Tag Archives: powerless

TV Review: Powerless S1E4 Emily Dates a Henchman

powerlessbigWhen Emily sets her sights on the dating world she unknowingly falls for one of the Riddler’s henchmen; Teddy and Ron find a Batman artifact and discover Van’s superhero fantasy.

Powerless continues it’s slow climb in improvement as it adds a little personal dating experiences to the workplace comedy. While it’s still focused on the office, the various stories in this episode gets characters out of work for what feels like more than usual.

This series is absolutely the most improved of the comic batch. After a rough debut, each episode has improved on the last delivering cute chuckles though not quite the comedic slamdunk that we’ve seen in previous NBC Thursday night comedies.

This episode focuses on two stories, the first being Emily meeting a guy at a bar… and he turns out to be a henchman. The second involves Teddy and Ron finding a batarang and attempting to lure Batman in to meet him.

Each have their good and bad and the series as a whole is doing a much better job of working in the comic aspects of the world its set in, more so than just a name check here and there. The henchman? He works for the Riddler in a getup that has a bit of a throwback to Batman ’66 in its simple style. Robert Buckley guests as the henchmen and for those who watch The CW’s iZombie, you’ll recognize him as Major. Buckley brings a similar swagger to this role as he does that one. He has solid comedic timing in a dry sort of way and it’s fun to see yet another “comic” actor cross over into another property. It’s the details of this plot that really stand out like a ring’s imprint left on Buckley’s face that he chalks up to a rock.

The batarang plot is a bit mixed. The concept is good, but the execution doesn’t quite work. Van comes into it and his inclusion complicates what could easily have been a funny plot of the two trying to meet Batman and using the weapon to do so. Alan Tudyk‘s Van distracts a bit making what is two kids excited to meet their hero into something that’s a bit odder.

The show seems strongest when it keeps things simple with subtle hints and jokes. It’s not the outright name drop that makes the series work, it’s when a ring’s imprint is the ring of a superhero. The series seems to be recognizing that and going in that direction. Four episodes in, it’s getting its footing and showing some impressive improvement. I almost gave up after an episode, but happy I’ve stuck around and excited to see where the series is by the end of its first season. While it’s not quite breaking new ground, it’s getting its formula down and so far that’s working for it.

Overall Rating: 6.95

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TV Review: Powerless S1E3 Sinking Day

powerlessbigAfter the ream loses a client due to Van’s incompetence, Emily tries to clinch a deal with Atlantis; Van’s father gives him a chance to redeem himself; Teddy and Ron are convinced that new employee Alex is a superhero.

The third episode of Powerless continues to show improvement as the series finds its footing and this third episode brings the funny with a twisted humor mostly at display in the beginning.

I panned the first episode of Powerless. I hated it, really really hated it. That was to a point I almost didn’t watch the second episode. But, like the second episode this third one continues to improve and it’s clear the writers are getting a better sense of their characters and vision for the show.

The core entertainment of the show isn’t Vanessa Hudgens’ Emily Locke, it’s the trio of Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches as Teddy, Jackie, and Ron. The trio are nailing it when it comes to the comedy of the show and the writers are giving them solid material to work with. This episode displays a bite with running jokes about race and nationality and does so in a way that’s actually funny. Hudgens does show improvement too as her enthusiasm is dialed back making her character fit in a bit more with the rest of the ensemble.

The episode itself is goofy workplace comedy that mixes the company’s need to get a big client after losing Ace Chemicals (yes the company that created the Joker, with clown joke included), with the new employee who might be a superhero, and jokes about Atlantis. It all comes together and works in a non-groundbreaking but still entertaining way. The show is generally safe, though shows it might not always play it as such in the future.

The third episode improves on the second which was a massive improvement on the first. I’m hoping we see more of this as the show mixes a workplace comedy with nerd cred. While it looks like the writers are getting that down they’re also allowing its actors to begin to shine and doing that by delivering entertainment material to work with.

Overall Rating: 6.95

TV Review: Powerless S1E2 Wayne Dream Team

powerlessbigThe second episode of Powerless sees a superhero power up in a good way. When Emily tries to get the members of her team excited about a new product idea, she can’t get them to break their obsession with a Fantasy Super Hero League; Van makes plans to be included in the Wayne dream-team photo.

I panned the first episode of Powerless. I hated it, really really hated it. That was to a point I almost didn’t watch the second episode. But, I’m glad I did as the second episode is a vast improvement, quickly being the most improved show I’ve watched of the season.

The superhero battles are minimized instead focusing on workplace situations we can relate to and actual jokes! The first few minutes of the show display the weird humor I was expecting and the first episode lacked.

Danny Puddi’s Teddy and Ron Funches’ Ron are allowed to connect with wonder twin superpowers and a sly twisted humor. A dialed down Vanessa Hudgens as Emily plays the straight man to their comedy chops.

After seeing the first episode, to me it feels like it was worked over and over creating a muddled mess. This second episode is much more straightforward in its humor, writing, and situation.

This is a workplace comedy now that just so happens to have superheroes, as opposed to a comedy that’s trying to show its superhero chops. There’s a difference and a big one.

With such an improvement I’m hoping we see more over the coming episodes. We see glimpses of a potentially really funny show with some awesome nerd cred. The key is whether those behind the scenes recognize that as well.

Overall Rating: 6.85

Around the Tubes

Monstress01_CoverThe Super Bowl dominated the weekend and featured new spots for a whole bunch of this year’s comic movie adaptations. Which one did you look forward to the most? Sound off in the comments below!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBR – Powerless Superhero Sitcom Debuts to Not So Super Ratings – Ooph.

ICv2 – IDW Profits Up – Very interesting.

The Beat – A year of free comics: Two by Rosemary Valelro-O’Connell – Free comics to read!

The Beat – A year of free comics: Sports Manga Essentials, a sampler of sporting action – It’s free, go read it!

The Beat – A year of free comics: get back to nature with Mark Trail – Also free! You’ve got no excuse.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Blood Blister #1

Comic Attack – Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening

Talking Comics – Star Wars: Darth Maul #1

The Powerless Credits Are Pretty Wonderful

While some of our team weren’t impressed by the NBC set DC Comics sitcom Powerless, the intro credits for the show are actually pretty impressive. Check out what you missed if you didn’t watch the show.

If/Then: Enjoy Powerless? Check Out The Paybacks!

powerlessbigWhen it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out!

Debuting this past Thursday on NBC was the latest television show based in the world of comics, Powerless.

Unlike so many other live action television shows on the air right now, this one takes a comedic take on the world it’s set in. Instead of battles with bad guys, the show focuses on average people trying to work and survive and a particular company who creates safety products.

Comedy and superheroes isn’t a combination you see too often in comics. But, I immediately thought of one series that not only combines the two, but does so in a brilliant way.


Heroism doesn’t come cheap, so when superheroes borrow money to finance their genetic enhancements, robotic suits, or crime-fighting supercomputers, their debts make student loans look like I.O.U.’s. Enter the Paybacks, a repo squad composed of bankrupt former heroes like Night Knight and Miss Adventure, here to foreclose on everybody’s secret lairs. But now the Paybacks have discovered a fate far worse than debt: a murderer is on the loose . . . and it just may be one of their own.

The Paypackspaybacks-1 is by Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, and Geoff Shaw and been released in two volumes. The first by Dark Horse, and the second by Heavy Metal, the first volume has been collected in a trade paperback that’s out now for purchase now.

There’s so much I love about both volumes and it’s one of the few comedic superhero comics that I found myself not only laughing while reading, but laughing multiple times each issue. Cates, Rahal, and Shaw brilliantly have created a comic where each character is a joke. Each scene is a joke. Each thing said is a joke. It all comes together in a way that’s entertaining as a superhero comic all on its own or sending up 75+ years of comics and superheroes.

Nothing is sacred here and things are taken to an extreme that you can’t help but laugh at the situations and the characters. Take Blood Pouch, who has lots of pouches, everywhere, even over an eye. Guess who’s the target there? But, what these three creators do that’s great is not just go after easy targets, but the more difficult ones too. Batman, Superman, so many characters are set up for laughs. It’s impressive.

Action, humor, fun, the comic and series has it all. The writing is top notch, the art nails every small detail (and adds so many to each panel, that alone will get you to laugh), The Paybacks is the perfect mashup of superheroes and comedy in comic form.


What would you suggest that I didn’t include? Sound off in the comments below!

 

 

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TV Review: Powerless S1E1 Wayne or Lose

powerlessbigIn the first episode of Powerless Emily begins her first day, and quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss, Van Wayne, and her co-workers.

The concept of Powerless was something that had me excited when I first heard it announced. The concept of regular folks having to deal with the destruction of superhero battles sounded fun, plus it being a comedy had me intrigued. The cast of Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, and Ron Funches had me really excited. And then I watched its debut episode.

The concept of the series has changed a bit since it was first announced. The new concept involves creating products for people to deal with the superhero world around them, which is fine, but writing that thinks that just dropping a superhero name is a passable script and acting that feels more at home on stage than the screen is a combination for a first episode that longs for the villain highlighted to snuff everyone out.

Lets start with the writing. You know this is a comic related show… because everyone name drops a character every segment there is. Superman, the Joker, whomever, it gets annoying to the point it feels like someone is attempting to remind you of it over and over. Unlike a comedy set in the world of DC Comics, this feels like DC Comics was first and the comedy is second. We even get a wink at the end that maybe they’ll get the meet someone comic fans will know! Seriously, there’s a wink.

The next issue is, it’s a comedy that’s just not funny. I laughed once during the half hour. The humor amounts to a villain warning the city to feel his balls… of fire. It’s top notch humor. Award winning stuff. Really breakthrough.

The acting is a massive issue. Hudgens is the lead and her style feels like it belongs on the stage. Everything is over the top for emoting and made for a view from the distance, not a small screen. Everyone else isn’t quite as over the top, but with her being the center it’s just not good. Everyone doesn’t feel natural but exaggerated. The choice is bizarre.

I don’t even want to get into the special fx…

After watching this first episode, I now know why NBC didn’t respond to my requests for a review copy to check out ahead of time. I thought I saw one of the worst comic tv adaptations in Marvel’s Powers, but Powerless tops it and then some in dreadful writing, special fx, and acting. This might be one of the worst television shows I’ve watched in years.

Overall Rating: 3.5

Powerless Gets Four New Promos

Watch the season premiere of Powerless Thursday, February 2 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

Powerless’ Batman’s Cousin Promo

Watch the season premiere of Powerless Thursday, February 2 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

Powerless Gives us a Wayne Security Commercial

Watch the series premiere of Powerless, Thursday, February 2 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

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