You don’t need to be a superhero to change the world
Living in a world full of Superheroes and insane villains must be tough, especially when you are just an ordinary person. Imagine waking up in the morning only to find your car smashed to shit because of the latest Superhero showdown. Who takes care of these problems for you? Well that’s where NBC’s newest work-place comedy Powerless comes in. Centred around an insurance company that helps ordinary bystanders on a day-to-day basis by inventing the newest defences against collateral damages from Superheroes and Supervillains. For the later part of this decade DC has used its movies and TV shows to mostly show destruction or things just blowing up, now we get to see the other side of this equation. It was refreshing to see a lighter side of the DC universe, a much needed break from their usual doom and gloom formula.
Set in Charm City, it tells the story of Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens 🚀), a spunky, intense and charismatic go-getter who is dead set on making the world a safer and better place. She’s the new head of Research and Development at Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises (owned and operated by that Bruce Wayne guy). There she meets her new boss Van Wayne, Bruce’s cousin, played by Alan Tudyk (fresh off of Rouge One) a laid back, would rather be in Gotham – hanging with his cousin kind of boss. Tudyk usually connects himself to good projects, so this is a great early sign for the show. Van then introduces Emily to her team of engineers; there’s Teddy (Danny Pudi, who you’ll know from Community) the wise cracking know it all. Come to think about it, he’s almost playing his exact character Abed from Community, which is fine by me because that guy was AWESOME! Ron (Ron Funches) who is the tech-whiz of the bunch, usually comes up with brilliant ideas that never seem to quite pan out. Finally there’s Wendy, (Jennie Pierson) the sarcastic geek, who immediately enjoys poking fun at Emily. The cast really worked well, considering it was the pilot episode, they meshed well together, each member providing their own shtick.
Don’t watch this show expecting Batman or Superman to pop up anytime soon. It might be set in the same universe as the DCEU, but the Justice League won’t be stopping by to say hello. Instead we are getting introduced to lesser-known characters like Crimson Fox and Jack-O-Lantern, which if the show manages to make these characters compelling enough, I’m okay with it.
Powerless definitely adheres to the classic office sitcome template, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The episode revolves around Wayne Securities potentially getting shut down, due to Bruce thinking they are no longer needed. The team quickly needs to hatch an idea for a new product to keep the company alive.
In the end, Powerless is a superhero show that’s not about superheroes. Something causal fans might have a hard time dealing with. The trade off is though, you get laughs, something the DCEU has desperately been missing. If people don’t think it’s funny, they will have a hard time sticking around. That doesn’t mean you won’t here about these characters, Batman, Lex Luther, Superman and The Joker are all mentioned in the pilot episode. This show will make great use of being connected with the larger universe it’s in. How long before these gimmicks will run dry, you’ll have to tune in for yourself to find out. I know I will be.
Check ya later.