Ok, so, full disclosure, the reason we didn’t review Supergirl last year was mainly a timing issue. CBS put it on the same time slot as Gotham (which was weird in every sense of the word), and we had to choose one show to review. I picked Gotham, and I stand by that decision, because Gotham Season 02 was amazing, while Supergirl’s debut was…very inconsistent.
You could argue that Supergirl is one of the hardest characters to write in all of comics. Because unlike many family or sidekick characters of the “big” heroes, there’s never been much to differentiate Supergirl from Superman. This was very obvious in season 01, as much of the storylines, and even the characters, tied back to Superman, rather than paving out a separate path for Supergirl. Funnily enough, the best episodes were ones that had nothing to do with Superman what so ever. Like, “Seeing Red”, or “Worlds Finest”. I honestly didn’t even finish the season because I was so turned off by the show at the halfway point.
But, with the move to CW, I wanted to give the show the second chance it likely deserved. And while I’m still not a fan of much of what they’re doing, I can say this was easily one of the best episodes of the series so far.
“The Adventures of Supergirl” did a really good job of transitioning from its CBS style to its CW style. In fact, if you didn’t know it was on CBS last year, you likely wouldn’t have noticed anything was different. This is good, as a seamless transition is paramount for shifts like this. Not only did it introduce a new DEO building, it set up the new dynamics for many characters. Kara’s new job, Wynn’s new job, and the arrival…of Superman.
Yes, it was inevitable, but “Big Blue” is officially here, and…he’s pretty good. Now, I’ve already seen a BUNCH of bashing on both his take, and the take done by Henry Cavill in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman. Let me clear, these are two ENTIRELY different takes on Superman! Cavill’s is one who has hidden his whole life his powers because he doesn’t know how the world will react. Only now, because of his “death” is the world appreciating him. For this Superman, played by Tyler Hoechlin, he’s been in the world awhile as Superman, he’s even beaten Lex Luthor and put him in Riker’s. This is a guy who has fought the battles, the wars, the struggles, and became the beacon of hope Superman usually is. So it’s unfair to compare the two.
Now, while I was definitely not a fan of Hoechlin based on his first reveal art, he did win me over here. Both as Clark and as Superman he plays them pretty well. But most importantly, he has a clear bond with Kara. Seeing the two cousins bond, which is technically a first in live-action, was a treat. Especially when Kara went to him for advice and he smiled and regaled her about his own struggles…which were exactly like hers once upon a time.
Which of course brings me to Melissa Benoist, who was always the best part of Supergirl, she plays Kara perfectly, and her interactions with Clark and Superman are both genuine and endearing. Even when she said, “I’ve dreamed of us teaming up”, you know she meant it as Kara.
That being said…Supergirl still is falling prey to the faults of the first season. Mainly, its numerous ties to Superman mythology. We met Lena Luthor, heard about Lex, heard about Lois again, and at the end…we got Metallo! I understand the desire to show this as a “sister show” to Superman shows of the past, but this show is the best when it steps away from the standards that Superman shows have had. That includes the villains…who are now all apparently moving to National City…because…I don’t know.
Oh, and the love stories! Yeah…not better, at all. One of the things I hated in Season 01 was the awful love triangle between Kara, Wynn, and Jimmy Olsen. We’re literally one episode in…after a season of building for Kara and Jimmy…and they break it off! Why? Why did they do that before they even did a first date? This is why love stories can be hard to write, because if they’re not done perfectly, they’re totally cheap.
All that aside though, this episode was pretty solid. Yes, there were some oddities all, a line from Superman about Kryptonite didn’t feel true to character, other “writings on the wall” were out of place, but overall, this was good. Again, I don’t know if I’ll become a fan of this show like I am of Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, or even Gotham. But…I’ve got hope. And isn’t that what the “S” stands for?