When I first heard rumors of a Supergirl television series, I wasn’t sure it would be any good. DC hasn’t had that great of a track record, only getting it right about half the time. However, once I watched Supergirl Season One, I was very happy with the story, the actors, and the series in general.
Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers (played wonderfully by Melissa Benoist) is Superman’s cousin, sent to Earth to protect him and teach him. Unfortunately, her spaceship was knocked off course and she got stuck in the Phantom Zone for over 20 years. By the time she made it to Earth, Superman was already grown up and didn’t need her to watch over him. Benoist did a fantastic job. She made her character quirky, interesting, and fun to watch.
Jimmy James Olsen, was played by Mehcad Brooks. Having grown up with Olsen being a red-haired, skinny, white, geeky sort of fellow, it was unusual to see him in Supergirl Season One as a different race and much more muscular. However, Brooks pulled it off and made the character work well within the story. I think this was an excellent casting move.
I really liked how all of the main characters learned and grew as the season progressed. Winn (Jeremy Jordan) seemed little more than a nerdy sidekick (almost the “Jimmy Olsen” of the series) at the beginning, but grew into a useful and strong character by the end of the season. I was especially impressed that they did more with Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) than turning him into another Lex Luthor. While that seemed to be what they were doing at the beginning of Supergirl Season One, by the end of the season, he was much more than just a Luthor-like megalomaniac. Bravo to the script writers for that.
The villains in the series were generally acceptable, and some of them actually seemed conflicted over their casting as villains. Kara’s aunt, Astra (Laura Benanti), seemed to understand why she was placed in the Phantom Zone by the end, and even seemed to accept it to a degree. The biggest misstep, as far as the villains go, was Silver Banshee.
While all of the other villains were costumed and made up well, Silver Banshee looked like a moderate attempt at a Halloween costume. It was somewhat disappointing. Coupled with a few episodes here and there which weren’t quite as good as the rest of them, this made Supergirl Season One—as a whole—a little less than it could have been.
The effects were very well done for a television series. Everything from shape-shifting to heat vision to flying was animated with precision. Benoist nails the flying scenes, and really lets go with the heat vision. Many previous depictions of Superman and other Kryptonians made it seem like all of the powers were used effortlessly, but Benoist showed the effort required to activate and use some of them.
Supergirl Season One is my favorite current science fiction television series because of the many sympathetic characters (including some of the villains). The writers and directors have created a world where the characters are simultaneously unique, interesting, and just plain normal. I really hope they can continue to do so in the upcoming second season. I am looking forward to it!
Original Air Dates: October 26, 2015 – April 18, 2016 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (regular social drinking)
Language: 1 (occasional, minor)
Sexuality: 2 (occasional making out, intense kissing, flirting, implied off-screen sex)
Violence: 3 (super fighting in every episode, some death, intense battles)