She put on a brave face when she went on to sing her heart out as Rizzo in Grease Live! just hours after her father passed away from cancer. Now Vanessa Hudgens is proving once more that she's her own hero, leading NBC and DC Comics' new series Powerless.
Hudgens plays insurance adjuster Emily Locke in a world where superheroes, in the chaos of trying to save the day, cause non-supers to cash in from the destruction their superpowered fights with villains cause.
Official images from Powerless already show that the network has sought to create a campy, lighthearted take on the superhero universe — a complete 180 from how DC's finest are currently being portrayed in cinemas.
Footage from the series pilot has also made its way online, giving us our first look at the zany show.
The reel was previewed during last week's NBC’s upfronts presentation. So far, the network has only chosen to reveal the trailers for a few of their mid-season replacements, and links to the early look at Powerless have been taken down from most media outlets. But we managed to catch a glimpse of it, and we liked what we saw.
The trailer shows how Emily struggles as her new bratty boss, Del (Alan Tudyk), makes demands to increase insurance claim denials by 25 percent by the end of the month. New bottom line compliance regulations from employees is typical when there's a turnover in management even in real-life white-collar offices.
And that's what Powerless is — it's basically The Office with witty shout-outs to Aquaman, Hawkman and Lex Luthor. Even Wonder Woman is not spared from the comedic jabs — imagine the paperwork involved when you're trying to decide if a claim caused by damage she made should be denied since it was “an act of god.”
Emily is just trying to get to work, but superhero mayhem makes her life complicated. How can you not giggle when she sees (yet another) explosion just outside her window, and instead of panicking like a normal human would, she simply rolls her eyes in frustration?
Also featured in the trailer is one of DC's minor heroes, Crimson Fox, who saves a derailed train where Emily is. In this scene, Emily does what no one has done before — tell off and stand up to a superhero.
“Sorry to interrupt, could you put us back on the tracks?” she says.
And that makes her a hero in her own right to the dozens of citizens around her who were also caught in the crossfires of the superhero fight.
With her newfound empowerment, Emily also stands up to Del at work while “I Need a Hero” from Footloose plays in the background.
Powerless is not in the same vein as Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow or even Supergirl. While those DC Comic adaptations are more loyal to their source material, Powerless is a show that can poke fun at the superhero trend.
Sure, even its special effects are not quite big-budget, but it adds to the show's charm, which lightheartedly explores what it's like to be normal in a world full of supers.
Powerless will debut on NBC as a mid-season replacement this fall.