Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) was sent to Earth as well as her cousin Kal-El (Superman). Kara’s mission was to protect her younger cousin. However on it’s way to Earth her ship was knocked off course and she ended up in the Phantom Zone where time does not pass. By the time her ship arrives on Earth her cousin had already grown up and become The Man Of Steel.
As her cousin did not need her protection any longer Kara went and lived with her adoptive human family the Danvers where she grew up into a young lady however as she did not need them she hid powers from the world.
Kara while currently in the employ of CatCo Worldwide Media as the personal assistant to Cat Grant a situation forces her to reveal her powers to the world and the story of Supergirl begins.
I first discovered that a Supergirl series was being made when I saw the 6 minute long preview which was released online sometime before the pilot aired. While the pilot to Supergirl leaked before it’s air date I did not watch it until it came out through proper channels.
Allow me to continue by saying firstly that over my many years of watching shows and in particular genre shows. As an example I have seen the pilots to 3 Star Trek shows (Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise), The X-Files, Babylon 5 & Sliders just to name a few. So how does Supergirl stack up against these other titles?
Firstly the casting, which I think on the whole was done very well.
Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl: Melissa was an excellent choice. Her only other big role was Marley Rose on Glee for two seasons. Which for television audiences means she is mostly an unknown quantity. She does also have a theatre career spanning 15 years which does show through in her work on screen. as she is able to not only act excellently in scenes but allows her to play the double life of Kara & Supergirl well.
Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen: Again another good casting choice here. Jimmy Olsen connecting events in National City with those in Metropolis through is work at the Daily Planet and his connections with Superman. Brooks has a reasonable body of work behind him and is well cast in the role of Olsen
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers: Leigh has one of most impressive bodies of work in the main cast having stared in Grey’s Anatomy for 112 episodes. She is quite well suited to the action role that Danvers plays through her employment. However Leigh is also quite good at playing the other side of her character being Kara’s adoptive sister and all that comes with that.
Jeremy Jordan as Winslow “Winn” Schott Jr: Winn is a tech expert at CatCo who works near Kara’s desk. She befriends him straight away and he helps set up her out fit and a hideout. He also has a crush on her. At the moment in the series this is the character I am finding the least interesting Jordan is a good actor however. Perhaps over time the character will grow on me.
David Harewood as Hank Henshaw: Having recently rewatched the Doctor Who two parter The End of Time I realised where I had seen Harewood before. He played Joshua Naismith in it. In Supergirl he plays Henshaw the head of the DEO. While he appears to he a hard ass he does want what is best for Alex & Kara.
Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant: The most well know actor in the main cast Flockhart was the lead in two other major shows being Ally McBeal & Brothers & Sisters. She is well suited for the role of the CatCo CEO as she has an heir or elegance about her and can play her character with ease.
While I’m not going to go through all the recurring cast I will make two mentions which I felt were special
Dean Cain as Jeremiah Danvers: Obviously Cain played The Man of Steel himself in the 90’s tv show Lois & Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman. In this series he plays Kara’s adoptive human father.
Helen Slater as Eliza Danvers: Slater starred in the 1984 film Supergirl. She is Kara’s adoptive mother in the series.
The pilot itself was good I felt it outlaid the story in a way so those who don’t know the story of Supergirl could very easily pick up the story. However it was done in such a way that those of us who are familiar with the story feel entertained and are not left bored by something they already know.
The range Kara goes through in this episode is awesome, from officer worker to revealing her powers. Then to be badly discouraged and then finally saving the day. It was excellent acting on the behalf of Benoist.
I did notice that the pilot was only the length of a normal episode, which is a testament to the creators to be able to tell the story they needed in 45 min instead of 2 hours like tv pilots of old use to run for.
The action and effects were good and all the actors came to the party and performed very well. This is series that has quite a lot of potential. I hope to see it do well.