SUPERGIRL Season One
released 25 July 2015-2016 | 12 | BLU-RAY/DVD Creators Greg Berlanti, ali adler, andrew Kreisberg Cast Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler leigh
Superman may have had a tough time of it on the big screen this year, but life hasn’t been all bad for citizens of Krypton. Supergirl, the latest DC Comics spin-off from the team behind Arrow and The Flash, shares much more DNA with the Christopher Reeve movies than the mopeathon that was Batman V Superman – it’s a fun, upbeat and incredibly likeable action drama that doesn’t have a miserable bone in its superpowered body.
That’s despite the fact that things don’t look too promising after the first few episodes, which feel like a throwback to the 20th century. As millennial Kara Danvers struggles to juggle career, friendship, romance and saving the world in an ever so adorable way, it’s as if some committee decided that in order to make a show about a female hero appeal to a female audience, you have to make “Ally McBeal in a cape”. But pretty quickly everything clicks into place as the writers decide to concentrate instead on making a decent superhero show that totally embraces the comic book lore that inspired it. The result is the sort of uplifting, mass-appeal entertainment that Marvel has made its own on the big screen.
As well as being ambitious on the action front, it’s impressively DC-literate. Not only is the Martian Manhunter a series regular, infamous Kryptonian prison Fort Rozz and its inmates have crashed near National City, and obscure comic book villains like Livewire and Silver Banshee often show up to wreak havoc.
But the main reason Supergirl works is the casting. The male characters are mostly forgettable – though Mehcad Brooks’s jockish James (not Jimmy!) Olsen is a refreshing break from the norm – but its two female leads are brilliant. Calista Flockhart’s media mogul Cat Grant is a wonderful creation, whose snarky gift for a hilarious putdown masks a surprisingly warm interior. And in the title role, Melissa Benoist is a revelation as both Supergirl and alter-ego Kara, wholeheartedly embracing a wide-eyed character who has no front and is quite simply a nice person – you can’t help but fall in love with her.
Supergirl does get formulaic on occasion, and there’s a slight overreliance on (not very) dark moments of the soul backed by terrible American soft rock. But this remains another triumph for DC’s impressive TV operation – with the show moving from US network CBS to join Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow on the CW for its second season, expect it to run with that comic book vibe even more.
Extras Featurettes on Martian Manhunter J’onn J’onzz and the history of Krypton (19 minutes); the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con panel (15 minutes); a gag reel; 23 minutes of deleted scenes.
There’s only glimpses of Superman here, but he’ll be a fully-fledged character next year, played by Teen Wolf’s Tyler Hoechlin.
Somewhere someone’s missing a bicycle chain.