SDCC 2016: Powerless And People Of Earth Bring Big Laughs

Credit: NBC
Credit: NBC

San Diego Comic Con is truly a special time of year.

Sure there are masses of sweaty, tired people pushing and shoving through the same small radius, but there is also a sense of community. We are all united through our shared love of the same things.

We’re happy to be here. If we have to wait in line for hours and hours to get what we need, then so be it.

Luckily in order to see the pilots for People of Earth and Powerless, I only needed to wait in line for like twenty minutes.

Now there were panels, but they weren’t really panels. Each was accompanied by such a brief Q&A that it felt rather perfunctory. Powerless Q&A got cut.

Literally. They just turned the mic off while the moderator was speaking.

So I’m going to just write-up reviews for each show.

Luckily, both of them were really delightful.

People Of Earth

This show, which Conan O’Brien will executive produce, works so well because of lead Wyatt Cenac. With a deadpan so dry that you could probably start a fire, Cenac seems to be the only sane man in an insane world.

Or is he?

The pilot follows Ozzie Graham (Wyatt Cenac) as he researches an article about alien “experiencers” (they don’t like the term abductees). The small group of the town of Beacon have all experienced similar encounters with different aliens. Ozzie, a serious journalist, doesn’t really buy into it. Things, however, begin to point that maybe they aren’t so crazy after all.

Maybe Ozzie has had an alien experience of his own.

The pilot garnered huge laughs at the screening I went to. From Cenac’s dry as dust delivery to the group of quirky experiencers, there was always something going on. The pilot moved at a relatively quick pace: delivering the info you need to know without overly exploring it. Part of me wishes some moments could have been longer because there was a LOT packed into 22-minutes.

This is Cenac’s first leading role and he makes shouldering an entire show seem effortless.

It was still fun, a lot of fun. When it is released, I definitely plan on watching it on TBS.

Powerless

Credit: NBC
Credit: NBC

Powerless was definitely the big pilot that I was waiting to see at Comic Con. Ever since the show was announced last year, I’ve been endlessly curious about it.

Seriously. DC did Damage Control before Marvel did.

The show delivered on my expectations. I was expecting brightly colored crack similar to Galavant. 

Powerless delivered a sweet almost Parks and Recreation take on living in a world of superheroes. There’s just something so very lovely and almost earnest about the show. It’s almost liked bottle warmth. In fact, it shows that even ordinary people in an extraordinary world have their own supervillains to deal with. (Just because it’s metaphorical, doesn’t mean that it’s not true.)

The characters featured in the pilot are all so very fun and sweet. Hudgens really shines as Emily Locke, who is just determined to help people in her own way. Danny Pudi’s Teddy is much more restrained compared to Abed, but nonetheless charming. The chemistry between Pudi and Hudgens is what makes the show. Their relationship forms an emotional center. While it seems like Teddy may have more than friend feelings for Locke, I can actually see something happening between them.

It doesn’t feel forced is what I’m saying.

Of course, Alan Tudyk plays a marvelous “tool” in new boss, Del. Del is easily the most cartoony of the core cast, and would definitely be a supervillain if he had great ambition in life. Yet he’s living in a superheroes world just like everyone else. He’s not a villain-villain just a terrible boss.

These dynamics will definitely make an interesting show.

I just hope NBC gives it an actual chance.

Powerless premieres at midseason on NBC.

Bec Heim
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