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Powerless

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Emily is a spunky young insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It's when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult "hero" in her own right … even if it's just to her group of lovably quirky co-workers. Now, while she navigates her normal, everyday life against an explosive backdrop, Emily might just discover that being a hero doesn't always require superpowers.

 
Status: Running
TV Channel: NBC
  • Jeff Korbelik

    The comedy pokes appropriate fun at the superhero genre and is one of the freshest sitcoms to come along in a long time.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Hudgens is delightful as a young woman determined to show she can make a difference in the world even without superpowers. Pierson is only listed as recurring, and she needs to be upgraded pronto for her heroic, hilarious meanness. Pudi can do great things — he proved that on “Community”--one can only hope the scripts will give him a chance to soar.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Danette Chavez

    The workplace comedy will have to be dialed up in the long run to maintain interest. But with Pudi and Tudyk--and even Hudgens--at the ready, that shouldn’t be a superhuman feat for Powerless.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Funny idea that doesn’t quite attain the level of “funny show,” but a good cast along with a few good lines indicate this superhero sendup will eventually get there.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    On the basis of its pilot--the sole episode available for review--it's a pleasant show, a little on the old-fashioned side formally. With a quality cast that includes Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Ron Funches, Alan Tudyk and Christina Kirk, it seems crafted to sit compatibly alongside the returning "Superstore."

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    I've seen one only episode, so it's hard to say where Powerless is headed. It has a good cast, though, and for all its comic-book trappings, its effort to find some fun in a fickle economy could make it a good fit with its lead-in, NBC's already terrific Superstore.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    One, the cast is strong. Hudgens is likable; Pudi and Tudyk have excellent timing. Two, the concept is promising. While I’m a little worried that Powerless will repeat jokes, I’m more hopeful that the world of superheroes will just become background to a clever workplace comedy.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    There’s a light, nimble humor to the show’s treatment of superpowers and heroic antics--a much needed respite from the angst and self-seriousness of so many superheroes on the small-screen, who are all so fixated on saving the world.

    Variety Full Review
  • Shirley Li

    Powerless wants to be more than a typical workplace comedy, but its own premise (hey, isn't superhero fatigue hilarious?) is its kryptonite. [Feb 3/10 2017, p.101]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    As uniformly talented as the cast is, the characters feel quite thinly sketched at this stage.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    It’s quirky and pleasant but not terribly funny, and the comic situations are standard office sitcom.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    Powerless is silly and fun, and the setup of existing within the DC Universe but outside of Gotham City and other landmark towns keeps it from coming into contact with the comics’ better-known heroes and villains.

    Collider Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    It’s a good cast--Hudgens is energetic and likable in the straight woman role, Tudyk can play this kind of obnoxious bro in his sleep, and Pudi and the others (including Christina Kirk as Van’s beleaguered assistant, Jackie) already have a solid handle on what differentiates each nerdy character from the others--and every now and then comes a scene or joke that lives up to the promise of showing an extraordinary world from the most ordinary point of view.

    UPROXX Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    Powerless has a high-flying concept indeed. Too bad it fails to take off.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    There's probably an actual working and perhaps even funny show lurking in Powerless. But we may not know that for five or six episodes, and NBC only made one episode available for review.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Based on the premiere, though, what could be an amusing look at the more grounded side of life among superheroes is a mere mortal when it comes to charm.

    CNN Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    If Powerless intends to be an actual comedy, as opposed to a harmless way to wile away a half-hour, it needs to give them [cast] something to do that counts as funny. So far, whatever powers this NBC sitcom has on display, the power to make us laugh isn’t one of them.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Most of the jokes miss their mark; the show is at its best when it portrays the casual indifference that the citizens of Charm City have developed to their daily doses of chaos.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mitchel Broussard

    There are moments of comedic relief, particularly thanks to Kirk’s just-the-right-amount-of-bitchy assistant character, but then there are times when Powerless feels like a total slouch. In terms of the set-up and payoff for each joke, visual gags, writing, directing, the works--the show is shockingly average.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    Even their [the likable cast's] enthusiasm can't give life to the stale workplace humor and the half-hearted comic-book references.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Tudyk camps it up as Van Wayne, sometimes amusingly so. A villain known as Jack O’Lantern also gets off a bit of a zinger while flying overhead. ... The opening comic book credits are pretty cool, too. Powerless otherwise is notably short on pop or long-term promise, with things staying pretty flat throughout Thursday’s scene-setter.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    The problem, a large one, is that there are long dry stretches between the laughs. Too many of the punchlines land weakly or not at all. This may be the product of an abrupt and extensive makeover of the show at the last minute—Emily Locke was originally written as an insurance adjuster frustrated by the big payouts her company was making to innocent bystanders at superhero dust-ups. The vast horizon of insurance humor, alas, will remain unexplored.

    Reason.com Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    The new show has permission from DC Comics to poke fun at DC superheroes, but what comes across more forcefully is a weariness with the superhero-overload in TV and movies right now.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    If Powerless had been funny, the lack of big-name heroes would be excusable, but with not much to laugh at a viewer is bored enough to consider all the things this show could be, but is not.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    It's a good premise, but it's almost painfully unfunny. This is super disappointing.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    It’s plotless, humorless, laughless and pointless. The less said, the better.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
Episode Guide For Show: Powerless