Supergirl Super-flops

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360My thoughts after the Supergirl premiere, and two days of discussion with my fellow bloggers:

The acting was wooden, forced, unnatural.

The plot was simplistic and yet incomprehensible, simultaneously.

The music was desperate to be epic at all times, and forgot about setting the appropriate mood.

The drama, and the acting which drove said drama, was campy to the extreme, worse than Gotham’s premiere.

The script could not have been more perfectly designed for Mystery Science Theater 3000 if they had tried. Very hard. A few examples, all from about one minute of run-time at the climax of the episode:
“Because she’s just a girl? That’s exactly what we were counting on.” How? How, exactly, does her gender come into play in this fight?
“Do it now!” Apparently Kara needs to be told when to use her laser vision on the axe that’s mere inches from her eyeballs.
“I can’t do it!” (she says as she’s melting the axe with her life on the line) “Kara, this is why you were sent here!” (“It is your destiny! Use the force, Luke!”)

They revealed everything foreboding far too soon, including everything about who the enemy is and where they come from and why they want to kill Kara. How, exactly, does everyone know everything except for Kara? Did the DEO catch a particularly talkative enemy?

They changed the characters and their backgrounds far too much. This was not Kara’s story, especially not her story from any of the comics, which is hilarious considering how the previews were all, “You know my cousin’s story, but not mine.” But this was Clark Kent’s story, only inserting Kara into Clark’s place, complete with crashing to Earth, raised on a farm, went to the big city to work in the media, acting like a dork, Jimmy Olsen, and even a Kryptonian general (female version of Zod, anyone?) as her foe. Oh, and her enemies have grudges against one of her parents, like Superman’s do against Jor-El, only their enemy is her mother, because female empowerment.

Speaking of, there was an extreme overemphasis on how this is a FEMALE superhero, with a FEMALE boss, and a FEMALE emotional support, and a FEMALE enemy who commands male minions, and it is her FEMALE parent who her enemies have a grudge against.

Not to mention, Superman isn’t really going to appear in this show, yet his presence saturates it. He is completely absent, not even taking his only surviving biological relative into his own home, just pawning her off onto someone else. He doesn’t even talk to her directly, with either his super speed or a phone call, which is pretty extreme avoidance. Yet for being so absent, his shadow is overwhelming for her. Everyone refers to him. More female empowerment stuff, having to struggle in the shadow of the neglectful man.

I also hated the whole “Girl vs Woman” thing from the moment we saw it in the previews, but it wasn’t until one of my fellow bloggers commented on this that I figured out why. Any man would feel insulted to be called “Boy,” right? But they come out guns blazing to justify calling her “Girl” instead of “Woman,” insulting everyone who would so much as raise an eyebrow about it.

In short, really not impressed, but it could prove tragically hilarious, as I was laughing at how terrible it was long before the end.

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24 Responses to Supergirl Super-flops

  1. IAmDonovan says:

    This is the first negative Supergirl review I’ve ever read or seen!
    I mean, I do agree that the acting wasn’t amazing and the plot/writing was a bit cliche, but it’s the pilot! The show is finding its ground and hopefully overtime it’ll stabilize and be decent. But The Flash has equally as cliche writing so I’m not expecting too much there.
    And I do understand to some degree why you/people are a bit upset at the perhaps over powering of the females but as a female and feminist myself, I have to say that because it’s so underrepresented in TV that I’m going to let it slide.
    No one’s forcing you to watch it and I totally respect your opinions and they’re not ridiculous at all, but the show did get amazing ratings and reviews so I have a feeling it’ll be around for a while…

    Like

    • Merlin says:

      True, true. I/we seem to be in the minority on this, and to any of my friends who watch it, more power to you/them, and to each their own! 😉
      Of course, you DO realize that you just said it might, hopefully, become decent… which means it’s not now? (heehee!)
      And I do understand, this is the pilot, but still, I can’t think of a single pilot I’ve actually watched that left such a hilariously bad impression on me. Gotham, for instance, BARELY got me to keep watching, and yes, that has improved drastically over time. The same MIGHT happen here, but for now, I’m watching it to laugh AT it, not WITH it. Still, as I’ll be watching it, the people making it still win either way, eh?
      Though, and I am borrowing a point someone else made as she commented on another blog, take a look at the ensemble cast in Agents of Shield with its strong female characters, and female-led Agent Carter, and the upcoming Jessica Jones on Netflix (sorry, don’t mean to harp on Marvel here!), and even iZombie with its female protagonist (technically based on a DC comic), and, well, I think all of those shows do (or will do) much better at depicting strong women, WITHOUT mentioning it every three seconds. I LOVE strong women, and I delight in strength all around, but, seriously, could they get off the pulpit? Have they no understanding of subtlety? (same issue, really, with the script and the acting) Heck, even Arrow did better than that, though they HAVE lately done some injustices to their strong female characters, like killing or ruining each of them.
      One more thing, can I ask what you thought about the whole “girl” vs “woman” thing?
      Heh, I did come out swinging pretty hard, didn’t I? 🙂

      Like

      • swanpride says:

        I was stunned how many smart woman apparently fell for the “calling yourself a girl is empowering” nonsense. No, it isn’t, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is.

        The worst pilot I have ever seen is still the one of Beauty and the Beast. How the show stayed on air that long is beyond me, especially since the ratings were terrible from the get go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Merlin says:

        Never saw B&B. The trailers looked terrible. (and it looked like Kristen Kreuk was just doing another Lana Lang, which I got more than enough of on Smallville)

        Like

      • swanpride says:

        Well, let’s put it this way: The so called “beast” was a very attractive man with an artfully placed scar whose stalkery tendencies were apparently supposed to be romantic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Merlin says:

        So, Twilight With a Scar? LOL. I kinda figured it would be like that, based on the trailer.

        Like

      • swanpride says:

        Yeah, well, I really loved the original Beauty and the Beast TV show, so I gave it a shot. But it was even worse than I feared.

        Concerning female heroines…I am quite happy that at least Marvel does well on the TV side of things. Gives me hope that this will translate to the movies eventually. But DC really has to step it up. I am really, really worried about what they will do with Wonder Woman.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Merlin says:

        Huh, I didn’t even know there was an “original Beauty and the Beast TV show.” Hmmm…
        And I know precisely what you mean with Wonder Woman. Still, whatever they do with her in Batman vs Superman, there’s a couple years until her movie comes out. That might be enough time to step it up, eh? Hopefully! (crossing fingers!)

        Like

      • swanpride says:

        Yeah, it aired…I think in the late 1980s, with Linda Hamilton as the female lead. The Beast actually looked more like a Lion (and was played by Ron Perlman, not that you would recognize him under the awesome mask), and it was produced by (believe it or not) George R. R. Martin. Sadly it aired before urban fantasy became mainstream, so it only lasted three seasons (with the last one being frankly terrible). Here, have a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast_(1987_TV_series)

        It was far from perfect, but the blend between fantasy and the way New York was back then combined with some really good actors made it worth the watch.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Merlin says:

        Oh, NOW I remember hearing about this, seeing a commercial or two, maybe for a rerun of it after the Disney movie came out.

        Like

      • IAmDonovan says:

        I think girl is an overall more acceptable term for a female no matter what age. I think a forty year old woman is very likely to reply with “I’m a girl” when asked what gender she is. But I think boy is different in the sense that the word is somehow more affiliated with being younger and all boys strive to be mighty men. Ask a forty year old man what gender he is and he won’t say “I’m a boy”, he’d say “I’m a guy” or “I’m a man”.
        I think if Superwoman was a real DC character then we’d be watching that, but unfortunately all the female superheroes who were ‘spinoffs’ of a male counterpart had to be a ‘girl’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Merlin says:

        Hmm, something interesting there. For one thing, I recall some of the superheroes being called, “boy,” “girl,” or “kid,” because they started off as a young sidekick/younger version of the originals. Wonder Girl, Supergirl, Batgirl, Kid Flash, Superboy, Aqualad, etc. There have also been heroes given the “man” or “woman” title at their inception, because they began as grown men and women. Batwoman, for instance, was already full grown when she was introduced, as were Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, etc.
        For another interesting thing, if there are women who prefer being a “girl” to being a “woman,” I wonder if a certain prevalent preference for younger women makes them want to stay as “girls,” while the boys are eager to grow up (though, sometimes, still act like boys). Hmmm.

        Like

    • swanpride says:

      I was frankly stunned how many positive reviews this piece of garbage got, but I guess between “we need more female leads and this is the first superpowered one we get in the current phase of comic book adaptations” (yeah, by not even a month, and I honestly don’t get the notion that Peggy and Liy somehow don’t count) and “DC has to win the TV battle over marvel!!!” a lot of people are way too ready to give it the benefit of the doubt. But there are a few more critical voices and if you read the comments under the good reviews, there are quite a few people who didn’t like the pilot.
      Frankly, being a feminist myself, I was quite stunned that it got so many raving reviews…until I saw an article which praised the show for being “anti-feminist”.
      If it will be around…we will see. Pilot ratings are often way better, we have to wait at least five episodes to get an idea of how many people were convinced by the pilot. In any case, it needs better ratings than Arrow and Flash pull, because it is on CBS.

      Liked by 1 person

      • IAmDonovan says:

        I don’t watch iZombie so I can’t comment on that, but I think Peggy ‘doesn’t count’ because she isn’t really a superhero and the plot isn’t about superheroes as it is the SSR and her doings (compared to Agents Of SHIELD who also started with a team of non-superheroes but focused on chasing and dealing with superheroes).

        Liked by 1 person

      • swanpride says:

        The thing is that you need to really narrow down the definition to give Supergirl a “first” status. She is not the first female Superheroine lead, because that would be Wonder Woman. She is not the first woman starring in a Comic book show in the current era, because that would be Agent Carter, and if you count out Marvel, there would be izombi. To make Supergirl first in anything, you have to say that she is the first female lead with powers who is a bonifide Superheroine in the current era of comic book shows, and even that distinction is only hers because Netflix stuck to their planned schedule and decided to release Jessica Jones in November. I therefore think that it is a little bit ridiculous to make such a fuss around it. For me is more important that the show is actually good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • IAmDonovan says:

        I completely understand what you’re saying, but I think that even if Supergirl did accept its position as second or third or whatever, it still would be a feat since successful female superhero leads are still so underrepresented and even still looked down upon in the comic world. People are just happy that prime time TV is getting another female hero on a show that has a lot of potential and hopefully has the power to change the minds of a lot of naysayers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I still haven’t watched it, but this is the first negative review I’ve seen of it… =/ I’ll have to watch it to comment, though I have to admit that I’m not overly excited about this one

    Like

  3. Frank says:

    My reaction to the pilot was similar. I love watching Melissa Benoist as Supergirl, but the plot was clunky and amateur, almost a throw-back to 80s-style TV. If you compare it with Smallville, which could be insanely addictive, then Supergirl is an epic fail. I can only hope the writers get their act together.

    The ‘girl’ vs Superman issue has been a thorn from the inception of Supergirl. There are better ways to handle it, though. I don’t think Superman is excessively out of place in the pilot, but he needs to be less there after the pilot.

    Liked by 1 person

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