Supergirl premieres next Tuesday on CBS and I am excited about the show, but I’m also leery of it. I was never a big fan of either Superman or Supergirl comics, shows, or movies as a kid. I thought both characters were too good. They had no real flaws and were superheroes simply because it felt good to be a good person. I got was bored by them and love heroes like Batman and the X-Men who were flawed and had to deal with the psychological effects of sacrifice to be a real hero.
Eventually Superman won me over with its charm and the undeniable charisma of Christopher Reeves as both Clark Kent and Superman and the gutsy attitude of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. This was my first exposure to Lois as a powerhouse woman and not just a damsel in distress.
Lois & Clark had me with Teri Hatcher’s approach to Lois Lane continuing to build the character as a strong independent woman (at least in my memory of the show) with Lois’s name getting top billing. And Dean Cain was not hard to look at. John Shea made a much better Lex Luthor than Gene Hackman I am sorry to say. There were some big flaws in the show and eventually I got tired of the silly nature of Superman and the constant will they won’t they push and pull of Lois and Clark’s relationship.
Smallville managed to keep my interest for about three seasons because it was fun to watch a young Clark Kent learning about who he is and his powers. When the space invaders started to come down and Lois Lane joined the show, I just couldn’t keep with it. The show went away from focusing on Clark eventually becoming Superman and what it means to be a hero to bringing in all the elements of the comic books that were a part of the Superman lore but without Clark Kent becoming Superman.
Supergirl looks like it is going to be cheesy as all hell, but I find myself looking forward to it. With the DC Shared Universe movies looking to be overly broody and both Arrow and The Flash (more so Arrow than Flash) getting heavier with the angst, Supergirl looks to be the breath of fresh air the DC Universe needs. Especially with someone like Melissa Benoist at the helm. She looks exactly like what you think when you want all-American, super-positive, go to girl. She is the superhero personality Clark Kent/Superman should have somewhat resembled in Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. The idea that the word “girl” is going to be taken back as a positive thing and not a trivializing word is a great way to shut down possible haters. For once I find myself excited for the good guy wanting to do good things because they want to be a good person.
Watching the six minute promo for Supergirl makes it hard for me to get too excited for the pilot episode. The promo makes me feel like I just watched a condensed version of the pilot and I know how it all ends. It also feels like way too much has been jammed in what will probably be a 42-44 minute episode. We have to be introduced to Kara Danvers (Benoist) and her family. Mainly we seem to only meet her sister, Alex, played by the awesome Chyler Leigh with whom I am so happy to not see on Taxi Brooklyn anymore. I’m sure we are going to meet her parents in the pilot as well played by none other than the former Supergirl herself, Helen Slater, and the former Superman, Dean Cain (who is still nice to look at). We also need to be introduced to her boss, Cat Grant, the badly cast Calista Flockhart (does she look like a big powerful boss to you?), and her co-workers, one of them being James “Jimmy” Olsen, played by the very handsome and super underappreciated Mehcad Brooks. Some government drones we all know will eventually become Supergirl’s biggest enemies (how cliché) have to be introduced and another super-powered villain has to pop up just to give her the first big takedown. The promo alludes to a possible overall villain making an appearance and setting up the big bad for the whole of the series. In the episode, it seems like Kara tells almost everyone but her boss she is Supergirl and they all help her figure out her super-attire.
It feels like so much is spelled out in the plot that it is going to be weighed down and possibly turn away viewers. The good thing shows like Smallville and Lois & Clark did was they didn’t use a heavy exposition pilot. Those shows gave a quick introduction to the situation and the main characters to give the viewers a small taste as to what to expect from the show. The rest of the first season (or at least the first half) was used to set up more of the overall mystery, big bad for the whole season, and the transition of the main protagonist into the big hero. The Supergirl pilot looks like it will attempt to accomplish all of that in forty-some-odd minutes.
Despite the clumsy look of the pilot episode, I will be watching in hopes that this will be a happy and fun superhero show to watch. Let’s just hope that the rest of the series finds its footing fast.
Are you going to be watching Supergirl? What did you think of the promos so far? Do you think the pilot looks to be way too expeditionary heavy? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.