Feb Blog 2 – My super girl crush on Supergirl
We live in such a good time to be a geek. The biggest movie releases are sci-fi/fantasy/superhero genres. Star Wars is a massive part of our everyday culture (even my Mum knows what a wookiee is) and TV has cottoned on to the ratings power that is a superhero. While Netflix have gone down the ‘cool’ route and offered us movie quality series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, American network the CW have gone down the family friendly route with Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
Networks have figured out that these shows should be about the trials and tribulations of people not so different from us who just happen to have super powers/kick ass abilities/arch nemesis/an alien backstory (OK, maybe slightly different to us) But that’s OK because it still makes for appointment TV.
Of all the great characters that these shows have brought us (and there is a fair few), it’s Supergirl that’s caught my attention the most. So in true Geek adventure fashion, I’m writing a list about why I love her so much in the hope that I can convince you to give her a try (if you haven’t already).
1. She is nice
I hate the word nice, it’s such a blah word but it’s one I get thrown at me all the time. To me, nice means that you have empathy. That you are aware of your place in the world, want to have a positive impact and don’t want to cause other people harm. The first time I truly connected with Kara (aka Supergirl) was when she had her most human moment. In the episode ‘Falling’ in the first season, she was affected by Red Kyptonite which caused her ‘evil’ side to come out. During this time she said and did some incredibly hurtful things to those around her. There was a scene where the effects had worn off and she woke up, being able to remember all the hurtful things that she had said. The sheer panic and pain in her voice and face at the thought of this, struck a chord with me and moved me from casual viewer into being a part of the fandom.
2. The love interest is not the main part of the show
I love a good ship as much as the next fan but it’s refreshing to see a TV show where the main characters love life isn’t the main focus of the show. Supergirl’s relationships are very much on display here but they are the relationships with her sister, her mentor and her friends. These are the relationships that drive things forward and not an overused ‘will they, won’t they?’ cliché that we’ve seen a million times. As someone who has two older sisters, the power that comes from Kara’s relationship with her adopted sister Alex is way more interesting to me than a love interest.
3. The show handles LGBT relationships really well
Speaking of Kara’s sister, Alex Danvers, the handling of her coming out story was one of the most sensitively and non-sensationalist I’ve seen on TV. Back in my day, we had the Willow and Tara storyline in Buffy to guide the way and I feel that this is the millennials version of that. I’m married to a man and have always been quite comfortable in my attraction to big, hairy dudes so I can’t really put myself in the shoes of a man or woman who is struggling to make sense of their sexuality and what it means for them in their life. What I can identify with is crushes, first kisses and love, regardless of who those are with. This show reminds us that love is love.
4. It made me actually like Superman
I’m not the biggest fan of Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Superman. I feel that Superman shouldn’t be dark and brooding, we have Batman and a million other superheroes for that. Superman is meant to be a big old boy scout. When I heard the showrunners were bringing him in for Season 2 I was initially annoyed. We finally had a show where the lead character was a strong female and now they were bringing in a man to steal her thunder? I needn’t have worried. First of all, played by Tyler Hoechlin, this version of Superman was everything I wanted him to be – a charming, slightly clumsy boy scout. Secondly, while it was of course a big deal to bring Supes to the small screen again, it never felt like he was overshadowing our Girl. Rather he was a partner and supporter. Again, what could have been a disaster was delicately handled and I love the show more for it. By using his character sparingly, I actually miss him now when he’s not in an episode.
Superhero preferences are always a very individual and personal choice. You may be a stickler for the comics which means that you what every detail to line up. Or you may favour the darker story lines over the more family friendly ones. Either way, you have to find the superhero that speaks to you the most and I think I’ve finally found mine in Supergirl.