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Round 2







It is with great pleasure that I kick Powers the funk out of this bracket. Goodbye Powers!

It’s just that the nicest thing I can say about Powers is that it’s one notch higher than unwatchable. The second episode isn’t as carried away with pointless details as the pilot, but it still suffers from major structural deficiencies. Now, I’m not talking surface level flaws like plot holes, how boring it is, or the actions of the characters don’t make any sense (though it has these kinds of problems in spades.) Even the greatest shows of all time have these kinds of flaws. But those shows also have structural integrity, which makes those common storytelling issues almost imperceptible. What great (or just good) shows do, and what Powers fails to do, is structure a story and present it in an important and compelling way. This extends to all key elements: plot, characters, script, etc. Without adequate structure, there can be no deeper meaning than what is explicitly going on.  That is how the premise of this show can be so interesting, yet in practice, falls flat on its face. In the right hands, a show about the people who share a world with superheroes can be great. (What you should be watching are Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agent Carter.) Powers has yet to convince me that anything that is happening actually matters. It isn’t saying anything, and it feels so pointless.

Which brings me to the winner of this round, iZombie, why it won, and what makes it a better show. In its second episode, iZombie took the opportunity to build the framework for how this show will work. It did this by figuring out its strengths and what model works best for said strengths. The premise follows a formula: Most of the key characters have a specific roles to play (the weird but understanding confidant, the take-me-seriously ’cause I’m new but really a nice guy cop… I’m still not sure what the roommate’s role is though.) Regardless this show has figured out more by the second episode than many shows do by the end of their first season. Figuring out the point of each character is step-one to giving them something meaningful to do. The second episode isn’t as fun or as kitschy as the pilot, but that just means Rob Thomas and co. aren’t over relying on the premise to drive the show.  If you don’t like quips, how Liv Moore experiences and learns by eating other people’s brains (and personalities,) interesting characters or the level-one dark humor of the show, check out no because this show is not for you. This show, unlike Powers, uses structure to say something about what it means to be human. Which is why it moves on to round 3 and Powers should head back to the writer’s room and kill itself figure itself out.