Powerless: Wayne or Lose
February 2, 2017 6:18 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In the series premiere, a woman begins her new job with a company specializing in products that make everyday citizens feel safer around damage caused by super heroes and villains that live amongst them.
posted by oh yeah! (25 comments total)
Not sure I'm interested in a show about a plucky young R&D manager who got a job running a product development team with no experience.

On the other hand, her employees appear to work for every company in the world.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:25 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I thought it was a semi-amusing half-hour, but nothing spectacular. (And terrible special effects, yikes.) Considering that they re-tooled the premise and re-shot the pilot, I'm curious to see if it will improve in future, but I can't see this lasting very long on NBC.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:38 PM on February 2, 2017

I like the idea behind it. A company that makes superhero-proof products? Jaded residents of Charm City? Alan Tudyk? I think I'm in.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:51 AM on February 3, 2017

I'm far from sold.

The only character that seemed to have any real "character" was the executive assistant. The rest of them felt more like caricatures. And like Huffy Puffy, I'm not so enamored of perky happy no-nothings taking control. They always rub me the wrong way. Yes, I now it's just the pilot and lots can change from the first episode but I don't know if I want to invest the time to wait for any potential to realize itself.

I get that they're going for that Better off Ted vibe, but I think in order to make that work you need characters with a bit of bite. Nobody here has a sharp enough edge.

Was the this show that was originally going to be about insurance adjusters dealing with super hero disasters or is that another one still in production? Because if it was, that idea sounds much more appealing to me than this produce development world. I think more interaction between civilian clients (a Kryptonian just fell through my roof, what do I do next?) could offer much more variety (and laughs) than the standard "we need to make another product before next quarter."

Now putting on my comic-nerd hat, family-wise, wouldn't it make more sense for Van to be a Kane (mother's side of the family) instead of a Wayne? (Yes, I know the Wayne-name recognition is important for the audience.) Also I can't imagine Bruce letting such a sloppy, poorly run division exist under his company's brand. But I must admit I got a kick out of seeing Starro in the background.

I don't know if I'll be back for the second episode. I may have to read the FanFare thread before deciding.
posted by sardonyx at 7:21 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this for the fluff value, and my spawn is at an age where half hour shows are a lot easier to fit into my life.

I enjoyed the little reference jokes, though the first I only got because of other articles.

The lead's dad is played by an actor who was Jimmy Olsen in the 70s Superman movie. (thanks Glen Wheldon for pointing that out) He also points out that the star outside the window is a Starro reference.

I thought the end bit with Batman using their tech was pretty clever. If you're a super-naive viewer (but why would you be watching this then?) you could enjoy the humor of them completely not getting it, but it works as an okay meta-joke about how ridiculous it is that people don't make the connections about these secret identities.

Anyone else think Christina Kirk, the executive assistant, looks like Frances Conroy's younger self?

I didn't notice it when it happened but IMDB claims there was a character in this episode named Marv Wolfman which is pretty damned funny if you're a comics nerd.
posted by phearlez at 9:58 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sardonyx, yes, Powerless was originally created to be a DC version of Marvel's 'Damage Control'.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Marv's name was given to the newscaster.

Damage Control. That's right. So whatever happened to that production? Stuck in developmental hell somewhere? Honestly that still sounds like a more interesting approach to this type of show.
posted by sardonyx at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2017

I enjoyed it. The super-world from the perspective of the civilians? Sounds rife with jokes to me. Love that they use actual super hero names. Puts a nice "real" spin on it. Sadly, I'm not a comics nerd, so I probably won't get 3/4 of the insider jokes and easter eggs.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:32 PM on February 3, 2017

I thought it was pretty weird that they used the name Crimson Fox but the hero they used it for doesn't actually seem to be DC's Crimson Fox character (different costume, looks like different powers). I also thought that the lead's performance was so bad and wooden that she must have been totally new to acting; reading about the show a little after the fact revealed otherwise, obviously, but almost all of her lines really sounded like her reading cold off a script. Other performances were mostly good, especially Tudyk. Writing was pretty uneven (somebody in the writer's room is a big fan of Whedon but isn't quite pulling it off), and I felt that Wendy got the worst of it here. Hopefully they can do a little bit more with her.

That said, it's a pilot, and it's very often the case in my experience that the pilot is among the worst episodes of a sitcom, so it deserves some more chances at least I think. Also the opening credits sequence is wonderful.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:56 PM on February 3, 2017

If you ever want anything explained, just ask. The nerds here will be happy to help. Starro, for example, deserved a mention from me because the entity has been around as long as the Justice League has been in existence--mainly because it was the first threat faced by the team.

I'm not sure what they're doing with Crimson Fox either. I guess it's supposed to be the one we're familiar with, but who actually knows? Mind you my familiarity with her isn't very high. While I read JLI faithfully, I pretty much skipped JLE. Actually when I first saw the ads and the casting notices I thought the actress playing the lead was going to double as both CF and her civilian alter ego who just happens to work at Wayne Tech. It does however look like they're dipping into the Guardians talent pool what with Jack O'Lantern and with word they've cast for the role of Beatriz (Green Flame/Fire).
posted by sardonyx at 3:10 PM on February 3, 2017

Sadly, I'm not a comics nerd, so I probably won't get 3/4 of the insider jokes and easter eggs.

I think one of the reasons I keep posting all the DC CW show threads is so that I'll find out what's going over my head - aside from the thread comments, Den of Geek and the other recap sites usually have useful tidbits.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:40 PM on February 3, 2017

I thought it was a cute attempt at something larger than the show may allow itself to be, but pilots are always rough around the edges. I'll keep watching and hope for improvement.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:31 AM on February 4, 2017

I can recommend Vanessa Hudgens' acting in Spring Breakers... she was also in Sucker Punch and has a lovely singing voice but I'm pretty sure they forced her to act like she was deflating helium from her nethers. It almost felt like a stylistic choice for a pilot show desperately aching for a laugh track (it felt emotionally similar to me).

I've always called this "acting like you're acting, AKA actoring" and it's usually endemic to, I dunno, live theater and musicals (Oh right... VHud was also Rizzo in the live version of Grease last year, but I didn't watch it because I nearly universally hate musicals).

Not sure if I'm here for this near-Disney tone of a superhero show, tbh. I'll give it one more ep but I insta-hate it in the same way I insta-hated Supergirl (still watching for J'onn Jonzz). But like, I'm deeply in love with Ronald Funches and his laugh, so, at least one more. Sure.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:32 PM on February 5, 2017

It felt like a superhero Better off Ted, and I'm okay with that.

(also, admittedly I've been hankering for something like this for years at this point, so I was super easily won over)
posted by dinty_moore at 8:46 AM on February 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

The opening credit sequence is absolutely brilliant. The show is excruciatingly awful in pretty much every other aspect. I failed to make it through the second episode.
posted by jimw at 12:44 AM on February 10, 2017

I thought about making a post for episode 2, but, I don't have anything much to say besides liking the opening credit sequence, and continuing to enjoy Alan Tudyk. I'll probably keep watching the rest of the season, but it doesn't seem like something I'll want to watch on broadcast night to get a post up promptly, just something I'll get around to when the mood strikes me.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:38 AM on February 10, 2017

What if they rebooted the Office, added superheroes nobody had ever heard of, and made everyone Michael Scott?

posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:34 PM on February 10, 2017

I thought the second episode was definite step-up from the first. Will keep watching for now.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:17 AM on February 11, 2017

they should have just brought back "Better Off Ted" and skipped the superheroes. It's basically the same show, but not the same quality.
posted by alchemist at 12:23 AM on February 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ok, this show is growing on me - episode 4 "Emily Dates a Henchman" was pretty cute. Still not sure it merits weekly discussion, but maybe a full-season thread instead?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:46 PM on February 24, 2017

I just finished all of the first 5 on hulu. It grows on you, as something silly to just pass the time. I can see the characters getting fleshed out like Brooklyn 99 and eventually you're just watching because you like the characters.
posted by numaner at 3:01 PM on March 28, 2017

I'd be up for a season thread
posted by dinty_moore at 3:27 PM on March 28, 2017

I'd be up for a season thread

Ok - we can ask a mod to revise this thread category from being S1 Ep1, or someone can post a new thread, either one is fine by me.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:15 PM on March 28, 2017

Also, henchmen Dan reminded me that OMG iZOMBIE is coming back in a week and I'm so excited!
posted by numaner at 2:20 PM on March 31, 2017

Full season post is now up here.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:30 PM on March 31, 2017

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