Sunday, October 23, 2016

Supergirl - Season 1

     I finally got through Season 1 of Supergirl which I recorded on the DVR and binged-watched through all last week! When it comes to shows about superheroes, anyone can be skeptical, especially about female superheroes. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how charming and fun this show was, but also filled with emotional depth and complexities in all of it's characters. The writing was very strong and there was no shortage of crazy aliens and monsters who were trying to take down the city and even the world. Yet, a story is only as good as it's characters and if anything, Supergirl got its characters just right. 

Kara Zor-El//Kara Danvers//Supergirl
Melissa Benoist as Kara//Supergirl
      Twelve year old Kara Zor-El of Krypton has enjoyed a happy life on her planet. Yet, disaster comes quite suddenly and unexpectedly and Kara is sent of by her mother to protect her baby cousin Kal-El. However, Kara's pod in knocked off course due to the explosion of her planet and when she finally reaches earth, cute little baby Kal-El is now Clark Kent or Superman to the rest of the world.

     Like her now famous cousin, Kara begins to develop abnormal abilities including flying, super strength, x-ray vision, advanced hearing and heat vision. Afraid of what is happening, Kara finds a home with the Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers (played by Helen Slater, the original Supergirl and Dean Cain, Clark Kent//Superman from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and their daughter, Alex. Overtime, Kara begins to hone her abilities while living with the Danvers as well as finding a new family. 

     By the time Kara is an adult, she is in control of her powers and works as the assistant to world famous television journalist Cat Grant of CatCo. And also as Supergirl for the Department for Extra-Normal Operations with her sister. Yet, Kara cannot hide her powers forever and eventually she is revealed to the world as Supergirl. Now, Kara must balance her life as a human and an alien in never ending ending struggle of good v evil that challenges her humanity, her happiness and even her heart.

     To say that Melissa Benoist did a good job as Supergirl would be a serious understatement. She went above and beyond my initial expectations for Kara. Like with Nina Dobrev from  The Vampire Diaries, Melissa has an extraordinary ability to convey a wide emotional range that can be difficult for a young actor or actress. For the most part, Kara is a very sweet, feminine and hardworking girl, but there are times when her insecurities and anger get the better of her and Melissa pulls off both sides effortlessly. Kara can make you laugh and cry, she's relatable in her struggle to fit into society without being made to conform, she's got family issues, she lives in the shadow of a famous family member and lets not forget matters of the heart! And that's all in one day! Melissa gets all of it right.

National City and the DEO

     Alex Danvers: Kara's protective older adoptive sister who works for the DEO. Alex is a hardworking young women, with a great deal of painful secrets and pent up anxieties due to the loss of her father when she was young. However, Alex is loyal to the end and will always stand with her sister; never compromising or giving in.

     Cat Grant: The Queen of All Media in National City. Cat Grant is the ultimate idol of a successful business women and she'll be the first person to tell you. Although, she has a prickly exterior, there is really a remarkable women underneath that is gifted with great wisdom and insight. Cat becomes an unlikely mentor figure to Kara (her assistant) as well as to Supergirl. When things in the city get tough, there is no one else you would want more by your side. 

     Hank Henshaw: The head of the DEO that while gives the appearance of an ordinary human, Hank is actually a fugitive alien whose own planet has been destroyed. Strong and moral minded, Hank is a leader that the world needs in its worst hours. There is a genuine goodness in Hank that makes you trust him and he becomes a loving father figure to both Alex and Kara.

     Jimmy Olsen: The one and only Jimmy Olsen from The Daily Planet and best friend to Superman, is now switching gears and works as the head photographer at CatCo. Jimmy is one of the few people that knows Kara's identity as Supergirl and, like with her cousin, he assists her the best that he can. 

     Winn Scott: Kara's best friend who she met at her first day at CatCo. Winn is a computer genius who can hack through any system be it human or alien, yet when it comes to his personal feeling for Kara, he's a wreck. Things only get more complicated when it seems that Kara is more interested in Jimmy than him.

      Maxwell Lord: A genius, billionaire, scientist, that is forever riding the fence between enemy and ally. While Max's heart might be in the right place from time to time, his genius and craving for power is forever overshadowing his somewhat good nature. Never really knowing where he stands, Max is an enigma that keeps everyone guessing what his true motives are.

     While very reminiscent of Smallville, Supergirl  just may be able to forge it's own clear identity for a female superhero who can stand on her own. The show has now been moved to the CW (probably so it can coincide with the DC universe's of Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow) and there could be a chance of success and longevity. I would very much like to see the show succeed, because right now young girls need a strong, but generous female superhero to look up to and who's not afraid to remain feminine and vulnerable. That's not too much to ask for the young female audiences out there. 

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