Monday, March 7, 2016

Suddenly, In the Skies Over National City...

I had a reader ask....

Yes, I have readers! If you're reading that to make fun of the fact that I have readers, then you have proven my case that I have readers! So HA! 

Where was I? Oh yeah.

I had a reader ask, "Hey, why haven't you written about Supergirl?" 

Well, me and the rest of the El family are still keeping up with the Supergirl TV series on CBS here in the Fortress of Ineptitude. But, yeah, it has been awhile since I last posted about Supergirl so I figured I would take some time to talk about the series and how it's moving along.  

To make this post a bit more exciting, I'm adding photos of Supergirl in ACTION!   

Supergirl in ACTION...checking her

Overall, I'm still enjoying the series. There are a sufficient number of action scenes that play out well within the limits of a TV production budget. The cast is still engaging and the actors who bring them to life are doing a (mostly) fantastic job.  

Major kudos to Melissa Benoist who continues to charm and impress in her duo role of Kara Danvers and Supergirl. Kara may be a put upon assistant at a multi-media conglomerate but she's no mild-mannered cartoon while Supergirl may have the powers and the costume of a super hero, she still struggles with her role and the best way to use her gifts to protect her city and her planet. Both Kara and Supergirl are still figuring things out but they both have a foundation of strength that is admirable. And Melissa does a good job at conveying these issues but with variations between her two identities.  

Supergirl in ACTION...
eating her LUNCH!

The worlds that Kara and Supergirl inhabit continue to evolve. In National City, Cat Grant continues to expose more nuances of a complex and surprisingly caring person that insists on living under a guise of shallow vapidity and uncaring toughness. Credit to Calista Flockhart for keeping Cat out of the realm of being the over the top boss from hell. Oh, she's still a boss from a hell but we know deep down she still cares. 

I mean, really, really, really deep down. 

In a way, Cat Grant sort of mirrors the dichotomy of Kara Danvers/Supergirl. Cat Grant projects a public persona of strength and power that belies her own personal story of loss and regrets; in her own way, Cat Grant is living two lives at once, kind of like her beleaguered assistant she still insists on calling "Kee-ra".  

Supergirl in ACTION....
checking her VOICE MAIL!!

Double lives is a constant theme through out all the characters in Supergirl. 

IT guy Winn is Kara's loyal friend but he feels more than that. He's also the quiet guy with an insane father who kills people as the Toyman.

James Olsen, transplanted from Metropolis, is the affable photojournalist but he too is struggling with issues of his self-identity beyond being Superman's Pal even as he struggles with his feelings for Lucy Lane and Kara Danvers.  

Kara's sister Alex is a secret agent for the DEO, fighting to defend Earth from aliens who would do us harm. She's devoted to her sister and has pledged herself to Kara's care and safety. But Alex has her secrets and sometimes her allegiance to her sister and to the DEO come into conflict. 

And the head of the DEO, Hank Heywood, devoted to leading the DEO with honor in its battles against alien threats even as he hides his true nature as a lone alien survivor of a long dead world, the Manhunter from Mars, J'onn J'onzz.  

Supergirl in ACTION...
walking the DOG!!!!

For all the intricate themes and nuanced character development that center around issues of identities and secrets, Supergirl is still a show about.... Supergirl, a super hero with a colorful suit and super powers so there better be action and stunts and battles with bad guys. In that area, Supergirl has done pretty good with a few misses (Red Tornado, Toyman, Master Jailer) but with some really well conceived stand out adversaries (Livewire, Bizarro, Indigo). The ongoing plot by the Kryptonian criminals from Fort Rozz has provided dramatic grist for this driving storyline, especially as it impacts Supergirl's relationship with her aunt Alura.  

On the subject of relationships, I really do like the development of Kara and Alex as sisters. These are two women who have a strong bond with each other. They have traits in common but they are singular characters with attributes that work in and out of tandem as one would expect from two well rounded characters. It's a relationship between two women that is strong, even with their imperfections, something we don't always get to see a lot of on TV or in movies. 

If I have any real ongoing misgivings about the stories on Supergirl, it seems there is a tendency towards a very obvious "This is the lesson we're learning today, kids" approach. Today's lesson: it's OK to ask for help. Or it's what's in your heart that makes you who you are. Or the truth is stronger than lies. It's like spin the Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn, tell us the lesson that we must learn. I guess a show that airs at 8:00 AM with a young woman role model for a lot of young girls, I guess there is an awareness of the kids out there watching. Still, I wish the lessons learned were not so obviously expressed like a Nick Jr. program.   

Oh, and Max Lord needs to go! This Lex Luthor wannabe is just not working for me. Maybe in the season finale, Max Lord will get killed as part of a hostile takeover by LexCorp with Lex Luthor standing over Max's dead body, saying with a sinister smile, "You upstart punk, THIS is how it's done!" That would so rock!

Supergirl in ACTION...
Super FLIRTING with the Flash!*
*The Flash races over from the CW for a guest shot later this month

Early on, it was established what Superman's relationship with Supergirl was in the context of this show. Basically, he's trusts Kara to look after National City so he gives her the space to do that. Which was a neat character driven way to address not having Superman butting in but sometimes, knowing that he's out there, certain things really make it hard to accept Superman not getting involved. Seemed to me, for example, that a nuclear missile heading towards National City as it was in last week's episode would've been a job for Superman. And surely Clark has an app on his phone to let him know if someone else other than him is in the Fortress of Solitude when Supergirl and James Olsen visited in that same episode. 

Speaking of the visit to the Fortress, I totally geeked out (my daughter said I was fangirling) when we saw the Legion flight ring!!!!!! OMG! Squeeeeeeeeeeeee! And then Kelex shows up? Double OMG! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!*

*OK, correction. The robot in the Fortress was KELOR, not KELEX. Well, bugger! Still, LEGION FLIGHT RING?!?!? Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Supergirl in ACTION....
checking her TEXT MESSAGES!!!

So we have the little TV show that could, about a girl who is super both in power and in heart. It defied expectations making it on the air. It had to temerity to be good. Maybe not great but better than we thought it would be. I'm assuming CBS is happy with the show. Except for a couple of pre-emptions (such as by the Grammys a few weeks ago), the show is still in the Monday at 8:00 time slot it started in, a rarity in modern television. I can't imagine CBS leaving Supergirl in a piece of prime time real estate unless they liked what they're getting. I hope that bodes well for a pick up for season two. 

Supergirl in ACTION....
about to RIP my HEAD off if I don't
stop with the silly photo captions.
Sorry, Supergirl. 

Thanks for popping by today. Another new post is coming up tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.

("Kal-El told me about you! I really don't think we're related so knock it off!" Kara Zor-El)  
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 

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