Friday, February 3, 2017
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.