CBS’s SUPERGIRL Season 1 Review
By now it’s no secret that SUPERGIRL will be switching networks from CBS to The CW for season 2. While that may sound bad for the series, it’s actually a great move and actually has me way more excited for season 2 for a crap ton of reasons. Let’s start with the obvious, The CW is already home to ARROW, FLASH, and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. Adding SUPERGIRL into the mix is going to be one hell of a good time. Secondly, and arguably most importantly, Superman is also coming into the mix…finally. Having Superman back on TV is so exciting. Basically, SUPERGIRL should have always been on The CW and it should always have included Superman. Glad things finally got figured out before it’s too late.
Ok, so now it’s time for some good old fashion honesty. I was all for SUPERGIRL on CBS and really like the idea of a strong female superhero kicking ass all over my DVR. So yeah I jumped in head first. Here’s the honest part, after 7 episodes I gave up as I just couldn’t handle one more show on my DVR and something had to go. I told myself I’d catch up one day but really I was kind of over it since I was knee deep in some sweet The CW DC superhero goodness. If only she were a part of THAT universe. Season 1 wrapped, I never caught up, and life went on. Until season 2 got announced for The CW along with word that Clark “Superman” Kent was coming into the mix, and season 1 would all be available on Netflix. Once it popped up on Netflix I binged the hell out of it and discovered, that while flawed, it was a lot better than I expected.
The strongest element SUPERGIRL has going for it is by far Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl. Go figure. What I mean to say is she is likable as all hell, rocks that iconic costume, and gives audiences a truly wonderful female superhero to look up to. The supporting cast is also quite likable and they all mesh together like a finely tuned…ummm….like a finally tuned show on The CW! Kara “Supergirl” Danver’s sister Alex played by Chyler Leigh is also likable as all hell but badass in more of a Batman or Black Widow kind of way. They have great screen chemistry too and it’s great seeing a powerless female just as powerful. Then there’s the media mogul Cat Grant played by Calista “I bang Harrison Ford” Flockhart who is Kara Danvers’ boss. And for good measure we have Lois Lane’s sister Lucy played by Jenna Dewan Tatum (yes that Tatum) who has a tawdry history with Jimmy giving us a awkward and somewhat forced love triangle between her, Jimmy, and Kara. Lucy and Cat are more strong female leads but in more of a “successful” type of way rather than a “I can kick your ass” kind of way. Buy yeah, strong…see a patten?
Now let’s talk about the boyz. We have Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen recently transferred to National City to keep an eye on Supergirl on Superman’s request. Phssss, like she needs a mere human keeping an eye on her. And then there’s the lovable nice guy Winn played by Jeremy Jordan who’s a co-worker with Kara. Can you guess what he and Jimmy have in common? You guessed it, they are both head over heels for Kara…typical. Now something that’s not typical is David Harewood’s Hank Henshaw who leads the DEO alongside Kara’s sister Alex. Fans of the comic know Henshaw’s alter ego The Martian Manhunter and holy shit is this a wonderful character. I’d go as far as saying h’s a show-stealer whenever he’s around. Harewood plays him to perfection. The juxtaposition of his strong human side keeping the world safe with his fragile and tragic alien side created a truly dynamic character that really was a joy to watch. Nailed it.
All the main players do a wonderful job here and display great screen chemistry with one another. But a truly jarring issue in SUPERGIRL is the constant reference to Superman without actually showing him. Instead we get blurry shots of him swooshing by, some great shots of his boots, and a handful of real shitty text messaging segments. What a bad idea that was. Nothing says “cool” like superheroes text messaging. NOT! For a show trying to separate itself from the “Man” of Steel, they sure do talk about him a lot. May as well just include the dude…oh, wait, they are now on The CW…phew. Basically, not including him in this season was a huge misstep that truly took away from the experience. Besides that, my only other real gripe was how just about every boy in Kara’s age range fell in love with her almost immediately. I mean, she IS “likable as all hell” but come on.
As a complete package, SUPERGIRL season 1 was enjoyable, but as I mentioned, flawed. It’s almost as if the show had an identity crisis never fully committing to any of its bigger ideas. The origin in the beginning was short and sweet which I appreciated. The middle consisted of some truly epic episodes mixed with a few duds. And the ending was kind of cliche superhero riff raff and a bit anti-climatic and disjointed. The love triangles missed their mark more than they hit, and the jarring rejection of actually showing Superman yet constantly name dropping him hurt more than it helped. I will say, the special effects were top notch! Finally, epic superhero action, including great flying effects, are on TV! Seriously, SUPERGIRLS’s effects match what I see in a lot of big budget films. I can only hope the budget is the same on The CW because the action in this show was extremely enjoyable.
Now that I’m all caught up with SUPERGIRL, and anticipating her arrival on The CW alongside Superman, my excitement levels are through the damn roof. I truly believe season 2 is going to be the show the creators intended it to be from the get go. The trailer makes it look just perfect. Sure season 1 on CBS was a pretty hit or miss experience, but it left a good aftertaste in my mouth nonetheless. The characters are great, the effects are top notch, and the path leading forward is most promising. No more origin stories, Superman is joining the fray, and superheroing alongside Arrow, Flash, and the Legends is a recipe for success. I simply can’t wait to see where this all goes from here. Bring in on season 2.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10