With Supergirl’s second season officially kicked off (recap coming soon!), NOC Denny Upkins and I decided to chat all things Supergirl. Join us on this inaugural edition of NERD OUT.
- So, how much fun did you have last season? Any specific highlights?
Denny: The “World’s Finest” episode is probably my favorite episode to date. In a year of superheroes vs. superheroes, this episode brought back the fun to comics. Case in point.
AJ: I loved that episode for those same reasons! I think the tenor of the series in general — filled with bright colors and an optimistic heart — is a breath of fresh air in general when you consider the entire slate of super hero offerings. Even when you’ve got super competent works (a la Jessica Jones or Flash), they often still find this bizarre need to earn the heft and weight via depressing and nihilistic tropes. Really fun to see a show that balances that take expertly.
My specific highlight, though, was probably any time Kara and Alex spent their time together. Probably overstating things a bit, but it did feel revelatory to see two women — sisters — in such fully-fleshed out roles and able to define themselves on their terms. The chemistry between Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh (and the cast as a whole) was a treat as well.
- What about the show most resonated for you?
Denny: I go into detail here.
Whereas Clark’s meek and bumbling demeanor was often a facade to conceal his identity, for this Kara, it is who she is and her powers don’t change that fact. Case in point, the girl can’t keep her secret identity to save her life as the series illustrates numerous times. Kara is an ingenue with a huge heart. She often finds herself in over her head whether battling Fort Rozz escapees or navigating through minefields often known as life.
Even with her powers, Kara is the underdog who has to evolve to overcome insurmountable odds, thus making her relatable to viewers.
With the series being titled Supergirl, it shouldn’t be a surprise that feminism is a prevalent theme. What is a pleasant surprise is how well the series tackles it. Sadly in 2016, positive portrayals of powerful women outside of Shondaland continue to be rare.
This is especially the case for speculative fiction. Too often, female characters are developed by undercutting other female characters. Not the case with this series. Whether it’s Kara, Lucy, or Alex, all of the heroines and villainesses are different but formidable in their own right.
AJ: I’ve got thoughts as well! Short story, though, is that National City is portrayed as Los Angeles and the immigration subtext to the entire story (with Kara as a refugee) is super resonant. They’ve also generally done well in handling that line with care.
Lay on top of that the fact that this is a woman-centered piece, one that features people of color in prominent roles, and plays up bright, team-oriented optimism, and I can’t think of a TV show that is meant to strike at Millenials in quite the same way. Heck, even the typical arc of Kara working her way up from the bottom is a particularly resonant theme as most Millenials are just now gaining positions of decision-making power in organizations across the US.
- What are you most looking forward to seeing this season?
Denny: The major crossover with Supergirl and the other players from The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.
AJ: Major crossover would be supercool… and I’m wondering if that happens from the Flashpoint set-up that Flash is working with. Or… and… hear me out: d’ya think we’ve got a Crisis-level crossover coming? They established that Supergirl is currently on a different Earth and while I doubt we’ll see it this season (c’mon DC — give us all the John Stewart-era GL we deserve!), in order to get the respective heroes all on the same page, we need to get the multiverse to get a bit more flat. If they are able to make that happen — wow. Might be pie in the sky, but I’d love to see them go for it.
- Ok, wish fulfillment time: what one story line/’ship/cameo would you want to see this season?
Denny: I wouldn’t mind seeing an Ally McBeal reunion of sorts and see Cat Grant have a romance with Detective Joe West.
AJ: I might be the only one, but I’d love to see Winn end up with Alex. There’s something in both of their characters that makes me think they’d play really well off of each other. Besides, getting more of Winn for that charming, comic-relief is something I can always get around.
- Any problematic stuff out there that you’d like cleaned up?
Denny: I definitely would like to see more women of color and queer women be represented more on the show be they Alysia Yeoh and/or Natasha Irons. Supergirl has become a show that celebrates women and all women should be celebrated.
AJ: Gonna second what Denny’s noted and I’ll also add that I’d like to see broader ethnic diversity amongst the characters. For an LA-standin, we’re missing the Latinx and API communities pretty big time on the screen. Will throw my hat into the ring for an Asian American Nightwing. Maybe pull Rene Gube from his duties on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and keep it all in the CW family?
- Predictions on Season 2 story arcs?
Denny: I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out to see if my prediction of Alex Danvers evolving into this universe’s version of Lex Luthor continues to pass. Also just excited to see where Kara’s journey takes her next.
AJ: I hope the season-long arc focuses on Jeremiah Danvers and gives us a close at the end of the season. I still enjoy Arrow, but one of my nitpicks is that we haven’t quite found an answer to all of that time on the island for Oliver, yet. Most importantly, it seems as though the flashbacks already suffer from some continuity issues and now feel much more intrusive when we consider that there are two season-long arcs being handled and while it is meant to form a mirror (and be a bit of exposition), it’s clumsy and distracts from the superior narrative (usually whatever is happening in Star City). So, my hope is that we don’t do any of that and just stick to clearing that mystery up. The pacing in Supergirl has been fantastic episode-to-episode, so I doubt we’ll have that problem.
Well, that’s it! Thanks for joining us on this mini Nerd Out and make sure to stick around for a recap on last night’s season premiere!