I don’t want to compare, I really don’t, but this is my second time watching the Pilot of Powerless, and I can’t help but …well, compare. The episode went through extensive re-shoots, and when I say extensive I mean there’s nothing left of the Pilot I saw. That was a charming office-comedy that didn’t focus on superheroes, but on the regular people who have to live in the same world as them.
This? This focuses on …well, I’m not exactly sure what it focuses on. There’s more superheroes, and yet, surprisingly less charm. There’s also no Aquaman joke, and if you talk to anyone who saw the original Pilot, the Aquaman joke was the best part of the whole thing.
All in all, this is a completely different concept, and that’s hard to swallow for someone who loved the original concept. Re-shoots often go one of two ways, they either fix things or they mess things up completely.
Right now, it looks like the second of those came true for Powerless.
But, it’s just the Pilot. It might get better. I hope it does. The world needs more charming, female-led comedies, and from what I saw from the original Pilot, Vanessa Hudgens is more than capable of being the hero we deserve.
I hope they let her.
So, let’s talk about what worked and what really, really didn’t in Powerless Pilot, titled “Wayne or Lose”
- Emily Locke’s chipper optimism. Her out-to-save-the-world persona might rub people the wrong way, but the show doesn’t work without her. She makes the rest of the team/city’s resignation come across as funny.
- Alan Tudyk, who can deliver a funny line about as convincingly as anyone in the comedy business. Without him and Vanessa Hudgens there’s no reason to even give this show a chance.
- The little moments where the show made fun of itself – even if they were few and far between.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Everything else? But I’ll be specific, because why not?
- Emily had a little more spunk in the first version of the Pilot – she stood up not just to her boss, but to superheroes. We might yet see some of that, but as of now, Emily has been brought down to a more normal place, and though we know this is a DCTV show WITHOUT superheroes, we still kinda wanted her to be OUR hero. And right now, I’m still not sure she is.
- Alan Tudyk’s character. Oh, Dear God, why Bruce Wayne’s cousin? Why such a stereotype? He worked much better as the boss-who-doesn’t-really-care-about-anything-other-than-money. Plus, the back and forth between him and Emily was much more entertaining before. They could still re-capture this, of course, but as it stands, I don’t care as much. Or, at all.
- While I’m at it, why are ALL the characters stereotypes? And not even modernized stereotypes at that, just the same thing I’ve seen over and over again in other sitcoms. We’re in 2017. You can’t sell me the same thing without a twist. Viewers are too smart for that.
- Team dynamics. It’s sad how alone Emily feels. She doesn’t have any real friends, not yet, and though I can live with seeing the friendship develop on-screen, so was too often the butt of jokes in this episode.
“He was crushed by rubble before he started. I’d like to think of that as God firing him.”
“Jackie, if you are lying to me, I will put rocks in your pocket and throw you in the ocean.”
Fun Easter eggs:
- Lex Luthor is the President! And he’s going to make Metropolis great again.
- Soder Cola is one of the most famous fake brands in the DCTV universe, and here, it pops up again.
- There’s a Big Belly Burger!
What about you? Did you love the Pilot? Hate it? Share with us in the comments below!
Powerless airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.