Supergirl

I had recorded the premier episode of this show and I had high hopes.  It’s produced by Berlanti who is doing ARROW and THE FLASH, but this one didn’t work so well for me.  The young actress playing Kara is appealing though for those of us devoted Arrow watchers she seemed like a version of Felicity.  Perky, talkative, a bit insecure. I liked the changes to Jimmy… James Olsen.  I was glad they’re not spending a lot of energy on trying to keep her identity secret.  There’s a real Devil Wear’s Prada feel to Kara’s relationship with her boss played by Calista Flockhart, but in someways that nod to an existing movie summed up my overall problems with the show.  It felt like they were grabbing for familiar tropes like they were life vests.

I could see all the seams, all the tricks and tools of the writing game in the script, and they were all telegraphed.  Here is the foster sister with whom Kara was raised when she arrived on Earth.  Of course she’s jealous and we have to have that scene.  Here’s the scene of Kara’s self-doubt about her ability to be a hero even though she knows she was groomed to be a hero.  Here’s the crabby government agency dude who “doesn’t trust aliens”.  Here’s the scene where Kara and her sister have to work together to defeat the bad guy.

Bottom line this script felt like it had been written with a copies of Syd Field’s The Foundations of Screenwriting and Save the Cat at their elbow.

I’m going to give it a few more episodes to find its footing.  The other two shows are so good that I can’t believe this one will continue to fall short.

4 Responses to Supergirl

  • I agree with all of that, but there were a couple of other things that bugged me. I’m worried that we’re going to end up with Alien of the Week syndrome, not enough over-arching plot, and the whole thing felt like “Smallville minus high school” to me.

    I strongly suspect yet another trope of being at fault, being as this is a CBS show, not a CW show: I think a lot of the problems are very likely due to Executive Meddling.

    My hope– faint though it is, and unlikely as it is to happen this way– is that Supergirl tanks just enough for CBS to drop it… and not hard enough that the CW refuses to pick it up. Since we’re playing with the multiverse over in CW-DC, they could bring her in pretty easily….

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I agree. The idea that a prison ship dropped on Earth and nobody had done anything to incarcerate these criminals seems unlikely. And the whole twin sister aunt thing bugged me as well. I admit I didn’t get into all the issues that bothered me because I’m trying to juggle a lot of work, so thanks for pointing out the alien problem along with the others. Good thought about the difference in the networks. Supergirl seems more cautious, like they are playing it safe.

  • Wolf Lahti says:

    The commercials for Supergirl offered nothing to make me want to even give the show a begrudging try, but spousal unit wanted to watch it, and there was nothing else on that warranted my attention, so….

    It was better than I expected (note that my expectations were pretty darn low), but I found everyone to be a flat, cardboard cutout except Kara, whose perky insecurity worked well. If the writers can bring us some characters instead of stereotypes, the show has a future. But the pilot is often the best episode of at least the first season, so I’m not holding my breath.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I think the pilot is often the weakest because they have to set up the situation and the characters. it’s hard to tell a story in the pilot. I’ll give it a couple of more episodes.

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