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Maybe it's still too early to say, "I love you," but we are in serious crush mode here.

Ode to a (Super)Girl

Written by Shawn Bourdo

I have a confession.  On the surface it won’t be like I’m confessing a love for Two Broke Girls; it’s a superhero show after all.  With all the options out there on the networks, including the strong lineup on Netflix, it might be a surprise that I have a crush on Supergirl.    That would be an easy statement if we were just talking about Melissa Benoist who plays Kara Danvers – Supergirl.  That’s not even fair.  There isn’t an ugly character on this whole show.   Have you seen James (Mehcad Brooks) this season?   No, I’m in love with this series and I need to tell you all about it in order to figure out how this happened.

Supergirl started on CBS last season.  I started watching it out of curiosity.  The trend over the past couple years had been darker and darker.  Fox had let Gotham explore some very dark themes, Daredevil sets new records each episode for death counts, and even Arrow had lost the humor that attracted me the first couple seasons.  I enjoyed the light themes, classic TV newspaper (now news organization) setting and standalone series.  The continuity heavy series like Arrow / Flash and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. required lots of attention.  Here was a show that I didn’t have to watch the “Previously on…” just to remember the key details for the next episode.  CBS had a good show that just didn’t live up to the super crazy ratings that CBS shows are expected to garner.  I was skeptical of the move to The CW only in that I feared it being rolled into the CW DC Universe and losing some of its charm.  Except for the half-season ending crossover, that hasn’t been the case.

Season Two quickly put the first season of news channel-themed stories to bed.  It was fun to create a Mary Tyler Moore Show-style setting to tell superhero stories.  The new hero in the big city was limiting after one season.   This season, the journalism-related stories are merely a backdrop and a convenient place to gather where our heroes can be privy to crimes immediately.  That’s always a key to superheroes, right? You have to have access to crime info either through contact with the police station, tapping the police radios, or working at a newspaper.  This freedom has allowed the show to have a comfort level of exploring more complex themes built around the supporting characters without becoming a super dark show.

What really hits me this season is the subtle way we have explored Kara’s psychological journey.  That feeling of being an alien in an alien world, being from a planet that was destroyed and being invulnerable is a constant in most Superman comics and movies.  This season, Kara has accepted a larger responsibility in fighting crime and saving the world.  Operating on that level has isolated her to the point during the most recent “The Martian Chronicles” where she is literally alone.  Even what seemed like a budding love story with Mon-El has abandoned her

What might be a complaint if I was talking about Arrow or even The Flash is a compliment here.  This “Martian Chronicles” episode as titled was very Martian and sci-fi oriented.  There were many nods to John Carpenter’s The Thing and most of the episode had to do with supporting characters.  It was very typical of this season – there’s a main story that is full of aliens and a couple good superhero fights and the plot is offset by a lesbian date to go see The Barenaked Ladies.  Those two things don’t have the same weight at all but Supergirl flows between the aliens and living in the world with ease.  It’s a bright show with people who seem to actually have lives outside of solving crimes.  In Arrow the sun hasn’t shone in five years and it appears to have just rained every night.
I like Supergirl because it’s just different enough.  It’s the superhero show that you can watch with your 10-year-old and your grandma.  The characters are attractive, the plots are generally easy to understand, and even when they are not, you just get enough psycho-nonsense to know you aren’t supposed to think too hard and there’s a fun fight every 30 minutes.  You can pick up the nuances of the show without going back to the first episode but I’d suggest starting back at the beginning of this current season just because the stories have been awesome.  Supergirl, maybe it’s still too early to say, “I love you,” but we are in serious crush mode here.

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