After declining ratings in its maiden season, Supergirl has flown over from CBS to the network that made fellow DC hero shows Arrow and The Flash successful. The CW is hoping the shift will boost interest in the Girl of Steel, and they're pulling out all the stops with a musical crossover with Supergirl and The Flash, as well as a major upcoming four-series team-up.
One of the criticisms of Supergirl's first season was the perpetually shadowy presence of Kara's cousin Clark, aka Superman. While having the character mostly off screen rightly kept the focus on Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), his absence during some important and even cataclysmic events began to strain the show's credibility. The good news for this season is that Superman will finally be stepping out of the shadows to team up with Kara.
Intended as a series in the Arrowverse that would adopt a more family friendly, lighter tone like The Flash, Supergirl occasionally lost its way with its shifting vibe during the first year. So far it looks like season 2 will attempt to recapture that more vibrant, adventurous spirit, which includes the portrayal of Superman. As actor Tyler Hoechlin explains in a recent interview with EW, this version of the red-caped superhero is an important symbol of hope.
"It’s a very hopeful and optimistic show. As an actor, you always love these deep, dark, complicated, conflicted characters — there’s a challenge and that’s something to really dig into. This was something that was fun. It’s pure fun and it's Superman as I think he was intended to be, which is just an incredible symbol of hope to kids that they can do anything, and that they can be good people, and that good people can triumph over evil. That’s just, at the core of it, what it is."
Hoechlin was drawn to the duality of the character with a secret life, and impressed by how Benoist has played those two sides so distinctly. He endeavored to find the humanity in both the Clark and Superman personas, and to make this a "relatable" character for the audience.
"Clark is the side of that that is — you know, you don't have to be dark and brooding, and always in this state of masculine toughness. You can still just be a sweet, gentle person and have that side of you that comes out when it's needed and called upon."
Hoechlin, who already did dark-and-brooding back in his Teen Wolf days, clearly wasn't inspired by the recent uber-dark DC superhero movies. Last season's crossover with The Flash proved how much better Supergirl could be with an even lighter touch, so it's definitely a positive sign that Superman isn't going to be some untouchable, stoic alien hero. And while there may be some family drama in store, it looks like Superman will be a fun addition to the team who doesn't steal the spotlight.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday, October 4 at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same time slot on Wednesday, October 5, Supergirl season 2 on Monday, October 10, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday, October 13.