Perchance it’s safe to say that superheroes are popular right now. Anyone seeking to refute that claim can take a look at the recent summer box office or simply tune in to The CW, a network that has gained positive attention due in part to its superhero fare. They’re the home of DC Comics’ properties Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and now Supergirl. After spending its first year on parent station CBS, Supergirl is debuting its sophomore season on The CW this October and as a primer, its complete first season is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Oh, what a time to be alive.
You see, where some superhero programs and films opt for darkness and grit a la Arrow, Marvel’s Netflix staples Daredevil and Jessica Jones or most notoriously last March’s controversial Batman v Superman (which, by the way, I didn’t have much of a problem with), Supergirl is a comic book adaptation that unapologetically embraces the light. As the cousin of that popular hero with a certain S on his chest, Supergirl is friendly, optimistic and relentlessly cheerful. She’s the kind of superhero who has no problem saving a kitten from a tree … before heading off to a bank robbery in progress to take names and kick ass.
And she certainly does a lot of the latter.
The first season of the show effectively introduces and establishes Supergirl. She’s Kara Danvers, played to perfection by Melissa Benoist, an overworked personal assistant to media mogul Cat Grant (more on that later) who spends her time trying to fit in at CatCo while working up the nerve to express her feelings to photographer James “Jimmy” Olsen – no longer the freckled faced nerd of the classic Superman comics, but instead a chiseled, brown-skinned dude, in the form of Mehcad Brooks, whom my sister affectionately refers to as beef cake. Things change, I suppose. Nothing wrong with that.
The same applies to Kara herself because when not working at CatCo, she changes into Supergirl to help the Department of Extranormal Operations, a secret government organization fighting to protect the world from evil aliens. Now, while the whole thing may seem a bit like The X-Files, the writers of Supergirl really do a fine job in balancing it all. In the first half of the season, this proved to be a bit of a challenge, but halfway through, they managed to blend both aspects of Supergirl’s life. In fact, I’d even venture to say that if there was a show that deserved a most improved accolade, this is definitely it. While slightly uneven at first, Supergirl comes to really embrace its comic book roots, ends its first season with a bang and sets the stage for an explosive second season – one with former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter guest starring as the president and Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel himself, Superman.
As someone who grew up reading comic books before it was considered cool, I’m excited by these new developments and enjoyed the first season of the show greatly. For me, Supergirl was appointment television and I always found myself home on time on Monday nights tuning in to see her save the day. One of the cool aspects of the program – aside from its upbeat vibe, special effects and action sequences, was the relationship between Supergirl and Cat Grant portrayed by Golden Globe winner Calista Flockhart. Cat came to be the show’s MVP with her one liners and wit. She becomes something of a confidante to Supergirl and an excellent source of advice. Flockhart can do more with a facial expression than some actors can do with a monologue. Her timing is impeccable and her delivery is awesome.
Awesome can also be used to describe the Blu-ray set. Supergirl: The Complete First Season comes on three Blu-ray discs. Episodes are presented in 1080p high definition with Ultraviolet. Subtitles include English, French and Spanish. Additionally, each episode can be streamed on TV, computer, tablet or smart phone. While I could’ve done with more special features and perhaps commentary on a few episodes, the features included on the Blu-ray aren’t bad. There’s a featurette on the Martian Manhunter, a popular DC Comics hero and member of the Justice League, who pops up in the show in an interesting way that I won’t reveal, a featurette on Krypton, Supergirl’s home planet, the 2015 Supergirl Comic-Con panel, unaired scenes and a gag reel. All of this is a great way to get fans excited for season two.
I humbly believe that Supergirl’s move to The CW is a smart decision. A four-way crossover with the network’s other superhero shows has already been announced. In fact, The Flash, my favorite superhero, even shows up in Supergirl to lend a helping hand – not that she needs it. If anything, this woman proves just how capable she is in all 20 episodes of her first season. The Blu-ray set should be a welcome addition for any comic book enthusiast. The show’s first season was fun, captivating and sunny.
And, perchance, a little super.