NBC announced that it will launch a new sitcom about insurance. A primetime show about insurance could be everything but thrilling, however to get ratings, the network was smart. It cast Vanessa Hudgens, a likeable actress with a list of strong successes in her short career, and added a new element. The show that will tell the stories of the regular folks living in the land comic superheroes who are tasked with the cleanup after the superheroes avert a series of world-ending crisis. The name Powerless comes from the fact that Hudgens and her colleagues are regular people who do not have the superpowers of Captain America or Wonder Woman, and is labeled as a workplace comedy.
When first reading about the idea behind the show, I thought about the many depositions I have taken of responding adjusters who testify that they were just collecting information and had no power (or were powerless). The adjusters did not personally have the authority to make a payment to a family displaced by disaster or accept coverage for a loss to a business that needed a prompt decision. Apparently, the series creator was thinking along the lines of no x-ray vision and no wings to fly with when it wrote the script—a different type of powerless.
Claims Management Magazine’s Eric Gilkey had this to say about the perception of Powerless:
The pessimist in me worries that while the claims professional may wear the halo, the depiction of the insurer might take a less enlightened visage—the monolith against which our claims professional must push back against. The optimist in me, however, welcomes the change in perception—even if it’s an incremental one.
Vanessa Hudgens’ character is described as “loving her job because she gets to help people” and one who “might just discover that being a hero doesn’t always require superpowers.” My suspicion is her work will not be typical claims handling in the wake of a hurricane or a wildfire and that the perils she will deal with are those by villains causing mayhem. Will there be an episode devoted to the interpretation of the wear and tear exclusion? I doubt it.
The trailer was leaked on some websites but the release date and time for the series has not yet been announced. It is suspected that Powerless makes its debut in 2016. I think it will be very interesting to see how an insurance adjuster is portrayed in this show. As one of People Magazine’s most beautiful people two times over, Hudgens may shine a positive light on the industry. As advocates always watching the insurance industry on behalf of the policyholder, we will see how these fictional episodes align with real life catastrophe and crisis claims and adjustments.