*Just an FYI I watched this episode on Tuesday October 27th, just so there’s no confusion when people read the review.
The new show that everyone has been waiting for finally premiered last night. I watched it the day after because I had some scheduling conflicts the day it aired. I don’t want to start off on a potentially bad note, but, if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the pilot. However, that is not a bad thing. I watched trailers/previews quite a bit leading up to this show. I even sent my mom a link to one of them because she was trying to figure out why she’s called super girl not Superwoman. Even with watching trailers and watching people’s reaction to them, I liked the pilot, not quite as much as I thought I would; but the episode is worth a look. Here’s why.
First off, the back story. I knew going into this show that Kara is Superman’s cousin sent to protect him, that she got stuck in some timey-wimey place, that’s why she’s still so young. I knew she had all the same powers as her cousin, and a similar upbringing. What I didn’t know was that she lives in National City not Metropolis, and that their paper (which isn’t the Daily Planet because it’s a different city) isn’t doing very well. Kara deciding to embrace her powers and save her sister from dying in a plane crash changes that last part. Unlike Clark, Kara doesn’t have to pretend she’s some photographer out to get a scoop to give her boss the exclusive photo. Jimmy-I mean James Olsen does it for her. Yes, he’s all grown up now, he’s black and he’s not Jimmy. This isn’t Superman, and we’re not in Metropolis so why should he be? Besides Kara already has her bumbling sidekick in her friend Win.
I’m not positive, but I feel like James Olsen isn’t going to be in the show quite as much one would think. Let’s face it he’s there to be the one who saves her at work when her identity might leak out, and he’s the connection to Superman. I love that Dean Cain is going to be Kara’s dad, even if we don’t see him much. I was a big fan of Lois and Clark growing up, you could find me parked by the TV on Sunday nights just to watch that show.
Secondly, the writing while not spectacular was decent. It was a bit cheesy here and there, a bit too on the nose in other spots. But when I think back to the first season of the Flash or Agents of SHIELD, even shows like iZombie or Supernatural, they had those same problems. I’m kind of giving them a break here, since it’s the first episode. It gets the job done; it establishes that Kara is Supergirl, she grew up in a normal family, and that evil people exist who want to hurt her and the people she cares about.That’s all a script needs to do in the first episode. This episode did a bit more than that so bonus points. Like the scene in Cat’s office where Kara says, “We can’t call her Super girl, shouldn’t we call her Superwoman?” her boss, Cat’s reply is great and sums up the whole woman vs. girl argument pretty well.
Which brings me to my third and final point. I could on about this part for days but I won’t, because that would turn this review into a feminist rant, not a review of Supergirl. Let’s start here, her character’s name in the comics is Supergirl, not Superwoman, certainly not Wonder Woman (that’s a totally different character.) This TV show not unlike other comic book TV shows that are on now, is one that’s trying to be a somewhat faithful adaptation of it’s comic book counterpart.
Most of what I know about the comic book version of Supergirl I’ve written in this review; to be honest, I know more about Wonder Woman. What I do know is that it’s about time we had a show with a strong female lead. Yes, there’s Agent May and Bobby Morris (aka Mockingbird) from Agents of SHIELD, there’s Selena Kyle (aka Cat Woman) from Gotham, and soon we’ll have Hawkgirl in Legends of Tomorrow. Those are all great role models and I think they’re doing great things for women in television. But they’re either a villain (like Selena Kyle) or they’re older like May and Morris.
It’s great to see Melinda May kick someone’s butt using her awesome martial arts skills, but who does that (on a normal basis) in real life? Yes, Supergirl has x-ray and heat vision, can lift a bus, and she can fly. But when she’s not busy being a super hero, she’s Kara Danvers, a dorky, shy, often clumsy girl who’s just trying to get through life. Not to say that Melinda May isn’t relateable, she has plenty of vulnerable and tough moments, but her character is a lot older than Supergirl, which makes her a little harder to relate to for younger viewers. Kara is 24, sure she’s been that age for a long time because her trip to earth got delayed because of a shockwave when her home planet got destroyed, but she’s 24 nonetheless.
Kara being 24 makes her a bit easier to relate to for people who are old enough to have heros other than Batman and Spider-man but too young to remember the Adam West days of Batman and Robin. Most of us don’t work in New York City but we can all relate to feeling like our work isn’t appreciated by our boss, like Kara. We all have that friend who we love but has one too many conspiracy theories, like Win. We all have that person we can confide in and who knows just enough about us to get us in trouble if they wanted to, like James Olsen. We don’t all have super powers, or come from an alien planet, but that’s half the fun. Besides who doesn’t love seeing Kara use her heat vision, or seeing her fly? If you watch this show for no other reason than to see a kick ass character fly around, kick some alien butt and try to struggle through her daily life, then you can’t find a better show, at least in this nerd’s opinion.