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?
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.
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.
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.