First Impressions of Supergirl

So. There’s a new DC hero in my TV lineup this fall.

Yep, you guessed it. It’s time to talk about Supergirl.

Now, to get it out of the way, I admit that I’m a mostly-Marvel fangirl when it comes to my comics, so I’m pretty unburdened by canon with Supergirl. I get to watch this show with a clean slate. You won’t find any nitpicks about how the show varies from the comics here.

But despite my limited investment in the mythos of Supergirl, I still initially approached this show with some trepidation. I was worried it wouldn’t hold up/that it would be too PC and cliché to work; that the writers and other powers that be wouldn’t know how to handle a female superhero, and that that would spell doom to other heroes out there who happen to not be men.

The only clip I’d seen prior to the show’s pilot was one where Kara was working on her costume. While I appreciated the trial and error nature of this scene and that it was obviously her guy bestie helping her, I was worried that both characters seen would be caricatures: The ambiguous best friend and the clothes-mongering young woman. If this was the case, I didn’t think the show could make it as more than a punchline to a clichéd joke.

But I was interested enough to tune into the pilot anyway. I wanted to give Supergirl a chance.

I’m so glad I did.

Supergirl is now four episodes in, and the show is finding its feet. The pilot needed to grow into its cape a bit, but it was a solid start. The next episode was better, if a little over the top in its more blatant feminist moments (though the question of family planning never being asked to men is valid). The third episode was tons of fun and featured my favorite scenes in the series so far. And the episode that aired this week (aired out of order, apparently, due to bombings featuring heavily in the originally planned episode and Paris making that uncouth) was a solid stand-alone adventure with some team building thrown in for fun.

Yes, there are things even I nitpick (James being all “but Superman does it this way” and his forced romance angle with Kara for two things and James himself for another – I get the revamp, sort of, but it’s just weird for Jimmy Olsen to be a big, buff, badass, even for a neophyte like me), but the interactions between Kara and Winn and the DEO are lovely, and the best thing of all is Kara’s sister, Alex. These sisters feel real to me, and that is fabulous.

These two women have been heavily involved in every episode, and guess what? They’ve only talked about clothes twice. And once the dress was bulletproof, so I don’t think that counts. They’ve talked about romance once, I think. (There’s that forced James thing I mentioned earlier – not so much with that, please.) Most of the time, they talk about aliens and fighting and Kara finding her own way. They even talk about TV and worry about spoilers.

What? Sisters on television that face problems together despite being vastly different? Sisters who aren’t obsessed with the drama of clothes, hair, makeup, and guys?

Be still my heart.

Because I have a sister, and we usually talk about sports or Harry Potter (I try to keep her off Twilight, because Twilight, but whatever). We never talk about clothes or make up. And you bet I snark at her the way Kara snarks at Alex and vice versa. We’d also likely fight like Kara and Alex – physically, that is – if we could. If I could best my sister using kryptonite, you bet I would. And it would be awesome. I’d also threaten to melt her face off over a favorite food, like Kara did last week, if I was the super-powered one. What younger sister wouldn’t?

So I’m loving this show. I’ve said before that I like some fun in my superhero shows. I’m not a fan of Nolan’s Batman, but of Burton’s. And while I like Arrow, sometimes I get a little tired of Dark!Edgy!Angsty! Oliver and company.

And this show has fun in spades. There’s some angst there, and only time will tell how well they handle that (don’t make the show too bright and shiny, please, as that would detract from Kara a lot and make her seem like that caricature I mentioned earlier – also, her cousin saving the day once is okay; every week is not), but mostly, for now, Supergirl is just plain fun. I don’t care if they’ve changed things up from the comics and I mostly don’t care that little Jimmy Olsen is strapping James now. I’m enjoying the ride too much to get all worked up by that kind of thing. From the snakes named Fluffy to the original uniform blunders, it’s just fun. Add a new, likely multi-episode mystery (introduced this past week), Dean Cain and Helen Slater as Kara’s foster parents, Cat Grant as an actually interesting character of her own, and a sister dynamic that actually works, and I’m sold. Oh, and props to the showrunners for getting one thing out of the way right off the bat. The shirt ripping scene in the pilot was greatness, because I didn’t think they’d do it with a woman because *gasp* breasts!

I look forward to watching this show as live as I can (usually only delayed a few hours due to schedules, not days, as is often the case with my shows), and I get excited to do so. That hasn’t happened in a while, but it sure is…wait for it…fun. That’s something I’ve been missing in TV lately.

Looks like it was a job for Supergirl.

GS Blogger: wabbit

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