As many of you know if you’ve been following my time at Slice of SciFi over the years, writing deadlines forced me to give up my monthly column, and they also mean that I can’t necessarily watch TV shows right when they’re happening.
Such is the case with Supergirl. I wanted to watch it “live” but had a book due so that was out. But the DVR is a writer girl’s best friend, and I’ve finally gotten through the first five (honestly, the first six) episodes. So, was it worth the wait? Oh yeah, it totally was.
Supergirl tells the story of Superman’s cousin, Kara (Melissa Benoist, perfect in the role), who was sent from Krypton at age 13 to watch over her baby cousin on Earth. Only her ship got knocked into the Neutral Zone for 20-some years, where she didn’t age. She finally got free, and landed on Earth. Happily, Superman found her and got her settled as the foster daughter of the Danvers family – Jeremiah (Dean Cain), Eliza (Helen Slater), and “older sister” Alex (Chyler Leigh). Love the casting of former TV Superman Cain and Movie Supergirl Slater in this. They aren’t in a lot of episodes (only 2 so far) but I the homage is sweet and right on.
Unfortunately, Kara’s escape also pulled the Kryptonian prison that resided in the Neutral Zone to Earth as well. Well, unfortunate for Kara and National City (aka Los Angeles), but good for viewers because we have a lot of alien criminals on Earth now and, of course, Kara’s going to have to figure out how to Supergirl up and save the day against them.
Like her cousin, Kara works for a media conglomerate, this one run by Cat Grant (Calisa Flockhart, amazing). Cat seems to be a mega-bitch, and she is, but she’s also a strong feminist and she’s mentoring Kara as both a regular person and, unbeknown to Cat, as Supergirl as well.
Happily, Kara has a strong, loving relationship with her foster sister. Kara may consider the Danvers her foster parents, but she considers Alex her SISTER, and vice versa, and it’s great to see two women who, despite disagreeing and fighting, still love each other and have each other’s backs.
Rounding out the regular cast over at CATCORP are James Olson (Mechad Brooks, doing tall, dark, and handsome with humor and soul perfectly), photojournalist late of Metropolis and trying to be his own man out of Superman’s shadow, and Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordon, adorable and, for those who also watch Arrow, this show’s Felicity), IT guy extraordinaire, Kara’s bestie, who has an unrequited crush on her. These two guys form our main romantic triangle with Kara, and they’re also both on Team Supergirl, helping her learn how to be a hero and trying to keep her safe at the same time.
Alex and, once she comes out as Supergirl, Kara as well are working for a shadowy government organization dedicated to capturing all the bad aliens Kara accidently dragged to Earth with her, under the leadership of Hank Henshaw (David Harewood). There’s more to Henshaw than meets the eye. And yeah, that’s a hint.
I’ve seen complaints about the acting, but I have none. I enjoy the actors and the show. I like the strong feminist message the show imparts – Kara’s in a very PG love triangle with her best guy friend (who loves her) and James (who might, but who also has an ex who shows up unexpectedly), but she’s more focused on saving National City and helping her sister than mooning about her love life. This is a great show for anyone with young girls to be watching – no bad language, no sexual situations so far, and an empowering message. Kara is a great role model, as is Alex and even Cat, who has far more heart than she wants anyone to see. The women are not there as window dressing for the men, or there only to be rescued by the men – the women are smart, capable, and kicking butt.
It’s also cast Mehcad Brooks, a really hot black guy, as Jimmy Olson. I find it funny that some seem upset by this, as if Jimmy can only be white and a dork. I think the actor is doing a great job and he’s incredibly charismatic. I’m all for this James Olson, and let’s have more color blind casting, shall we?
Supergirl, just like its home city, is definitely on the sunny side of the superhero street, but I like that and it’s a relief to see people who smile more than they frown. Yes, it’s somewhat campy, but so is The Flash and that’s fine. They can’t all be Arrow and Gotham, at least not for me. I’ve enjoyed every episode and can’t wait for more. Long may Supergirl fly.
Rating: 5 Stars
Official CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/shows/supergirl/