It’s not a bird, and it’s certainly not a plane, it’s Kara Zor-EL (Supergirl) one of DC Comics most idolized female headliners.
Kara is Superman’s (Kal-EL) biological cousin and a decedent of the Kryptonians; a race of space aliens now extinct due to Planetary Resource Exhaustion.
In the show the story explains that although at one point she was in fact older than Kal, she arrived on Earth at the same age she left Krypton because her ship was hit by a shockwave produced by the explosion of her home world. This shockwave sent her ship swirling into the Phantom Zone where the time structure is completely different than Earths. Throughout her time in the Phantom Zone twenty four years went by and Kal was able to fully mature before she finally escaped and crash landed on Earth. Upon arriving she was adopted by the Danvers family and her name was changed to Kara Danvers in order to fit into the normalcy of her new environment. On a physiological level, Kara has the same powers as her cousin due to exposure from Earths yellow sun.
The series starts out with Kara living a mediocre life as an average human. Growing up she was taught to hide her abilities to protect herself from the government and to fit in with the rest of society. It wasn’t until a horrible accident that she was forced to tap into her unused powers to prevent a catastrophe from occurring. This event was the turning point in her life that lead to her wanting to become a full fledge Super Hero.
She has since been fighting crime with the help and support of her friends Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), and the DEO; a secret government organization that her sister, Alexandra Danvers (Chyler Leigh), and now friend Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) belong to.
When I heard that a live action Supergirl show was coming to television I was ecstatic. However those emotions quickly dwindled when the trailer was revealed. Even with my tremendous appreciation for Supergirl, nothing could have changed the dissatisfying impression the trailer left on me. I felt as though I was watching a spin off series from the movie Devil Wears Prada with the added bonus that the main protagonist is actually a super powered being from another planet.
At the time I thought my judgment was probably jaded due to the amazing superhero shows I have been watching on the CW – The Arrow and The Flash. Two shows that embody the superior qualities of their predecessor, Smallville.
Although I had my doubts, I decided to give Supergirl a chance. I waited patiently until the show had accumulated some steam before binging through 7 episodes in one day. My strategy behind this was to allow myself to fully dive into the shows entirety without episode breaks, which at times could lead to a misdiagnosis of a review. With 7 episodes under my belt I was ready to provide a creditable review on how I truly felt about the show.
The show often feels like a rom-com with random superhero action here and there. If I can describe the show in one word it would be, Subpar. For me, it just doesn’t compare to its peers on the CW and fails to represent Kara in the way I think most fans would have wanted to see her. I for one wanted the eccentric and fearless Kara Zor-El from the new 52 comics, who loses her cool at times but is sure of herself and her role as a hero.
I understand there needs to be back story in order to get everyone involved, not just comic book fans, but their delivery just doesn’t meet the standards of other hero shows on the market. Don’t get me wrong, I’d watch Supergirl over Agents of Shield any day.
As far as the cast goes, I am not very impressed with the direction they are taking The Martian Man Hunter, a character who was just recently revealed to actually be Hank Henshaw. The Man Hunter should be more powerful and have a bigger role as a superhero as opposed to a government operative.
I also enjoyed the fact that they gave her a support team, just like the ones seen on The Flash and Arrow. A dynamic like this builds more opportunities for character interactions and ultimately balances out the show as a whole. This arrangement was probably done because all of these shows share the same executive producer, Andrew Kreisberg.
Another aspect about the show that I loved was the introduction of Kara’s Kryptonian aunt who also came through the Phantom Zone with her. It adds for more back story and provides fans with some never before seen or told stories from Kara’s past.
Super hero shows aren’t easy to create, especially when you’re dealing with characters that require a lot of special effects, camera tricks, and CGI to be great. Supergirl has its moments where the movements and effects look extremely believable but there is a lack of consistency there.
So far the show maintains a 6.4/10, 7.4/10, and 97% rating on IMDb, TV.com, and Rotten Tomatoes. Though, the show has had to recruit the aid of stars like Grant Gustin whom plays The Flash to try and boost ratings.
My advice is – you’re not missing out if you haven’t seen the show. If you do decide to watch, it can be quite enjoyable at some points, I mean it is Supergirl after all. However, I wouldn’t go out of your way to make sure you don’t miss an episode but if you happen to tune in, stick with it, you may find it to be your cup of tea.
For me, it just hasn’t reached the bar that has already been set. I hope the creators are able to shape it into the show I know it has the potential to be.