Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Supergirl” is a superhero action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, which currently airs on the CW fall to spring Mondays at 8:00 PM (though it initially premiered on CBS during the 2015-2016 season).
What: “Supergirl,” a series developed television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg (the latter two having previously created Arrow and The Flash) and starring Melissa Benoist in the title role. This series is considered a spin-off from Arrow and is part of the so-called “Arrowverse.” Supergirl is a costumed super-heroine who is the cousin to Superman and one of the last surviving Kryptonians.
When: Season One aired on CBS from October 26, 2015, to April 18, 2016. Season Two premiered on October 10, 2016, on the CW and is currently airing but will not be discussed until a later “DCTU Series” episode.
Where: The action is primarily set in the fictional National City, presumably a West Coast location in the DC Comics Universe.
Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below! It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie previously picked up this show during the 2015 Fall Preview, noting:
Pro: Melissa Benoist doesn’t offend me. As the erstwhile Marley on Glee, she’s actually the only [new] New Direction-er that didn’t annoy the pants off me. Pro: Dr. Lexie Gray (Chyler Leigh) plays Kara Zor-El’s adopted sister, and her departure was one of a series of missteps that paved my shark-jumping abandonment of Grey’s Anatomy. I missed her. I do believe the “adopted sister” motif deviates from the canon slightly, but then again, Supergirl does not enjoy the consistency of the threads underlying the Man of Steel’s long history. Pro: James “Jimmy” Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) is black. Hey, that doesn’t often happen. Pro: this is not Smallville’s version of the same character. I despised their take on Supergirl and the actress who played her. Con: this seems very teen drama relatively speaking; despite Kara being 24, according to the synopsis, Marley grows into her cape in her own version of Smallville? Could get very old very quickly and be a bit too derivative of the Superman tellings. Con: Ally McBeal herself (Calista Flockhart), post-face-lift and scary contacts, plays the editor. Con: who could they possibly stunt cast as cousin Kal-El, i.e. Supes the Man himself? Because they should stunt cast him, even though they’ve already said they won’t. I think they must (is that who Dean Cain is playing…someone freaking page Tom Welling already!? Or, Henry Cavill if one must). The pros outweigh the cons as far as adding it to my already miles long list, plus it’s a DC property, so I’m along for the ride. I just hope that the earnestness that Melissa Benoist brings to her roles renders her a convincing “Kara Zor-El.”
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
Supergirl = 4.1, by average of the podcast panel.
Kara Zor-El (Benoist) was sent to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton as a 13-year-old by her parents Zor-El (Robert Gant) and Alura (Laura Benanti). Alura gave her instructions to protect her infant cousin Kal-El, and informed her that she, like her cousin, would have extraordinary powers under Earth’s yellow sun. Kara’s spacecraft was knocked off course by a shock wave from Krypton’s explosion and forced into the Phantom Zone, where it stayed for 24 years. During this period, time stopped for Kara, and when the spacecraft eventually escaped the Phantom Zone, she still appeared to be a 13-year-old girl. By the time the spacecraft crash landed on Earth, Kal-El had grown up and become Superman. After helping her out of the craft, Superman took Kara to be adopted by his friends, the Danvers family. The series begins eleven years later, when the now 24-year-old Kara is learning to embrace her powers after previously hiding them.
In the first season, Kara Danvers becomes Supergirl. Having hid her powers for more than a decade, believing that Earth didn’t need another hero, Kara is forced to reveal her powers to thwart an unexpected disaster, setting her on her own journey of heroism as National City’s protector. Kara discovers that hundreds of the criminals her mother prosecuted as a judge on Krypton are hiding on Earth, including her mother’s twin sister Astra (also played by Benanti) and Astra’s husband Non (Chris Vance), who seek to rule the world. After briefly becoming suspicious of the true agenda of her boss, Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), she and her adoptive sister, Alex Danvers (Leigh), secretly discover that Henshaw is actually a benevolent alien refugee, J’onn J’onzz, who has resided on Earth for over fifty years after escaping a holocaust on his home world of Mars. J’onn infiltrated the government’s militaristic anti-alien organization, the DEO, to reform the organization, to watch over both Alex and Kara, and to guide the latter in the use of her powers due to his experience with his own abilities. Kara is also being targeted by Earth’s criminals as the result of her being related to Superman and, later on, encounters an emerging community of meta-humans and individuals from parallel universes. In the process, Kara accumulates her own rogues gallery, which seeks to defeat and destroy her. She is aided by a few close friends and family who guard her secrets—most notably her cousin’s longtime friend, James Olsen (Brooks)—which also serves as a major plot in high tech mogul Maxwell Lord’s (Peter Facinelli) scheme to expose Kara’s identity.
How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS
This is the fifth episode in CPU!’s DCTU series. Our first episode covered the first two seasons of Arrow, our second episode covered Arrow’s third and fourth seasons, our third episode covered the first two seasons of The Flash, and out fourth episode covered the first season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Listen to each episode here:
DCTU Series, Episode 1, “Arrow,” Seasons One and Two
DCTU Series, Episode 2, “Arrow,” Seasons Three and Four
DCTU Series, Episode 3, “The Flash,” Seasons One and Two
DCTU Series, Episode 4, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season One
As discussed previously, since the Arrowverse/DC Television Universe is so closely interrelated, what with all of the spin-offs and character crossovers, it seemed like a universe ripe for the podcasting here at CPU!, especially since so many of our most frequent panelists are comic book/superhero franchise fans. After all, it’s safe to assume that we would have started covering Arrow or The Flash individually, but since it was expected that the same panelists would keep coming back to discuss these shows, and since the shows themselves share an expanding universe that used to cross networks, though not so anymore, your friendly neighborhood Chief Couch Potato figured, “Why not make it a series?”
Thus, our DC Television Universe Series (or DCTU Series) was born. All of our DCTU panelists should be familiar voices, though after recent roster changes, the returning panelists after Episode 4 are Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, and newest panelist Kristen (though she is not new to CPU! by any stretch) for this fifth episode of our DCTU series, in which we cover season one of Supergirl.
In this episode, the panel is generally complimentary about Supergirl, regarding it to be a stronger show than another DCTU entry, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and good enough to be nearly tied (in terms of quality) with universe originator Arrow. Several of the panelists are quick to point out some minor flaws in the story progression and possible CBS influence on the show, particularly in the romantic comedy/Devil Wears Prada vibes created by the interplay between Kara and Cat Grant (Flockhart), but are universal in their appreciation of Benoist’s portrayal of the title character. Her winning charisma and “adorkable” pastiche, and, indeed, her earnestness, sold everyone convincingly and left each panelist feeling the show to be at least mildly enjoyable if not out and out binge-able TV. Of course, these reactions are not taking into account the current season. The CW is airing new episodes of the program’s second season presently; Supergirl is on its mid-season hiatus, but CPU! will evaluate Supergirl’s second season progress in future episodes.
In the meantime, this particular CPU! episode was recorded in November 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first season of Supergirl. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
PS, to settle a debate within the podcast, Supergirl the film came out in 1984. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was released in 1987. I relied on the fact that I was alive during the time when citing those facts. 😉 Though, granted, it wasn’t released 40 years but 32 years ago. I never claimed that math was my strong suit. 😉
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Our next episode will kick off CPU!’s mid-season revisits of the fall to spring dramas we cover, beginning with Marvel: Agents of SHIELD and the first half of the fourth season, focusing on “Ghost Rider.” In addition, the mid-season “Progress Report” tracking the longevity of pilots introduced or to be introduced this 2016-2017 season will be published on Tuesday, January 3, 2017! Stay tuned!
Supergirl is recommended to fans of comic books, particularly from the DC universe, and of the character of Supergirl/Kara Zor-El (or even Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent); to fans of the other Arrowverse shows (particularly since the crossovers started even when Supergirl was on CBS); to fans of comic books who can also tolerate romantic comedy formulas, as the first season is somewhat derivative of rom-com tropes; and to young girls and female fans who champion “girl power” and who might find a solid idol in Kara Danvers/Zor-El aka Supergirl. The panelists universally felt that the quality of Supergirl vies with the quality of Arrow and handily surpasses that of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which was released in the same season, though at mid-season and on the CW. All in all, the panel was generally complimentary toward this series and believes most who sit down to watch it will find something to like about it, regardless of whether or not those who do are fans of comic books or adaptations of said comic books.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Supergirl is currently airing its second season; the mid-season finale of Season Two aired on November 28, 2016, on the CW. The show will return from its mid-season hiatus on January 23, 2017. CPU!’s next DCTU episode will be our DCTU Mid-Season Roundup, which will check on the progress of all four Arrowverse shows–Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl–and which will publish after the New Year, schedule permitting. Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the DCTU podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels! And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you!