Supergirl premiered on CBS this season, and was met with apprehension, followed by mixed reviews. Personally, I am a big fan, and although I recognize that it may not be for everyone, it is hugely important for the demographic it seems to be targeting and has been generally successful within that group. I think its critics need to step back and look at the show objectively, and admit that although it may not be their cup of tea, that doesn’t make it a bad show.
Admittedly, it has had some issues (we were all irritated by the appearance of CGI Superman), but it seems to be settling into its niche and coming into its own quite nicely. But we’d like to see a Supergirl Season 2, and here are all the reasons we want to see it renewed:
I’ll start with the most obvious point: the girl power factor. In a sea full of male superheroes and adult-oriented superhero shows, Supergirl is a beacon of light. While it’s not stated outright, the show has not-so-subtle feminist undertones; the most powerful characters in the show are women, and men are relegated for once to the roles of supporting characters. Even the majority of the supervillians are women.
Jimmy Olsen is, for the first time, played by an actor of color. Supergirl is not the female version of Superman; she is a superhero in her own right, and every bit the hero he is. Cat Grant, who initially comes off as the stereotypical “horrible female boss,” turns out to be a a valuable source of feminist wisdom and a strong mentor for Kara; when Kara complains to her that Supergirl has to deal with unfair criticism that Superman never did when he started out, Cat points out that “we [women] have to work twice as hard as a man to be thought of as half as good.” While undoubtedly flawed, it’s a good start.
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2. The Cast
While not necessarily an all-star cast, most of the actors in the show are recognizable from the other shows they’ve worked on, and each instance of casting is absolutely spot-on. First of foremost, Melissa Benoist (previously seen on Glee) is fantastic, and I’ve been consistently impressed by the range she displays. There are many emotionally charged scenes in Supergirl, and she nails every one, as well as capturing Kara’s adorable quirkiness and Supergirl’s self-assured manner. Calista Flockhart is fabulous as the multi-layered CatCo CEO Cat Grant, making us hate and then love her as her humanity is gradually uncovered. Chyler Leigh of Grey’s Anatomy fame brings something special to the role of Alex Danvers, Kara’s adopted sister; every touching on-screen sister moment felt absolutely genuine. Mehcad Brooks brings an entirely new (and welcome) take on the well-known character of photojournalist Jimmy (James) Olsen, and Jeremy Jordan is great as Kara’s best friend, Winn Schott.
Another major difference between Supergirl and numerous other superhero tales is the focus on relationships; from the beginning, most of the characters already know that Cat Grant’s assistant moonlights as Supergirl. Kara explains to James that the family motto of The House of El (“El mayarah”) means “stronger together,” and goes on to explain that “I don’t want to be a hero like him [Superman]. My cousin, he’s so used to going it alone, he doesn’t know any other way. But I do.”
In addition to the on-screen chemistry between the actors, each relationship in the show is complex and realistic. Kara and Alex often have very sisterly arguments, usually followed by touching scenes that bring tears to my eyes. There is the heartwarming platonic bond between Kara and her guy best friend, Winn; although he has romantic feelings towards her, he clearly values their friendship and supports her unconditionally. The list goes on; the often-strained work relationship between Alex Danvers and Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz, Cat Grant’s reunion with her estranged son, and the spark between Kara and James Olsen, to name a few. Also, I squealed in delight at the adorable friendship that developed during the crossover with The Flash.
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The overall tone of Supergirl is similar to The Flash; it strikes the perfect balance between lighthearted fun and young-adult drama, without ever being cheesy. Although it often touches on Kara’s painful past and there are plenty of emotional scenes, it lacks the dark tone of other superhero productions; rather, it places emphasis on things like hope, the importance of family and friends, and perseverance in the face of adversity. Supergirl also lacks the adult content of shows like Jessica Jones, so it is appropriate for a much younger audience; it’s something parents and children can watch together, and finally gives young girls a superhero they can identify with. It provides a refreshing change from the abundance of bleak superhero stories, while still managing to be substantial.
While this may seem a like fairly obvious point, it is definitely worth pointing out that Supergirl has received better ratings than many other CBS shows this season. When you consider the number of viewers compared to, say, Elementary, it’s actually rather odd that it hasn’t been renewed yet. Although it has seen a drop in ratings since it first aired, it remains at a solid 1.7 — better than the majority of CBS shows. Many of the shows with lower ratings and smaller audiences have been renewed already, so it makes one wonder what other factors the network is taking into consideration. It’s hard to imagine the writing team running out of material so early on, and there are many story threads that are far from complete.
6. Special Effects
The show’s executive producer, Greg Berlanti, told Variety in an early interview that the show would invest heavily in special effects, and it has clearly been money well spent — they are, in fact, out of this world. Har har. The blurred glimpses of CGI Superman in the background felt a little cheesy, but that was more due to a poor decision on the showrunners’ part to include the Man of Steel in the story at all. Supergirl’s flight, heat vision, and super breath all look fantastic; if one didn’t know better, they might be dazzled into thinking this is a super-expensive production. When Supergirl saves a plane from crashing or J’onn J’onzz shape-shifts into his alien form, it’s believable.
7. Great Villians
One of the main villians in this season’s story arc is Kara’s aunt Astra (twin sister to her mother Alura), whose appearance after her escape from Fort Rozz causes no end of inner turmoil for Supergirl. We see through flashbacks that she and Kara were once very close, and we see Kara try to appeal to her softer side; consequently, Astra often struggles with her conscience. There is also Maxwell Lord, who is essentially Supergirl’s version of Lex Luthor; what he lacks in superpowers, he makes up for in money, science, and notoriety. He’s also responsible for creating Supergirl’s evil doppelgänger, Bizarro. Throughout the season, of course, there are numerous smaller villains that are all equally formidable and recognizable to DC fans, such as Livewire and Reactron.
What do you think? Do you want to see a Supergirl Season 2? Sound off in the comments below — we’d love to hear from our readers!