Look, I know that CBS’s Supergirl didn’t receive the best reviews when it was starting out, and I know some of you are probably wondering how I could ever recommend this show to you. But I am a firm believer in the “you have to watch at least a few episodes” philosophy of television, which states that most shows take at least a few episodes – and sometimes whole seasons – to find their feet. When I first put Supergirl on my DVR, I was just as wary as you, but now, only a few episodes into the show’s first season, I can pretty confidently say I love this show and you should definitely be watching it.
Supergirl is the story of Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Kara Danvers a.k.a. Supergirl. Like her cousin Kal-El a.ka. Clark Kent a.ka. Superman, Kara was sent away from a dying Krypton in order to help humanity. She may have made it to Earth two decades later than planned and may have had to hide her powers for several years, but Kara is now ready to use her powers and follow in her cousin’s footsteps.
Need a little more convincing? I’ll give you a whole list of reasons to watch Supergirl because you should absolutely, positively start watching this show ASAP!
Up, Up and Away
Thanks to the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, later seasons of Smallville and every season of Arrow, I am sick and tired of the grim and gloomy hero aesthetic. Thankfully, Supergirl gives me none of that. Kara Zor-El takes her job as the titular hero just as seriously as her male counterparts, but she has fun with it too! There’s not much angsting to be found here because Kara actually wants to be a hero.
With a light-hearted take on its hero material, Supergirl stands out. If, like me, you don’t want to watch another dark iteration of a hero or if you enjoyed the first season of The Flash, you should definitely check out Supergirl. You’ll be glad you did.
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves
As is only right, Supergirl, a TV show about a female superhero, features a lot of stellar female characters and deals with their relationships. Kara and her foster sister, Alex Danvers, are a major focus on the show because they work together and grew up together; and the relationship between Kara and her boss, Cat Grant, is equally emphasized. These women might not always get along, but they respect each other – or are growing to respect each other.
Supergirl promises more female characters and relationships in the future as Kara has an AI version of her mother to talk to, she and Alex spend time with their mother and Kara will at some point have to deal with her aunt Astra, who’s been causing havoc around National City.
The Alter Egos
Without Melissa Benoist (Glee) in the lead role, Supergirl would not be half as good. She brings just the right balance to Kara, making her strong and brave like a typical hero but also dorky and cheerful too. Fortunately, like her character, Benoist has strong support all around her and doesn’t have to carry the show all on her own.
Many well-known actors make up the rest of the cast of Supergirl, including Calista Flockhart (Brothers & Sisters, Ally McBeal), Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness, True Blood, Desperate Housewives) and Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy). Like other superhero shows before it, Supergirl also acknowledges its debts: Dean Cain, who played Superman on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the 1984 movie of the same name, make appearances as Kara’s foster parents.
In Supergirl’s second episode, Kara talks about the El family crest – you know, the thing that looks an ‘S’ on both her outfit and Superman’s – and the motto that goes along with it: “stronger together.” It’s yet another different and welcome take on the superhero material, which has been overrun lately with heroes who think they need to do everything alone.
Kara has a team standing by her in the form of Alex, James Olsen and Kara’s best friend Winn Schott, and she intends to rely on them as much as possible. Community is a fabulous and important sentiment for Supergirl to embrace. As Kara says, “Part of being your own man is knowing when to accept help.” That’s a lesson most of us could stand to learn.
This is a job for…
So, yes, if you’re looking for a little more Superman in your life, he can be found sparingly in Supergirl, particularly in the first few episodes. Plus, there’s the matter of the originally Superman comics characters Cat Grant and James Olsen and a couple of Superman’s villains to boot. But this story isn’t about him.
One of the most exciting things about Supergirl for comic fans may just be the fact that the show is determined to bring us back to Krypton. Kara lived on the planet for a full twelve years, and she has memories that her cousin doesn’t. Supergirl is slowly but surely bringing Krypton into focus, something that’s helped by the fact that the major season villain is one of Kara’s relatives.
Supergirl is a great show for everyone. It’s family and nerd-friendly, features complex female characters and manages to keep its serious and fun sides in balance. In spite of its rocky start, the show is getting a lot right now, and like many TV shows, it’s only getting better as it continues. So, go ahead and play catch-up. We’re only a few episodes in, and CBS has all those episodes available on their website for streaming. I promise Supergirl is worth it.
New episodes air Mondays at 8/7c.