Written by M.J. Rawls
In the first episode of NBC’s Powerless, the show set itself up to be a counter component of what we would consider a superhero show – even it was a little cheesy at some points. There was a feel good aspect to it, with some hints to actual heroes that wasn’t as overt.
“Wayne Dream Team” feels like something we’ve seen before in other NBC sitcoms right down to the plot. Or even shows throughout time. Matter of fact, it got to the point where you could guess where the plot line was going. Most of the episode involved Emily trying to assimilate and find the right line between boss and friend with her work group. Great – this actually has a bit of realism to it, but then it takes a conventional turn that drags the whole episode down.
Enter Samuel Green (Michael D. Cohen), the dastardly HR manager that colludes with Emily to take the internet away in order to get the group to stay on task to finish their “safe-umbrella” for regular humans like you and me. Emily eventually gets outed as the person who suggests the internet be taken and has to atone by watching a seven hour anti-bullying video. Altrustic? yes. Predicable? absolutely.
There are mentions of superhero fantasy leagues and the sub-plot of Van Wayne’s irritation of not being on the Wayne Dream Team lobby photo. Complete with “the finger point” and the memes that followed, there are things in the episode that connect with the things of the real world.
In order for Powerless to ingratiate itself into the NBC prime-time lineup on a full time basis, it has to take the good elements and push them forward instead of settling in from what may be considered nugatory themes. The group of Teddy, Ron, and Wendy all have different personalities that you can play in ways. Emily Locke needs to show a different side of herself as well. Perhaps, get out off the office a little bit more, although, tough when you have thirty minutes to play around with.