POWERLESS [Pilot Review]: Got-Ham.
What do you get when you put a cast of hilarious people together and then suck the funny out of them? NBC’s new “comedy” (and I use that term as loosely as possible), Powerless.
The show stars the usually adorable Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke, a girl who wants to be where the superpeople are. After moving from an unnamed fly-over state (because heroes never visit—they only fly over it. Get it?!), she comes to Charm City to become the year’s fifth head of Wayne Security’s R&D department. The company is a division of Wayne Enterprises run by Bruce’s cousin Van, played by the normally funny Alan Tudyk (Firefly).
(Surprisingly, Van wasn’t created for the series, having appeared in an issue of Batman in 1962.)
To cement exactly how annoying this character is, he not only fakes calls from Bruce, but refers to him as “B-Dubs.” Danny Pudi, Ron Funches, Jennie Pierson and Christina Kirk round out the cast.
One laugh. In 22 minutes, the first episode of Powerless delivered one laugh. And it wasn’t even from the script. A couple of seconds in, someone reads a newspaper on a train with the headline “President-Elect Luthor Vows To Make Metropolis Super Again.” The jokes—if you can call them that—completely fall flat. Van wants to get promoted back to Gotham, but Bob from WayneBev stole his spot with Wayne Light Lime. Ha. Ha. Ha. And just in case you didn’t remember the name of the show, we get not one, but two title drops—once in the beginning when Emily talks about not having powers and a second time when Van says their products can’t stop supervillains.
A comedy about the regular folks in the DC Universe, especially with this cast, has so much potential. And the opening credits were neat. But with a script so bad it caused me actual physical pain, I have to give Powerless… 1/5 Ron Funches Cosplaying Ric Flair.