First look–Supergirl, the television series

Supergirl screencap

… or is it The Devil Wears Prada, the Superhero Edition?

In The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway played a smart but awkward gopher/assistant for a wealthy and mean editor-in-chief boss played by Meryl Streep.  In CBS’s new series Supergirl, Melissa Benoist appears to be playing a smart but awkward gopher/assistant for a wealthy and mean boss in some media industry gig played by Calista Flockhart.

Actually the entire preview comes off as–awkward.  Flockhart, in the “devil” role, seems like some kind of emotionless, one-note, robot.  Is she going to end up being some kind of android, an actual series supervillain?  And the feel is exactly that of CW’s The Flash–the most lighthearted of the superhero TV series flooding our airwaves.  We love a good superhero series, especially a new superheroine, so bring it on, but is this really just going to be a female version Grant Gustin’s naïve and good-hearted hero on a rival network?

Supergirl clip

This Supergirl also has little tying her to the comic book incarnation of the character, at least as far as we can tell from this first preview.  She does have the look of the popular Felicity Smoak from CW’s Arrow.  She is certainly adorable, but why does the superheroine have to be this junior superhero character?  When will we get a superheroine on film on equal footing with the male superheroes?  Check out this nearly seven minute preview of Supergirl for yourself:

Is this what the pilot for the cancelled-before-release Wonder Woman series looked like?  In fact, her story in the preview seems far closer to Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf’s plucky superheroine-in-training Batgirl from DC Comics’ New 52 monthly Batgirl series.  Here’s the blurb from CBS’s promotional folks:

SUPERGIRL is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), Superman’s (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.  Twelve-year-old Kara escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El.  Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret.  Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), as her new art director.  However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats.  Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime.

The actual scenes in the supersuit all look pretty good–the actress looks like she is having fun, much like Grant Gustin looks when playing The Flash.  We’ll give this one a try, because at least it doesn’t have the dark, bleak vibe that lost us as viewers on the short-lived NBC DC Comics series Constantine.  Supergirl is expected to air this Fall, on CBS.

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. Light-hearted and then some. I get that she’s a woman (girl) and the emotional aspect of what they are trying to do to pay respect to that aspect of the character. But I would also think that some level of confidence in herself just from her natural abilities alone would exist to counter some of the ‘Oh gosh’-ness and nearly cringe-worthy angst and uncertainty they appear to be smothering the character in. Perhaps that will be part of the first season story-arc, her coming out of her shell and embracing her powers.

    Also, did anyone else think she came off as way too young? She was thirteen years older than Kal-el on Krypton, and in this universe Superman has already met, befriended and confided in Jimmy Olsen, so he’s got to be at least in his late twenties; certainly not a teenager. But yet Kara seems to only be in her mid-twenties? Something isn’t adding up…

    I still have high opes for the series, I think my daughter will certainly gravitate toward it. Hopefully there will be enough to pull in a more mainstream audience, too.

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