Powerless, the new DC Comics based half-hour sit-com, premiered last Thursday night on NBC.
Starring Alan Tudyk and Vanessa Hudgens, Powerless tracks the hapless folks at Wayne Security, of that Wayne family business empire, as they concoct products to help protect average citizens from the run-of-the-mill drudgery of living in a world rife with superheroes and supervillains.
Vanessa Hudgens plays Emily Locke, a small-town girl hoping to make a difference, leading a team of Wayne Security engineers who have had nothing but bad luck with bosses.
Needless to say, she gets zero respect from her crew (headlined by Ron Funches, Danny Pudi, and Jennie Pierson).
Nor does Van Wayne, played by Alan Tudyk. Cousin to Bruce Wayne, Van is desperate to get out of Charm City and back to the head office in Gotham.
Don’t get me started on figuring out how Bruce Wayne has a cousin, also a Wayne, when he’s an orphan and I don’t recall there being any other Waynes around, hence the big deal when Bruce returns to run the company.
But that’s neither here nor there, I suppose; after all, it’s a comic book show.
But not really.
Here’s the problem I have with the show: you’d think that it would be easier to fit some comedy into a half-hour rather than an hour.
But you’d be wrong.
I like Van Wayne (you know, except for the fact that he shouldn’t exist), but there’s not enough of him to really latch onto as a “main” character.
That role goes to Hudgens, but her Emily is so sickeningly sweet and innocent as to be basically unlikeable, which is how most of the team feels about her, despite the feel-good scene at the end of the premiere.
I’m willing to give this show a shot, mostly because of Tudyk’s involvement, but it’s safe to say Powerless certainly has lots of room to grow, and it needs to, or it won’t last too long, no matter how much DC wants it to succeed.
I’d write more, but I’ll save the words for when (if) the show improves.