Supergirl is problematic. The movie and television industry is crying out for female lead roles and the realm of female led movies/TV shows in the superhero genre is almost completely unexplored; making this show quite ground-breaking. However, I am not convinced as yet. I like the characters, I like the casting (generally), it has a brighter and more hopeful atmosphere to it which, as many fans of the Superman would attest to, is more accurate when looking at Superman/Supergirl in comics and earlier movies/TV shows. Yet it all feels very wooden and quite forced.
Now I know that the acting and screenplay is a little suspect in all the related DC superhero TV shows, The Flash and Arrow, but the charm and appeal of those shows comes from elsewhere. Do not get me wrong I love the cast and the premise of the show and they are quite quirky and relatable to The Flash for instance but the tempo of the episodes does not sit well with me. The action sequences in Arrow for example are nicely choreographed and the special effects in Flash make the shows superhero element very viewable and both likeable. It may just be a weakness in the character of Supergirl, that her abilities do not leave room for intricate fighting sequences but her battles are relatively one dimensional. The special effects have been good thus far, but I would not yet put them on a par with The Flash, with his use of speed and characters such as King Shark, especially when you compare them to the Red Tornado, a character I love, who was just some guy in old hockey pads painted red…it was forgettable and frustrating.
So as I am not convinced with the action, or Supergirl, side of the character you would hope there would be something in the character’s other identity that would keep it interesting. Especially, with the character supposedly being so young she could be dealing with all sorts of issues, but we are rarely reminded of her age and how it affects her perception of problems and issues, and if we are it is not very prominent or effective. I would prefer her not to be a personal assistant to Cat Grant but instead working at a desk right at the back so she could gradually win her attention before her appreciation and affection; they seem to have jumped a stage in my book. Then we could see and measure her development as a character through her work progression, her social interaction, personal struggles and her superhero persona; something I believe has been better portrayed in The Flash and Arrow.
There is also nothing to focus our attention long term. The Flash and Arrow have both done well to present us with a clear and identifiable bad guy who they gradually build up to challenging and defeating. With Supergirl there is no such bad guy. They may argue that Maxwell Lord is this season’s big bad, but he has not been prominent enough, nor conniving enough for me to really present as an evil genius pulling all the strings of a bigger picture. The season just feels like loads of small issues and operates episode to episode without developing anything larger, so as an audience member we don’t feel like we are involved in something bigger. I also think Peter Facinelli is facially too…Alvin and the Chipmunks to be considered an evil genius. Prejudice and objectifying to an extent I know, I am ashamed but it is far more prominent considering the, previously mentioned, wooden acting/screenplay and brighter image of the show; its just so much harder to take him seriously; as it probably would be anyone.
Overall, I am not convinced by the show, which would be a shame if a second season was not forthcoming as the industry does need these characters and female roles to be given centre stage…and I adore Melissa Benoist. However, I fear that it may be relying heavily on the success of the upcoming crossover with Grant Gustin’s The Flash just to gain some traction, in hope that if they can stumble over the line and secure a second season they can actually rectify some of the faults that have developed in the show. So there is my two cents on the future of Supergirl, hope it is of value to you, but what do you think? Do you like the show? Will it reach a second season? What do you think it’s weaknesses are? Are you more of a Flash/Arrow person? What about female lead roles in big movies and TV, what’s your view? Thanks for the read and let me know your perspective.