One of the more noteworthy (if not the most noteworthy) comic book TV show adaptations on the horizon is Supergirl, CBS’ upcoming attempt to get in on the superhero entertainment game. The show was put into motion by such writers/producers as Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, among others – many of whom have also worked on The CW’s DC superhero TV series Arrow and The Flash. However, until further notice, Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) does not exist in the same universe as Arrow‘s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and The Flash‘s Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).
Reactions to the extended Supergirl trailer released by CBS have certainly been all over the board. Some feel the show has the potential to be an entertaining piece of counter-programming to the many male superhero TV shows out there. Other, however, were put off by the way the preview depicts Kara – painting her as the sort of 20-something protagonist you expect to find in a standard romantic comedy – and the so-called ‘Saturday Morning Feminism’ vibe of the extended preview (see related criticisms of Marvel and ABC’s Agent Carter season one).
Global has released an international preview for Supergirl (watch it above) that focuses more on the superhero origin story elements of the Supergirl pilot – in the process, cutting most of the scene clips from the extended trailer that highlight Kara’s other daily experiences on the show (e.g. when she’s passing herself off as a regular human on Earth). The end result: this Global clip is a leaner and more action-packed preview that calls attention to the biggest selling points of the Supergirl pilot:
- The chance to see Kryptonian super-powers on the small screen (even on a TV budget, scenes where Kara saves the day look pretty shiny).
- An intriguing and better developed backstory for the Supergirl character on TV.
- World-building and the foundation-laying of the series’ mythology, via the introduction of David Harewood as CIA agent Hank Henshaw: an ally for Kara (as well as her potential future enemy) who assists her in the fight against various extraterrestrial and/or super-powered threats on Earth.
There are distinct similarities between the Supergirl TV show footage and the aforementioned CW TV adaptations of DC comic book properties – meaning, there’s reason to be concerned that this series will come off all the generic and formulaic, in the current age of superhero television programming. The Supergirl pilot leaked online earlier this year and you can already read the reactions from those who’ve seen it; thus far, the outlook seems to be an improvement on the general reactions to the show’s first trailer, but there’s still plenty of skepticism surrounding this series.
Basically, it’s like our Screen Rant Underground Podcast team has been saying: if the Supergirl showrunners are willing (and able) to craft a series mythos and characters that are as compelling and complicated as the best comic book TV show adaptions out there (The Flash, iZombie, etc.), then this could be a solid DC TV show on its own terms. That’s the direction that the Global trailer appears to be pointing towards, so here’s hoping that’s not just a misleading marketing angle.
Supergirl premieres on CBS at 8:30 p.m. EST on October 26th, 2015. It will air at 8 p.m. EST on Mondays thereafter.
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