We Review ‘Powerless’ – The Superhero Sitcom
Powerless is the first sitcom to be set in the DC Universe, telling the tale of hopeful young Emily Locke who moves to Charm City to take over a team at Wayne Security, wanting to help ordinary citizens struggling with the day-to-day hassle of living in a city where super villains and heroes do battle.
Powerless is unlike any other comic book show that’s been put out so far. This is mostly because it is the first comic book based sitcom, but also because it doesn’t focus on any superheroes at all.
The story for the show is fairly simple, and so far, doesn’t seem to have one large underlying plot outside of the per-episode shenanigans of the employees. However, while the show is simple, the chemistry works beautifully, and most of the charm of the series lies in its fantastic cast.
Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers) is endlessly charming and endearing as the leading role, Emily Locke. She’s optimistic, sweet, and at times, hilariously over the top without overselling it. Emily is an adorable protagonist to follow and her interactions with the more pessimistic cast members are delightful.
Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph, Dollhouse, Rogue One) plays CEO to Wayne Security as Van Wayne – cousin to Bruce Wayne. Yes, that Bruce Wayne. Stubborn, bratty and completely incompetent at times, Tudyk is never a bore on screen and delivers his lines which such glorious false bravado and dramatics its impossible not to laugh at him.
Danny Pudi (Community, Gilmore Girls, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is sarcastic and closed off Teddy. He’s a genius with a habit of procrastination and a love for all things nerdy, alongside his best friend Ron.
Played by Ron Funches (Undateable, Black-ish, Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh), who delivers his lines with such confidence and hilarity, it’s genuinely impossible not to love Ron. He has dramatic reactions to pretty much everything, and the accompanying facial expressions are nailed.
Jennie Pierson (Somewhere in Palm Springs, Black-ish, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) stars as Wendy, Ron and Teddy’s other best friend. She’s a genius, but a total ruthless asshole at the same time – and you adore her for it. Pierson is so utterly, side-splittingly deadpan in every line she delivers.
Finally, to complete the main team is Christina Kirk (Manhattan, A to Z, XX) as Jackie, Van’s ever woeful assistant. Ever the pessimist, she does her best to guide Van from making terrible choices and sadly, usually fails. Distant from her colleagues and endlessly exhausted by her job, Kirk’s portrayal of Jackie is almost an anti-take against the usual assistant roles, where the assistant either adores their boss or is fondly sarcastic to them.
But what makes the cast really fantastic is their chemistry with one another. Lines and interactions go by so smoothly and with such clarity, and the delivery is impeccable. Hudgens and Kirk have some incredibly funny interactions together, with such different and clashing personalities, and Pudi, Funches and Pierson all make for a hilarious clique that care about each other – but will never show it. Ever. Not in a million years.
With Powerless, don’t go in expecting a superhero epic along the lines of Arrow or The Flash – go in expecting a sitcom. It’s light, it’s fluffy and it’s currently finding it’s footing. But as the first season goes on, it gets better and better, with brilliant little Easter eggs into the DC Universe. So pull up your couch, grab some snacks and settle in – it’s an adorable sitcom with a fantastic cast that happens to be set in a world where a supervillain destroying their coffee carts is just a standard inconvenience.
Powerless season one is currently airing on NBC.
- Funny, great cast and chemistry, light-hearted, fantastic potential
- A little fluffy, still finding it's footing