Trailer Thoughts: CBS’ Supergirl First Look

The 2014-15 season has been pretty incredible for the DC universe. Not only did we have CW’s Arrow returning for a third season, but we also had The Flash on CW as well, alongwith projects like Gotham and Constantine on others. Not to mention some of the other stuff that is in the works, such as the recently announced Legends of Tomorrow, which is going to be the second spin-off show for Arrow (a truly awesome achievement by the way!), and the upcoming Supergirl.

Yes, Supergirl is coming to television for the 2015-16 season! And last night, CBS released a “First Look” trailer for the show, which appears to be basically a(n) (extended) teaser from the upcoming pilot episode. Can. Not. Wait!

I won’t mince words. I love Supergirl. I’ve loved the character growing up, from what little I saw of her animated appearances, and the old movie with Helen Slater in the lead role. It was funky and didn’t work out so well, but I loved it nonetheless. And as I’ve grown older and delved more and more into the comics side of things, my love for the character has only increased, most recently thanks to K. Perkins and Emanuela Lupacchino and others working on New 52: Supergirl. But that’s not what this post is about. This is about the trailer from last night, which finally gives us a good sneak peek into how Melissa Benoist will be performing as Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl aka Kara Danvers to the world.

First off, the “old” look with the dark colours, or rather the saturation, is totally not my style. I loved the thing on Man of Steel back in 2013, but that was completely different, and since this show is in an entirely different timeline, I wanted it to be different too. And then we also got a more colourful look at the costume last night, and I loved it to death. Check it out:

Supergirl Stills 00003So much better looking isn’t it? I mean, sure, the whole dark and kickass look can work every now and then, but in a TV universe where Supergirl might just tie-in with executive producer Greg Berlanti’s other projects, Arrow and The Flash, I’m totally in love here. And that’s all before we get to the “First Look” trailer itself. Looking through the trailer, you realize that the writers and the directors and the producers and everyone else could not have gone for a more upbeat and positive look. In fact, just that one little thing connects Supergirl even more strongly with The Flash, which is such a great show week-after-week where the characters are allowed to laugh and make stupid jokes and just be themselves instead of getting caught up in the whole self-torture and pain and crises and everything like Arrow.

Not that I’m saying Arrow is a bad show in that regard. Far from it. It proved to be a trailblazer for DC’s television properties, helped along by the legacy of Smallville, and it is great. I am a big fan of the show, always will be. But The Flash is so much better with the outlook and the themes of it, and is just all-around superb.

Which is where Melissa Benoist’s Kara Danvers in Supergirl fits in. Sure, she’s got the cliche backstory of all Supergirl stories and she is the confuddling reporter just like Clark Kent is. But that’s fine. It is an integral part of the character after all, and I always remark that the executions matter far more than the material does. Just look at The Flash. The pilot was so cheesy and ham-fisted, and yet it has grown so much since those humble days. I expect the same from Supergirl as well.

The trailer promises all the classic hallmarks of Kara’s story, though couched in some modern changes that I think are a great addition, namely the fact that she is not part of the “Kent” family, but the “Danvers” family. That her sibling is a woman and that this opens up the show to exploring the relationship between two sisters. Have we had that on superhero television yet, especially in recent times? Sure, we had the whole thing on Arrow with Sara and Laurel, but theirs was a relationship shrouded in secrets they kept from each other, in betrayal, and all the general darkness that could be found on the show. The relationship between Alex and Kara promises to be so much more different and I can’t wait to see their dynamics come to the fore.

And then there’s of course the big moment when she reveals to the world that she exists, when she saves an airliner from crashing, thus also saving Alex’s life since she was on the plane as well. It calls back the classic “save an airplane” story, but I don’t mind that. In a world where so many fans expect something new and modern, in a world where so many studios aim for edgy and different for the hell of it, it is nice to have some classic stuff to fall back on. And it hearkens back to the simple comics roots of the character, which I definitely do NOT mind at all.

It is a strength. Not a weakness.

The first 2 minutes or so of the trailer are a bit weak, because that’s when we sync up with Kara’s current life working at CatCo and things in general. But once the big moment starts, some of the stuff really starts to shine. Such as when she tries to create a costume for herself with the help of a co-worker who is apparently a genius at this stuff. Cliche? Eh, who cares really. If it can work for The Flash, with its gorilla supervillain, another named Bug-Eyed Bandit/Queen Bee, and all the other jokes and stuff, I think this kind of stuff can work for Supergirl too. I trust in Greg Berlanti and his entire team to handle things with the respect they deserve.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the various actors’ performances. Callista Flockhart as Cat Grant is a bit of an issue for me since she doesn’t really fit the kind of character I see Cat Grant as, and a lot of the performance feels really forced. But then, that’s the only negative part of the trailer for me. Melissa Benoist as Kara really shines, despite some of the stilted moments such as fangirling over Jimmy Olsen. Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers seems to be a good fit too and her sisterly chemistry with Benoist is A-ok. Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen is a real surprise, and though I miss Jimmy’s distinct hairstyle, I also like the new direction that the producers have gone with. David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, the man in-charge of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations we see in the trailer was also a surprise, but mostly because Hank Henshaw is one of the biggest supervillains of the DC universe, so where his story goes, that should certainly be interesting.

Supergirl Helen Slater

What I was really looking for in the trailer though was information on the roles to be played by Helen Slater, the original live-action Supergirl, and Dean Cain, Clark Kent/Superman from the old Lois & Clark: The New Adventures). I love both these actors, especially Dean Cain, and I’m really excited to see them come back for this show. I’ve heard some rumours that they may play parents to Alex and Kara, and while I find that a bit hard to believe, that would also be super-exciting. Just like on Smallville when Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder guest-starred in Smallville in episodes/scenes where they handed down the torch to a new generation of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. That was fantastic and I hope that the same applies in some measure to Helen Slater and Dean Cain. Because that would be mind-blowing. Truly.

The trailer ends on a very positive note and I’d just like to say that it has given me some real hope that Supergirl is going to be a great show. It might have a rough start, but I’m prepared for that. Even Arrow and The Flash stumbled in the beginning, but they’ve bounced back beautifully, and I can’t wait for the new Fall season!

Supergirl Stills 00002

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Posted on May 14, 2015, in Comics News, News, Trailer Thoughts, TV Show News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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