Supergirl (Pilot Episode) – Good, Bad & Ugly Review


Rotten Tomatoes Rating: NA (Critics) / 85% (Audience)
Directed By: Glen Winter
Written By: Andrew Kreisberg
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks and Calista Flockhart
Network: CBS

Synopsis: At 24, Kara Zor-El decides the time has come to embrace her superhuman abilities and fulfill her destiny as a hero in this drama based on the DC Comics character Supergirl. (Source)


The Good:
Melissa Benoist works really well in her scenes as flustered, “normal girl” Kara Danvers and as the smiling newbie Supergirl.
It may be a minority opinion but I like the new non-dweeby Jimmy (or James) Olsen. Mehcad Brooks is a really charismatic actor and he can do good things in this role so I am hoping the show gives him more to do than just flirt with Supergirl and offer sage advice.
Dorian Harewood was good as Hank Henshaw and if the character goes where I think it will then he is going to really get a chance to flex his scenery chewing chops.
And it was cool seeing former “Super People” Dean Cain and Helen Slater cast as Supergirl’s adoptive parents.
The premise of Kara’s arrival on Earth bringing with it a prison full of alien criminals is a neat one that gives the show a lot of room to play with “Villains of the Week” as well as giving the show an overarching plot.
The production values were really top notch for a TV show and especially for a comic book based TV show from the Greg Berlanti production house. As much as I love THE FLASH and ARROW, they look like Syfy movies in comparison to how this show looks.

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The Bad:
The character of Supergirl’s sister is just a big ball of who gives a darn. No knock against Chyler Leigh who I have liked in other things but this character just doesn’t work for me. I also felt the same way about the character of Winn. He seems to be being built up as the male version of ARROW’s Felicity Smoake and I am just not feeling it at all. And I have never like Calista Flockhart in anything.
I also think the folks behind this show really screwed the pooch by actually acknowledging that Superman exists. Making Supergirl the one and only Kryptonian in the DC Comics TV Universe would make her a unique character while also removing the need to have to explain away why Superman is keeping his distance. There is only so long we can have constant trumped excuses for why Superman leaves his neophyte cousin hanging, shadowy faceless flashbacks and all the characters referring to Superman as “The Big Guy” before it becomes really tedious. It also kinda makes it difficult to do crossovers with the other DC Comic TV shows too. Even more than them being on different networks.

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The Ugly:
As a comic nerd I have to admit to being very disappointed that
this show took a singularly awesome character from the comics like Vartox and made him into a generic ax wielding alien convict. That is not Vartox….this is Vartox:
vartox
Vartox is supposed to be a super-horny, comically misogynistic (think an alien humanoid version of Pepe Le Pew) lothario who looks like Sean Connery in the movie ZARDOZ. That version of Vartox would have been a hoot to see on a live-action TV show.

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Final Verdict: Never let it be said that I am afraid to admit when I am wrong and after watching the trailer for SUPERGIRL I called it one of the worst looking TV shows of the upcoming season but the actual show is pretty darn good. Benoist is an appealing lead and while her supporting cast may be hit and miss, I have hopes that it is just a case of characters being underdeveloped in the pilot episode. The show also looks amazing and the alien convicts plot is intriguing to me. So I can honestly say I am eagerly anticipating this show again.

Rating: B

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6 thoughts on “Supergirl (Pilot Episode) – Good, Bad & Ugly Review”

    1. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it after that horrendous preview trailer. I am going to blame it on CBS not know who their audience is for this show because the trailers for the CW super-hero shows are always top notch.

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      1. Apparently that preview was for advertisers not the viewers.

        The idea is to give them an idea of what products they should advertise.

        Might explain why it was just so weird.

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  1. on metacritic all the user review are bad.. the highest user score is a 2 out of 10.. but most of them are 0 our of 10.. the network must have paid the professional critics a lot of money to give the horrible show a high score

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    1. Eh, I liked the pilot and I went into it with very low expectations based on the trailer that was released. As for Metacritic user reviews…I tend to not agree with most of the user reviews on Metacritic and looking through the prior reviews of the folks who gave Negative reviews to Supergirl (folks who gave low marks to Mad Max: Fury Road, Mr. Robot and Orphan Black Season 1) I can safely say that their not liking the pilot just makes me think it is probably better than I initially thought it was.

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