a chained door with a running jump. He can lay a guy out with a well-placed punch, but he'll just knock him down, not through the wall. And he can't do it for very long -- he's got one major burst of strength and speed, typically lasting two or three minutes, and he's all used up. Any mundane he clocks probably isn't going to get back up, but he's just really strong, not truly superhuman.
All the characters are like this, very human. I like the actors a lot, I like the characters a lot, and I find myself empathizing with them a great deal, both because they're likeable people, and because they're almost 100% human, and using their weak abilities in novel and interesting ways to outsmart the bad guys. The villains have a wide range of interesting powers, typically much stronger than the team, but there don't seem to be any 'monster of the week' episodes... every episode seems to hook into the main, overarching plot. The pacing is excellent.
It reminds me a bit of Fringe in terms of acting quality; everyone on the team does a great job from the first line they deliver. No shaky uncertainty, they're in control from word one. And the overall story is being woven together with real skill. It's a little reminiscent of X-Men, in that they're hitting on many of the same prejudice and discrimination themes. The bad guys are sometimes just bad guys, but the more important ones are complex and somewhat nuanced; they're OPPONENTS, but you can actually rather understand their motives, and even sympathize with them. (rather similar to Magneto in at least one case, though with an entirely different power.) I think it's outstanding.
If you like Fringe, you really oughta check this one out. And if you'd like X-Men, minus the silly suits and hyper-strong powers, it would appeal on that front as well.