Television: Powerless, "Wayne or Lose"

Um . . . okay. I really like the idea behind this show. It's about people living in Charm City (part of the DC Universe) and dealing with the day-to-day realities of having superheroes constantly fighting all around them. The main characters work for Wayne Enterprises, in particular in the R&D or something like that. Their job is to create cool gadgets and gear for WE to manufacture and sell.

All well and good, but . . . The execution was a little too . . . twee? saccharine? In short, it didn't work for me.

This first episode has the kind of plot line that feels old-fashioned in this day and age: new girl (Vanessa Hudgens) starts her first day at work, and her job is to supervise this motley crew of geeks. Same day, Bruce Wayne calls and says he's shutting them all down because they're obsolete and haven't come up with anything good in a long time. But of course the new girl whips her team into shape and they invent something amazing on the spot and everyone's jobs are saved.

I liked Danny Pudi in Community, and he's kind of doing the same thing here, so . . . I guess that's okay? And I can't help but enjoy Alan Tudyk as Van Wayne, Bruce's cousin who runs the Charm City office but aspires to be relocated to Gotham. But collectively, this is such a strange amalgam. It's like they weren't sure how over-the-top, cartoony to get. The result is, it's too cartoony to take seriously but not cartoony enough to be actually funny.

I don't know. I wonder whether Powerless will find its footing as the characters develop? I remember I didn't love Community or Parks and Rec the first time I watched them but those shows grew on me. Might this one, too? As the characters become more clearly defined and the writers get into the groove? I'll give it another one or two episodes.

1 comment:

Cherie Reich said...

I do love the idea behind Powerless. Thanks for the review of the first episode.