A Supergirl Pilot Review, by an Alleged Virtual Blackbeard

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CBS' Supergirl looks sexier in normal clothes than in her costume.

There, I finally said it. I’ve fought writing about the Supergirl pilot for months, but with the show just around the corner I figured it was finally time to break the silence.

Supergirl is the newest superhero television show coming to small screens everywhere on October 26th via CBS. The pilot was shown to audiences during the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con shortly after it leaked online in such a way that many people have speculated it was quietly leaked on purpose to gauge audience reactions.

The series centers around Kara Danvers, the real life alias of Supergirl, played by Melissa Benoist – who you may recognize as Marley Rose from Glee or Miles Teller’s love interest in Whiplash. It starts off establishing Kara as the cousin of Superman who winds up appearing on Earth long after her cousin has reached the height of his powers. Kara is taken in and raised by a human family just like her cousin, but she doesn’t feel the same heroic call as Superman and is just a Kryptonian trying to get by on Earth when we meet her in the pilot.

The show opts for a lighter approach to the genre reminiscent of CW’s The Flash, with regular humorous moments and a wide-eyed protagonist who takes to fighting crime simply because it’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, the similarities end there. The special effects are lacking, the acting makes the show seem more comic-booky than based in realism, and the clear flavor-of-the-week premise doesn’t inspire much hope for the series.
It’s not a good first step but it has some redeeming qualities.

I’m personally a fan of Mehcad Brooks, who played Terrance King in Unnecessary Roughness. In Supergirl he plays James Olsen – yea, THE James Olsen from the Daily Planet. He’s a good actor who serves as one of the better aspects of the pilot and a main reason why I intend to keep watching

The “Superman has already been around for a while” angle is quite interesting and tastefully done without beating the audience over the head with it. It’s where I think a lot of the show’s potential lies.

Honestly, the best scenes of the pilot are when Kara isn’t actually being Supergirl. All the costumed bits came across cheesy and forced, like a bad SyFy original series. The quality difference was so night and day that it left me firmly on the fence about the series.

I hated the pilot episode for The Flash more, but not much more. Considering how amazing The Flash has gotten since its pilot, maybe that means good things for Supergirl. Although, keeping in mind this is CBS and not The CW, I don’t have a lot of hope for Kara and Co.

A pilot is just a pilot though. The show could literally go anywhere from here, so we’ll have to wait and see how it shapes up in the episodes following the pilot before making a true verdict.

Seriously though, she looks a lot better in normal clothes than in the Supergirl costume. I wonder if that’s on purpose or not…
 
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