CBS recently released a 6 minute long trailer for their upcoming show, Supergirl. I have seen lots of mixed reactions on Facebook and Twitter regarding the tone of the show, especially from comic book fans. The most common criticism is that the show appears to be a "chick flick." They are upset that it doesn't match the dark and grim tone of DC's recent movie, Man of Steel, and what appears to be a dark movie in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Or they say it doesn't look like it's for adults.
I'm the first to say that my natural predisposition when it comes to comic books and comic book media is to default on the side of excited. Now, that doesn't always happen (i.e: The BvS movie so far has me concerned) but in general I'm far more likely to get enjoyment out of comic book related media than not. Others are naturally predisposed to look for the negative things about a show. That's fine, it's another way of looking at things, though I feel I'm a happier person in general by looking for the positive more than the negative, or even just looking past the negative while acknowledging it's there.
So here are some positives that I see about Supergirl.
- Supergirl knows it's taken from the comics. The last time (and only time to my knowledge) we saw Supergirl on a live action TV show was during the CW's Smallville. I was a fan of Smallville, but it came out at a time where geek culture wasn't as mainstream as it is today, and as a result the show always seemed like it was embarrassed by it's comic book roots. This was most obvious by the way the characters' (lack of) costumes were handled. With a couple exceptions, the closest thing you saw to a costume was a blue shirt with a red jacket. However, CBS's Supergirl knows that it's from a comic book. They use a costume taken right from the page and it looks fantastic.
- The lighter tone seems to reflect an overall feeling of happiness and hope. Many, myself included, might argue that any character with an "S" shield should be a brighter, more hopeful character. Sure, have the darker storylines, but the status quo shouldn't leave you feeling depressed at the end of every single episode.
- Supergirl shares 2 Executive Producers with the CW shows Arrow and The Flash, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. Maybe you're not a fan of these shows, so that's a bad thing for you. But for me, those two shows are my favorite things in comic book media (and I love just about all comic book media) so that instantly gains credibility in my book. There are even rumors that Supergirl may be connected to Arrow and The Flash. While I wouldn't bet on it, sharing producers helps, as does the fact that the CW is jointly owned by Warner Brothers and CBS. Sign me up for that crossover.
- Now, for what might be the most important part: It's a comic book show, where the lead character is a woman. Sure, we had the 8 episode Marvel's Agent Carter, and we an ensemble cast on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featuring multiple, prominent, female characters. But this is the first, modern, comic book show to get a full season order staring a lead who happens to be a woman . We don't even have any movies yet (though a couple are in production.) I think it's wonderful that young girls will have a show where they can see super heroes don't just have to be an all boys club. I have a daughter who is almost 3 years, old, and she loves it when I wear super hero shirts (which, lets be honest, is most of the time.) I love the idea that in a few more years, even if this show is off the air, I can show it to her and she will see a woman saving the day. Women characters have been severely under-represented in comic book media ever since the current geek trend caught on.
EDIT: I completely neglected to mention iZombie. It's another comic book property with a female lead character. I haven't seen the show (and don't read the comic) so it completely slipped my mind. Thanks to poster neverethe for pointing that out.
If nothing else, the show may be targeting a different demographic than most male-lead comic book properties. At this point there are a number of shows and movies that reach other, more traditional, demographics for a comic show. If this show isn't for you try one of the other, many, shows. But lets also reach out some new audiences and grow the fan base. More fans is good for everybody.
So, despite the fact this is based on a comic book, I'm probably not in the primary, target demographic for this show.
I'll be watching anyway.
To see some of my thoughts on other comic books and comic media click here.
What do you think about the Supergirl trailer?