A solid first season
Supergirl Season 1 was fun and enjoyable if at times a cheesy romp. Of course with Supergirl being a freshman show, there are some kinks that need to be worked out in Season 2.
The first issue that must be tackled is let’s call it the Superman Problem. You can’t keep mentioning the man of steel and not having him show up, or he looks like a twit. Of course, if he shows up and gets easily taken out (like in the last two episodes) he looks weak, which isn’t good either. Get him off Earth and leave him there for a season.
Next, Supergirl needs to be more super at times. Quicksand should never be a threat to her. They need to establish that a being that is powered by the yellow sun of Earth should be in no danger of dying in space. Yeah, she may not be able to breathe in space, but she has no need to breathe for extended periods. Also a character such as say Silver Banshee shouldn’t ever be able to physically touch a character who can move and react as fast as Supergirl.
The bad guys, especially the big bad need to be bigger, worse and have clearer motivation. Astra never seemed to have her heart into actually destroying Earth. Non was more than a bit of a dud. Truthfully only Indigo seemed like she wanted to generate chaos but even then her motives were sketchy. We’re still not sure who’s side Maxwell Lord is on. Actually, he’s on his side, just not sure what that means for Supergirl and her friends. Right now he’s a slightly lesser evil Lex Luthor. He needs to be more defined. And while we’re at it so does Cadmus. Additionally, it would be nice if the bad guys made less convenient choices. For instance, Non and Indigo putting their army into stasis before the big battle. Episode 19 gave us a neat opening scene with Maxima, but then we saw nothing more of her…
Now for the good and there is a lot to like about this show. The main attraction is watching Melissa Benoist in the title role. She plays all the sides of Kara with equal flare. The geeky, shy Kara is certainly on par with Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent, no higher praise. It was incredible to watch her play awkward Martian Manhunter posing as Kara. Of course, Benoist also captures the fire and angst of a girl coming to grips with having her entire world yanked away from her. She is equally marvelous playing a superhero discovering her powers and her role in the universe. A big tip of my cap to Benoist. It was a pleasure seeing a superhero who gleefully embraces being a superhero and helping people as she learns what it truly means to be a hero.
Also on the plus side is Calista Flockhart’s performance as Cat Grant, Kara’s boss and mentor. If Supergirl is the heart of the show then Cat is the mind of the show. The one who always keeps a cool head and seems to know the right thing to do. She gives great pep talks to Kara and Supergirl. Flockhart takes a role that I assumed would be a stock one-dimensional character and makes her one of the most grounded and likeable people around. Kudos to her! I also choose to believe that she knows Kara is Supergirl.
David Harewood does a first class job as Martian Manhunter. When he was plain boring Hank Henshaw I found him to be a sort of strict by the book character that had one tone, “do it my way!” Yeah it was obvious he was hiding a secret but not so obvious that he was a super powered alien. Once that was revealed his character and the show took on a whole new light. A very pleasant and surprising change. I love watching him fly side by side with Supergirl.
In fact all the regular characters have done well with their roles. Chyler Leigh has the difficult task of playing second fiddle to the strongest woman on Earth. She still comes through as confident and powerful in her own right. Now that Jeremy Jordan has gone from potential geeky boyfriend to tech wiz friend his character is fun to watch, getting some of the better lines in the show. Jenna Dewan Tatum’s, Lucy Lane character also fits into the cast better than she did at first when she was James Olsen’s girlfriend. Hopefully they will have her put on the Superwoman uniform next year. As for Mehcad Brook’s James Olsen, even he is growing on me.
The fight and action scenes also improved as the season went on. Yes, they still have TV budget but for the most part everything looks good. The fight with Maxima was short but really stood out for me.
All in all, I really enjoyed this season. Supergirl was consistently centered around hope, family and team work, making it a fine contrast to another DC franchise. I look forward to season two.
As for the cliffhanger, it’s interesting to guess who is in the pod. The show runners have hinted that it is a major character. My guess would be either Alura, a younger version of Kara, or a version of Superboy. Though the later might detract from Supergirl herself. Outside shot that it’s Krypto the super dog, which would be dorky but a lot of fun.