‘Powerless’

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DC Comics has already won a legion of fans for its TV shows on The CW centering around some of its less well known and esteemed superheroes; these being “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” They have proven fantastically successful, with many fans praising the shows’ respect for comic canon, introduction of new dimensions to older characters and creation of diverse newer characters.

The latter of these is set to continue in strength, as a show about one of DC’s first black superheroes, Black Lightning, is set to debut next fall. In the meantime, DC has debuted a show quite out of the ordinary, that feels, for lack of a better word, well…ordinary. While it may seem normal, it is just about as extraordinary as can be.

“Powerless” follows the lives of the perfectly normal people who try to live their lives in a world where battles between superheroes and all manner of villains can spell disaster for their cars, public transit systems and overall livelihoods. Fortunately, Wayne Security of Charm City, a subset of the multibillion-dollar industry of Wayne Enterprises, attempts to rectify these problems. Their solutions are revolutionary products such as Joker Anti-venom that comes in two unique shades of purple.

This mediocre division finds its CEO in Bruce Wayne’s cousin Van, played by Alan Tudyk of “Rogue One.” Van is a vain, self-absorbed wannabe who only desires to climb the corporate ladder, even at the expense of his company. However, he becomes stuck in his position when energetic new employee Emily Locke, played by Vanessa Hudgens, arrives. She reinvigorates the company as the new head of its Research and Development division.

So far, the team at Wayne Security has seen the Riddler’s henchman pay a visit; the company celebrate Sinking Day with the citizens of Atlantis; Van continuing to be an insufferable boss; Emily accidentally goes on a date with a supervillain, and the superhero Te Olympian emerge to defend Charm City from Crimson Fox.

Being that “Powerless” is DC’s first attempt at a comedy set in its own universe, it has quite the rocky road ahead of it. Critics initially praised the idea when the teaser trailer premiered at last year’s Comic Con. Since then the show has garnered only mediocre reviews at best.

The obscure elements and characters like Van Wayne, The Olympian, and Crimson Fox, as well as references to locations within the DC universe like LexCorp and Ace Chemicals, delight passionate fans. These same details are also likely to alienate casual fans, or those with no knowledge of the DC universe.

Even so, the show has attempted to appeal to a wide audience by having Marc McClure portray Emily’s father. McClure played “Daily Planet” photographer Jimmy Olsen in the Superman films of the 1970s and 80s. Adam West, who played Batman on the 1960s TV show, appeared to narrate the pilot episode. As of now, the show has aired six episodes and plans to air four more before closing out the season at the end of April. A second season has not yet been announced, but it may be unlikely, given the show’s low viewership. I, for one, hope to see more of this quite interesting concept, but maybe that’s because I can’t get enough of DC.

“Powerless” airs on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.