I’m a sucker for glimpses into the lives of “normal people” in our genre universes. My favorite episodes of genre shows are often the ones that focus on the friends of the heroes, or the Everyday People living their lives while super-powered shenanigans are going on. Well, it looks like DC and NBC are teaming up on an entire show like this just for me. It’s called Powerless.
NBC has officially ordered a pilot for Powerless, a sitcom set in an insurance company in the DC Universe. When it was being pitched back in August, it was being pitched as “The Office, but with superheroes,” and as reported by Entertainment Weekly, it’s “an office comedy about the exceedingly average employees at an insurance company and their quest to find their own power,” and is “full of superheroes, villains and people just like us.”
So that makes four major networks that are working with DC properties. (ABC is owned by Disney, which owns Marvel, after all.) As I scan response to this news on the Internet, some question whether or not a comedy set in the DC Universe can even exist, citing My Super Ex-Girlfriend as an example of superhero comedies “not working.” I would cite a comedy like The Incredibles as a superhero comedy that nails it! Sure DC films tend toward brooding most the time, but it’s not as if their animated offerings have never been funny, and it’s not as if films like Super, or Kick-Ass haven’t shown us the possibility for humor in live-action superhero offerings.
Plus, I love the idea of businesses that cater to, or exist around powered people. In the new Patsy Walker aka Hellcat comic, Patsy wants to start an employment agency for difficult-to-employ powered folks who don’t necessarily want to go the superhero route. It’s a fascinating concept! I don’t know if this insurance company would have superheroes as clients, or if they would insure normal people for damage caused by superheroes – or both – but I think it could make for interesting stories either way.
I’m looking forward to Powerless. What about you? Is this a show you would watch? And what superheroes and stories do you think could exist in this format?
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