CBS’ Supergirl has finally premiered! We watched it, and now we want to talk about it a bit.
First off: the cast. Melissa Benoist‘s Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers/Supergirl is pretty, dorky, and awkward. Kara is also a rather girly character, but badass nonetheless. That’s somewhat rare, because somewhere someone decided that badass women can’t be feminine – so I actually like the fact that Supergirl is both badass and girly. It’s something new, and it was about damn time we got a female character that was badass without being super masculine (don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that; there’s just very little exceptions). Melissa Benoist’s acting was good; but I kinda hope she’ll get better in time, because for now, the character she plays seems a bit shallow. But we’ve only got one episode this far, so that’s not too much to go on. And I don’t know any other work of hers, so I can’t compare it to anything else she’s played.
I do know Chyler Leigh, and find that she plays her role as Kara’s adoptive sister Alex Danvers well. The character itself seemed to be a bit all over the place, but I attribute that to the writing, not the acting; it was like they tried to give her some extreme character development over the span of just one episode. That might have been a bit fast, although I get why they did it.
Jeremy Jordan plays Winslow “Winn” Scott, an IT-guy with a crush on Kara. He’s dorky too, and supportive of her being Supergirl from the beginning – the actor did a good job at portraying that.
Mehcad Brooks is James Olsen; we don’t see all that much of him, but he played the guy-sent-by-Superman-to-look-after-his-cousin rather well.
Calista Flockhart‘s Cat Grant is pretty much what you’d think a powerful woman would be; which I found rather offensive. She’s a bit bitchy and a bit too arrogant for my taste – all in all, the cliché we usually get from the media of women who made it to the top. But I guess they couldn’t just have everyone be extremely nice; that would have been boring as well.
David Harewood plays Hank Henshaw, Alex’ boss at the DEO (Department of Extra-normal Operations), who’s none too happy with Kara becoming Supergirl.
Laura Benanti portrays both Kara’s mother Alura Zor-El, and the latter’s twin sister, Astra. These women are very different, Alura being the loving mother that helps Kara really become Supergirl through a recording Alex shows Kara; Astra on the other hand wants to rule Earth and make Kara pay for Alura’s sins. Laura Benanti did a good job at playing both these women, and I hope she keeps it up.
Now, the writing: to be quite honest, it was a bit too cheesy, and the dialogues were rather predictable. But this was just the pilot, and I thought pretty much the same thing about the first episode of The Flash – and now I love it. So, I’ll definitely give them a chance to get over the overly cheesy dialogues and make them more “real”.
The story itself was what you’d expect: how Kara came to Earth, how she was adopted by the Danvers, and grew up to want to be normal, only to then discover that all she really wanted was to be true to herself, and help people by becoming Supergirl. This creates tension between Kara and Alex, because Alex doesn’t want the world to know about Kara; but the sisters work it out, Alex apologizes and eventually helps Kara beat the bad guy.
The bad guy was an alien who came to Earth at the same time as Kara, who accidently carried the prison ship from the Phantom Zone with her. He and everyone else who was locked up in the prison and escaped when they came to Earth have an axe to grind with Kara, because it was her mother Alura who locked all of them up. Kara beats him in the final fight, but he kills himself before the DEO can capture him; not before revealing that there are many others like him out there. And so we have the premise for the first season: many bad guys (aliens, in this case) who want to take revenge on Kara for her mother’s actions, but also want to rule Earth, so Kara has to save the world. It’s as superhero-y as they come – and I love it. The bigger the stakes, the better. After all, she’s Supergirl – there’s not much use in having her fight normal human beings, because for them, she’s almost invincible. But aliens who are a match for her powers or even stronger? Hell yeah! At least it’s a fair fight (or not, depending on how much power the alien has).
So, all in all, it was an enjoyable 45-minutes of TV, with the promise of the season getting better as it goes. The pilot was good enough for us to stick around (although that could just be because we’re suckers for everything superhero), so it’s definitely getting an Acceptable from us. We do hope it gets better (and less cheesy, as mentioned above) – but until then, it’s a female superhero, who has an entire show dedicated to her! There’s not too many of those out there. If I think about it, the only other female main character in a TV-show I can think of is Agent Carter. So yay for another one!