In diametric opposition to the Marvel screen universe, the DC screen universe has been building a willfully dark, angst-ridden film world alongside a variously sunnier TV take. But never has the dark-vs-cheap-looking-light contrast been more readily apparent than in this, DC’s attempt at a network sitcom, Powerless.
Set to premiere on NBC on February 2, the series, in its initial pitch, began as “a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies”—but one that insured against the perils of DC superheroes and villains. Now, as seen in this new promo, it appears to have devolved into an extremely specific prop comedy with the budget of a TeenNick show. The setting has changed to the research and development wing of Wayne Security, where the search for superhero-style tech frequently leads to slapstick yucks. The result is—superficially, at least—similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000: largely restricted to medium shots from a single room made vaguely science-y with wall decor and party lights, but occasionally interrupted by parts where it looks like an awful movie.