Hafa Adai! It's me again Island Boy Manuel Reviewing NBC's Superhero Comedy, Powerless, so is it good? Bad? Maybe a little of both? Let's find out as we review Powerless.
For those of you not in the know, Powerless was supposed to be the DC version of The Office... an office of regular ol' insurance agents dealing with the clean up of super battles. Unfortunately, after Bruce Wayne witnessed this first hand after the events of Man of Steel, he decided to take that into his own hands in BVS...or at least that's the best guess I have as to why scrapped the pilot that creator/showrunner Ben Queen debuted at Comic-con and decided to replace it with this new concept by Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker. The original concept was grounded, funny and would easily fit into the void left behind by The Office and Parks & Rec; Instead, the new concept focuses on Wayne Security, it's like giving a show to Q from the 007 movies or making a companion film focusing on Bruce and Lloyd from Get Smart, and nobody would ever greenlight that film...right? At the end of the day the cast now gets to make gadgets and give a few Batman themed shout-outs here and there... sounds good right? No I don't think so either. Vanessa Hudgens stars as the naive and like-able Emily Locke, the new head of R&D who has to get slackers Teddy (Danny Pudi), Ron (Ron Funches) and Wendy (Jennie Pierson) cranking out new ideas to combat their rivals at Lexcorp. Her boss is Bruce Wayne's hapless cousin Van, played by Alan Tudyk. The unsung hero of the cast is the mean spirited Jackie, played by Christina Kirk doing her best Jane lynch impression. The cast is a dream and they really are doing their best to be slightly different versions of characters from better shows - Hudgens has a great demeanor as the Leslie Knope type, Tudyk is perfectly suited to play the Michael Scott character, Pudi is always fun to watch and even though it's the polar opposite of Abed he should be able to excel as the slacker April type, Funches is definitely the lovable Andy Dwyer of the bunch and Wendy is the socially awkward one. The writing in this is...well lazy. None of the characters seem to have any depth and none of them stand out at all. Van is too aloof and lacks the heart that Steve Carell brought to his boss role. By episode 5 Van gets a tad better but he's still very one note. Pudi is given absolutely nothing memorable or quirky or that takes advantage of his physical comedy skills. The rest of the cast is serviceable, Ron is a plot device to throw in the ol' "you people" type shtick (again lazy low hanging fruit), Jackie gets to be mean and crude by delivering every line super fast and under her breath a la Jane Lynch, and Wendy is essentially Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect meets Chloe O'Brien so her one trait is that she is blunt and overly sexualized and that's supposed to be funny because she's not a typically attractive person...never seen that joke before...ever. The theme of laziness carries into the comic bookiness of the story...I don't know why this in the DC Universe...seriously apart from a few name drops and the appearance of Crimson Fox...don't worry you can wiki who the eff she is, I'll wait...this could take place in a spy themed world or any other genre and it wouldn't change a darn thing. At the end of the day it's a pleasant show with some easy jokes thrown in here and there. It's not offensively bad, but it's not anything you'll miss if it goes away. It's just good enough for the network to sandwich between better shows so you don't change channels...Strangely it's after Superstore and before Chicago Med..so the strategy seems to be start funny and ramp it down before the drama starts. Anyway, let me know what you think about Powerless airing Thursday nights on NBC.