I recently saw the trailer for the upcoming “Supergirl” TV series that will premiere on CBS later this year. Even though there are things that the critics don’t like or aren’t sure about regarding this vision of Supergirl, I liked it.
The main reason I liked it is because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet there is some drama in the series, if we can judge by the six-minute trailer that debuted to the world earlier this month.
According to the trailer, it apparently takes a while for Supergirl to figure out her “mission,” but if implication means anything, she does get the hang of it. The actual summary of the show (from IMDb) reads as follows:
Twenty-four-year-old Kara Zor-El, cousin of Superman, who was taken in by the Danvers family when she was 12 after being sent away from Krypton, must learn to embrace her powers after previously hiding them. The Danvers teach her to be careful with her powers, until she has to reveal them during an unexpected disaster, setting her on her journey of heroism.
Melissa Benoist portrays Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl) and I think she does an admirable job of bringing Supergirl’s innocent nature to the fore. That’s one thing that is difficult for American audiences at least to believe; that someone today would actually be as “innocent” as they appear. If not done correctly, it is easy for the viewer to be pulled out of a state of believing in what they are seeing on the screen.
Jimmy Olsen is portrayed by Mehcad Brooks, who hails from Austin, TX and has nearly 30 acting credits to his resume. The problem I have is that in a seeming effort to become more diverse, characters who have always been white (or Asian, as in the case of Ra’s Al Ghul of “Gotham”), are all of a sudden black or something else. It is like the rumors making the rounds about the next James Bond being black. It’s clearly an obvious push to throw more black actors into the limelight (and I’m not at all opposed to that), but since James Bond is essentially based on the life of Ian Fleming, who was white, it seems a bit disingenuous to cast Bond as a black man. It would be like casting the role of Jesus in a new movie with a black actor. Jesus was Jewish, which means he most likely had olive-toned skin. He was not black, nor was He white. He was Jewish, a Semite.
I mention this to point out that for some, it can create at least a momentary difficulty in relating to the character of Jimmy Olsen. That is especially so for people like myself who was raised on the George Reeves’ Superman with Jack Larson portraying the intrepid Daily Planet photographer. I’m sure Mehcad Brooks will do a fine job and in fact, watching him in the trailer proves that his portrayal of Olsen is vivid, yet natural.
As far as Supergirl, the TV series, goes, to a point, I will say that I’m glad they’re adding this to the mix of other comic-book character-related shows. For better or worse, we are seeing them come back to life after decades of being off the air, or never having been on the air in the first place.
There have been numerous attempts to bring Supergirl to life, both on the small and silver screens. People likely remember the full-length feature film, “Supergirl” from 1984, starring Helen Slater as the girl who flew.
In my opinion, producers of comic book genre films need to create, reboot, and create again. Like the new “Batman vs. Superman” film heading to theaters in 2016, they need to keep at it until they make a enough Batman movies that most people will find at least one to embrace. There is nothing wrong with rebooting characters because there are so many different comic book “universes” to deal with these days.
The Fantastic Four has been done, redone, and redone again, with the most recent reboot hitting theaters later this year. The previous ones (from 2005 and 2007) were done well enough, but we’ll see how different this next vision of the Four will be.
As for Supergirl, I am most willing to give the show a thorough watch. Since it’s not on the CW Network, but CBS, maybe it won’t get caught up in all the office “drama” that seems to plague “Arrow.” As much as I like “The Flash” (also on CW), it has a bit of a tendency to do the same, but not nearly as much as “Arrow.”
So far, in my opinion, the best comics-to-TV show out there is “Daredevil,” and I’m anxiously awaiting the debut of Season 2 on Netflix next May of 2016. Until then, I look forward to whatever comic book-related shows can be tossed our way.
Who knows, but maybe there will even be some real tooth to the rumor of Ben Edlund’s return of “The Tick.”