Saturday, May 30, 2015

Zatannurday: Supergirl Pilot

It is quickly becoming "Supergirl Saturday" here at the Other Side! I can't help it I am quite excited about this new show.

I have seen the Supergirl pilot, as I am sure I was supposed to.  I am quite certain this was leaked to build up buzz.  Well I am adding to the buzz then!

Not linking the pilot, but it is out there if you care to look.  Also I am going to be as spoiler free as possible.

I guess the biggest issue to address up front is that is a pilot. There is a lot of back story to cover. Who is Kara/Supergirl? How is she related to Superman?  Why is she here? Who are the Danvers? Cat Grant? Is that Jimmy Olsen? Wait was that Hank Henshaw?

Ok. Not really a dumb questions even if you are familiar in Supergirl lore.  In fact the more familiar you are the more likely you are going to ask "Which Supergirl?"

Ok. So this is Kara Zor-El. She is Superman's cousin. She was sent to be his babysitter since he was an infant and she was a pre-teen  But her own escape from Kryptonhad issues and she ended up on Earth several years after Superman had already been here as an adult. Superman sets her up with the Danvers with wonderful cameos by Dean Cain (Superman from the "Lois and Clark" show) and Helen Slater (Supergirl from the 1984 movie). The scenes of Krypton are closer to the Richard Donner "Superman" film than the Zack Snyder "Man of Steel" one, though Kara's eventual outfit is closer to the Man of Steel one.

There are a lot of nice nods to Supergirl/Superman lore here too.  Supergirl saves an airplane her first time out. Superman welcomes Kara's spacepod when it lands and helps her out. Even more, but spoilers.

Melissa Benoist is fantastic in this role. She mixes a great blend of youthful exuberance, panic, ennui and naiveté and yet still excitement. Really she is spot on. Supergirl has always been about enjoying her powers and just being super. She does a great job of this.  I liked her in Glee and I love her in this.  The scenes where she is trying on various versions of her costume, well for the long time Supergirl fan that is a treat.  How many elements from the above picture can you spot?

Like Greg Berlanti's other series, The Flash, it is great to see a super that enjoys being super so much.

Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant will be FANTASTIC.  Let's not forget that there was a time when Calista Flockhart and her on screen persona Ally McBeal were on top of the world. Millions of people (not just female people) tuned in to watch her.  Well what if everything Ally McBeal wanted professionally went her way, but her personal life tanked?  We might get her version of Cat Grant.  If you know the comics Cat was always there to be adversarial to Clark and Lois.  This Cat Grant will be Kara's.  But this is not an adversary she can punch or zap with her heat vision.  I see some great tension and story telling coming from this.  If you didn't like the "Devil Wears Prada" bits of the trailer, never fear; that was pretty much all of them in pilot.

You know.  I want to repeat this because I really believe it.
Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant will be FANTASTIC.

One of the original ideas behind Supergirl was to give Jimmy Olsen a super girlfriend.  Well they kind of elude to that here, but Kara's awkwardness around him has less to do with love but more to do with handsome man that happened to win a Pulitzer prize because he knows her cousin.  I like how Jimmy, or rather now James, seems to be the only one not scared of Cat.  In fact I like it a lot.
This does bring up a good point.  In the Man of Steel movie "Jimmy" is a woman.  Here James is a black man.  So obviously not the same universe.

In Kara's other life with Hank Hensaw. Director of the DEO.  Yeah that is all I want to say about that really.  I expect something big with him by season's end.

Alex Danvers is new.  She doesn't come from the comics, not even from Supergirl's weird history.  Frankly I like the fact that a super hero has a sibling. Especially an older one.  In a lesser writer's hand I could see Alex getting killed off. I do not expect that here.

I am also thinking we are going to see more of the Danvers and young Kara and Alex.  Flashbacks seem to be the in thing.  But totally worth it to see Helen Slater and Dean Cain in this universe again.

The pilot was exciting and fun.  We watched it as a family and we are excited. We can't wait for it to start in the fall.


JB said...

Huh...sounds pretty hip. I'll have to look for this after the kid hits the hay tonight. Thanks!
: )

Sean Tait Bircher said...

I'm calling it now: tech-smart Alex is Lex Luthor's sister or daughter.

Bubbashelby said...

I'm inclined to agree with Sean. How can you name any character in a "Super___" story that is a derivation of 'Lex' and not have that character directly related to, well, Lex? They could have named her anything else in the entire world besides a name one letter off from 'Lex.' But they didn't, and I think it means something for the future of the character.

I heard it 'leaked' online and as excited as I am for the series (dare I say 'SUPER excited' haw haw!) I am waiting for it to make it's official premiere before I see it. I am sure it was 'leaked' intentionally, but in this world of instant gratification, sometimes patience is it's own reward. But I am glad to read how much you (and others who have seen it) enjoyed it and it gives me hope for the series' success!