I admit that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Supergirl. It’s probably because the first Supergirl comic I ever read featured Superman putting his poor cousin in an orphanage and Supergirl barely ever got to fight any real bad guys. But as DC rebooted the character, over time she was given much more to do and was stereotyped significantly less. She remembers more about Krypton than Superman does and is even more powerful than him. I mean, the girl can even kick Darkseid’s ass. She is a great character. It amazes me that it took this long to finally get a Supergirl TV show. And I have to say, the new trailer gives me a lot of confidence that the show is going to be awesome.
Maybe some of you are surprised that I’m excited and even happy about this trailer as there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it recently. Specifically, a lot of people have been claiming that the trailer looks like the Black Widow SNL trailer, meaning that it seems extremely sexist to a lot of people. I actually disagree with this approximation quite a bit. I just really don’t see the comparison, but I will admit that certain things in the trailer come off as very stereotypical “girl show” or “girl movie”. Yes, Kara is a beleaguered assistant to a Devil Wears Prada-esque boss, lives in an impossibly large and nice apartment, deals with office romances, and goes to her sister for dating advice. I will admit that all seems pretty damnable—if taken out of context with the rest of the trailer.
So Kara’s job comes off like a superhero-infused remake of Devil Wears Prada—who cares? Everyone likes that movie. Besides, for Kara to be an executive assistant to a high profile reporter like Cat Grant would be huge for a young twenty-something woman just starting out in a career. Plus, it is actually sexist to demean Kara’s accomplishments because she is fulfilling a stereotypically “female role”. The billionaire business man is a very stereotypical “male role” especially in comic books, but I don’t see anyone giving Arrow any shit for it. So if Kara is succeeding in a career viewed as more “feminine”, then good for her. I hope anyone woman watching this show learns that they can succeed in any field, whether it’s considered feminine or not.
It seems pretty clear from the trailer that Kara is going to be mentored in some ways by Cat Grant. Another successful woman will be mentoring a younger woman who is in her same field. Yes! More TV shows where women look out for each other and help each other please! And that is yet another reason I am excited for this show. Where most superheroes (even the female ones) have male influences and mentors, Supergirl seems to have an abundance of female ones. It’s Kara’s mother we see speaking to her before she leaves Krypton. It’s Cat Grant who teaches Kara that there is nothing wrong with being a girl, and it’s her sister who helps give her the strength and confidence to be Supergirl.
As for the “romance” aspect of the whole thing, I don’t really see where people are coming from. Kara goes to her sister for dating advice, but we never see Kara’s date. Plus, she and her sister don’t even appear to discuss her date at all; instead, they discuss Supergirl discovering and wanting to use her powers for good. Then there is Winslow “Wynn” Schott, who hits on Kara at work and then assumes she must be a lesbian because there is obviously no other reason she wouldn’t date him. I hope people aren’t thinking these things come off as romantic, because they are very clearly not supposed to. The trailer is trying to set us up for Wynn’s inevitable betrayal of Kara. Any comic book fan, or anyone who could do a quick IMDB search, already knows that Wynn is the villain known as the Toyman. It seems to be a pretty clear set up that Wynn is going to feel entitled to Kara sexually and romantically because he helped her become Supergirl, even though Kara only views him as a friend. I’m pretty positive this will lead to Wynn feeling “friendzoned” and he will become Toyman because of it. And I look forward to a show that would address this friendzoning bullshit we see propagated in our society. So the only mild flirting that seems to happen in the trailer is between Kara and Jimmy Olsen. And why not? It’s great to see DC showing another interracial couple on TV, and every other superhero gets a love interest, so why can’t Kara have one?
So far the only thing that actually seems worth criticizing is Kara’s large apartment!
I have also heard that people are criticizing the show for seeming to be lighthearted and fun. I hope those same people are just as critical of The Flash. Furthermore, Kara has always been a lighthearted character. She is supposed to be fun. Not every character has to be as serious and brooding as Batman, because that would be extremely boring.
I for one am extremely excited to see a show with a female lead, a large female cast, and a diverse cast. I can’t wait to see Supergirl soar on the small screen. So if your problem with this trailer is that Supergirl seems too feminine or too girly… well, I’ll let Cat Grant say it: