This past Monday saw the premier of the latest DC television series, Supergirl. The series is brought to us by the same folks who brought us Arrow and The Flash, so expectations were pretty high. I was curious to see if the quality would be just as high as those two shows, or if this would be just a “girl version” of a superhero show. More on that later. It seems like the reception for the pilot has been pretty positive, which is a big deal. Make no mistake, she may wear the “S” ( I know, it’s not really an S) on her chest, but this was still a really big risk for DC. Historically speaking, female driven superhero titles have not been huge sellers. Partially, that’s because female superhero title haven’t been very good, historically speaking. Well, I have watched the pilot for Supergirl now, twice, and I have to say, I have a lot of hope that this series could rewrite history for the genre.
Ok, let’s first talk about what I mean by a “girl version.” There have been girl versions of popular characters for as long as we have had popular characters. Mickey has his Minnie, He-Man has his She-Ra, and Alvin and the Chipmunks have whatever the name of the girl chipmunk band is. Even toy lines have girl versions, like My Buddy and Kid Sister. This happens all the time. To be honest, Supergirl started out as the girl version of Superman. These versions are typically thought up as a way to appeal to the girls who happen to be stuck watching their brother’s shows. Usually, they are not as well-developed as their male counterparts, and you feel like they are just thrown in as an after thought. I was worried that Supergirl would be a girl version of the super successful shows already developed by DC. In other words, because she is a girl, it wasn’t going to be as well-developed and the show would be lower in quality. Before anybody reading this gets angry, stop and think, and honestly examine your own thoughts. Didn’t you have the same fears? I’m not saying it’s right, I am just saying that is how it has always been.
I sat down to watch this for the first time with two of my daughters. I was hoping that this would at least be a good girl version. One thing I really enjoyed about watching it with them was how excited they got that Supergirl was a girl and was just as strong as Superman. I remember my younger daughter watching the airplane bit (hopefully you have already seen this episode) and she was totally wide-eyed and in awe. She was seeing a girl do something as amazing as Thor could do. I don’t think she had ever thought about that being possible. My older daughter enjoyed it quite a bit too, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Supergirl became her new favorite superhero. Here’s the thing, though, I was really getting into it, and I began to question whether this really was a “girl version” of anything, or if the action and story would be as appealing to anyone, regardless of gender. I began to wonder if this wasn’t a “girl version” at all, but simply a great superhero show.
I decided to test this by sitting down with my boys and watching it with them. My younger son is a huge Superman fan, so I thought he might dig it. I was also concerned he wouldn’t be able to get over the fact that she is a girl, which is probably more of a negative indication of my parenting skills than anything else. He got way into it. He loved the pilot. He thought Supergirl was awesome, and had no problem with her being a girl at all. I asked him at one point who he thought was stronger, Supergirl or Superman, and he figured they were probably about the same, and maybe Supergirl was just a little bit stronger. My older son enjoyed what he saw, that he sat down and watched it again.
The realization that I came to is that this is simply a really good show. If you like comics or superheroes or Arrow and The Flash, then you will love this show. This is rewriting the genre and hopefully what studios and people think about female superheroes as a whole. I was really hoping that this show would provide some kind of hero for my girls to watch every week and realize they could do anything they wanted. After seeing the pilot, I am convinced that they are on the right track. I think DC found a winner in their new series and I hope it sticks around for quite a while. That will depend on us watching it, so get the word out and tell your friends to watch this show. The best part is, DC got their female driven show with a strong female lead out before Marvel. How’s that for a switch?
What did you think of the series premier for Supergirl? Was it everything you hoped it would be, or were you disappointed? Let me know in the comments below or send me feedback directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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