Supergirl: Review: Series 1

Supergirl logoThe adventures of Kara Danvers as she juggles her growing superhero career, her work for Cat Grant, and a desire to have something of a normal life…

This first year of Supergirl – and, at the time of writing, the only year since CBS has consistently refused to give a firm answer regarding the show’s future – has had a few dud moments, but overall, it’s been a highly enjoyable season. Even when the writing has drifted towards the saccharine, the show has always been watchable, helped by some excellent casting choices up front, primarily, of course, Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl, but all those around her. Even the “stunt” casting of former Supergirls has paid off – Helen Slater came into her own towards the end of the season (after a slightly embarrassing “aw mom” episode earlier on), while Lara Vandervoort made a strong villain. The biggest surprise? Calista Flockhart’s Cat, who, particularly in the penultimate episode, turned out to be the moral centre of the show, and the one dispensing the most useful advice to Kara.

The Flash episode emphasised the differences between this and the other Greg Berlanti DC shows; not just the fact that they’re in different planes of the multiverse, but also the pacing of the shows. For the most part, the fights in this series have derived from the characters, rather than what sometimes feel like a desire to have some action on screen. Again, the majority of times the stunt and CGI work has been effective – only occasionally (as happened a couple of times in the final episode) do the battles look totally unreal.

Not everything has worked of course: Chris Vance has felt wasted sometimes as Non – but as he did with some weaker material on Prison Break a few years ago, he made the most of it. The Jeremiah Danvers plotline seemed a bit contrived – a way to bring Dean Cain in on a regular basis next year, one might guess – and even Cat commented on the frequency with which her employees managed to get powers to work against her (NB – it’s all very well having a character point out a flaw in the plotting, but it doesn’t disguise the fact that it is a flaw!).

The biggest area the show needs to sort out for the second year is the presence/absence of Superman – his lack of involvement in the final story really didn’t ring true (much better to have had him off-planet again and then tie that into whatever it was that arrived at the very end of the finale perhaps?). Now the multiverse idea is properly established, let’s have a little bit of proper Supergirl/Superman interaction…

Verdict: A consistently entertaining show that deserves a second year. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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