Not every new television series needs to be the next five-time Emmy winner. NBC’s new comedy series Powerless doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and the content is as lighthearted as you’ll find anywhere today. And unless you’re a Scrooge, prepare for a fun half hour every week of positive, clean, silly humor. The kind we all could use more of.
Lead actress Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch, High School Musical) plays Emily, and in the week’s season opener she was energetic and expressive. You believe she’s trying to bring together a group of R&D workers in her new job for Wayne Security, because Hudgens looks like she believes in what she’s doing. Alan Tudyk, star of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Firefly–plays the office boss for all it’s worth. Fan favorite Community’s beloved Danny Pudi is one of Emily’s new employees and he and the rest of the cast (Christina Kirk, Ron Funches, and Jenny Pierson) are like a sketch comedy troupe ready to dish out the next laugh. It’s not a riot, but it’s all good-natured fun–a show with a little bit of heart, and something appropriate and accessible to all ages.
The DC Comics tie-ins are sprinkled across the half hour of humor, and the clever bits produced some out-loud laughs, especially the last line of the first episode. And the opening credits clue viewers in upfront that this is not a show featuring the superheroes, but those civilians in the background of key superhero scenes across time.
Expect the serious, raised eyebrow types of superhero fans to probably look past this series, but for the rest of us, this one looks like it could be a keeper. Fanboys and fangirls can’t get enough Tudyk and Pudi, and they each have an opportunity to continue to please their fans who would give anything to see them in another episode of Firefly or Community. Powerless isn’t one of those classic shows, but it is a welcome addition to the Thursday night primetime line-up.
Keep an eye out for Marc McClure, the 1970s generation Jimmy Olsen, as Emilys’ father.
Look for Powerless on Thursdays at 7 p.m. Central on NBC.