The new CBS TV show based on the famous character from DC Comics has landed among us in the midst of positive critics. Is this just the umpteenth exploitation of the current superhero trend or a real unmissable pearl of the little screen?
Who is Supergirl?
As most people know, Supergirl is the alias of Kara Danvers or Kara Zor-El (interpreted by Melissa Benoist), the cousin of the even more famous Superman. These two superheroes are quite similar under a lot of different premises, starting from their story: both were in fact sent to Earth because their planet of origins, Krypton, was about to explode. Even their abilities are not that different though.
While it’s true that a TV show on Superman himself would have probably made for a safer bet, we also have to admit that the sheer amount of media already in existence on this character would have made another series completely unoriginal. But why choosing Supergirl?
The creators of the TV show have smartly managed to mash two popular tendencies. On one side, as we have already mentioned, there’s the frenzy for the world of superheroes brought upon by the incredible amount of big and little screen productions of the sovereign comics companies of Marvel and DC. But there’s another factor at play as well: modern feminism. In a period of renewed interest for gender equality, fairness in media representation has become incredibly important. A female superhero is what a lot of people have been waiting for – not the male lead’s love interest, not the quirky and sexy helpful assistant, but rather a real protagonist.
It’s clear from the very start of the story that this theme is central for the plot, considering Kara is presented as the ideal of the modern woman who is ready to fight for her place in the world. She wants to do so with her own strengths, without the help of her famous cousin. Furthermore, Kara is trying to build a successful career for herself in the world of – surprise, surprise – journalism, and we can see her work for another steadfast woman who sometimes seems to act a bit as a role model for her, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart).
What is Kara up to?
In the many battles she has to fight, Supergirl is never left completely to her own devices – we all know that superheroes have the general tendency to make huge messes when no one is there to advise them, no matter how powerful and well intentioned they are. Kara can count on a trusted team of friends, among whose the most important is without a doubt her adopted human sister, Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, portrayed by the talented Chyler Leigh, who is the classic badass fighter that could punch you in the face and your only reaction would be to thank her in fascination.
James “Jimmy” Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) provides for both a more diverse cast and a possible love interest for our main character, with a bit of a rivalry in the presence of the funny Winslow “Winn” Schott (Jeremy Jordan).
If on one side we have to admit that the classic trope of the villain of the week has been done and overdone, Supergirl still has some qualities that make it worth watching and truly enjoyable, while still remaining a light show for your downtimes and nothing terribly challenging. Although the beginning might be a little slow, the plot thickens as the story goes on and the portrayal of Melissa Benoist is always on top notch.
Superheroes of the world: unite!
Another perk worth mentioning is the crossover – this also seems to be a new fantastic trend for superhero TV shows – with the series of The Flash, based on the adventures of DC Comics’ character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). Kara and Barry meet in the episode World’s Finest, towards the end of the season of Supergirl. Who is not interested in that particular race?
Any doubts left?
So is Supergirl worth being watched? The answer is a firm yes. It’s the perfect TV show to watch in your free time, when you feel like chilling and without any rush or fear of getting so much into it to feel compelled to see it all at once. It has both original qualities and classic aspects most fantasy shows lovers are fond of. With a talented cast, good character development, an engaging plot and decent special effects, Supergirl is what you’re looking for if you want a superhero who stands out from the mass.
The rumours about a second season are yet to be confirmed but very diffused, as well as speculations on possible plots. Looks like Supergirl is the hero the world wants right now!