Supergirl on Television

“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’” Texas Ranger Bill McDonald (1852-1918).


I set aside my evening. No World of Warcraft. No Monday Night Football. I was going to watch the series premiere of Supergirl on network television. And … I recorded it too.

I’m a fan of Superman. I’m a fan of Supergirl too; from the lost city of Kandor which was shrunken down by Brainiac.

I liked it a lot. Early in the episode, she saves a jet plane (May Day! May Day!) just like in the Christopher Reeve movie. It felt so very good.

The script was written by four teen-agers who had only seen Superman, The Movie. No, that can’t be true: it just felt that way.

My complaints are fundamental story-telling complaints. In the first episode, our heroine has to fight people from her own planet Krypton — completely negating the whole reason that we are watching, because she is super.

Why do they have to be alien threats? Don’t we have enough problems here on Earth? We need a hero!

Her alter ego is one of a confused young lady, unsure of herself. This would be awesome if we all knew it was a ruse. That is what made Clark Kent so fun, we knew he was really Superman and that Clark’s role was merely a role. We were in on the joke. That does NOT exist in this series, at least so far.

What makes Superman work is that along being super he is also about truth, justice and the American way. You feel that he would be fighting for right even if he wasn’t super. He is noble and kind.

Supergirl’s mom in a Kryptonian video projection (I told you they’d only watched the Christopher Reeve movie) has the following advice:

“Be wise, be strong and always be true to yourself.”

This is a great message for girls but I see nothing about justice or right and wrong. It’s all about you, honey. Superman’s strength is in his confidence: in himself and in a world that is fundamentally good.

I think they did a great job with the visuals. I think the actress playing Supergirl is great. The other actors are fine eye-candy. It’s good to see Ally McBeal back on screen.

I hope she never has a love interest. The Superman, Lois Lane and Clark Kent dynamic is fantastic and (I think) is the main reason this character has had appeal for 80 years (or more?). So far, Supergirl has told everyone her secret identity … so, the fun is gone.

I look forward to seeing future episodes. So far it feels like some Hollywood screenwriters who are not fans are directing the ship. It feels way too much like The Flash and The Avengers. Not nearly different or awesome enough.

Supergirl may need a huge support group. She may be insecure and unsure of her skills in the human world as a human and as a super hero.

We hopefully will see her grow.


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