I cracked. I watched the Supergirl pilot when it leaked online earlier this year. I wrote about it on the site. If you don’t remember (or don’t want to click on that link to find out), I had pretty mixed feelings, thinking the pilot bordered on self-parody a couple of times. If you were stronger than me and did not watch the pilot then hopefully you also avoided watching that 3 minute trailer CBS released at the network upfronts in May because that’s pretty much just a condensed version of the pilot minus the big twist at the end.
Every single Supergirl promo CBS has released since then has re-packaged scenes from the pilot, which was understandable. The pilot was the only footage they had for quite a while, but they’ve filmed a bunch of additional episodes at this point. When do we get to see some of that footage?
Today. We finally get to see new footage today. Huzzah! In this new trailer, there’s Supergirl using more of her powers (freeze breath!), glimpses of some of her enemies, Calista Flockhart pretty much owning a guy in a club, Supergirl’s adopted sister firing a gun like a badass and so much more. Plus, as you’d expect, the show still wears its cheesiness on its spandex sleeve (“Now it has… Supergirl!”) like a badge of honor:
My knowledge of Supergirl’s history in the comics is limited enough that this trailer does not really present me with a tantalizing hint of comic book villains I can obsessively report about. I actually didn’t recognize any of the baddies revealed in the trailer. One appears to have a crab face like the Predator. That looked pretty cool, I guess. The rest of it is kind of a random-seeming collection of standard superhero moments, showcasing the visual effects without actually giving much of a sense of any kind of storyline other than the reveal that the Toymaker and Jimmy Olsen will eventually realize they both know Supergirl’s true identity. Everything that makes Superman challenging to adapt to the screen applies to Supergirl as well (crappy villains, too powerful, the whole “they can’t tell Clark Kent is Superman just because he wears glasses” thing), and the Supergirl pilot mostly sidesteps all of that. It will have to be dealt with eventually, but at least the visual effects look okay.
Ultimately, I’m still torn over Supergirl. It’s the superhero show I’ll love to watch with my 3-year-old niece, but I don’t anticipate engaging with it the way I did with The Flash last year. However, to re-use an old argument…
I am reminded of a moment at The Flash‘s panel appearance at Paleyfest LA. When they turned things over to the audience for questions, a little boy, probably no more than 8-years-old, stepped to the mic and opened with “My name is Barry Allen.” Admirably undeterred by the instantaneous applause greeting his declaration, he continued to recite The Flash‘s opening monologue word for word. Grant Gustin, joined on stage by the show’s producers and entire cast, seemed especially delighted. The little kid ended his triumphant moment by assuring Grant he’d always be his Flash (suck it, Ezra Miller!). It was a heartwarming moment. The possibility of Supergirl making it to Paleyfest LA next year where a little girl might step to the mic to declare “My name is Kara Zor-El” as her love letter to the show and Melissa Benoist … that’s not something I would want to take away from anyone.