Friday, February 3, 2017

"Powerless" - TV Review

   I really wanted to like Powerless.

   For several reasons.

   One: superhero-based comedy is extremely rare (and least in terms of good comedy). Two: the idea of focusing on the effect of living in a world with superheroes has a lot of potential (see: Astro City). Three: I really, really like the talented cast!

   Vanessa Hudgens (the new boss) is immensely likable and beautiful and loaded with comedic skills and personality. Alan Tudyk (the big boss) - well, the same description applies. Danny Pudi (a researcher / scientist) was a breakout star in Community and gets to show off even more personality here. Christina Kirk plays it straight as the no-nonsense assistant, and Ron Funches (also a researcher / scientist) is very funny with spot-on timing.

   They all work for Wayne Security, a company run by Bruce's cousin (a concept that makes me say "ugh," though Tudyk fights mightily to make it work). The company is dedicated to coming up with ways to protect regular citizens from the effects of living in a hero-infested city. (Why are they in Charm City? Like DC doesn't have enough fake cities already? They have to make up a new one?)

   It's a thin premise - but there's a really big problem: the show's not very funny. There are a couple of minor laughs (you saw them in the commercials), and the cast is trying really hard to make it work, but they just don't have much to work with here.

   I'm not ready to give up on it yet, and now that the cast and concept is in place they can focus on telling stories and finding laughs.

   But the series is off to a humble start at best.

Grade: B-



Kyle said...

Unfortunately I agree with you on Powerless Chuck. I did like the little cameos by Crimson Fox, Jack O'Lantern, and Starro. DC has such a rich history they could probably get at least an entire season's worth of heroes and villains from a single issue of the old "Who's Who" comic.

But it just didn't click, not a lot of laughs. I'm not giving up on it yet either. Sometimes it takes a while for a show to find its way... I remember catching the pilot of Seinfeld in syndication... oh my goodness, it was awful! But I'm afraid in today's media market it won't be given a chance.


Chuck said...

Yeah, I'd love to see them make it work - but I agree that they may not get the chance.

Kevin Findley said...

I enjoyed it. The pilot reminded me of the 8-page backup tales DC used to publish that featured supporting cast like Alfred or Jimmy Olson. Each was an adventure that could only have happened in the DCU.

-> Ray said...

I thought it was good fun. The chemistry between the characters seems to be working, which should only help the comedy as we become more familiar with their individual quirks. I'll keep watching.