For all the popularity of superheroes these days, the genre has endured mountains of criticism regarding its lack of female-centric shows and movies. While studios have been doing their best to combat these critiques with characters like Skye/Daisy, Agent May, and Mockingbird in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Canary and Nyssa al-Ghul in Arrow, so far women have yet to take front and center focus with a show or movie of their own. That is, of course, until now.
Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Glee) as Kara Danvers a.k.a. Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl, Mehcad Brookes (True Blood) as James “Jimmy” Olsen, Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) as Cat Grant, and Jenna Dewan Tatum (Witches of East End) as Lucy Lane. Premiering next month on CBS, the series promises to deliver all the superhero action of its forebears in both comics and television, while offering a little something for everyone to enjoy.
A new featurette which debuted today gives fans a little taste of what to expect from Supergirl when it flies onto TV in October. Though little is revealed in regards to the plot of the show, the short video does offer a bit of insight into the overall tone and features new interviews with the cast and production team of the series - who promise that viewers can expect a blend of multiple genres (rom-com, workplace comedy, superhero thrills) from the series.
Tonally, Supergirl appears to feature a brighter and lighthearted approach - more The Flash than Arrow, as far as DC shows go. That decision fits the Supergirl comic book mythos; the Kara character is, by and large, a positive role model not unlike her more famous cousin, Kal-El. Still, the series must strike a balance between Kara Danvers’ life as a professional woman (plus the dating and career troubles that ensue), and Kara Zor-El’s life as an indestructible superhero.
Still, that’s not necessarily an impossible task. The template for bringing a realistic female superhero to television has largely been previously written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show which managed to perfectly encapsulate the balance between real life and superhero drama. While Supergirl and Buffy share little aside from both being female, Supergirl would do well to keep Buffy in mind as it works to balance out the opposing dramas. After all, if worked once, it can absolutely work again.
There is pressure on Supergirl to be a success; though unfortunate to admit, if the series fails it will only fuel the fire of the belief that a female-centric superhero outing is something that fans simply don’t want. With so much riding on the series - both for the network and the genre - everyone is looking to Supergirl as a potential beacon for what’s to come. It's an unfair position for a show to be in before it even airs, but early word of mouth based on the pilot (which both leaked online and was screened at San Diego Comic-Con 2015) is that it certainly shows promise.
With that in mind, Supergirl has a strong pedigree with its production team. Series producers Andrew Kreisberg, Sarah Schechter, and Greg Berlanti all earned their superhero bones working on Arrow and The Flash over on The CW, proving that they have the talent and the ability to bring these characters to life in engaging ways that also stay true to their source material. Given half a chance, there’s no reason at all why Supergirl can't be a success when it debuts, soaring up, up and away in the ratings.
Supergirl will premiere Monday, October 26 at 8:30 pm EST. It is set to air at 8 pm EST on Monday night thereafter.