DC's latest show Powerless has officially been picked up by NBC and an official trailer dropped this week. It's a definite step away from the action heavy DCTV shows such as Arrow and The Flash that we have at the moment. Powerless is a half-hour comedy series starring Vanessa Hudgens as Emily, an insurance claims adjuster who loves her job because she gets to help people, Danny Pudi as Teddy, Emily's best friend and office prankster, Alan Tudyk as Del, Emily's new power hungry boss and Christina Kirk as his superhero loving personal assistant, Jackie. Powerless follows these everyday folks working at an insurance agency in a world full of superheroes. Think The Office based in the world of DC Comics.
Unfortunately the trailer seems to have been removed since I saw it so here's a little preview of sorts:
The success of these mockumentary style shows such as The Office and Modern Family has taken the interest of DC and looks to be completely different to any comic book shows that we are currently immersed in- Marvel or DC. This style of show is easily relatable to everyday people like you and me; we can't quite relate to super speedy beings or blind jujitsu masters. In a world of superhero's, what would we be doing? Well, a lot of us would hope to be flying through the skies but that's just wishful thinking. Powerless follows the regular folk that don't often get explored past the cops, journalists and tech-savvy allies.
While we reportedly won't be seeing the top dogs of the DC Universe, the trailer did offer us glimpses of Justice League Europe member Crimson Fox, fighting a currently unknown baddie and of course causing damage that our regular folk will have to 'clean up'. Superheroes will play a minimal role in the stories of the show.
In addition, we got a number of great references to members of the Justice League, it's villains and the DC universe. I mean a lot; like season 1 Gotham level. These range from clocks showing the different time-zones of DC's various cities to Christina Kirk's character, who loves "beefcake super guys", Jackie stating that she'd like to "nail Aquaman so hard." Hawkman appears on a Rolling Stones cover, Teddy (Danny Pudi) has a utility belt (well, seemingly just a regular belt) and the new boss is reading the unauthorized biography of Lex Luthor, not sure that's a great sign! Also included is a pretty hilarious bit where our curious group of friends seem to think that a co-worker is secretly Green Lantern.
My favourite little Easter egg however, is the reference to Wonder Woman,
"Since the damage was caused by Wonder Woman, should we deny it as an act of God?"
Emily: "Technically, she's a demigod, so... Kind of a grey area."
I see what'cha did there!
We also got a nod to the other DCTV shows with the inclusion of the fictional burger joint, Big Belly Burger, that we've seen appear on The Flash and Arrow. This may indicate that it's taking place in the same universe as Greg Berlanti's that also includes Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, but we'll have to wait and see about that.
Will it work?
The mass destruction typically caused by superheros makes this seemingly the perfect premise. I think that there is plenty of humour that can come from an insurance company dealing with superhero-related damages and the gags in this trailer show us that.
Powerless will attract comic book fans curious to see things from more our point of view and will attract comedy fans of shows like The Office and just television fans in general looking for something easy to watch.
With a great cast including the ever-popular High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens, Community fan favourite Danny Pudi and Firefly's Alan Tudyk; DC is reaching out to new audiences and will hopefully succeed in making new fans. I'm curious to see this, hopefully it won't suffer the same fate as NBC's last DC show, Constantine. It'll be nice to have something that'll be a welcome change of pace from the high drama of the rest of superhero based television and a comics related show that can appeal to everybody.
Powerless is expected to air on NBC in the U.S this fall.