Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
When CBS announced it was reviving Supergirl and turning it into a TV show, even ardent DC Comics fans let out a little shiver of fear. There were so many ways it could go wrong; from poor casting choices and cheesy plot-lines to grappling attempts to link back to Superman in any of its guises. Fortunately, this new adaptation of Supergirl has defied our expectations and we've happily given it a spot in our full-to-bursting TV schedule.
Now we know what youre thinking, how can you get past that god-awful exposition at the beginning of every episode? Well, we get your point, its atrocious, but we promise if you stick it out an enjoyable hour of TV awaits. Dont believe us? Here's our top 10 reasons why Supergirl has us smiling, but before you dive in head-first, there are plenty of spoilers so, read at your own risk.
The cast is perfectly balanced
Supergirl is perhaps a big enough draw to warrant a cast of newcomers, but instead CBS opted for a perfect combo of familiar faces, acting chops, new talent and where-have-I-seen-you-before-stars. Take for instance Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) as media mogul Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh (Greys Anatomy) as Karas sister Alex and Broadway star Jeremy Jordan (The Last Five Years) as loveable Winn Schott.
Of course, lets not forget Melissa Benoist, formerly of Glee as Kara Zor-El/Danvers, Dean Cain (yes, New Adventures of Superman Dean Cain) as Karas adopted father, Mehcad Brooks (True Blood) as Jimmy Olsen and Jenna Dewan-Tatum (Witches of East End) as Lucy Lane. Trust us, we could go on and on
It's kept our interest...
No mean feat when you've got a TV scheduled as packed as ours. Supergirl has impressed us with its multi-layered plots and interesting episodes. Making Karas adopted sister Alex an agent with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO) ensures theres a new villain every week, but its also raised its own questions, like what is Hank Henshaw up to and what is Maxwell Lords end game?
The fight sequences are also good, with episode three "Fight or Flight" pitting Kara against Reactron, and episode four bringing her face-to-face with Livewire. Kudos must go to showrunner Greg Berlanti, whos also been involved in Dawsons Creek, Everwood, The Flash and Arrow for making the show as three-dimensional and interesting as it is right now.
Its got clever not corny crossovers
The season starts by getting all the back story out of the way in the space of five minutes, giving us all the necessary Superman world building-crossover info without shoving it down our throats. It turns out Karas older than Kal-El, but her pod got lost in the Phantom Zone, meaning she arrived as a young girl when he was already Superman. To keep her safe, Clark has encouraged Jimmy Olsen to leave the Daily Planet for a job at CatCo Worldwide Media in National City, where Kara is working as an assistant.
But theres more, of course, because Lucy Lane is also in National City trying to get back with old boyfriend Jimmy, and Cat Grant is desperately trying to outwit rival Lois Lane at every opportunity. Plus, its recently been announced that the Supergirl team are on the hunt for a 13-year-old to play a young Superman for a series of flashback episodes. Were looking forward to it already.
Melissa Benoist IS Supergirl
Melissa Benoist is brilliant as the cool-but-relatable Kara Danvers, especially when it comes to her on-screen chemistry with Calista Flockhart and Jeremy Jordan. In episode five "How Does She Do It?" Benoist proves that she can make Karas specky, awkward side really entertaining, especially in the baby-sitting scenes. But then as soon as she steps into the red boots and cape, we are able to see her as a hero with a hard-core determined streak. Basically, shes awesome.
Now, were looking forward to finding out more about Karas mother Alura and her crazy criminal twin sister Astra, which should bring out another side to Benoists character. Lets face it, a Supergirl TV show with a crap Supergirl would have tanked immediately
The ratings speak for themselves
The pilot episode of Supergirl certainly made its mark with 12.96 million viewers something which put it firmly at the top of the TV food-chain. The second episode dropped down to around 8 million, followed by another dip to just over 7 million by episode five, but so far, so steady. Although a rumoured crossover with The Flash is guaranteed to up the ante as the season progresses.
Supergirl was also the biggest premiere of the entire winter season, beating The Big Bang Theory. Plus, it was the fourth highest premiere for the year overall, trailing behind The Walking Dead, Empire and Better Call Saul. To say its doing well is a bit of an understatement
It's all about girl power!
No the Spice Girls arent making a comeback, but theres a definite shift towards female heroes that were loving right now. Supergirl can now sit alongside Agent Carter and Jessica Jones as great examples of kick-ass ladies who are more than just girls in skimpy costumes. Plus, theres Jane Doe in Blindspot and Rebecca Harris in Limitless who are also superb female characters to watch out for.
What we like most about Kara is that shes trying to be everything at once a brilliant assistant, superhero, sister, girlfriend, friend, human and shes failing miserably. But thats great! Finally, a female superhero we can actually relate to!
The special effects are actually good
Who hasn't watched a TV show and loved it right up until the moment the worst graphics youve ever seen ruin the atmosphere? Come on, we've all been there. Fortunately, Supergirl has impressed us with its clever visual effects, especially when it comes to Karas flying, X-Ray vision and laser eye powers.
We also have to admit were loving National City. After binge-watching Marvels Jessica Jones and Daredevil it feels good to be out of the grime and back in DC Comics' airy, bright and light worlds. We love a good dumpster, metal fire escape fight scene as much as the next TV fan, but sometimes we just want to see blue sky and coffee shops. Is that too much to ask Marvel? Honestly.
It could encourage Hollywood
As well as adding a healthy dose of interesting female characters to our TV screens, the success of Supergirl could have the potential to change whats on the big screen. Think about it, it's about time we got a Black Widow movie, or even a remake of Elektra or Catwoman. The possibilities are endless...
Plus, with Greg Berlanti launching Legends of Tomorrow in 2016 and The Flash, Arrow and Gotham already on TV, were praying for some awesome crossover episodes that could (maybe... okay, probably not) give Marvel a run for its money.
It's still bat-shit crazy...
The Super universe is hinged on the fact that no one can tell the difference between Clark Kent and Superman. The same goes for Kara, whose ponytail and black-rimmed glasses make her unrecognisable to her nearest and dearest even when theyre a foot from her face. Despite the ridiculousness of it all, were glad that the showrunners havent tried to modernise Supergirl's disguise - after all, the craziness is half the fun!
One thing that makes Supergirl a bit different, however, is that everyone in her life knows her secret from the get-go, which makes the glasses slightly more believable. The fact that theyre all perfectly fine with her being an alien and literally dont ask a single pertinent question is slightly less believable. Ah well, who cares?
The villains are REALLY entertaining
What makes Lex Luthor such a brilliant villain is the fact that he has no powers hes just a crazy billionaire who can do anything, be anyone, hide anywhere. The same goes for Supergirl's Maxwell Lord, played by Peter Facinelli, who is on some kind of mission to destroy the world/unmask Kara with his clever tech company.
Of course, theres also Hank Henshaw, whos currently a mysterious but ultimately good character, and Karas dead mothers evil twin whos being prepped to be the big baddie of the season. Add to this a collection of one-off episode bad-guys like Livewire and Reactron and you've got some great TV.