— Chris Hasson (@watchallirish) February 3, 2017
Powerless, debuted last night, the first “Sit com” from the DC TV universe. It follows a bunch of product development types at Wayne Security, a Wayne Enterprises spinoff that is headquartered in the less exciting Charm City.
Vanessa Hudgens stars as a the new supervisor who must light a fire over a department that consists of Christina Kirk, Danny Pudi and Ron Funches. Alan Tudyk plays
Denholm Reynholm Van Wayne, a cousin of Bruce and a narcissistic blowhard only interested int getting a job in Gotham.
So basically a mash-up of Damage Control, The IT Crowd, The Office and the non-costumed portions of any Greg Berlanti production.
The show has undergone MANY changes in development; in the original idea and the pilot shown at Comic-Con last year, the show was set at Retcon Insurance, a company tasked with paying for superhero damages (a situation covered in Dwayne McDuffie’s Marvel Comics series Damage Control.) But it turns out that insurance is awfully dull, so the new setting ties it right in to the superhero world.
When Ben Queen initially created the DC Comics comedy, it centered on an insurance company in Charm City that helped normal people suffering fallout from superheroes fighting villains. But less than a month after Powerless’ first public screening, Queen exited the series. Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern became the new showrunners, and while Powerless remained a workplace comedy set in the superhero universe, everything else changed.
“Justin and I were brought on as five-day-a-week consulting producers on the original show, so we were there for pre-production when Ben Queen was running the show,” Schumacker tells THR. “This is when it was a world of insurance. We just hit a wall because nobody on the staff understood the world of insurance and at best, you’re telling stories where, if this team wins the day, it’s means like f-king somebody out of money. We were really hitting a wall and eventually when the turnover happened, we were asked to take over the show and we decided we wanted to do something that would more organically bring in the genre elements of it.”
I will say there were a lot of cute in-jokes, and the cast was exactly what you’d expect – Hudgens was spunky and adorable, Tudyk, Pudi, Kirk and Funches were very funny, despite a script that…when you get right down to it, was really sad and bleak. So many jokes about people dying in super villain attacks. The trailer and openings scene shows debris falling on crashing up shit and…listen, you don’t like your city being destroyed on a daily basis. That situation would lead to a dark, grim and gritty worldview indeed. But this is a peppy sitcom so…I don’t think you’ll need much space on your DVR to record the whole series, despite the strength of the cast.
ALL THAT ASIDE, the opening credits are amazing and wonderful. Just watch them embedded in the above tweet.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.