-Vanessa Hudgen gives us an optimistic but not over the top underdog to root for.
-A lovely comedic ensemble cast headed by Alan Tudyk.
-DC references everywhere!
-A bit cheesy story wise
Powerless shows us a new way to save the day with a refreshingly not so super powered premiere.
At the start of ‘Powerless’ we meet Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) who is bright-eyed and new to Charm City. She’s off to start her new job as the new director of Research & Development at Wayne Security. She’s an ordinary girl in a not so ordinary city as Superheroes cause collateral damage on a regular basis.
Soon we meet her team. A wonderful cast of characters including her somewhat incapable boss Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk) and a misfit engineering team comprised of Teddy (Danny Pudi), Ron (Ron Funches) and Wendy (Jennie Pierson).
Emily’s optimism is dimmed when the entire company faces termination due to lack of innovative engineering. Our heroine sets out to create a product that will keep them in business and succeeds in a conclusion that reminds us ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
It looks like we’re going to have tons of fun and plenty of laughs with this show so let’s get into some of our favorite parts!
R&D: Research and Disaster.
Based off this charming pilot, we can tell this will be a character-driven show. So, it’s a good thing we immediately loved them! Vanessa Hudgens, best known for tween classic ‘High School Musical’, shines as our lead character. She manages to make Emily someone we root for and her positive disposition is the right amount of inspiring without being over the top. While not the most comedic of the bunch she provides a wonderful balance to the show and we don’t mind her leading the bunch at all.
It’s the team who bring in the needed extra kick. Teddy and Ron our dynamic engineering duo are instantly lovable. Pudi brings an effortlessly laid-back kind of comedy, a bit different from his former cult favorite character Abed, and it’s nice to see him in a different facet. Funches is the definition of an ‘instant fave’. Ron delivered some of our favorite lines of the episode by simply being the most adorable character on the show.
Ron: “You’re the 5th new boss we’ve had this year, and I refuse to let myself get attached. I’m not getting hurt again.”
Wendy was also a welcome surprised as the third engineer who plays up a hilarious frenemy vibe with Emily. It’s more reluctant ally then catty nemesis but it adds an extra laugh whenever she slyly says something negative after most interactions with Emily.
The combined efforts make the R&D department worth sticking around for.
Wayne, Van Wayne.
While the rag-tag engineering stole our hearts, it was Van Wayne who stole our biggest laughs. Alan Tudyk shined as blasé, narcissistic head of the branch with killer one liners and his disdain for all things charm city.
Tudyk has a good reputation coming into this show. He’s previously been an MVP on former shows he’s appeared in and became arguably one of the greatest droids in the Star Wars universe in last year’s Rogue One film. So, we were justifiably excited to see what he would do on this show and he didn’t disappoint. Set up as Emily’s foil Tudyk and Hudgens share a great chemistry of agitated boss and disgruntled subordinate. Especially fun is his relationship with secretary Jackie (Christina Kirk) whose character also gained laughs with her dry humor as she deals with the most demanding job yet. Trying to keep her boss intact.
His character might also be a bit nefarious. He was willing to let his team lose their jobs for personal gain (our villain sense is tingling.) Now that he’s stuck with team at Charm City, powerless to do anything about it, we can’t wait to see what new scheme he presents next.
“I didn’t fire them all. One was crushed by rubble before he started. I’d like to think of that as God firing him.”
Diving headfirst into the DC Universe.
One of our favorite things about the show was just how powerless everyone was. Look, we love superheroes as much as the next person, but even we admit the market is a bit saturated. We’re not complaining, we’re just being real. It made this even more refreshing to still be in the super world of the DC universe but focused on the citizens without capes. It’s a question comic fans have asked themselves at least once. What would it be like if superheroes were real? Well, this is it!
If you’re a superhero fan you probably had fun with this premiere, if you’re a DC fan you definitely had fun. We caught so many great references and Easter eggs we’re sure we missed some (Batman vs Superman shoutouts, Lexcorp anyone?)
We will admit to thinking the overall tone of the episode was a tad bit cheesy, but for right now we’re going to chalk it up to expected pilot problems. There must be a certain amount of setup that impedes the flow of storytelling because you must know what the story is to proceed. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how the show overcomes the hurdles we spotted.
Final Verdict: It was a solid premiere filled with great characters, good laughs, and a creative premise. We’re excited to see more!
A fresh take on the superhero world is just what we needed this winter season. It’s got the laughs and we can’t wait to see which villains and heroes’ names are pulled out of the DC archives for future episodes. The Bruce Wayne mentions were gold, complete with Batman and Joker reference that were broad enough for an array of audiences to enjoy.
Interestingly we saw this pilot when we attended San Diego Comic-Con last year, and it looks like they made some major improvements. This alone has us more excited for the shows season.
The intro credits were awesome, props to production and graphic design for those. The DC iconography was stunning but more so the fact that they focused on the parts of a comic panel often forgotten. It represented us regular, everyday, powerless civilians just trying to stay alive and get to work. Brilliant!
We’re hoping down the line we get to see the team at Wayne Security interact more one on one with the city saviors, maybe some super hero flirtation? Whatever may happen we’ll be here for the ride.
QUESTION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS
- · Lexcorp? Could we be seeing some company rivalries in the future?
- Is Van Wayne who he says he is? I mean come on is he really Bruce Wayne’s cousin?
- We’re still wondering about Wendy’s sex robot.
- What superheroes would you like to see saving the day and destroying public property while doing it?
- Also, Ron was onto something with Kryptonite windows. We say he should continue working out the kinks for that.
- What other DC-related Easter Eggs did you spot? Tweet us at @TVAfterDark!
You can catch episodes of Powerless on Thursday’s, 8:30/7:30c. Channel: NBC
‘Powerless’ Review [1×01] “Wayne or Lose”