January 19, 2016

Poorly plotted and scripted in an excruciating manner, Supergirl comes on like the feminine afterthought of a boys toy, equipped with similar bells and whistles but lacking a sense of her own identity.

Ejected from the planet Krypton moments after her baby cousin Superman, the aftershocks of her exploding planet knock the Girl of Steel off course and into a space-time continuum from which she emerges decades later, arriving on earth the younger of the two. 

Encouraged to follow in her cousin’s footsteps- to live a normal life and grow up to work at a major media outlet (all the while hiding her super powers) she yearns to be more than a bumbling assistant. 

And when a jet-liner carrying her step-sister is put in harms way, by sources that later emerge to have followed her out of her time lapse, she gets her chance, laying the giddy foundations for a derivative house of cards that totally hangs on Melissa Benoist charming lead performance.

Engaging as the performer is, her corn-fed kook grates quickly and the ADD of the creators, who jump from montage to exposition and back again, means we take no pleasure in seeing Kara (as Supergirl is known) get a sense of herself or her powers.

Supporting characters are skimmed over like a stone skipped across a lake, differentiated only by a splash of stereotype -the hunky love interest; the love-lorn pal; the family member who is more than what they seem.

And the villains are utterly useless, consisting of a growly tattooed man and a growly, dismissive army Sergeant.The he pilot has no soul of its own, no one to care about, no one to fear or even properly loathe.

Calista Flockhart is the only block color in this drooling mish-mash of ideals and genre tropes, as the media baron who plans to lay off staff due to struggling circulation… before Super Girl gives her an icon to put on her front page. She scores the pilot’s only hole-in-one when giving Kara a dressing down for getting into a sexist, ‘feminist’ flap over the moniker she’s given, Super Girl.

But, perhaps because it’s the first female fronted super hero show to hit the small screen in 40 odd years, Super Girl feels like it comes packaged with the label ‘For Girl’s’ by its manufacturers, where no thought has been given to making something that explores new ideas or characters beyond reductions of those we saw in Lois & Clark.


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