Powerless - New DC Universe based Sitcom

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JoeZhang, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe we just need more info, but just don't see what the story they're trying to tell is. Why does the show exist, and where will it go? Right now it's a funny 5-minute bit, having to deal with superheroes wrecking stuff all the time, but so what?

    It was funny when Family Guy pointed out that it's annoying that the Kook-Aid Man keeps ruining people's homes. Took 10 seconds. Less funny to film a construction crew that just follows him around patching walls or trying to invent new construction methods he couldn't knock down...
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I figure the idea is to do a workplace sitcom where the humor and storylines come from the personalities and relationships of the quirky employees, with the job just being the background and a source of gags. Most of the plots on WKRP weren't about rock music, though some were. Most of the plots on Night Court weren't about legal issues, though there were always goofy trial scenes as a source of comedy.

    The question is whether they actually devise character plots that arise from the ramifications of being powerless in a superhero universe, as the title suggests, or just do standard office-sitcom plots with the DCU gags as a backdrop. My big problem with the old live-action The Tick sitcom was that most of its episodes were just warmed-over Seinfeld plots about losers hanging out talking about sex all the time, except that they happened to be wearing superhero costumes while doing so. Only three or four episodes actually got their plots and humor from superheroics and their ramifications, and those were the only ones I liked.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Here's a behind-the-scenes article about the show:

    http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/features/809385-powerless-set#/slide/1

    A bit more insight into why they dropped the insurance angle:
    Apparently the main superheroes in the show's Charm City are the fairly obscure Global Guardians, including Crimson Fox, Olympian, and Green Fury, aka Fire, who -- excitingly -- is going to be played as a recurring role by The Middleman's Natalie Morales. Now I really want the show to be watchable...
     
  4. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All the clips I have seen look really funny. Can't wait.
     
  5. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Commodore Commodore

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    Focusing on the Global Guardians could be very interesting, given that they are, as they contain members from over twenty different countries and typically lead by ancient African sorcer Nommo of Kor (usually known as Doctor Mist).
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    By the way, I guess one good thing about Legends of Tomorrow moving to Tuesdays after The Flash (which annoys me because it ruins the symmetry of having one DC show per night in the same time slot) is that now Powerless won't be airing in competition with another DC show.


    I wouldn't be surprised if they just use the character names and give them new personalities/backstories. We already know they've given Crimson Fox a completely different costume and power set from the comics character.
     
  7. Commander Richard

    Commander Richard Licenced to Post Premium Member

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    Don't know what to think about the show. It's not great but I like the premise so of course I'm onboard for however long it lasts. So far, Van Wayne seems to be the standout.

    "I don't think anyone cares about the color." Nice jab at the fans who scrutinize everything.

    Bruce Wayne found time to write a book? Now that's new.

    I thought that Vanessa Hudgens seemed very Lois-like but maybe it's because she just reminds me of Supergirl's Lucy Lane played by Jenna Dewan Tatum.

    Alan Tudyk would have made a good Aquaman. The character was fodder for comedy last time I checked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It's cute, but I confess that the fanboy in me kinda wanted to watch Crimson Fox fight Jack O'Lantern instead--even though I know it's not that kind of show.

    But . .. . Starro!

    And the "flyover" country gag made me chuckle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
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  9. Commander Richard

    Commander Richard Licenced to Post Premium Member

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    When the flashback started, I thought she was going to talk about how superheroes first appeared.
     
  10. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This was supposed to be a comedy right? I'm still waiting for a laugh.

    With the exception of Alan Tudyk and Christina Kirk (the secretary Jackie), the cast was pretty terrible, including Vanessa Hudgens. Danny Pudi (Kenny) reminded me of Andy Dick, and I wanted to slap him just for that.

    I don't expect it to last but I'll stick with it for now, out of loyalty to the DC brand.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Tragically un-funny. I give it half a season at most.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It was better than I'd feared, enough that I'm curious to see more, but I'm not in love with it. Vanessa Hudgens reminds me very much of Jenna Coleman in looks and voice, though unfortunately not in acting ability. Tudyk is funny, of course, but the other characters don't do much for me yet. I'm getting more amusement from the DC/superhero in-jokes, like the bit about the #1 cause of workplace accidents being Superman smashing into buildings (nice Man of Steel dig) and the line about superheroes fighting each other for nebulous reasons (like some kind of, oh, civil war?).

    I think I'm starting to see the potential of the premise, and how it's fulfilling the idea of being about how normal people react to living in a superhero world. And I suppose it is better that the lead character is trying to help people and save lives in her own way, rather than trying to find excuses to avoid paying insurance claims. It makes it more optimistic, even if the other characters are mostly jerks.

    And it's interesting, as a viewer, being in on certain secrets that none of the characters know. I wonder how many other times Batman will "coincidentally" invent a Wayne Security product before somebody at the company starts getting suspicious.
     
  13. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The trailer was more interesting than the episode. I don't see it lasting long more so because of the "Let's make something new each week!" storyline.

    I was surprised to see Vanessa Hudgens as the lead, because I haven't seen her since the High School Musical movies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
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  14. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think I laughed about three times.

    The Kryptonite glass made me go, "Whiskey tango foxtrot?" Because suddenly I was trying to figure out how much Kryptonite is around that they could make it into panes of glass. And if there's that much Kryptonite around, how can Superman function...

    The first few minutes -- the train attack and the flashback (and Starro!) -- was probably the best part of the episode. Emily's team I took an instant dislike to, and nothing changed my opinion of them.

    I felt like it needed to ape Arrested Development's style, right down to a Ron Howard-esque narrator.
     
  15. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    So Marc McClure, Adam West... any other cameos I missed? Not counting the curly-haired extra who was seemingly in half of Chuck's episodes.

    Will they cast Nathan Fillion for Bruce Wayne?
     
  16. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right at the beginning there was a guy reading a newpaper and the headline said something like President Luthor vows to make America great again.

    I got a nice laugh at Starro. I forgot all about that goofy character. Also isn't Jack O'Lantern a good guy and not a villain?

    There were a few laughs but it wasn't that funny. Hopefully it'll improve.
     
  17. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original Jack started as a good guy; but after the Global Guardians were disbanded due to lack of funding, he became a henchman of the villain Queen Bee.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's what I wondered about Smallville for the better part of a decade. With all those "meteor rocks" around all over town, there should've been trace kryptonite contamination of the soil and water table and K dust blowing constantly through the air, and for Clark it would've been the equivalent of a human living near Chernobyl. He should've had super-leukemia by the time he was 30. (I often wondered if it was the reason he couldn't fly.)


    So is Jemm, Son of Saturn, but Supergirl made him a villain. And Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost is a villain that The Flash made heroic, although they're exploring her dark side now.

    It used to be that live-action superhero adaptations on TV made up all their characters except the leads. Batman '66's use of comics villains was almost unprecedented at the time, and even it had twice as many original villains as comics villains (though the comics villains usually showed up more often). The '90 Flash wasn't allowed to use comics villains until the back half of its season. Even Smallville generally only introduced one or two comics-based Big Bads per season and went with original villains-of-the-week. But these days, it's become the norm to base as many characters as possible on antecedents from the comics, even when they're unrecognizably transformed -- like Agents of SHIELD turning Lance Hunter, the debonair, John Steed-pastiche head of the British equivalent of SHIELD, into a stubbly, disreputable mercenary with a working-class English accent. They're still making up essentially new characters to fit their needs, but they keep giving them character names from the comics, even when there's little to no connection. I'm not sure whether that's because of some legalistic consideration (like the companies not wanting to pay royalties to the creators of new characters or something) or just to satisfy the fans' desire for continuity hits while balancing it with the need to create new characters that fit the story. It's probably a mix of both.
     
  19. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The episode itself did not seem quite as funny as the promos and clips. It definitely comes across as a run of a mill NBC "office" sitcom except with superheroes in the background. The plot was predictable. We all knew that Emily was going to pull off an amazing product that would save the company. Vannesa Hudgens is really cute so she nice to watch on the show. Alan Tudyk is funny as always. the rest of the cast is terrible I am afraid. My recommendation for the show is to do more superhero jokes, specifically parodies of superhero tropes. If the show does more to mock superhero tropes, then it will separate itself from the pack and be more distinct. Otherwise, it is just another office sitcom that isn't particularly memorable. Also, get some new writers that can light some sparks in the other cast members. Give us some funny scenes where the team is building ridiculous gadgets and the gadgets explode or do crazy stuff.

    I hate to say it after only 1 episode, but I see cancellation in this show's near future if they don't shake things up fast.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    It was Luthor vows to Make Metropolis Super Again, I think.

    That was really weak stuff, unfortunately. If it didn't have the DC license it would be even more so. Sitcoms have come a long way, this felt like something on The Disney Channel. Still, Vanessa Hudgens is sweet and cute and Alan Tudyk does his best. It's harmless fluff but not much more.