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.
At 8 years old, I would wake up early every Saturday morning to tune in and watch Superboy. Over the years, I’ve been a faithful viewer of the original George Reeves Superman series, Lois & Clark, the Bruce Timm animated series, the live action films, and of course the comics. I’m a comic book guy through and through. For me, Superman isn’t just a superhero. He is THE superhero. I’m very protective of the Man of Steel’s mythos and legacy. Suffice it to say, I had my concerns when the CBS series Supergirl was announced.
Somehow when I wasn’t paying attention, my reaction evolved from, “The pilot was cute, I guess I’ll tune in,” to “Jesus Christ is it Monday night yet? I need my Maiden of Might!!!!”
Today CBS/Paramount delivered the most passive aggressive set of guidelines for Star Trek fan films. The first page was this boilerplate thank you to the fans for ticking by the franchise for so many years. They even acknowledged the hard work and creativity of fan filmmakers. Then when you clicked the link to what was and wasn’t allowable for fan films, it was like, “Here are your creative shackles.”
One of the more enjoyable parts of Supergirl’s inaugural season is the refreshing and bold decision to place this National City hero squarely in the present as a Millennial. The bright and optimistic (and inclusionary!) perspective is drawn clearly in Kara’s idealistic worldview and personified by the bright and hopeful characters she has chosen to surround herself with (more on that in a minute). If Arrow is about the fight against a cold cynicism with The Flash about overcoming tragedy via the love of family, then Supergirl is about staring down the challenges of life with hope and optimism.
The strength of Supergirl the show, however, is in its ability to weave the moments that threaten its idealism with the technicolor moments of triumph its fans have come to savor. In that way, “Better Angels” does well in representing the thesis of Supergirl as it closes out its first year.
In the tradition of today’s superhero, each new season brings new stories and of course new characters. New characters help to expand the lore of our superhero, and in the case of Supergirl, I thought what if these new characters happened to be women of color? After all, Supergirl managed to reach out with a message of equality and feminism. Now, let’s go a step further and showcase intersectionality. Feminism is for everyone and not just for our Caucasian female lead.
by AJ Joven
It must have happened when I noticed Kara running in front of a slightly obscured monument that could only have been at Pershing Square. The flat sky scrapers, palm trees, and the technicolor brightness of the world all felt so familiar. An alien, misunderstood and hiding in plain sight, here in DC’s analog of Los Angeles is what makes Supergirl such a watershed moment: it takes this specific angle of the City and wears it unabashedly. As I’ve been playing catch up on the series (sorry… as a Filipino, I’m generally late to everything), I’ve found lots to like about the confident voice in Supergirl. Often steeped in questions of identity, Supergirl’s writers send up the concepts of being a professional woman, a millennial, and, most personal to me, an immigrant with swagger and intent. Seeing National City be so clearly depicted as Los Angeles (seriously, that flat top sky line is unique, y’all) and all of the auxiliary connotations involved in that is not, to my mind a mistake. It is, however, a first.
I have to admit, the penultimate episode of Supergirl’s first season was definitely not my favorite. I’ve been a big booster for this show, even before it premiered, but last week’s culmination of the “Myriad” storyline was not nearly as satisfying as it could have been. Of course, there were some strong moments — as is the case with every Supergirl episode, Calista Flockhart is the MVP — but I really wasn’t feeling the villains’ evil plot this week, especially considering this was being alluded to all season-long.
When the powers that be at Warner Brothers and CBS finally acquiesced and greenlit a Supergirl/Flash crossover, I wonder if they were intentional about airing it the Monday after Batman v Superman’s opening weekend? Because after two-and-a-half hours worth of self-serious grimdark, it was such a relief to see DC superheroes who actually, you know, enjoy being superheroes.
Last week’s Supergirl was the Martian Manhunter origin story we’ve been waiting for all season, and it didn’t disappoint. From a guest appearance by former Superman Dean Cain — no longer the world’s only Asian Superman — to David Harewood giving an excellent performance as Evil Hank (in a silly wig), the episode had everything we could hope for. Unfortunately, with all eyes on tonight’s crossover with The Flash, I don’t have time to do a proper recap, so I’ll leave you with Christelle’s live tweets from the night.
Sixteen episodes in to the first season of Supergirl and I should probably learn not to underestimate the show. You see, prior to the airing of last week’s Red Kryptonite-influenced episode, titled “Falling,” I assumed we would be getting filler between stronger episodes. Boy, was I wrong! Seeing Melissa Benoist channel Bad Supergirl might be some of my favorite moments all season. It also doesn’t hurt that after the previous episode’s many homages to Smallville and other past Super history, the show kicked it up a notch this week.