Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CBS' Supergirl: It Gets Better...I hope

After a fun, dare I say refreshing (I dare, even though it somehow looks pretentious now that I write it) pilot, "Supergirl" quickly became a lot less compelling. I am now finding it a bit of a slog to catch up on, and while I hoped to do a bunch-of-shows-in-a-short-period-of-time viewing over the holidays, I was really disappointed by the last episode I saw.

I mean, the show introduced one of my favorites, Glenn Morshower, AKA Aaron of the SuperTeam on the "Jack Bauer Power Hour," also known as "24." Unfortunately it saddled him with the character of Sam Lane, a gruff cliché  who seems to value busting Jimmy--Excuse me, JAMES--Olsen's balls than he does protecting the nation. Aaron--I mean, Glenn is playing the hell out of the role, but it's not a good add to the overall series.

It didn't take long for "Supergirl" to start with elements I feared would be forced into the narrative. The worst is the puppy love longing lead Kara Danvers has for this version of Olsen. Making matters worse is that it's a de facto triangle because another work colleague Winn has a crush on her. Making matters worser is that it's a de facto quadrangle because Lucy Lane showed up as Olsen's girlfriend and made Kara all bummed out.  I really would prefer a superhero show in which everyone just happened to work together as partners without a romantic element--at least for the first dozen or so episodes, for Great Ceasar's Ghost's sakes.

(Now that I think about it, though, it would be sort of interesting if somehow Lucy Lane and Winn hooked up.)

Then there's heavy government involvement and a dreaded backstory thread involving Kara's adoptive father. What's been spoiled for me indicates this may be more interesting than I feared, but I was hoping that the refreshing (what the hey, I already used it once) feel of the pilot would carry into the series and mean no reliance on serialized elements.

Calista Flockhart's Cat Grant character started out as a little over the top, and then somehow the added details that humanized her threatened to make her even more of a cliché. Sometimes giving a character "dimension" feels forced, and I think that happened here to some extent, but I admit I'm warming up to her a little bit. Still, it feels like a remarkably quiet return to TV for Calista Flockhart. Shouldn't this be a bigger deal? She's HARRISON FORD'S WIFE!

The good news is Melissa Benoist is tremendous as Supergirl, and she is so appealing that even the lamest storylines are tolerable. I am not crazy about how the series is building its "universe," but I like seeing a lot of DC Comics B-teamers come to life on the small screen. In short, I am disappointed with "Supergirl"the show, but I really like Supergirl and want everything around her to get better. I'll stick with it.

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