First, let me start by saying that no one in my inner circle has agreed that the show is a must see. Compared to The Flash and Arrow, Supergirl is a difficult storyline to tell, especially since it requires a whole piece of the DC Universe that most mortals aren’t aware exisits. Even though Supergirl is part of the Justice League and kicks serious behind, her presence in media has been small with only one previous life action movie in her catalogue. We all know she exists but, can she translate well to modern times?
The answer is no. Not really. The character’s back story is too reliant on Superman’s that it is hard to paint a picture of Kara as more than a supporting character. As woman, I hate the way the series uses Superman as a cornerstone to the series, being mentioned and used as if he were a Valley Girl “like”. It is so annoying! During the first few episodes the Man of Steel was everywhere! (For a character that can be shown due to contractual rights, Clark Kent does his fair share of appearances on screen. Literally via IM.) More insulting to me was that Jimmy Olsen was brought into Kara’s world to cement the relationship between the heroes, and not only that he is the keeper of the secret identities and her love interest! Wow…
Cat makes a good argument as to why Supergirl is still a relevant term for the modern age, and why women should own it instead of casting it aside, but other than that the rethoric remains the same. At 20 something odd years, our heroine is a woman in bloom, looking to carve her place in this alien planet. Because of the notion that her mission failed from the get go, and she got to Earth years after Clark had already arrived and become Superman, I feel this set up only adds insult to injury. If it wasn’t for the cameos of Dean Cain and Helen Slater, the original Supergirl, I would have given all hope that the show could retain my respect.
To be totally and brutally honest, I am not impressed by the show. The writers try to pull at my heartstrings but the passion for Kara is just not there. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is superb in certain areas, Melissa Benoist does an awesome job as Supergirl, and Martian Manhunter was a very nice touch to a very insipid storyline, but it is so full of clichés I don’t know what’s the point of them. Are we trying to tell young women that they can have it all or shame them into thinking ambition and superpowers don’t mix? Why must Kara be such a mousy assistant, so that she could pass unnoticed by all? Couldn’t Supergirl have a high profile career or business and save the world too? Clark was a top reporter, why is she stuck behind the OA’s desk?
Maybe they wanted Kara to be so average and likeable that they stripped all the strong characteristics from her in order to appeal to the masses. That is my fear, because as a young modern lady I could not relate at all to her and her shenanigans. She was too soft for me, to frail and too damaged. Breaks my heart to say it but Dr Caitlin Snow in the Flash, aka Killer Frost, and Felicity Smoak in Arrow seem to be a bit more badass and worthy of my time, and are super heroes in their own right and STEM fields.
With The Flash crossover looming in the horizon, I hope that they don’t complicate the story even further, alienating me even more. (I don’t think Barry needs more women in his life that need saving, another cliché, the romantic triangle adage is exploited a lot in this storyline.) It is such a chore to sit through an episode of the show without wanting to flip a table or chair. I guess my problem is that “for the woman who has everything”, I wanted a heroine that was ballsy, driven and beyond reproach. Someone more like me.
With this season’s premier numbers she did do something I am proud of; she dispelled the myth that women heroes like Wonder Woman wouldn’t have good TV ratings. (See the article linked here.) However, if they had to water down Kara to achieve this feat, I’m scared for what they could do to my Princess Di(ana). Poor character development can hurt a series, and this one needs to pick up the pace for our Millennial superhero. I hope Kara Danvers picks up a few tricks too and learns to unleash her inner powers quickly. There is only so much bad drama I can tolerate before cutting my loses and switching to another Bat-channel.