Episode 181: Supergirl is Pretty Super Now


Last week, I talked about some of my favorite childhood cartoons. I did enjoy them but that doesn’t mean I’m stuck in the past and will just say that television shows nowadays aren’t as good as the ones from the past. I’m not that cynical… yet. There is actually one show that I didn’t like but I’ve now changed my tune. That show is Supergirl.

When Supergirl premiered last year, I didn’t like it a whole lot. It was a show that cheesed me despite it being something I should enjoy. It had superheroes, which have become a big thing in recent years. It also had a female lead, and, being a girl myself who is craving for shows with strong female leads, I wanted Kara Danvers to be an inspiration. However, the show just ticked me off. It ticked me off so much, I wrote, not one, but two, posts about what’s wrong with CBS’ handling of the show.

Those were the (sad) days...

Those were the (sad) days…

There were a few things I like about the show. I did like Melissa Benoist’s portrayal of Kara Danvers/Supergirl as she provides an amazing dorky and naive depiction of the Girl of Steel, which does suit the character. I also did grow to like the way Calista Flockhart breathed life to Cat Grant, a character I didn’t like during the first few episodes. But, as time went on, I grew to like the musing of Cat Grant and how she would be a rather tough but loving mother figure to Kara/Supergirl.

But that was about it. Everything else felt really terrible. The stories never felt compelling. Supergirl never really felt all that super as she needed to be rescued over and over again. The action always felt flat. But I especially didn’t like the entire Jimmy… sorry… James Olsen/Winn Schott/Kara Danvers love triangle they tried to shove down our throats! It was terrible!

Sorry, I just don't see it.

Sorry, I just don’t see it.

But how the worm has turned! Nowadays, I find myself looking forward to Tuesdays (which is when Supergirl is aired here in the Philippines). Honestly, it feels kind of weird! This was a show that I practically decided to ignore. But, when it was announced that Supergirl was moving from CBS to CW, I decided to give it another chance. And it turns out it was good that I did!

I guess the CW helped Supergirl by making the show more… formulaic in a sense. The network has a lot of experience with producing superhero based television programs. After all, this is the network that successfully made Arrow, something that shouldn’t have worked! After all, Arrow is all about a crime fighter who uses archery to fight crime! It sound ridiculous but the show works so well!

The CW then used Arrow to launch another superhero show, The Flash. After that, they made Legends of Tomorrow. Each of these shows used Arrow as a starting point and, as such, they created the Arrow-verse. Silly name, but hey! That’s what fans are calling it!

Ranking them by my liking: The Flash, Arrow then Legends.

Ranking them by my liking: The Flash, Arrow then Legends.

CBS did try to capitalize on the CW’s success with Supergirl but, like I said, the show had problems. But, once Supergirl moved over to the CW, things changed. Supergirl, the show, started to start taking risks which just clicked. They did have to let Calista Flockhart because of the move so Cat Grant had to be written out of the show. However, I did like the send off she got as it was done with respect to the character with the possibility of her returning to the fold in the future.

I actually like what they did with the entire DEO/alien peacekeeping operations as well. They took them out of the dingy cave and put them into a building, making it look more high tech. They also moved the smartest character on the show, Winn, and transferred him to the DEO. That was a brilliant decision because he was very underutilized, especially if you consider his genius level intelligence.

They also seemed to put a lot more focus on the stories and action when the show moved networks. That was one of my biggest problems with Supergirl when it was languishing in CBS. The storylines always felt flat. Even if there was a threat to the world, it never felt like a big deal. It always felt so anti-climactic. The action was also extremely boring, so even when there was this supposed new menace, it never felt like the heroes were in any peril.

Now, there is this new focus on telling a grand story. I might not totally like that, all of a sudden, Supergirl’s version of Earth is just populated with different aliens as the previous season didn’t really give the viewers any indication. But there is an entire government agency dedicated to stopping the bad aliens so I let it go. There’s also the introduction of Mon-El and how he’ll fit into the grand scheme of things and the appearance of another Martian for J’onn J’onzz to interact with. But the best new storyline is the one involving Lena Luthor. Right now, it seems like she really is a decent human being. But there is still a possibility that she’ll follow in her brother’s footsteps, Lex Luthor.

But the biggest and most appreciative change the CW did with Supergirl was actually give the characters in the show something they needed badly: personality. The only characters that were worth watching when it was on CBS were Kara Danvers/Supergirl and Cat Grant. They tried to give some quirks to the rest of the cast but they all felt really bland. In the CW, everyone is made interesting in one way or another as they’re all given story arcs. There’s Alex Danvers coming out as gay. James Olsen and Winn teaming up to create The Guardian. There’s J’onn J’onzz and his tragic past on Mars. Even Kara Danvers has to grow up a little as she switched careers from assistant to Cat Grant to reporter!

But that’s not the best thing about Supergirl. It’s the fact that now it’s officially a part of the Arrowverse! This gives the show so much potential as they can have Supergirl interact with characters from Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. In fact, they did last week in a four-part crossover special! While I did expect a little bit more since, well, shouldn’t Supergirl be able to crush an alien force rather easily? But it was good for the most part and seeing her meet the other Arrowverse characters was fantastic!

Not as good as the Superhero Fight Club 2.0 promo… but it was a nice try.

I like this new direction Supergirl is headed. It made a show that I really didn’t care for into one that I just can’t miss. You know what other thing that is making a change that I like? This year’s Metro Manila Film Fest! And I’ll talk more about that next time!

What do you think of the second season of Supergirl so far? Let me know in the comments section below!

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