TV Review: Supergirl


Airs: Mondays at 8/7c on CBS

Review: Pilot

I am not well versed in comic book lore, but Supergirl feels like it stays close to the comics – including logic that would only make sense in a comic book.  It was a pilot episode, and those can be a little rocky; sometimes a show needs room to grow into itself.  Let’s hope Supergirl can do that, because the show has promise, if some serious flaws.

Kara Danvers is the errand girl for media mogul Cat Grant.  She is content knowing that the world doesn’t need another hero – her cousin, Superman, has it covered.  Until one day, her foster sister’s plane is going to crash, and Kara flies to the rescue.  This exposes her to the world, and to feelings she didn’t know she had – she wants to be a hero and help people.  She can do that with her powers.

Once she starts using her powers to help, she is captured by the Department of Extra-normal Operations (DEO.)  This is where the plot unravels.  The DEO is in charge of hunting down aliens to protect the human race.  Why did they leave a known alien, Kara, alone?  Why do they think she is evil now that she is helping people?  Why wouldn’t they want a superpowered alien helping them?  Kara is released because her foster sister, Alex, works for the DEO.  The head of the DEO doesn’t trust her, or any alien, including Superman.  What?  Superman is the most trustworthy being there is – he is Nietzche’s übermensch – the ideal standard to which mankind should strive.  This entire arc makes little sense.

The villain of the week arc might make less sense than the DEO storyline.  Vartox, preparing for the “General’s” arrival, is determined to kill Supergirl because Kara’s mother sent him to prison.   During their first encounter, Vartox soundly defeats Supergirl.  In their second encounter, Supergirl fights him to a draw, only purposefully losing.  She needs to get close to his weapon – if it overheats it will explode.  Now when Alex tells the audience her boss this, I am thinking something on par with a small nuke or at least a ton of TNT – instead it is a tiny little explosion, that despite being closer to the baby blast does not harm Kara, but scars Vartox.  Vartox then kills himself because…um, because he lost his weapon?  He can’t beat Kara in a hand-to-hand fight?  I really don’t know.

I am hoping some of these problems with the script are just the writers working out the kinks in the first episode.  With some better writing, it can be a solid, feel-good show about good triumphing over evil.  You don’t get much more black and white than the Superman/Supergirl mythos.

WWYT Rating: 6.0

Nielsen Rating: 3.1  One of the strongest premiere to date.  However, next week it shifts to its normal timeslot (8/7c) instead of following the ratings hero, Big Bang Theory.  That combined with a lower quality premiere, we should see a larger than normal drop from week one to week two.  It still has a long way to go to get cancelled.  80% chance of renewal (up from 50% initial estimate.)


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