Supergirl: A Sad Addition to the TV Superhero Genre

At the time of my writing this, CBS has only released the pilot for Supergirl. It is possible that my opinion on the show has changed, but from watching the single episode, I felt as though enough was made clear to me about the coming show for me to write something about it. I doubt my opinion will change, but that does not mean I’m not open to it.

Supergirl. Superman’s cousin. To me, the idea of such a character alone is a bit of a lazy cop-out, but that is not why I felt the way I do about the show. With the show, CBS is hopping on the bandwagon set rolling by CW. For those unfamiliar with CW’s entries to the world of live-action adaptations of DC Comics, they are the network responsible for the introduction of the show Arrow, which, in the year of its release in 2012, showed incredible amounts of promise. They are also responsible for the release of The Flash this past year. These shows both had their high points and their lows. I felt as though the former was at its best during the entire first season, and arguably the second – I don’t want to get into too much detail but I felt that the third and most recent season was a bit of a disappointment. The Flash, on the other hand, had a slightly rougher start at the start of the season, but by the end proved to be thoroughly interesting and exciting to watch. Despite the fact that its first few episodes were a bit rough, I always saw potential in the show, in its content, potential storylines, and its characters/actors.

After watching the pilot for Supergirl, I do not feel the same way. I don’t feel like the show gave us a good pilot, but unlike The Flash, I don’t feel like there was much potential at all that was displayed in it.

So, I suppose the big question is: What’s wrong with the show? In short, I think the biggest issue I have with the show is the idea(s) behind it. However, I suppose my issues with that could go away if the show had other redeeming qualities, which is when my other issues with it come into play. I felt as though the writing was uninspired, the acting was supremely disappointing, and the characters were equally so.

I have a lot of issues with the concept with the show. Besides the issue i mentioned earlier about the character, but it’s in the fact that I don’t think it’s an idea that belongs on TV. What works in Arrow and The Flash is that (especially with the former), the characters are ‘small’ enough for them to work on TV. By small I mean that their powers as heroes are not at a Superman level. I think The Flash pushes this limit a lot, but even Barry Allen has many weaknesses. As we’ve seen with the show Smallville, regular drama that frequents TV shows (especially on the CW shows) does not do justice to the big ideas or the big powers associated with the Kryptonian character. One reason for this is the fact that doing it requires a lot of good CGI (probably more than The Flash), which I’m not sure the team behind Supergirl are quite up for.

Another issue I have with the basic concept of the character is that she is obviously very closely linked with Superman, who will likely never have an appearance on the show, and is almost never even mentioned. He obviously has a big role in her story, so I feel like it’s a big elephant in the room that the writers are trying to write around, but, especially in the pilot, could not be done well at all.

Let’s face it, in a world with multiple Marvel releases every year, and DC doing its best to pick up the slack, its clear that superheroes sell. I can’t help but think that this is a cashgrab that was only approved because of the continued success of Arrow, and the surprisingly big success of The Flash.

However, my qualms with the show do not end with that. Some of the biggest problems with the pilot, and potential content of the entire show, are the writing, and acting. The writing, done by Andrew Kreisberg (who was one of the main names behind the two CW/DC shows), felt lazy, and I felt it to be less than on par with the worst episodes of the other shows.

The acting by more or less all of the actors involved with the show was equally uninspired and forced. This statement applies to performances ranging from Supergirl herself to the terrible performance of her boss, Cat Grant.

I am still open to being impressed by future episodes, but as it stands now, I don’t think this show shows a whole lot of potential at all. I don’t doubt that there will be people who like it, or that there will be a large viewing audience (it is a superhero show after all..), but I can say that if the quality of the show stays anywhere near the level of its pilot, I will not be one of the regular viewers.

As of right now, I would give Supergirl… a D.

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