Supergirl “Pilot” – Review

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DIRECTOR: Glen Winter

WRITERS: Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

CAST: Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers / Supergirl), Mehcad Brooks
(James Olsen), David Harewood (Hank Henshaw), Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant), Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott) and Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)

REVIEW 

The story of Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) begins with Kara Zor-El at the age of 13 years old, where her baby cousin of Kal-El/Superman and herself being sent to Earth before their home planet of Krypton is destroyed, these are by far some of the best scenic cinematography in the episode, as the feel of Krypton is very Richard Donner’s Superman, followed by the space scene with Kara’s ship.

As Kara goes on her journey to Earth, her ship gets taken off course and she gets stuck in the prison dimension of the Phantom Zone, which she remains there for 24 years, without aging, until her ship finally rerouted itself to Earth, but by the time she finally arrived, her cousin is now already an adult and no longer needs her protection.

Kara now on Earth would then spend the rest of her time as a child with the Danvers family, which introduces two of the best cameos in a pilot episode for a DC Comics television show.

Kara grows up to learns how to hide her powers to act as normal as possible, as that’s something later explained by her adopted sister Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), is by Kara’s own choice.

The episode itself has a lot of fast-moving pieces when it comes to developing Kara’s story from a girl who’s an alien, to a girl who wants to hide her powers and be normal, to a girl who’s put in a position where she’s forced to embrace her powers, to her then wanting to be more than just a normal person and become Supergirl.

Among those things, in the episode she also gets her alter-ego name, her suit, along with her true identity being revealed to her closet friend Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan). These moments in the episode felt a bit too much, because they strongly felt like they could had been held off for a few more episodes at the least, as it felt a bit too rushed within this episode.

Another aspect that felt like it was too much, if not more like overkill that quickly comes to mind is that they push the idea that this is a television series about a female superhero a bit too much.

There’s a great moment with the character of Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who’s the founder of media conglomerate CatCo, which is where Kara works, where Cat explains to Kara why being called a “girl” isn’t something a woman should be offended by, which that scene itself should been the moment that sets the overall theme of what they’re trying go with when it comes to influencing young girls with this series.

But there’s another quick moment before that, in a diner where a waitress, watching a news report on Supergirl, makes a remark how great there’s a superhero her daughter can look up to now.

Then later in the episode there’s another moment where Kara is off on a mission fighting the bad guy Vartox (Owain Yeoman), who’s an alien from the Phantom Zone, that escape the prison ship Fort Rozz.

During this moment the character of David Harewood (Hank Henshaw), who’s the head of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, which Kara as Supergirl is helping, makes a comment that Kara isn’t strong enough to beat Vartox, which then Alex questions him if because she’s “just a girl”.

That line in itself felt very unnecessary and forced, as just another reminder for the viewers once more that this is a television series about a female superhero. Hopefully the series doesn’t do this in every episode and this is coming from a female.

The other thing that might get under fans skin, is the mentioning Superman, but never actually using his name, this can get tiring very quickly if they continue to do this throughout the series.

The episode had many other elements that could be seen as negative, like such as how the Winn character behaves more like Jimmy Olsen, than the Jimmy… or rather the James Olsen character does or how Kara references the Kryptonian language as Kryptonese, but the latter would just be nitpicking.

Even though the episode itself doesn’t start on the strongest footing, it’s not a bad showing for this new series, as there’s many good aspects that help string along this new telling of Supergirl.

One of the biggest push of this is actress Melissa Benoist, her performance and charismatic personality, which is by far the best thing this series has. The other is the overall visual effects and action, one of the best examples of this, is when Kara saves a plane that crashing down, the other is when she’s fighting Vartox during two different scenes, one in the middle of the and then towards the end of the episode.

Overall I can personally see myself enjoying this series as long as the writers are mindful of some the of redundant elements from its Pilot episode and work from there on, while forcing on highlighting what really worked in the upcoming episodes.

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