Powerless Series Premiere

Powerless: Has NBC Made a Super Addition to Its Thursday Lineup?

If you’re looking for a show that centers on the many caped and/or masked heroes of the DC Comics universe, you’re in luck: The CW has you covered on just about any night of the week.

NBC, on the other hand, is turning its focus to the little people — the ones who are just going about their ordinary lives while superheroes and supervillains wreak havoc around them.

That’s the idea behind Powerless, the Peacock Net’s DC Comics comedy that debuted Thursday night. In the series premiere, we meet Emily Locke (High School Musical‘s Vanessa Hudgens), a glass-half-full gal who grew up in a flyover state — that is, an area of the U.S. that superheroes would fly through, but never stop to fight crime. Sigh. 

But Emily gets much, much closer to the day-savers she’s been idolizing (and the villains who seek to destroy them) when she relocates to Charm City and takes a job at Wayne Security, a small piece of Batman… er, Bruce Wayne’s empire. Her job? Leading a team of developers who create products that make the public safer amid all that crime-fighting.

Not long into her first day, though, Emily’s obstacles become clear: Her team (particularly Teddy, played by Community‘s Danny Pudi) has no interest in working with her — or even standing near her, in some cases. Her boss, Van (Firefly‘s Alan Tudyk), is Bruce Wayne’s smarmy cousin who only wants to worm his way into Gotham City. Oh, and when Bruce suddenly decides that Wayne Security is an obsolete company, he fires the entire staff. Not great news, given that baddie Jack O’Lantern is threatening Charm City’s entire population.

It’s then, of course, that Emily manages to rally the troops (despite learning, just hours earlier, that she’s actually the fifth person to hold her position at Wayne Security in the last few weeks. Girl’s got optimism in spades — and a fabulous blazer). She and her colleagues work through the night to develop a watch that can track the scent of a bad guy and alert users when trouble’s near.

It’s an idea so ingenious that Bruce ultimately decides to keep Wayne Security’s doors open (and, coincidentally, Batman is seen using the same device the very next day). The only person not pleased about the company’s renaissance? Van, who would have been absorbed into the Gotham City offices, but is ultimately asked to stay in Charm City and inspire his employees to keep up the good work. He. Seems. Thrilled.

OK, your turn. What did you think of Powerless‘ debut? Grade the series premiere in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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42 Comments
  1. YTKylie says:

    I’m still not sold but I will stick around for a couple more episodes because I like the cast.

    • Angela says:

      Yeah, the cast has a cute chemistry that I think could really gel nicely as time goes on :). And I think the longer this show goes the easier it’ll be to flesh out the premise, so we’ll see how it goes.

  2. Mitsotakis says:

    Superior donuts was much funnier.

  3. mooshki says:

    I was underwhelmed.

  4. Cindy says:

    I wish you’d had an option for stupid…. Had to choose fail instead. Another comedy to skip.

  5. Chris says:

    Really I shut that off after 5 minutes it was awful I felt bad for Judd hirsch and lately sagas

  6. Chris says:

    It was awesome loved Alan tudyk and ron funches

  7. George says:

    I dunno it’s just to silly. Which I know is the point but I think they overdid it. Hudgens is smoking hot though. Was that building with the T logo supposed to be the titans building?

  8. Joey Padron says:

    First episode was pretty good and had some funny moments. I’ll keep watching a few more episodes if gets more better with each episode. Good to have Alan, Ron, and Danny back on TV.

  9. I thought it was OK. Wasn’t roll on the floor funny. But there were a few moments that were pretty funny, It might have been due to all the promos that sorta made some of the show like a rerun. I’ll have to watch a few more episodes to really get a feel.

  10. tvloverSA says:

    Loved it! something different, comedy wise I am so tired of the same type of comedies on tv….NBC with super store, the good place and now powerless really offer some variety in their comedy. Thank god.

  11. Karen says:

    Doesn’t a comedy have to be funny?

    • Amera says:

      I am super bummed about this. I was hoping for so much more because I love Alan and Danny but this was a hot mess. Honestly next to Alan, Danny and Ron, Vanessa was terrible, it felt like she was trying way too hard to be funny.

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      It’s sort of an NBC comedy. Not laugh out loud funny. More cute and makes you smile once in a while. Like 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation

  12. Tom says:

    I feel it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. My biggest issue is it felt like a lot was shoved into a half hour and things were just kinda rushed/forced. It might have been better if they had an hour and could explore things a little more. I felt little empathy for the R&D team Emily was brought in to lead. That’s the difference between Powerless and Superior Donuts, I was able to empathize with most characters, except the college girl/grad student/whatever she was. I just wasn’t feeling it for Emily’s team. Maybe a little for Christina Kirk’s character, but that’s it. As for Tudyk, I mean, I’m a big fan, between Firefly, Dodgeball, Suburgatory, and Con Man dude has earned my respect. Here just felt like he was basically acknowledging he has to make money somehow. It’s not like things can’t be fixed, I just don’t have hope they will be

  13. Kevin says:

    I give Powerless an A. Awesome and funny show with a stellar cast. Vanessa Hudgens is so hilarious as does Alan Tudyk. This should a breakout comedy hit for NBC and I can’t wait for more episodes to come. BTW, the first 10 minutes were super funny and I totally dig the opening credits.

  14. hipper says:

    i was hoping they’ll go the ‘Better Off Ted’ route with zany… but oh well. I gave it a C.

  15. James D says:

    gonna be honest the overwhelming thought in my mind when watching this was: Why on god’s green earth would Alan Tudyk subject himself to this drivel. I almost always love everything he is in but I don’t think I laughed once. I hate to be so negative I know it was a pilot and maybe it will get way better but I’m not sure I want to wait to find out.

  16. Max says:

    I did not like the fisheye lens they used for all of Vanessa’s closeups.

  17. Redep says:

    I thought I recognized Chad Lowe. Was it he?

  18. Casey says:

    Powerless was an unfunny mess. WHich make sme sad because I LOVE Alan. I was hoping for Better off Ted and got something that was embarrassing to watch – cringed all the way through. I didn’t laugh once. Superior donuts was superior. Yes, it was a “Chico and the Man” reboot but I loved that show as a kid so i don’t see the problem because that was a great comedy. Superior donuts will stay on the DVR Powerless will not

  19. Partisan says:

    Pilots are always a bit iffy so I’ll give this another couple of episodes bu if it doesn’t get way better quick then I’m out.
    The premise didn’t sound like it had legs beyond the first couple of obvious jokes and so far that assessment seems to be right. We’ll see.

  20. Lauren says:

    I try not to judge a sitcom by its pilot. They have to set up the characters and the setting and that tends to make it not the best episode. I will give it another chance. I like a lot of these actors.

  21. Brian says:

    I’ll give it a chance if for no other reason than Alan Tudyk was great and you just cannot get enough Ron Funches who simply makes everything better. The lead character, ‘Emily’, played by Vanessa Hudgens reminded me a lot of ‘No Tomorrow’s ‘Evie’ and I really liked Tori Anderson in that role better than Hudgens here. Loved ‘Batman’ Adam West as the narrator. Not as good as ‘The Good Place’ but I’ll give it a chance.

  22. peterwdawson says:

    Not the strongest pilot but I’m struggling to recall the last time a TV show on one of the classic networks had a pilot had a really good one. Episode was solidly funny, cast work fairly well, I’m really more concerned about the premise being sustainable.

  23. pickles says:

    Superior donuts only took a few minutes to mention the word”racism”. It was somewhat funny but so predictable.

  24. RichieS says:

    So who will play Bruce Wayne when the inevitable “guest star rating booster” episode airs? My pick would be Paul Bettany. Worked with Tudyk on Knights Tale and had pretty good chem.

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      Why not go whole hog and get Christian Bale or Ben Affleck. Or even Michael Keaton or George Clooney. Did you notice Adam West narrated. Heck, they could even go with Adam West. Why limit it to someone not associated with Batman?

  25. Mark D. Moss says:

    Watching the episode gave me a great idea: I’ve invented a wristband (color: pomegranate) that alerts you when you’re gonna watch a show that kinda stinks. Powerless was another cookie cutter sitcom (not funny, unless you’re a laugh track) with expensive (albeit essential due to the concept) special effects that don’t add much in actual entertainment value. I *might* give it another chance if I start hearing that it’s getting better … but even my love for Danny Pudi (who was genius on Community) isn’t enough to get me to stick for this stinker. (trombone sounds: whaaa-whaaah)

  26. Hamish says:

    Did I spot Jesse Heiman the self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Extra during the last scene? He was the nerd in the GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial a couple of years ago kissing Bar Refaeli.

  27. BP says:

    Pretty much every moment was cringeworthy