Alright, I’ll admit it – I used to read Supergirl from time to time. Don’t judge me. I started with the Silver Age Supergirl, then the symbiotic alien that took Supergirl’s form, and the one that showed up in Superman/Batman. So when CBS said they were going to have a Supergirl TV series, I was pleased, and braced for disappointment. Why the hesitancy? Well, other than the Big Bang Theory, CBS has demonstrated the ability to seize defeat from the jaws of victory time-after-time. I still haven’t forgiven them for putting Battle Creek at 10pm on Sunday nights then whining it wasn’t getting ratings.
Okay, I saw the pilot and found it pretty good. The pacing is good, nice and fast. The show is not dark and forbidding like Arrow or Gotham. It almost has a Flash-ish feel to it. Supergirl is not the Man of Steel, she gets knocked around pretty badly in the pilot. The acting is above average as is most of the writing.
The premise of the show is that Kara Zor-El was sent right after her famous cousin to protect him on Earth. She gets trapped for a few decades in the Phantom Zone. She flies to Earth, (unknowingly towing an alien prison behind her) and lands to find that her cousin, Superman, all grown up and no longer needing protection. She joins the family business (saving the world) on her own terms, working with her stepsister who works for a covert government agency to protect Earth from extraterrestrials. There’s a bunch of freed alien prisoners loose, so Kara is going to have her work cut out for her. Even Jimmy Olsen is there to help her along, though I didn’t get his whole relationship with Superman (he seems to be more of a press agent for the El-Clan). All-in-all, there a solid mix here to provide a foundation for a good series.
The only real downside is the over-emphasis of Supergirl being female. Look, I get it. There are not a lot of comic-based shows with strong female leads. Oh, wait, there are. Silly me, there’s Agent Carter, Agents of Shield…dang, there are actually a lot of strong female characters out there – just not in the DC universe or on CBS. They tend to harp on it a lot in the pilot. I hope they move past this idea. We get it, she’s a strong female character CBS. Quit pummeling me with this concept. Agent Carter managed to do this tactfully – follow their lead.
My other critique is that this show doesn’t fit into a bigger DC universe bridging TV, movies, etc. Agents of the Shield paved this road but for some reason, DC has ignored this – despite the desires of their entire fan-base. The blurry images of Superman seem lame and only highlight that the DC universe is fragmented.
The special effects are pretty good, again, I found myself thinking of the Flash, the standard for superhero shows on TV now.
I liked the show – not quite a five out of five, but a solid 4.5. Of course, this is after one episode. For now, I’m going to watch the series and see how it develops.