Supergirl was a show that started off on an okay note. Like most TV shows, it took a bit for it to hit its stride, and for me, it was about episode 6 or 8 of Season 1 where it truly began to take off. For the first time, I found myself attached to the characters who, up until that point, had seemed like cardboard cutout figures. Fun cardboard cutout figures. But cardboard figures nonetheless.
The show progressively got me more involved, and halfway through the first season, I became a legit fan of the show — as much of a fan as The Flash, even, which is one of my favorite shows on network TV.
Last season left off on a particularly frustrating note: with Kara opening up a pod similar to the one she crash-landed on Earth in years before. We never got a look at what was inside the pod, which was especially annoying since the show’s future was up in the air. This season picks up roughly 12 hours after that point. But before we get into the actual content, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
This season marks Supergirl‘s CW debut. Last season, it was on CBS, but was dropped from that network following its failure to hit CBS numbers. Now, Supergirl is where she belongs: the at the network that’s already home to all of the other Greg Berlanti joints such as Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The main question coming into this week’s season premiere of Supergirl is how it would handle the transition from network to network. The production moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver, and the budget likely reduced in size. As a former L.A. resident (and a former employee working in Downtown L.A.), I’d grown accustomed to that U.S. Bank Tower skyline, and knew it would be distracting if it changed.
Luckily for me, it didn’t. While a lot of the ground shots were most definitely not shot in L.A., the skyline has remained largely intact. In fact, everything was largely intact. Most of the sets look exactly the same (except for the DEO, which has a venue change that’s explained in a bit of fourth wall-breaking hilarity), and even as far as budget goes, I can’t see much of a difference.
And the show itself? It’s as good as ever.
I’d worried that introducing Superman would be a big mistake, but I think it actually helps to fill a void in fans. While I do enjoy Henry Cavill’s take as a conflicted Man of Steel, Tyler Hoechlin’s more bumbling boy scout take is something that’s nice to see. It’s the version many fans grew up reading, and while I can’t say it’s particularly deep or interesting, I did enjoy his time on screen. The premiere episode played a delicate balance, showing him just enough to make his appearance worth something, but not so much that he takes away from Kara.
As Melissa Benoist said in a recent interview, the introduction of Superman and Clark Kent is a natural progression for the show. The world is getting bigger — especially since there will be more crossovers between her world and the rest of the Arrow-verse. Gone are the days of restriction, and in true CW fashion, they embrace it wholeheartedly (they even managed to sneak a reference of Gotham into the episode).
The plot of this episode is rather simplistic. It introduces Lena Luthor, who is working hard to reclaim the Luthor name after Lex mucked it up. She claims to be working for good, but given that she’s a Luthor, it’s hard to take her word for it. This is where Clark comes into the picture. He has obvious connections with the Luthors, and assists Supergirl and the DEO in the case involving her. On the side, we check in on Kara’s current career and love life issues, which, to be honest, continue to be interesting to me. While I’m not the biggest fan of her and Jimmy Olsen hooking up, I can understand her conflict surrounding him.
But the real good stuff continues to be in the Cat/Kara dynamic. I’ve always dug the Devil Wears Prada relationship these two have had. They’ve grown significantly closer over that first season, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see Cat take on a more legit mentor role for Kara.
I have to say, while watching this show, I couldn’t think of any crazy flaws that are out of the norm for a CW show. The action was serviceable, though not amazing, the dialogue was quirky yet cheesy (per usual), and the characters are far more attractive than anyone has any business being. In short, if the CW tropes rub you the wrong way, this episode ain’t going to change your mind. If you came away from Season 1 of Supergirl not liking it, this episode likely won’t change your mind. There’s still that whole love life/superhero balance that some find eye-rolling and unnecessary, but that’s pretty much at the heart of most superhero shows.
But if you grew to love the characters in Season 1, this premiere doesn’t disappoint. It was a safe episode — almost as if the filmmakers were saying, “Don’t worry, we may have changed networks, but this is still the show you love.” As such, there was nothing extraordinary about it. Plot-wise, nothing really moved forward, and there were no great revelations — that cliffhanger we had at the end of the season even landed with a thud. But I believe it stands as a solid representation of the bestparts of the show that fans like.
It’s fun, harmless, inoffensive TV with a big heart.
What did you think of the season premiere of Supergirl? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Supergirl airs on the CW on Mondays at 8/7c.
Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!