Supergirl, formerly of CBS, moved to the CW network this past year, joining fellow DC properties Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. This did result in some changes, though most of the core cast and tone stayed the same. If you haven’t had the change to see what’s different and what’s not, you’ll now have that opportunity, as Supergirl – The Complete Second Season is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.
The biggest change you’ll see in The Complete Second Season over the first is a more serial nature. CBS is known for doing stand-alone procedurals. Supergirl departed from that formula more than most shows on the network, but more often than not, there was a villain-of-the-week for the Girl of Steel to face. Season two was much more ongoing, with plots not resolved for many episodes, and forcing viewers not to miss a chapter or risk being lost.
Another change is that Supergirl was able to participate in crossover events with the other DC shows. This series does take place on a different Earth than the others, but the producers found a way to make it work. In season one, Barry Allen / The Flash (Grant Gustin) made a one-episode appearance in Supergirl, but that’s about as far as things got. Although Supergirl didn’t have a full “Invasion!” installment like the others this year, the hero herself did take part in the other episodes, and she wasn’t the only character that was allowed to come over. There was also a musical hour that combined the casts of Supergirl and The Flash, and Supergirl was given a device to allow her to travel back and forth again in the future, a convenient plot twist. So lots more synergy.
Those are all positives, but there was one big negative to the change in venues. Because Supergirl moved its production to Canada, where the other CW shows film to save on costs, cast member Calista Flockhart departed as a lead. She did appear in the first two episodes of the season, and then returned for the final two. For awhile, the in between was so good that I forgot to miss her. But the moment she returned, it was like a gut punch, as no one replaces her presence, and the series would be better with her more regularly in it.
Which is not to say there weren’t good parts of season; remember, I just said I forgot to miss her. I loved new character Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath, Merlin) as a friend for Kara (Melissa Benoist). Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez, Cougar Town) was a great presence. Desperate Housewives Brenda Strong and Teri Hatcher (the latter also a former Lois Lane) made absolutely wonderful villains, and no one can complain about Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) as President. And Supergirl greatly expanded its roster of aliens, introducing viewers to many different species and worlds as it presented allegory and metaphors on race relations and the failings of our current president and the hatred he spews (sometimes a tad too heavily, but mostly fine).
There was also a lot more romance in season two of Supergirl, though thankfully it never took over the course of the show and was handled well. J’onn (David Harewood) got into a very complex relationship with fellow Martian M’gann (Sharon Leal, Dreamgirls) in a Nazi-like story (her type of Martian committed genocide against his). Winn (Jeremy Jordan) was played by an alien named Lyra (Tamzin Merchant, Salem), until he wasn’t. Alex (Chyler Leigh) came out of the closet and into the arms of Maggie (Floriana Lima, The Family). In fact, just about everyone but James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) got some love, which is fine, since he was pretty much the only one getting any in season one.
The one complaint some fans have is that they didn’t like the introduction of Mon-El (Chris Wood, The Vampire Diaries) as a partner for Kara. I actually don’t mind Mon-El himself, finding him an unobtrusive presence, sometimes bordering on sweet. I do think the show used him mainly the same way a female love interest might be used for a male superhero in the past, often staying at home and out of danger. But that’s OK, overdue in 2017.
My only real complaint is that Supergirl did go a little overboard with proving that the title character was better and stronger than Superman (Tyler Hoechlin, Teen Wolf). I think there was a way to do it without making the legendary hero look like an inept buffoon, and unfortunately, this show went too far tearing him down to make her look good. It’s Mon-El’s job to be Kara’s inferior, not Superman’s.
And I’m just going to say it, I didn’t care for James as The Guardian. I found the subplot boring.
But overall, a strong season, well worth the watch, and an improvement over the first year. Now if only they could convince Flockhart to make it up to Vancouver a little more often…
As far as extras, Supergirl – The Complete Second Season does pretty well. There are five featurettes, four of them good. (I hate the obligatory wrestling episode in this genre, and didn’t need a featurette on it.) There was audio commentary on one episode, which I would like more of. There were also some very short bits that I wish we could hit ‘Play All’ on. But again, overall, I found most of the material enjoyable and informative.
Check out Supergirl – The Complete Second Season on blu-ray, DVD, and digital now.