The DC Series 'Powerless' Has Already Abandoned Its Premise

Monday, 12 December 2016 - 1:09PM
DC Comics
Powerless
Monday, 12 December 2016 - 1:09PM
The DC Series 'Powerless' Has Already Abandoned Its Premise
Powerless was one of those weird comedies we desperately hoped would succeed. Things looked promising when we saw the pilot at SDCC this year (in fact, we named it the best sci-fi pilot at the Con!), but the show hit a worrying bump when it lost its creator and showrunner Ben Queen this past August. The show is set to premiere early next year, but it's not turning out to be the show we all signed up for. Vanessa Hudges, who plays the main character Emily Locke, was pitched as a claims adjuster at a "very special insurance company" taking on the comically hopeless job of fulfilling insurance claims in the wake of superhero property destruction (and bystander injury). The trailer showed an office comedy where Emily fights to help common people by butting heads with the insurance industry's love of denying claims (similar to another superhero movie...)

But now all of that has changed. Here's the newly released synopsis of the pilot:

Opening quote
In a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss (Alan Tudyk) and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don't need superpowers to be a hero.
Closing quote


"Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security"? That's a huge change from the original premise, and one that means the entire show may have undergone a significant rewrite. Emily Locke isn't even in the insurance industry anymore, which means the "whole people vs. big business" narrative may be gone. Instead, it seems like Locke and the crew are going to be aligned with public interest by designing products people will buy to keep themselves safe—a seemingly lucrative industry when the city is exploding on a daily basis. Plus, Wayne Enterprises is literally run by a superhero who wants to protect the innocent, so that throws a further wrench into whatever corporate-driven conflict we had before.

It's a disheartening (and worrying) change for a show that seemed to have a solid premise and an interesting angle: when superheroes do more harm than good, it may be up to normal people to "save" the day by fighting against corporate culture (rather than space villains). Hell, that was the whole idea of the show. Now? We're not so sure.

Powerless is set to premiere on NBC on February 2nd at 8:30 PM. It star Vanessa Hudges, Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches.
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Powerless