Aired on: CBS
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I saw promos on CBS for a new Supergirl television series, I shook my head. The whole Supergirl thing had been tried and was an epic fail. People just haven’t seemed to be as interested in Supergirl as Superman and I just thought this new Supergirl was actually a bad move for CBS. Then I heard some interesting things and decided to check out the premiere episode that aired October 26, 2015.
For those who don’t know, Kara Zor-El, AKA: Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), is Kal-El’s cousin. She was sent at the age of thirteen to Earth by her mother Alura (Laura Benanti) to protect Kal-El just as the planet Krypton explodes. The aftershock of the explosion sends Kara’s ship into the Phantom Zone, where she stays for 24 years. When she finally makes it to Earth, Kal-El was already an adult and needed no taking care of – he was the world’s protector, Superman. Kara finds herself taken in by the Danver family and manages to hide her powers, eventually moving to National City and becoming the assistant of the CEO of CatCo, a media conglomerate.
Kara is frustrated at her job, especially when she learns that Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) about to propose cutting staff at the local paper, Cat’s first acquisition. As Cat explains, National City just doesn’t have what Metropolis’ Daily Planet has – a hero. When her sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), is put in danger after the plane she is traveling on is sabotaged, Kara uses her powers of flight and super strength to rescue her. It is then when she realizes that National City could have a hero and Kara was ready to become just the hero the city needed.
Confiding in friend Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), a tech expert at CatCo and her biggest fan, Kara turns into Supergirl, fighting crime and keeping the innocent safe. Of course, this draws some unwanted attention from the Department of Extra-Normal Operations whose agents fight to prevent alien bad guys from invading Earth. The DEO, along with their secret agent Alex, try to dissuade Kara from using her powers, revealing that a great many of the alien bad guys descending on Earth were brought here when her ship accidentally broke them out of the Phantom Zone years ago.
Now, if you found out you were responsible for unleashing evil beings on your new home planet, endangering innocents and the people you love, would you stand by and let that happen? Not if you're Supergirl!
I find myself shocked as hell to say that I really enjoyed watching the pilot episode of Supergirl. I thought it was going to be cheesy, but this series was actually well put together, with clever writing and decent special effects. Melissa Benoist is believable as both Kara and her alterego Supergirl. She's quirky and funny and a good match to the comic book heroine I remember reading about years ago. Having enjoyed Chyler Leigh's work on Reunion and Grey's Anatomy, I was overjoyed to see her in a large role as Kara's adopted sister. I also thought it rather clever that the powers that be cast Dean Cain and Helen Slater as the Danvers. Who better to play Kara's adopted parents than the former Superman (Lois and Clark) and former Supergirl? I also enjoyed the idea that Supergirl is the reason behind the escapes from the Phantom Zone. That would make her more determined to use her powers for good, especially since her deceased mother is one of the people who helped lock these bad guys up in the first place.
This new incarnation of Supergirl contained a decent backstory, a great plot, excellent writing, actors that portrayed their rather likeable characters (with the exception of Cat) very well. When I first set out to watch the premiere episode of Supergirl, you could never have convinced me that I'd be saying this, but I can't wait to see more Mondays at 8pm EST on CBS!