Were currently downing under a pool of superhero related shows and so naturally Sony Playstation has stepped away from gaming to solve this troublesome problem with a brand spanking new show about cops dealing with people who have superpowers. Thanks guys.
Powers, is a series adaptation of a comic of the same name from series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, which follows the daily policing endeavours of the Powers unit. A section of the police force that deals with powers related crimes. The cast include Sharlto Copley as Christian Walker and Susan Heyward as Deena Pilgrim our lead detectives, and other cast members that play people with powers. Available solely on US Playstation accounts, I, a humble Canadian Playstation owner had to be creative to watch the pilot, but I did for you humble readers. Here’s what I think of the premiere.
Off to a start.
The show begins with our lead detective’s partner getting killed because of a power with a dozen of tranquilizers in his neck. The frustrated power issues a formal complaint to the partner and throws him a pillar, killing him. Then incomes Pilgrim, the new partner, and everyone begins to explain the world of Powers. This is not out of the ordinary of a pilot, but the pilot felt a bit rushed and over explainy.
Lead Detective is revealed very early on as an ex-power, which is something that could have been used as an end of episode reveal that felt shocking. But much of the episode deals with how angry he is that he can’t fly. Which I think angers us all. Still the episode just pushed through the plot and felt a bit confusing because the pacing of the episode didn’t let information thrown at the audience get processed or sit in there head.
I like it when a show is confident enough in it’s story and characters where the world is presented as a setting that the audience can read into and not get the book thrown directly at their face.
The Silver Aged Look
The TV is not shy to superhero people, from Arrow to Flash and the powerless shlubs at Gotham each show may not be Fincher-esk masterpieces but they have an aesthetic all there own. Gotham’s rich and deep environments are all shot with a noire tint, while Powers is kinda flat.
I was surprised by this since David Slade directed the pilot. Slade also directed one of the best looking shows on Television, Hannibal. You’d think he would create a rich look and feel to the shows cinematography that helps it stand out among other superhero related shows, but it comes off flat and uninteresting. Despite all the great props, performances, world building, and decent locations, the show feels so devoid of personality. Oh, also, it’s flat. (editors note: it’s flat)
Despite those two glaring problems, the shows pretty great. It feels like a superhero show that was given to HBO to play with. Sex, drugs and murder is on the ticket and my friends, it’s a great show.
I guess it’s just that the show doesn’t fly of the screen, it just kinda hovers, see what I did there? By my estimation, it’s a temporary problem. The preview for the season that they tagged onto the end of the episode showed what looks like an awesome upcoming first run.
After this episode I would recommend people check it out if you can. But be weary of my follow up at the end of the season where your ol’ buddy Denis will say definitively if you should add this show to your must watch list.
Till then, please wait with baited breath.
Powers airs exclusively through the Playstation Network.