Supergirl breaks barriers and slams stereotypes

LOOK! It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no it’s Superman! Wait, is that a skirt? The upcoming CBS TV show “Supergirl” is soon going to put up a strong fight against its male dominated counterparts such as the “Flash,” “Arrow,” and the Marvel Cinematic series. Although “Supergirl” won’t be the first TV show to attempt to break the male lead stereotype, it is one of the only shows right now where a woman is not only the main star, but also a super strong, laser-shooting, high-flying, baddie-beating, plane-saving superhero.

Supergirl was scheduled for release during the fall season of 2015, but instead the pilot episode was leaked onto the Internet just recently. Although this TV show leak isn’t as drastic as last month’s four-episode Season 5 leak of the critically acclaimed “Game of Thrones” series, it was crucial to the success of the future of Supergirl. The question now is, does this TV show prove to be what people were hoping for?

Photo from Kayla Caldwell
Promotional photo by Kayla Caldwell

Watching the pilot episode yourself should convince you that CBS should keep the show. It’s not only enjoyable for the average superhero fan, but it’s also a statement towards the progression in entertainment’s gender equality. Although only the first episode was released, several reviews have already surfaced praising the show as “charming” and “refreshing” according to TV critic Rob Bricken. TV show pilots always face the same problem with the repetitive outlining of the background and history of the general storyline, but “Supergirl” takes it a step up by already hinting to the viewers about the real antagonists on the show – not the evil alien villains – but the stereotypes that drive women away from the world of superheroes.

In the pilot episode, Kara Zor-El, played by Melissa Benoist, feels like her true potential is wasted away by working as an assistant at a large publication company. For years she has been trying to hide the fact that she is an all-powerful alien that strives to be a ‘normal’ human being, but she realizes that she cannot hide the fact that it is in her blood and DNA to be extraordinary. While Superman protects his city of Metropolis, Kara has given herself the duty to protect her own National City.

Photo by Kayla Caldwell
Promotional photo by Kayla Caldwell

Unknowingly, her gracious attempts to save people have drawn insidious eyes towards her actions and the people of National City. Eventually, Kara must confront these physical dangers while fighting against the societal restrictions that are imposed upon girls in society. She is a symbol of hope for the people in her city and an inspiration to women that girls can become heroes too.

Furthermore, actor Melissa Benoist fits perfectly for the role as Kara Zor-El because of her fearless and passionate portrayal of heroism, unlike the recent darker trend where superheroes are ‘forced’ into saving others. On the TV show, she tackles her first few enemies with a natural smile on her face, and after the battles, she’s still smiling while designing her superhero outfit, proving that saving the day can be fun too. This upbeat and cheerful personality is what television needs among all the sad and dark-themed superhero TV shows.

28A4AF6B00000578-3080747-image-a-103_1431560533322
Photo from CBS Network

Without a doubt Supergirl does have its flaws, such as a tight budget restricting the special effects, but this small problem doesn’t stand in the way of this genuinely refreshing TV show. Kara is a beacon of joy as she saves the day, and her joy transcends the boundaries of the glass television screen and touches the audience. Viewers will have to wait until November 2015 to watch the next episode of Supergirl, but in the meantime, we can just hope that this show will become an example for other networks to start producing happier and more gender-equal, positively representative shows that can both inspire us and make us smile.

Author: Gabriel Goh

Gabriel Goh is the Sports Editor of The Eye. This is his second year as part of the staff and his 9th year at SAS. In his free time, he likes to take pictures for GGP and go on long runs. He can be contacted at goh30415@sas.edu.sg.

One thought

  1. Supergirl pilot SUCKED!!!! It was obviously just a platform. Like really, you’re gonna have the antagonist be some male chauvinist who says “a woman bows when a man enters a room on my planet”. SERIOUSLY?!?!? I was already expecting the requisite feminist “Why? cus she’s a girl?” lines but not with such frequency! Geez, there were even expository sections in which characters got on a soapbox and talked about claiming the word girl for power. Like I get this is a “girl power” show but why do you have to use comics to do it!? This show oozes feminism to the point that it overshadows the story. All that apart from the fact that it was corny as balls!! Like they didn’t even get supergirl right. Kara ZOr-El is supposed to be an extremely confident, knows-who-she-is type superchick who kicks ass. But also to the point to where she doesn’t hold back and is not a people person b/c she spent the majority of her development on Krypton with aliens not humans. So she initially in general is not that liking of humanity though she grows to. She doesn’t know her limits and so she constantly goes harder than Superman bc she doesnt hold back and is intense. But NO, CBS wants an insecure, unsure-of-herself girl who has superpowers (which I would contend is DETRIMENTAL to the female cause). Clark Kent is the one who is quirky and insecure as a kid bc he had such a secret he couldnt tell others and got picked on and couldnt retaliate for fear of hurting people, making him an outsider from a young age. Kara comes out the womb kicking butt, or at least she is supposed to. SO they basically just bit off the superman story and replaced the man with girl for this show. So there’s a strike against it for not staying true to source material. The second you start pandering comic book stuff so that it caters to the masses and compromises its viral integrity, you lose the very essence of what it is meant to be. Comics are SUPPOSED to be for the socially disenfranchised aka the NERDS, the quirky, the weird, where they can escape and delve into that fantastic world free from the norms, cliques, and culture into which they do not fit. But this show stands as a testament to the desire to alienate the already alienated nerds from their own culture all in the name of a platform. Screw this show! PS I like supergirl. Her interpretation in Smallville was spot-on! But this sucks. if you want to use a medium for a platform, fine, but don’t compromise its very integrity at the expense of others’ (nerds such as I myself’s) mental getaway. WE WERE THERE FIRST! Don’t kick us out! I feel like a native-american back when the white settlers kicked em out of their homes, moved em to a reservation, and forced ideologies on them. Thats basically what this show is to true comic fans. In all, this show sucks and so does what it represents. The only thing I liked about it was when she fought her first crimes (bc the music was good) and when she decided her outfits (and that was because she was hot). Crappy dialogue, exposition out the wazoo, crappy special effects, and repeatedly beating us senseless over the head with an ideology, not staying true to source material in interpretation, obviously not for comic fans just trying to profit off this new mainstream surge of interest in comic book culture, too bad it’s at comic culture’s expense. RIP NERD CULTURE.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s