Glenn’s Impressions of ‘Powers’ and Watch the First Epsiode

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UPDATE: You can watch the first episode for free at the bottom of this article.

We all saw both Sony and Microsoft make a move toward broadening their reach to TV’s everywhere with announcements of original scripted shows on both platforms. While the Halo series suffered a quick death, Sony’s offering is finally kicking-off this week.

The first episode starts quickly, with no punches pulled, and then characters are revealed and storylines are setup, as would happen in pretty-much any new series. The universe that they’ve created is a pretty interesting one too, and gives a different perspective than many other series that have tackled people having superpowers before. As in many stories that you’ve seen in the past, there are those that have developed superpowers and of course, those that haven’t. So the Police Department has established a special unit that deals specifically with those that have powers.

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The thing that caught me the most is that unlike a lot of other shows etc that have dealt with this subject, not everyone in this world that has powers actually lives life like a Superhero or Villain. Instead, you see a class structure emerge with “powers” associating mostly with themselves, and “wannabe’s” doing anything they can to get close to those with actual “Powers”, with “normal” people feeling disillusioned and a bit scared of what people with powers could possibly do to the world. So, as in Marvel’s Civil War story-arc, people with powers are required to register what powers they have, and their effectiveness, to the proper authorities. That’s where the “Powers Division” of the police comes in. Sharlto Copley (District 9, The A-Team, Chappie) plays Christian Walker, a former “Power” that lost his abilities, who then became a Police Detective to continue to uphold law and order. I’ve always liked his performances, even in movies that were less than stellar, and so far he’s owning this role.

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There’s a pretty good contrast in the main players too, with those that walk the line between both good and bad, and all portrayed very convincingly by a mostly-unknown cast. It seems that a good portion of the cast is made up of character actors and/or former “background” players, but so far I’ve seen a lot of talent on the screen, which helps the fact that the budget for the show is a bit smaller than that of shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Flash. It’s ok though, because what’s there is definitely good enough, and is made up for with a grittier feel than what you get on the mainstream channels, and with the fact that the writing is well done. There were a couple of moments when I snickered at the dialogue, but that was mainly in the pilot episode. As things moved-on to episodes 2 & 3, the growth in productions values, dialogue, and story was palpable and quite engaging.

Also, I can’t talk about this without mentioning Michelle Forbes, who once again fills the screen with her presence as “Retro Girl.” Her relationship with the now powers-less Walker is obviously complex, and is something that I can’t wait to see unfold throughout the series. She plays the ‘strong female’ character better than most, and layered-in with her obvious vulnerabilities, she’s becoming my favorite character on the show.

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The “villains” also are intriguing right from the start, and through the first two episodes, you’ll be scratching your head quite a bit. You might think that someone is the personification of evil, but as things progress, the writers turn things upside-down a bit. The other, Wolfe (played brilliantly by Eddie Izzard) is going to be the one to watch for sure. So far you just don’t know what his story is, but I’m pretty confident that everything is going to revolve around him at some point, and I can wait to see it.

So, after 3 episodes I can tell you that you need to be ready for a lot of establishing characters in the first two, with the third unveiling some really interesting aspects of what’s to come. So yes, it starts a bit slow, but stick with it because I think they’re definitely on to something here, and what happens in Episode 3 really grabbed me. The “real world” feel is also something refreshing to see, especially with the fact that the lines between the different classes can be pretty grey at times, and the way they handle those that have Powers and use them are idolized and treated as celebrities, even down to an Access Hollywood-like show that spills the latest gossip about these larger than life characters. The focus is obviously going to be on the story here instead of relying on a ton flashy effects or huge vistas on-screen, and I’m happy about that. I can easily enjoy something that’s engaging for great story elements, and so far it feels like ‘Powers’ could definitely fill that need.

  • Watch the first full episode here:
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  • ChazzH69

    Can’t wait to watch this.

  • Derek / Beaver6622

    I’m excited too. I saw a preview for it on a Blu-ray rental and even the lady was interested.