Supergirl Trailer. Yes. Exposed? Maybe. I thought it sounded cooler.
If you remember the ill-fated and never started Wonder Woman TV show, you might be viewing the news of a new Supergirl TV show with a little trepidation. If not, you probably just watched the trailer and thought ‘hey this looks like the 1984 Supergirl film starring Helen Slater.’ Unless you haven’t seen the film, in which case I have no idea what you are thinking.
On the heels of the successful Arrow and The Flash TV shows, Supergirl is something of a departure. For one, it is based on a character with a higher profile, which means possible Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman confusion. Gotham successfully avoided the confusion by predating the usual frame of the films and comics allowing it to create its own storylines.
In Supergirl there is already a blurring of lines that has been avoided with The Flash by clearly telling us that Grant Gustin is not going to play Barry Allan in the movies. Jimmy Olsen, sorry James Olsen, did not appear in Man of Steel, but pops up in Supergirl to give her a cape from Superman. Why Olsen? Can’t Superman just fly over to see her? They are standing on the top of building. Are we going to see a possible Henry Cavill cameo? Probably not. These are the minor problems that might plague our attention if the actors can’t hold our attention and the action is poor.
If we are paying attention, we might notice that the dark and threatening atmosphere of The Flash, Arrow, Constantine and Gotham is absent. An appropriate move for Superman context of the show. However, instead of a sleek and modern urban Metropolis, we have a vaguely cutest single girl vibe that says more chick flick than superhero.
It is at the point of the Black Widow paradox that Supergirl seems to be getting a lot of attention. In the Marvel films, Black Widow is powerful, resourceful and sexually alluring character. The problem comes down to whether she is eye candy or role model. Is she just for the boys or for the girls too. And finally, why does everyone else get their own movie? (Hulk excepted, he had his shot twice).
Barry Allan is a forensic specialist. Oliver Queen was a billionaire playboy. Supergirl gets coffee. In the Man of Steel, Clark was hiding his powers in respect of his dad who sacrificed (it was a watershed moment for me, I cried at Kevin Costner in a movie and not because he was so bad). In Supergirl, I am not sure why she has been hiding in a chic loft apartment with a ponytail and glasses.
There are some interesting ways of quantifying the status of female characters in popular culture. One of which, the Bechdel test, was developed by a comic book artist so it gets my vote.
If you watch the trailer, you will notice that there are several conversations where female characters are talking to female characters and apart from Supergirl trumping her sister’s business trip to Geneva with a wardrobe question about a date, there is more of a focus on female character’s establishing their individual identity and status. I am not going to mention Calista Flockhart’s character because I have a plastic surgery/middle aged women acting like they are 18 phobia (read all you want into this—are we seeing a rejection of powerful women or is the impulse to conform diminishing the status of our powerful women?).
While the Supergirl trailer seems like it gives away the entire pilot episode with the rise of the lowly personal assistant to proctor of the weak, there is potential for an interesting show.
Or am I thinking about the Jem and the Holograms movie?
Look for Supergirl on CBS from November.