Here’s Why Supergirl is Going to be Awesome
I lasted all of 30 seconds before downloading the Supergirl pilot when it leaked last week.
Oh, like I was going to wait! I already knew I’d be subscribing to the series on whatever digital service CBS offers when it airs after that fantastic trailer.
Now I won’t be discussing any scenes from the pilot that aren’t in the trailer(s). Between the First Look and the TV spot, I had a very good idea what I’d see going into the pilot. I’ve seen some people on twitter saying they liked the pilot a lot more than the First Look (or the second trailer better than the First Look) and that truly mystifies me, because I thoroughly enjoyed the trailer and found it to be a perfect encapsulation of the show. It’s punchy and hits all the highlights and contains maybe the best action music montage ever, topped off a brilliant play on the classic tagline. I love it.
I’ve been following the development of the Supergirl series since the news broke back in September, so I probably know more than most people about the show’s setting and the characters and how they’re mixing and matching from the source material. There’s a lot of source material to draw inspiration from (over 35 years in comics stories just for Kara Zor-El alone). I love the workplace romantic comedy aspect of Superman, and I’m a big fan of the Bronze Age comics where Supergirl was aged up into a young career woman trying to balance her very human hopes and dreams and problems with her “supercareer”, as they called it. (She would have made great friends with Mary Richards.) I’m thrilled to see Kara in a similar setting and surrounded by familiar faces from the Superman cast.
The surprising addition of a brilliant science-minded redheaded sister named Alex turned out to be just the kind of supportive, complicated female relationship that every good Supergirl story needs.
And to make it even more perfect, Alura is a key figure in Kara’s origin. It looks like they’re drawing from the best in every era to create a brand new and surprising story that will represent Supergirl at her finest.
A bit too much has been made of the fact that Kara isn’t as self-assured at the start of the trailer as some viewers would like. Odd, because the Kara we see in the first 2 minutes of the trailer isn’t Supergirl yet. Kara didn’t take on the mantle of Supergirl when she first arrived because she didn’t feel needed in the world. Clark placed her with a loving human family like his own, and she’s done her best to blend into human culture and not stand out as special in any way. I think she’s acting very believably based on that background. She wants to do more with her life, to be so much more. But that isn’t easy for a woman in our culture. She joined CatCo. because she wanted to make a difference, but that hasn’t worked out. As Alex tells her, “this is what normal looks like”. It kind of sucks! And it’s eminently relatable. Career feels! I dig that.
CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler described the show’s pitch as “a wonderful amalgamation of the mythology of the character with a coming of age tale” and called the show a “great adventure” series. And she’s right!
“There will be [crime] cases, but what [executive producers] Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti pitched was a real series arc for her. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.” Tassler described the CBS version of the DC Comics icon as “a very strong, independent young woman. She’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. It’s a female empowerment story.”
Greg Berlanti said in a recent Variety interview that
Nina Tassler fell in love with “Supergirl” at the pitch meeting, so much so that she started to cry. “It didn’t matter at that point what they were going to pay for it,” he says. “That’s who you want buying the show.”
I love that story. I know exactly how Tassler feels. That’s how I feel every time I watch the trailer and it gets to when Supergirl is striding towards the bad guys and starts punching them as Fight Song plays underneath (yes, that is the same Warner Bros. lot that Lois & Clark filmed on).
That moment of triumph is so much sweeter after seeing what Kara is like in her day-to-day life, sharp and efficient at her assistant’s job but not respected or recognized by her boss for her ability. She was meant to be so much more. I can’t wait to see where the show takes us.