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6 Shows like Alphas: Power Among Us

James Thomas itcherSuperpowers are something I think everyone wants. The ability to be special, to lift a car, to get out of work and control your destiny! But imagine the cost: friends constantly asking you to move things, people constantly asking you for favours or seeing you as a threat because you are different. TV Shows like ‘Alphas’ try and look at how special abilities might manifest and how they could make a bad day worse. If you want to see what super looks like in the mundane world check out ‘Heroes,’ ‘Agents of Shield’, and ‘The Flash’. ~ James Thomas

Real Power

‘Alphas’ takes one of the most realistic looks at people with enhanced abilities of any show yet to air. The series has a very stylized low­-key Aaron Sorkin quality to it, so if you are looking for spandex look elsewhere.

Powered people in this show are referred to as ‘Alphas’; a name taken from a particular gene that gives them their abilities. The main cast all have regular lives and try to keep the abilities a secret as much as they can to avoid the stigma that might come with being discovered, but they are not alone.

Other ‘Alphas’ use their abilities for personal gain, and that’s where the team steps in to handle business.


Shows Similar to ‘Alphas’…

‘Heroes Reborn’ (NBC, 2015)

The new iteration or reboot of ‘Heroes’ comes some eight years after its predecessor went off the air on a biting cliffhanger, and this show starts off with a mystery. From the beginning, I see that the world’s population of super powered people is growing and that the legacy of the last group of heroes from the first series is falling on a whole new group of people.

Unfortunately, they have to save the world while being hunted by society that fears them, other homicidal superheroes, a corporation that wants to use them as batteries, and apparently a cranky sentient supernova that plans to wipe out the world.

Similarity Match: 95%
I can tell that the characters in ‘Heroes Reborn’ and TV shows like ‘Alphas’ share a goal of protecting humanity from a greater threat while helping unique people with weird powers. Also, they seem ridiculously dedicated to keeping their day jobs.

‘Agents of Shield’ (ABC, 2013)

A spin­off from the MCU or Marvel cinematic universe, ‘Agents of Shield’ is not like any show you have seen before even though a lot of it is familiar. The show is based on the S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) from the Avengers movie, which monitors and deals with super­powered threats that include superheroes and aliens.

The main protagonist is Phil Coulson, head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a formerly dead Avenger. Coulson builds his team out of high-­level intelligence agents and a few of the powered people he can trust or at least control. One of the biggest treats of the show is the occasional addition of a well know Marvel Hero or Villain such as the Terrifying lash or Quake AKA Daisy Johnson.

Similarity Match: 90%
Not many members of the ‘Agents of Shield’ team have special abilities from the beginning, but they are dedicated to finding a peaceful way forward in relations between regular people and those with powers while looking amazing.

‘The Flash’ (The CW, 2014)

Moving away from the team titled superhero shows I find ‘The Flash’. This show was an instant breakout hit even before its official release as the pilot was leaked a full year before it was due to air.

The show centers on young Barry Allen, a handsome yet awkward crime scene investigator who spends his day searching for particular offender, the man who murdered his mother.

One night while he isworking late with a particle accelerator at Starlabs lightning strikes Barry and he falls into a coma. When he wakes up, Barry finds that he has the power of super-­speed. After some weeks of running around and saving people he discovers that he’s not the only one.

Similarity Match: 90%
Though ‘The Flash’ may seem like a one­-man show after watching it, nearly every adventure is a team effort and team Flash is dedicated to helping Meta­humans. Even if that means helping them into a cell.

‘Powers’ (PlayStation Network, 2015­)

‘Powers’ is a show set in a world where superheroes exist, and they are superstars and they are numerous. In fact, they have become entitled and a bit reckless causing them to become a bit resented by a certain member of the non-­powered public.

All of this leads to a lot of murders of, and by powered people. This kind of crime is why the Powers special homicide division exists to both apprehend and protect powered people from those looking to hurt them.

The division is headed by Christian Walker a formerly powered person with a dark past. This show is a great look at what it feels like living in a world of the fantastic.

Similarity Match: 85%
The powered people in ‘Powers’ are a part of how the world works from the beginning, differing from TV series like ‘Alphas’. However, aside from the people with irrational fear, and Eddie Izzard’s rational fear, some people are looking for a way to ensure a balanced coexistence.


If You Like ‘Alphas’, You Will Like…

The following shows deal with powered people very differently than ‘Alphas’. In one show, people without powers are training themselves to be effective heroes in a superpowered world and in the other I see people afraid of their abilities due to a lack of understanding and control.

‘Arrow’ (The CW, 2012­)

The Arrow (Green Arrow) has no powers, but the world he lives in is built for them. Residing in Starling City, he and his group of mostly non­powered compatriots use martial arts training and an array of gadgets to keep common criminals from ruining their dying city. And to stand on equal playing field with some of the new superpowered characters popping up.

Of course, the Arrow was not always a hero, he was once Oliver Queen and his arc is the majority of the show, along with tons of flashbacks. Consequently, the mystical and the magical creep into the edges of the show over time making things more interesting.

Team Arrow is largely underpowered being made up of a group of well­-trained ninjas. However, unlike most people, are not so quick to take the “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!” stance when it comes to dealing with powered people.

‘Haven’ (Syfy, 2010­-2015)

If you have a negative sensibility, then ‘Haven’ is the show for you. This show takes place in a special town called Haven, Maine where special people have special abilities they do not appreciate at all.

You can tell how the people of ‘Haven’ feel about the powered people, by the fact that they refer to them as ‘the troubled.’

FBI Special Agent Audrey Parker has a special knack for making sure that troubled people don’t wipe out their town. And with people who can make a shadow that will eat the flesh off your bones she has her work cut out for her.

I think that because of a general lack of understanding, the “troubled” are seen as nothing but a vile burden and that at the end of the day ‘Haven’ is a show about self-­loathing as much as it is about powers.


The Powered Revolution

When people with powers try to live normal lives, things can get complicated. Still I think that some hide for a reason.

If you had super powers would you hide or display them?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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