CBS premiered their most highly anticipated new show of the season, “Supergirl”. It aired on Monday night to soaring ratings. With superheroes being the new norm at the box office, it’s no surprise that audiences, and myself, couldn’t wait to watch the Girl of Steel take flight.
Based off the DC Comics superhero, “Supergirl” follows Kara Danvers, played by Melissa Benoist. Kara is from the planet Krypton and just happens to be Superman’s cousin. Her parents sent a 13-year-old Kara to earth to protect the infant Kal-El. There was an issue with her escape pod and she arrived more than two decades too late to carry out her mission. Kal-El had already grown into Superman.
Years later, Kara is living as a typical 24-year-old. She’s the assistant to Cat Grant, the founder of the media company CatCo. While Kara is happy with her normal life, she’s always wondered if she could do amazing things just like her heroic cousin. As she publicly becomes Supergirl, Kara must now deal with all the good and bad that comes with it.
Benoist shines as the Girl of Steel. Her down-to-earth portrayal sets the tone for the entire show. “Supergirl”’s Kara is extremely relatable. She has a thankless job with a demanding boss and she doesn’t want to disappoint her family. It’s pretty normal stuff until she whooshes off into the air or brushes off bullets. As fantastic as Benoist was, Calista Flockhart stole every scene she was in as Cat Grant. The rest of the cast was also entertaining, including a cameo by Dean Cain.
For the first episode of a new show, the special effects were surprisingly awesome. The first look at Supergirl flying through the air is simply breathtaking. The show takes advantage of Superman’s iconic imagery such as Supergirl saving a plane from crashing. Speaking of good ol’ Supes, the show makes a deliberate attempt to rarely call him by name. The characters constantly refer to him as Kara’s cousin. This demonstrates that “Supergirl” doesn’t want to simply rely on his fame to drive the series forward. The dialogue was clunky at points and full of exposition. Hopefully, that will be smoothed out as the series progresses.
There’s an important and pretty obvious feminist undertone to the show. Even a waitress makes some meta remarks that there’s finally a female hero her daughter can look up to. Cat Grant summed it up the best after Kara questions using the name “Supergirl” instead of “Superwoman.” “And what do you think is so bad about “girl”? I’m a girl, and your boss, and powerful, and rich, and hot, and smart. So if you perceive “Supergirl” as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?”
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 pm on CBS. The pilot is available at CBS.com