Up, Up and Away | Supergirl “Pilot” Review
Gone are the days where superheroes were only on the big screen. The silver screen is no longer subpar in programming; case in point is CBS’s new show, Supergirl. The “Pilot” episode is one of the most fun hours of television. It’s been forty years since we’ve gotten to see a female superhero lead a TV show, and you won’t be disappointed. The minds behind Supergirl understand the unique position they are in by having a woman lead this show. While they want to stay true to the character, I feel they did a great job at making the gender of the superhero fairly irrelevant. Even though the city seems to realize that she’s a woman, people don’t seem fazed by it. They are just happy to have a hero in their city.
Melissa Benoist couldn’t be more perfect for Supergirl. She is charming and goofy and as brave as her cousin, Superman. Kara Zor-El is sent from Krypton to Earth after her younger cousin Kal-El, aka Clark Kent and Superman, to protect him. Unfortunately, her spaceship gets derailed along the way, and she ends up on Earth years after Superman. Her cousin is now grown and doesn’t need her help, so Kara gets to grow up with the Danvers and be a normal girl.
Kara’s life is about how you would expect for a twenty something young woman in the big city. She does seem to be following in her cousin’s footsteps by working for a magazine. Her boss is extremely needy (and that’s putting it nicely) and doesn’t give Kara a second glance. This does help Kara when she’s masquerading as Supergirl. Who would think that Kara Danvers would be the girl to save their city?
Kara is happy with her simple life until she realizes that her sister, Alex, is on the plane about to make a devastating crash landing. Luckily, it takes Kara only a few tries to remember how to fly. Thank goodness we won’t have to wait ten seasons again; I’m looking at you Smallville. After she saves the plane, the elation on her face is contagious. When Alex comes to scold her saying that Kara just put herself out there and can never take it back, Kara is confused. She tells Alex that she wants to be out there helping people. She even gets giddy when a news report of her saving the plane comes on the TV.
Kara says it perfectly. She embraced who she is, and she doesn’t want to stop. She’s ready to become Supergirl. But first, she needs a trusty sidekick. She turns to her best friend Winn Schott, played by Jeremy Jordan. I’m glad that she feels that she can turn to someone who can be a support system for her, especially considering her sister is less than thrilled. Winn takes it upon himself to help Kara find the right costume. This was probably my favorite segment from the “Pilot.” He even puts her in these ridiculous spandex booty shorts and a crop top, which she easily vetoes. When they finally find the right outfit, it’s clear.
At first, Kara takes on some low level criminals to test out her abilities. You can tell that she likes being all powerful and helping people at the same time. Her fights are wildly mismatched until she meets an alien not unlike herself. He escaped from the Phantom Zone and isn’t a fan of Kara’s birth mother, Alura Zor-El. Kara becomes discouraged now that her opponent can hurt her. But where there are aliens involved, we can expect a secret government agency who is here to track and fight them. I won’t spoil all of the fun; just know that this agency is hiding some interesting secrets.
Supergirl makes sure to give us a few fun Easter Eggs. Kara’s foster father is played by Dean Cain, Superman from the TV show Lois and Clark. Well known Superman ally Jimmy Olsen, played by Mehcad Brooks, has come to work at the magazine as Chief Designer and keep an eye on Kara. At this point in time, Jimmy already has an established career in Metropolis and is a world renowned photographer. I like that they never shied away from the fact that Superman exists. Even though I know that we won’t ever get to see Superman, it was nice to see a shadow of the famous hero as well as photos by Jimmy Olsen, or should I say James Olsen. This world understands that heroes are out there, and now there are more than one.
So what can we expect from Supergirl this season? Only time will tell, but I’m sure this season will be a lot about Kara finding herself as both Kara Danvers and Supergirl. Will anyone be able to figure out her secret? Can we trust the secret government organization? I’m guessing that they’re probably doing something shady that will find our Supergirl in a conundrum. How will Kara and Alex’s relationship change and grow?