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Powerless is an American action comedy series developed by Ben Queen, that aired on NBC from February 2, to April 20, 2017.[1] The series is a sitcom set within the world of the DC Universe. The pilot, which was green lit in August 2015, was ordered to series on May 11, 2016. On April 25, 2017, NBC pulled the final three episodes of the series from its schedule, with no indication whether they would be rescheduled at a later date. The series was officially cancelled on May 11, 2017.[2] The unaired episodes were made available on TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand starting May 12, 2017.[3]

Premise

Powerless takes place in the DC Universe and follows the adventures of Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) as Director of Research & Development at Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises based in Charm City, that specializes in products for ordinary humans who are poised to be victims of the battles between superheroes and supervillains.

The storylines in the television series are not directly based on storylines in the DC comic franchise, including the Batman franchise. Rather the premise imagines stories that run parallel to the plots in the comic franchise.[4]

Cast

  • Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke: Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders in a world of superheroes and supervillains feel a little safer. She loves her job because she gets to help people.[5]
  • Danny Pudi as Teddy: Working underneath Emily, he spends his days creating time-wasting pranks as a way to make their office, that he calls "the least super place on earth", just a little less "un-super".[6]
  • Christina Kirk as Jackie: Van's personal assistant.[6]
  • Ron Funches as Ron: He works with Teddy. In the episode "Sinking Day", it's revealed he's from Atlantis, although others believed he was from Atlanta. He won't tell anyone he serves under their King Arthur Curry aka Aquaman.[7]
  • Alan Tudyk as Van Wayne: Boss of Wayne Security who is the son of Vanderveer Wayne Sr. and the cousin of Bruce Wayne.[6][8] He aspires to work in the Gotham office with Bruce. The character was created by Batman's co-creator Bill Finger with artist Sheldon Moldoff, and made his first appearance in Batman vol. 1, #148 (June, 1962).

Atlin Mitchell has been cast in a recurring role as Crimson Fox.[9] Adam West, who portrayed Bruce Wayne / Batman in 1960s television series Batman and its theatrical feature film, narrated the pilot episode, introducing Wayne Security.[10] Marc McClure, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the 1978 film Superman and its sequels and 1984 spin-off film Supergirl, portrayed Emily Locke's father in the pilot.[11]

Production

In January 2016, it was reported that NBC gave the pilot order for Powerless.[12][13] In February 2016, the main cast was announced: Vanessa Hudgens as the main character, Emily Locke,[5] Danny Pudi as Teddy, Alan Tudyk as Van and Christina Kirk as Jackie.[14] In July 2016, Ron Funches joined the cast as Ron.[7] In August 2016, it was reported that Ben Queen had departed as showrunner.[15] On April 25, 2017, NBC pulled the final three episodes of the series from its schedule, with no indication of if they would be rescheduled at a later date.[16]

Segue shots of Charm City feature a western view of the Cleveland skyline with fictional buildings, including the skyscraper headquarters of Wayne Security, occupying the foreground.[17]

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production code U.S. viewers (millions) Network
1 Wayne or Lose Marc Buckland Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker February 2, 2017 T12.15402 3.10[18] NBC
2 Wayne Dream Team Marc Buckland Dean Lorey February 9, 2017 T12.15403 2.53[19] NBC
3 Sinking Day Jay Chandrasekhar Paul Mather February 16, 2017 T12.15406 2.49[20] NBC
4 Emily Dates a Henchman Matt Sohn Neel Shah February 23, 2017 T12.15407 2.27[21] NBC
5 Cold Season Clark Mathis Amy Mass March 9, 2017 T12.15405 2.38[22] NBC
6 I'ma Friend You Alex Reid Sabrina Jalees March 30, 2017 T12.15408 1.81[23] NBC
7 Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice Jaffar Mahmood Greg Lisbe & Jared Miller April 6, 2017 T12.15410 2.02[24] NBC
8 Green Furious Michael McDonald Dean Lorey April 13, 2017 T12.15411 2.04[25] NBC
9 Emergency Punch-Up Linda Mendoza Lillian Yu April 20, 2017 T12.15409 2.03[26] NBC
10 No Consequence Day Joe Nussbaum Maggie Bandur May 12, 2017 (TVNZ)[27] T12.15412 NBC
11 Win, Luthor, Draw Rebecca Asher Paul Mather May 19, 2017 (TVNZ)[28] T12.15413 NBC
12 Van of the Year Michael Weaver Maggie Bandur May 26, 2017 (TVNZ)[29] T12.15404 NBC

Reception

Critical response

After the original pilot was shown at Comic Con 2016, reviews were generally positive. Eric Goldman of IGN gave it a 7.5/10 saying "it's very endearing and amusing and has me looking forward to seeing where it can go".[30] Sydney Bucksbaum of Nerdist praised the pilot episode, saying it's "the superhero comedy we deserve" and "Fans of comic books, office comedy, rom-coms or just having a good laugh, Powerless is for you."[31] After the Pilot episode aired at SDCC 2016, series creator Ben Queen departed the series, after which it was given a new premise and almost the entire episode was reshot.[15]

The reviews for the second pilot episode of Powerless were much less positive. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 64% critic approval rating with an average rating of 5.36/10 based on 33 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Powerless has a strong premise leaving room for improvement -- and strong performances from a talented cast -- but the show's initial spark is dimmed by uneven execution and a lack of laughs."[32] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 57 out of 100 based on 26 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[33]

Jesse Scheiden of IGN gave the pilot episode a 4.2/10 saying "there's a lot of potential in that idea, but very little of it is realized here" calling the script "lousy" and calling the show "generic".[34] Yahoo's Dominic Patten called Powerless "a charming comedy with legs and a smart premise".[35] The opening credits, which were part of the original pilot and which use classic artists like Carmine Infantino, were praised by Yahoo's Ken Tucker, saying "the credits aren't funny, they're just beautiful",[36] while Sonia Saraiya praised the cast, particularly Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke calling her performance charming, and Tudyk's performance as "the standout". Additionally she said she is optimistic about the show, saying that "there’s a light, nimble humor to the show’s treatment of superpowers and heroic antics — a much needed respite".[37]

After the first two episodes were panned by critics, the third and fourth episodes received favorable reviews. Jesse Scheden of IGN gave "Sinking Day" a 7.2/10, saying that "the show improves enough in its third episode to leave hope that the show will eventually realize its full potential".[38] About the fourth episode "Emily dates a Henchman", Jesse Scheden gave it an 8/10 saying that "the show still isn't particularly deep, and it still struggles to take advantage of every member of the main cast, it is developing into an entertainingly goofy take on the DC Universe".[39]

Gallery

Trivia

References

  1. Andreeva, Nellie (December 8, 2016). "NBC Midseason Schedule: ‘Trial & Error’ & ‘Great News’ Succeed ‘This Is Us’, ‘Shades Of Blue’ Moves, DC’s ‘Powerless’ Slotted".. Retrieved on December 8, 2016.
  2. Ausiello, Michael (May 11, 2017). "Powerless Cancelled at NBC".. Retrieved on May 11, 2017.
  3. "Powerless TVNZ OnDemand". (May 12, 2017). Retrieved on May 14, 2017.
  4. Begley, Chris (December 10, 2016). "NBC’s DC Comics comedy ‘Powerless’ now takes place at a Wayne Enterprises company".. Batman News. Retrieved on April 26, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Elizabeth Wagmeister (2016-02-22). "Vanessa Hudgens to Star as Emily Locke in DC Comics Comedy ‘Powerless’ at NBC".. Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jamie Lovett (2016-02-23). "DC Comics Sitcom Powerless Adds Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, And Christina Kirk".. Comicbook.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Schneider, Michael (18 July 2016). "‘Powerless’: Ron Funches Joins the DC Comics Comedy - IndieWire".. Retrieved on 19 January 2017.
  8. Script error
  9. Sean K. Cureton (2016-03-07). "Powerless TV Series Set Photos Reveal Crimson Fox".. Screenrant.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  10. "New Powerless Featurette With Batman '66s Adam West". ComicBook.com. ComicBook.com (January 30, 2017). Retrieved on 26 February 2017.
  11. "'Powerless': A workplace comedy for the superhero era". Southern California Public Radio. Southern California Public Radio (February 1, 2017). Retrieved on 4 February 2017.
  12. "DC Comics’ ‘Powerless’ & ‘Trial & Error’ Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC".. Deadline.com (2016-05-11). Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  13. Spencer Perry (2016-01-07). "NBC Has Ordered a Pilot for DC's Powerless".. Superherohype.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  14. Jamie Lovett (2016-02-23). "DC Comics Sitcom Powerless Adds Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, And Christina Kirk".. Comicbook.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Andreeva, Nellie (August 16, 2016). "‘Powerless’ Creator Ben Queen Departs NBC’s Midseason DC Comedy Series".. Deadline.com. Retrieved on September 5, 2016.
  16. Goldberg, Lesley (April 25, 2017). "'Powerless' Pulled From NBC Schedule as DC Comedy Effectively Canceled".. Retrieved on April 25, 2017.
  17. "Downtown Cleveland stands in for Charm City on DC Comics' Powerl - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH".. Cleveland19.com (2017-02-27). Retrieved on 2017-04-26.
  18. Porter, Rick (February 3, 2017). "'Scandal' adjusts down a little: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on February 3, 2017.
  19. Porter, Rick (February 10, 2017). "'Riverdale' adjusts up; 'Great Indoors,' 'Powerless,' 'Mom,' 'Chicago Med' down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on February 10, 2017.
  20. Porter, Rick (February 17, 2017). "‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Big Bang Theory’ adjust up, ‘Scandal’ adjusts down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on February 17, 2017.
  21. Porter, Rick (February 27, 2017). "‘How to Get Away with Murder’ finale, ‘Training Day’ adjust down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on February 27, 2017.
  22. Porter, Rick (March 10, 2017). "‘Mom’ and NBC shows adjust down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on March 10, 2017.
  23. Porter, Rick (March 31, 2017). "'Big Bang Theory' adjusts up; 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal,' 'Mom,' 'Powerless' down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on March 31, 2017.
  24. Porter, Rick (April 7, 2017). "‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Blacklist: Redemption’ adjust up, ‘Scandal’ adjusts down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on April 7, 2017.
  25. Welch, Alex (April 14, 2017). "‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Chicago Med’ adjust up, ‘Scandal’ adjusts down: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on April 14, 2017.
  26. Porter, Rick (April 21, 2017). "‘Scandal,’ ‘Superstore’ and all others hold: Thursday final ratings".. Retrieved on April 21, 2017.
  27. ""No Consequence Day"". (May 12, 2017). Retrieved on May 14, 2017.
  28. ""Win, Luthor, Draw"". (May 19, 2017). Retrieved on May 19, 2017.
  29. ""Van of the Year"". (May 19, 2017). Retrieved on May 19, 2017.
  30. "COMIC-CON 2016: POWERLESS - "PILOT" REVIEW". (July 21, 2016). Retrieved on February 3, 2017.
  31. "POWERLESS IS THE SUPERHERO COMEDY WE DESERVE (SDCC REVIEW)". (July 21, 2016). Retrieved on February 3, 2017.
  32. "Powerless (2017)".. Retrieved on February 8, 2017.
  33. "Powerless (2017)".. Retrieved on February 3, 2017.
  34. "POWERLESS: "WAYNE OR LOSE" REVIEW". (February 2, 2017). Retrieved on February 3, 2017.
  35. "‘Powerless’ & ‘Training Day’ Review: Comedy Has Punch, But Adaptation Stinks". (February 1, 2017). Retrieved on February 11, 2017.
  36. "‘Powerless’ To Make You Laugh". (February 2, 2017). Retrieved on February 11, 2017.
  37. "TV Review: NBC’s ‘Powerless,’ Starring Vanessa Hudgens". (January 30, 2017). Retrieved on February 11, 2017.
  38. "POWERLESS: "SINKING DAY" REVIEW". (February 17, 2017). Retrieved on February 18, 2017.
  39. "POWERLESS: "EMILY DATES A HENCHMAN" REVIEW". (February 24, 2017). Retrieved on March 11, 2017.


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