Ok so we are now 4 episodes into Supergirl and I for one love the show. But the internet is not as forgiving as I am. I’ve seen some really bad reviews for it. And the comment threads on article I read about the show are just beyond unforgiving. But why? Is it really that bad of a show? Or does the audience not understand the point of the current story arc?
One of the things I’ve seen in the comment threads is “CBS doesn’t know how to make a superhero show”. Really? It’s CBS’s fault? There last superhero show on CBS was The 1990 Flash TV show. Though it only lasted one season, most fans remember it fondly. And prior to that they had The Incredible Hulk which lasted for 5 seasons. Of course the show had it is issues and it was a product of the time, but still it is remembered fondly by fans. But I also feel that you need to look at the creators and producers of the show not the network.
So who are the creators? Well, they are Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg. Berlanti and Kreisberg are responsible for The Flash and Arrow. So those guys know a thing or 2 about creating a superhero TV show. And DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers are producing the show. I think they know a thing or 2 about the subject matter. So really what is the issue here?
Let’s step back and try to look at the show objectively. Superman/Supergirl have to be the hardest characters to write for. Another of the great internet comments I read was “The reason superman works is because of the Super bit, not the man bit; he doesn't spend seemingly half his time working out how he's going to get home in time to watch the football, get a chance to put up those shelves, or any one of a dozen other stereotypically manly things.” How short sighted of a fanboy comment can you get?
If this was true and the entire show was Just Kara/Supergirl flying around fighting super villains it would get boring in about 2 episodes and everyone would turn it off. In any great story telling you need conflict and character development. Without that, what’s the point of the story? Every episode would also be about 5 minutes long. She’s invulnerable right? So one good super punch, credits.
Arrow and The Flash both have a huge amount of tension, drama and character development. If not we would of shut the TV’s off a long time ago. Even the Marvel movies have this as well.
In a typical Flash episode you might get 15 minutes of actual superhero action. The rest of the time is split between love tensions with Iris/Barry/and others. Cisco naming the villain. Barry/Joe/Henry father/son stuff. Trying to figure out the villain’s plan and then trying to come up with a plan to defeat them. And should we/shouldn’t we trust Wells? Plus other character development. And most people think Flash is the best Superhero show on right now. So why is everyone so unforgiving to Supergirl?
I feel the story arc they are telling this season is about finding oneself. Kara is discovering who she really is in the world. Remember the premise of Supergirl is she was sent as the older cousin to protect her little cousin Kal-El on earth. But because of a mishap that didn’t happen. So she grew up for 12 years with a family that protected her secret and told her not to reveal herself. And no real purpose of being a hero, so who is she? That’s the question she’s asking herself in the beginning. A question a lot of young people ask themselves. She answers the question with I want to be a hero.
And here in is where the problem is for a lot of people. She’s not ready to be a hero. She has a lot of growing up to do. Not to mention she’s new at the superhero game so she has a lot to learn. She has a lot of powers she never really used, so she has to figure them out. And while she’s doing this she is going to fail. She is going to make mistakes. And people don’t like that.
The thought of one of the most powerful heroes in comic book history failing and making mistakes bother’s people. But again is she started out as a perfect hero the show would flop. They also made a point of her saying she wants to do it on her own. Which I feel was a clever way of writing her cousin out of the show. I feel that as we get to the end of the season she will be a fully realized superhero. That just means you have to give it time.
Most shows take time to find their footing and this is one that really deserves a chance to do so. And no I don’t think showing her making mistakes shows her as weak and helpless, it shows her “humanity” and “vulnerability” and helps make her a relatable character. So instead of bashing the show from your armchair over the net, give it a chance, it’s only going to get better.
For a full review of the Supergirl season thus far chaeck out the latest episode of Super Hero Speak: