One only need to take a gander at the bottom of the basement on my Super Hero films list to find this comic book super hero. The 1980s Supergirl movie was weak sauce but alas, the character is kind of ‘meh’ in general. DC Comics has never had the quality selection of female heroes like rival Marvel. Wonder Woman of course is one of the best ever comic book Heroines and stands alone as the exception that proves the rule for DC’s weak cast of leading ladies.
So clearly I was prepared for a crap-sandwich show. CBS Television has no shortage of funds to produce a quality show, but still my expectations for this were really low. I was worried it would be like watching c-span with a quad shot of espresso pulsing through your system… boooorrrrriiing! With the bar set that low, I had nowhere to go but up. The surprise is how far up I went.
The biggest shock to me was the absolute balls it took CBS to air a pilot of a Super Hero show against Gotham’s time slot. What! Needless to say I watched Gotham live and caught Superman’s cousin this morning On Demand. It ran actually mid-way through Gotham at the oddball 8:30 time slot. Clearly they wanted to catch the Big Bang Theory audience. The show however is scheduled to go toe to toe with the absolutely EPIC Gotham starting next week as Big bang is moving to Thursdays. Say goodbye to Supergirl now because Gotham will crush that show. I mean really? In fairness, Supergirl is more family friendly than the oppressively dark Batman Prequel.
On the family friendly note, they did not get too campy with the show. Yeah maybe a little, but well within the expectation for this character which has always been light and a bit 1950s sitcomish. So I mentioned the show was better than expected and frankly, it was actually pretty good. I like the actress playing Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl. Melissa Benoist has that girl next door cute with a believable look. Not so overwhelmingly sexy to detract from the good girl persona that is Supergirl. In fact she is just another girl in the city, except for the super-strength, flying, x-ray vision and heat beam eyes of course 😉
This premiere show quickly introduces us to several key DC characters in the Superman/Supergirl universe. Some modernised versions and liberties have been taken of course, but overall nicely done. First we meet the boss, Cat Grant a media mogul and powerful woman. This differs from the comics where she works for the Daily Planet as a gossip columnist. In this adaptation she is in a different city altogether and it appears to be set in a fictional version of Los Angeles called, National City. She is a colossal bitch and is played with an amazing charisma by Calista Flockhart. She is so hate-able yet so delicious. We meet Jimmy Olsen who is played by actor, Mehcad Brooks. Mr. Brooks is just way too much of a stud to be playing Jimmy Olsen. Seriously, never in any comic did I see a Jimmy Olsen with that much testosterone. Come on man… Mehcad is physical specimen at 6’4″ and is a more likely candidate to play Superman himself than the scrawny Jimmy Olsen. None-the-less he delivers a solid performance. So far I am liking Supergirl’s adopted sister Alex played by Chyler Leigh.
This show might just make it. They will need to move it to another time slot, methinks, but it could make a run. It has a much more family friendly vibe and at 8 o’clock that could be a winner for CBS. Honestly, Gotham should be on at 9pm. That show is way to adult for the 8pm crowd. Just sayin’.
As far as comic book adaptations to the boob-tube this one is bringing up the rear, but much maligned to my expectations, it is not at all that far behind the Arrow which is getting a little weird in season 4. The Arrow may jump the shark this season, who knows. Some may think they already did.
As for TV shows with comic super hero themes, It’s Fox’s Gotham on top followed by Netflix Original, Daredevil, CW’s The Flash, ABC’s Agent’s of Shield, CW’s Arrow, and CBS’ Supergirl in back but in a strong position to make a pass. Seriously, this show is much better than it should be.