Powerless is a comedy set in some random DC Universe and was created and shown on NBC because after they begged DC to let them try with Constantine again, they decided to fuck with them off and give them a shitty comedy premise to make money from. I would like to add that somewhere there are 1+ episodes filmed of the premise of it set in an insurance office dealing with the damage from superheroes, from the first viewing there are clear clips of it thrown in so it doesn’t looked like they wasted over 100,000 dollars. Anyhow now it is set in an Wayne Enterprises centre when they design items to protect their consumers from the destruction of supervillains. Keep in mind now that this show lost its main showrunner, re-shot and re-scripted at least one episode, pitched the new premise to Warner Bros and DC and then still released the first episode on the exact same release date that the previous premise had, and we thought the DCEU had problems.
Before we delve into a review, I want to look over what Bleeding Cool said in an article quite a few months ago, in the article from Bleeding Cool (https://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/03/02/ive-just-read-the-pilot-script-to-dc-comics-and-nbcs-new-comedy-powerless/), firstly it states that someone at Warner Bros ordered the script pages or whatever they had to be taken down which not only confirms that what Bleeding Cool is saying is true, but that for some reason, Warner Bros pretty much wants all remains of what the show first was to disappear which is hard to do nowadays on the Internet. Also the article almost describes the opening word to word in how it happens and the article was written on the 2nd March 2016 so I highly doubt they had the DeLorean in the garden. Anyhow, another thing I noticed in the article which supports my theory of them using ‘old’ footage from the previous premise is when they mention that “such as Emily flossing her teeth while, outside, a 50 foot tentacled creature is vaporised by a laser bean – which she ignores”. That is an exact scene that is seen in the premiere of Powerless shown on the 2nd February meaning that my theory holds truth.
Continuing onwards, the showrunners weren’t smart enough to hide up all of their secrets about the first premise and even released a teaser for it and don’t fear, before we go into the review of this shit fest of a show, the trailer (https://youtu.be/SCpgEie2UJc) was shown a few months ago, which clearly shows another scene pretty much ripped from the old premise and was inserted in the new premise which is the train scene, although there are some clear cuts made in order to make the story make more sense in the new story for Powerless. I will likely mention this trailer again throughout and at the end also.
When the show starts, we are immediately introduced to the where the show is set, Charm City. The one problem I have with this is that I feel they should have put in a city that is known in the DC Universe, maybe Keystone or a city like that just so it feels more like it is set in the DC Universe. Some of the dialogue is straight to the tongue, meaning it just tries to get straight to the joke and it never really sticks. Then we see loads of reused footage from the first premise of the show of Crimson Fox fighting Jack ‘o’ Lantern but in this footage there’s something I feel should have been a main focus in the show and it would interested myself and others much more, it’s how the public reacts to superheroes being on earth for all these years. Think about it, it can show how a world could adapt to superheroes and how they don’t care about them anymore and how sometimes they are just an inconvenience. Just a side-note, the CGI is god awful, I honestly am confused how it looks this bad. I don’t like how the show does a freeze-frame, it is utterly pointless, there is about one hundred different ways you could show this.
Even more re-used footage from the Retcoon Insurance set that was the original premise as well as the Staro cameo that I mentioned before which is even more re-used footage. Also another side-note, this is set in America so why is Crimson Fox there? She is a member of the Justice League Europe Team if I’m not mistaken. Also again they could have built on how the superheroes are now just an inconvenience to the general public’s lives. I will say though that the introduction is fantastic to this, I wasn’t sure if they would do it for the introduction but I did guess something was up. Now we get voice-over from Adam West from what I can tell and also wouldn’t Joker just make his venom immune to the anti-venom.
Van Wayne actually did appear in Batman #148 as Batman’s cousin and that was back in 1962 so I guess it is nice to see them putting some effort into finding out if Bruce Wayne had a cousin and actually using the character. The ‘big picture’ joke is very unnecessary, there is no need to include a joke every 5 minutes. I swear that this Ron character in the show is inspired from SkyWilliams, I imagine him and Van Wayne will be the most loved characters out of the shows as Emily will probably get old fast and the secretary will definitely be pushed to the side to make way for the characters that the audience like more. I do like the concept of them coping of the ideas from LexCorp to earn money, quite a few businesses do that rather than being innovative. I don’t want to be rude but in this show there is guy with down syndrome and they awkwardly place him in every group scene right at the front, I feel like it’s just to show they are diverse but I have no idea why.
I am not kidding when I say this actually looks like a Disney Channel show, Jack ‘o’ Lantern looks like a villain ripped from that Mighty Med show where it is set in a superhero hospital. If you watch Jack ‘o’ Lantern in the background while Van is talking to Bruce, you can see it is basically just a GIF repeating itself over and over again. Actually if I’m honest that guy might not have down syndrome, just when he is smiling, it really does look like it. Bruce Wayne doesn’t seem like the one we know and love, he would try his best to try and keep that centre open, in this he honestly is perceived like a total dick. How could they even track the scent of villains like the Joker, I get what they are trying to do but it makes no sense at all. If I am honest, if this gets a Season 2 which I highly doubt since they cancelled Constantine but I think Alan Tudyk will leave this show unless he is obligated to stay by contract. Never mind that guy certainly has down syndrome.
Powerless is not a good show on any level, barely any of the comedy lands, the acting can become stale at times especially from Vanessa Hudgens who is ironically the lead of the show and has the most poor acting out of the whole cast. They used really lazy methods to get out of doing certain things to save their budget, yet it looks like they didn’t have a budget as the CGI is some of the worse CGI I have ever witnessed. However this show is not at all offensive and it isn’t really boring although it is barely funny, I do admit it is fun to spot all the references such as the Shazam reference.
I would analyse the synopsis but the synopsis doesn’t match up at all with what the promo (https://youtu.be/l-KaK61WFVY) shows here, which is basically that there is a time jump of a few weeks and that Emily is dating one of the Riddler’s henchman but why is the Riddler in Charm City? If we get to see the Riddler which I highly doubt, that would be really cool but I highly doubt we would get to see him show up.
Overall I am going to stick for at least another episode because pilot episodes aren’t the best to base the quality off but if Episode 2 is increasingly worse, I will drop the show as there is a replacement in the form of Legion coming soon.
Ultimately, Powerless is a 1/5 but can be fun to watch to pick out all of the references.