PlayStation's first original show is a dark, gritty superhero series for adults

You know “Powers” isn’t for kids right out of the gate.  

In the first six minutes of PlayStation’s first original series, you’re introduced to sex, drugs, and an unusual homicide.  

Based off the graphic novel of the same name, “Powers” is essentially a superhero show for adults.  

However, unlike the CW’s DC Comics adaptations of “Arrow” and “The Flash,” the series doesn’t try to put heroes up on a pedestal.  

The series is gritty, it’s dark, it’s a little vulgar, and it’s not for the squeamish.  

“Powers” takes place in a world where heroes and villains with powers co-exist out in the open with everyone else. 

However, instead of following a character with powers, the show revolves around Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) a former superhero who lost his abilities.  

Now, he’s a star detective at Powers Division, a group which investigates cases involving people with super abilities.  

On the surface level, “Powers” is a cop procedural taking place in a world with heroes and villains. 

Take a deeper dive, and the series explores the celebrity status that comes with having abilities, for better or worse. In a culture that has become flooded with superhero TV shows, video games, and films, “Powers” plays out like a behind-the-music look at superheroes and villains. 

Powers sharlto copleySony Pictures Television/PlayStationCopley looks slightly unrecognizable from previous roles in ‘District 9’ and ‘Elysium’ as a well-polished former superhero.

For Walker, the series also heavily deals with the question of what it means to be powerless.  

After viewing the first three episodes of the series, which will premiere on PlayStation Tuesday, “Powers” feels a lot like NBC’s former superhero hit “Heroes” meets “CSI.” For fans of the former, it’s the dirtier, grittier version of “Heroes” you wanted. 

While the two shows don’t have much in common plotwise, there’s one undeniable resemblance between the two.

One character introduced in the pilot of “Powers,” a blonde with blue eyes named Calista (Olesya Rulin) looks like a deadringer for then-“Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere, right down to red-and-white cheerleader outfit seen in the premiere. “Heroes” revolved around the phrase, “Save the cheerleader, save the world.”  

In the same vein, if you’ve never heard of or have read “Powers,” the first few episodes revolve around a number of superheroes becoming obsessed with Calista. The end of the first episode of “Powers” even bears resemblance to a famous scene from the “Heroes” pilot that I won’t spoil here. 

Claire calista heroes powersNBC/Sony Pictures TelevisionDo the two look similar to you?

For fans who can’t wait for NBC’s reboot of its popular superhero series later this year, “Powers” may be a great alternative.

“Powers” itself has taken a long time to make its way to the small screen. The series has been in development for over a decade. At one point, FX was going to pick up the series. A pilot was even filmed.  

PlayStation has been looking for an original series for the past three years. According to John Koller, vice president of marketing at Sony PlayStation, “Powers” has been in the works there since 2012. 

Superhero TV shows are not an easy genre to crack. 

Right now, the CW is on a roll with adaptations of “Arrow” and “The Flash.” CBS has a “Supergirl” series in the works. 

However, previous shows like DC’s “Birds of Prey” and ABC’s 2010 dramedy “No Ordinary Family” were quickly cancelled.

So it will be interesting to see how viewers take to PlayStation’s first original TV show, “Powers.” 

That’s something the people over at PlayStation seem well aware of.

“Our entire goal on this is to do what’s best for the gaming community,” says Koller. “It’s why you haven’t noticed us talking about multiple series or other types of content or other things. We’re very much focused on ‘Powers.’ We want to see, ‘Does this appeal?’ ‘Does original content appeal?’ And does this kind of theme appeal to our community? We think it does. The research shows that it does.”  

The first three episodes of the series premiere on the PlayStation network Tuesday, March 10.  

The entire series will be free globally to Sony’s 10.9 million PlayStation Plus members, those who pay for the system’s subscription service which costs $US49.99 per year. If you don’t own a PlayStation or access to the Plus service, you will be able to purchase “Powers” online. Episodes will cost $US1.99 for standard viewing and $US2.99 for HD.  

The first episode will be widely available to stream free on YouTube. 

Watch a trailer for “Powers” below.


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