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Supergirl is the latest in a string of DC Comics adaptations for television and, after the success of Arrow and The Flash, it has a lot to live up to! Another reason to be excited about this is the fact that this is the first, mainstream, comic book TV adaptation to be led by a female superhero. I’ve been a huge fan of the superhero genre all my life but have always been disappointed by their lack of diversity. It’s refreshing to watch a show with a strong, empowered female lead who women and especially young girls can relate to.
Supergirl revolves around Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), cousin of Superman/Clark Kent who was sent to Earth as a young girl to protect her cousin. Now 23, she attempts to fit in to normal society and maintain a traditional civilian life. However, after saving her sister from a plane crash she is forced to embrace her powers and become Supergirl! Melissa Benoist excels in the title role; she emits a great Barry Allen/Peter Parker vibe which makes her instantly likable. She’s charming, slightly awkward, funny and brave but is still a complex, flawed character who makes mistakes. It’s good to see that young girls have a new role model who isn’t one of the Kardashians!
The overall tone of the show is cheerful, light-hearted and extremely family friendly which may not be to everyone’s taste. The show has a great deal of heart, is extremely self-assured and doesn’t contain a shred of cynicism. It embraces the inherent cheesiness of the comic-book genre and creates a playful, fun tone which results in a truly entertaining pilot. The fight scenes are great and the special effects are brilliant considering this is a television budget. However, the villain in the pilot was extremely bland and forgettable but as this was the first episode I’m sure this will improve.
Overall, I really enjoyed the pilot episode although I feel like I need to watch at least one more episode to make my mind up completely. The likeability of the lead character is what makes the show stand out and I’m sure we will see a lot of young girls dressed as Supergirl in the coming months. Some fans will undeniably hate this show, the tone is a drastic change from the grim, violent adaptations that have been characterising DC recently such as The Dark Knight, Man of Steel and Arrow. However, this is not a bad thing and I hope Supergirl is the first in a long line of superhero adaptations that promote diversity.
No story will equally entertain or move everybody and that’s why it’s extremely important that we tell all kinds of stories with different genders and races in different styles and tones. On its first impressions, Supergirl is a fun, highly entertaining show which will make even the most serious superhero fan smile!