TLP’s Progressive/Nerd/Parent recap of Supergirl season 1, wishlist for what we’d like to see in season 2, and the current news about the show’s next season.
Supergirl Season 1 Progressive/Nerd/Parent Recap:
(This only includes the episodes TLP reviewed, which are numbers 6, 7, and 9 – 20)
Bechdel-Wallace Scores: Average 3/3 – Highest 3+/3 (episodes 6 & 9) – Lowest 2.5/3 (episodes 7 & 12)
Shukla Scores: Average 1.5/3 – Highest 3/3 (episodes 13 & 16) – Lowest 0/3 (episode 18)
Russo Scores: Average 0/3 – Highest 0/3 – Lowest 0/3
Kittehs: Average 😺😺😺/5 – Highest /5 (episode 13) – Lowest 😾/5 (episode 19)
Low points: The award for worst episode goes, hands down, to the penultimate episode of the season, Myriad. The worst storytelling decisions during the season were, in no particular order: Winn and Kara having a no good, very bad, completely terrible relationship; the way the DEO gradually became a hybrid of top secret government agency and The Max (the diner where the kids and their friends all hung out on Saved by the Bell); anything involving, or not involving, Superman. (I will elaborate on all these points, and the problematic representation scores, in the season 2 wishlist below.)
Highlights: The award for best episode goes to number 13, For the Girl Who Has Everything, with World’s Finest and Falling tied for second place. The best storytelling and/or performances of the season, in no particular order: Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El / Supergirl / Kara Danvers & Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant – both were fantastic all season long; while the romance between Kara and Jimmy formed seemingly out of nowhere, and the Lucy/Jimmy stuff was weird, it was nonetheless pretty great that Kara and Jimmy got it together right before the end of the season; bringing J’onn J’onzz onto the show was both smart and tons of fun; the crossover episode with the Flash was a blast.
Dad edits: The show was very kid friendly (if you’re okay with standard superhero type fighting scenes, which we are). There were a handful of moments all season long that just needed to be skipped over for my young kind, but most of the trouble he had with the show came from times when the plot was just too erratic for him to follow. That’s not an age thing, either – even a lot of the story is over his head, he can still basically find and follow the conflicts driving the plot. The episodes full of plot holes were the episodes that left him bored, disengaged, or asking questions. There was also a lot more gun play that I would prefer my kid see; the show deserves some credit, but only a little, for showing guns racked or holstered much more often than fired. Still – there is a Kryptonian on your team, and your enemy is impervious to bullets. Put the guns away, people!
Supergirl Season 2 News:
The series is moving from CBS to The CW for season 2 for reasons having to do with money and/or The CW being more watched by viewers in Supergirl’s target demographic (read: young folks).
Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on TV in the 1970s, has been cast to play the President of the United States for an unknown number of episodes during season 2.
Sadly, it seems Calista Flockhart’s character, Cat Grant, may not be a series regular now that the show has moved to The CW.
We also know that Supergirl season 2 will premiere on The CW at 8pm on Monday, October 10th, 2016. That link also has some other miscellaneous casting news and new character speculation.
We also know that there will be at least one crossover story spanning episodes of all four DC superhero shows on The CW next year, holy shit!
(This post will be updated as more news about season 2 becomes available.)
Supergirl Season 2 Progressive/Nerd/Parent Wishlist:
Representation: So the Russo score of zero – ZERO – in every episode is unacceptable. The Shukla score of 1 in almost every episode is much better than zero but still not nearly good enough. The Bechdel-Wallace scores are impressive, unless you reimagine the test as the Bechdel-Wallace-Hooks test, and then you realize the scores would drop to zero. There are most certainly LGBTQ people of all genders and ages in National City, there must be more people of color in National City, and some of those people of color must be women. We need to see more of all of them on the show in season 2. A lot more.
Just getting to the point where the show even represents national averages of LGBTQ and/or people of color would be a start, but remember some of these folks need to be superheros and some of them need to be series regulars, too. As mentioned above, we know that Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman fame will play the President in season 2. The show is giving itself a pat on the back for this, but who cares? We are about to have an actual woman be actual President. The series gets some credit for having Tawny Cypress play Senator Miranda Crane in an episode or two during season 1, but again we are about to have an actual black woman be an actual Senator soon in real life, too. Sure, Hillary Clinton would be the first woman President and Kamala Harris would be only the second black woman to be a Senator, but my point is that Supergirl should stop giving itself a pat on the back for barely keeping up with current events and start pushing ahead to show us our real lives, which involve strong LGBTQ and people of color as members of, and leaders in, our communities. Television is a place where it is possible to show that reality sooner than can be done in the uppermost echelons of elite position and influence in our society. So please, get to it!
Fix the Superman Problem: In season 2 of the (excellent) animated series Young Justice, the core members of the Justice League (Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, etc) have to leave Earth to face trial for attacking a planet while they were being mind-controlled at the end of season 1. All season long, when the Young Justice team seemed in over their heads, there was always a good answer to the question “hey where is the Justice League?”
Supergirl never – not one single time – pulled this off in season 1. Superman either went unmentioned, showed up on instant message to say he wasn’t there because he wants to help Kara trust herself, showed up kind of sort of at the last minute and only for that minute, or – and this was the worst – was inexplicably felled by a mind control device that only effected humans, and then (in the shot above) rendered unconscious by the device being destroyed while all the regular humans were able to go back to their lives. All season long there was an army of Kryptonians plotting to conquer Earth, attacking his cousin, and causing mayhem – and Superman was AWOL the whole time. It was just absurd and distractingly unbelievable.
Since we already know that an actual actor has been cast to actually portray Superman in the first two episodes of season 2, then maybe the showrunners will do some kind of Supergirl/Superman team up that ends up with the Man of Steel having to go off and do something in the cosmos for a while. This would explain his absence for a whole season, no problem (and not for nothing, but they could have done this without an actor in the role for season 1). There is another solution, that I actually like better, but is a lot less likely to happen…
Join the Arrowverse: Season 2 being on The CW allows for more than just a crossover. With Barry Allen having begun something like the Flashpoint event in the final moments of season 2 of The Flash, rewriting some small or large pieces of the continuity of all of these shows is not out of the question. This could fix a lot of problems. We could have a reality where Superman has been gone for years, or was killed by Doomsday, or is a bad guy – all of those things would explain why he isn’t around to help Kara out, but wouldn’t disrupt the Jimmy/Kara storyline (since they would not have met without Supes playing matchmaker). It’s also a chance to bring a lot of good people back to life: Rip Hunter’s kids on Legends; Barry Allen’s dad and some new version of Harrison Wells on The Flash; Shado and/or Laurel Lance on Arrow; and did I mention it could be used to solve the incredibly annoying Superman problem? Yeah, I did, but let me say it again: this could provide a bunch of different ways to solve the Superman problem. Plus it gives a chance to merge Kara Danvers reality from Supergirl with maybe an Arrowverse reality where, unbeknownst to us, Kara has been living, looking for Kal-El, and slowly becoming villainously bitter about her cousin’s fate and the barbarity of human society – Supergirl vs. Power Girl, anyone? (Yes, please!)
This could also solve the representation problem! If you combine the LGBT folks on Arrow with the people of color on The Flash and the women on Supergirl… …well then all of those shows could start getting decently balanced representation scores. (Hey, an SJW fanboy can dream, right?)
There are also downsides to this plan. If Kara/Supergirl were present in the Arrowverse, while it might solve the Superman Problem on Supergirl, it would create a new Supergirl Problem for The Flash and Arrow (with the latter arguably already having a bit of a Flash Problem). Plus there is the risk of recreating the Season-3-Fringe-Problem – it is one thing to create an alternate universe and ask me to care about other versions of the show’s characters, but it is a whole other thing to replace the original characters AND the mirror universe characters with different versions from an alternate timeline. (I mean, Peter was a great character, but I still miss Originalivia.) Then again, Supergirl, has only had one season, and all the continuity changes could be explained away in one or two scenes of expository dialogue without much change to the defining events or characteristics of the regular characters.
I really hope somebody, somewhere is considering this. It would be great to see a Justice League of some kind form on TV (probably would need a different name to avoid irritating the DC/WB movie people). All we need now is to get Gotham to move to The CW on Friday nights and introduce year one Batman. Don’t even get me started on how many problems that could fix!