I am a huge fan of the comic book series Powers because it has two things I love: superheroes and film noir. It’s a world where average people mingle with those who have special abilities called “Powers.” In this world they are broken up into the typical groupings of heroes and villains in the classic comic book tropes. The distinction doesn’t really matter as heroes are just as notorious for bad behavior as the villains, but their publicists are there to keep their images pure. What do you do when the superpowers get out of hand? You create a police force dedicated specifically to handle the Powers community.
With all the comic books being made into movies and TV shows it isn’t surprising that pretty much everybody is getting into the act one way or another. I always hoped after the success of Sin City there would be something related to Powers. I got exactly what I wanted when the Playstation Network decided to take a page out of Netflix’s book, creating a superhero series. After watching the entire first season the only thing that comes to mind is the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”
While it is nice to see this show get made I also wish I hadn’t seen it. The recent trend of overreaching story arcs with all sorts of twists and turns is a great thing when it’s done right. The creators did at best a mediocre job that left me feeling very bored with the whole thing to the point that I had to force myself to finish. While it did pick up over the last few episodes and concluded decently, it felt more like work than fun. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to work too hard to have fun with the things I enjoy. A 13 episode season shouldn’t feel like 26.
My other problem with the show was the choice of casting, which is odd since it was filled with some of the best character actors alive today. In spite of the caliber of talent on board, they all seemed out of place. The main protagonist Detective Christian Walker – who was once a Power but lost his abilities – was played by Sharlto Copley. He didn’t seem well-suited for the tough police detective portrayed in the comics.
Eddie Izzard is the only person who seemed comfortable in the part of psycho villain Wolfe. To see this amazing comedian and actor go so dark worked surprising well. Other than that it is a bunch of people you may know looking completely out of place in their roles.
I normally try to find some reason to enjoy something, but I am hard pressed to do so in this case. While Netflix has been proving themselves to be a major competition to the networks I don’t see that as the case with Playstation at this time. I do not expect them to do any better, nor do I plan to be going out of my way to watch anything they put out in the future.