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Season 1 x 02 Spoilers and Discussions Stronger Together

03 Nov 2015 03:07 #44954 by steelknight3000
Replied by steelknight3000 on topic Season 1 x 02 Spoilers and Discussions Stronger Together
Quick thought. Liked the oil tanker scene where she crunched the metal with her bare hands while moving the ship. It was great when it cracked due to the force too.
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03 Nov 2015 05:12 - 03 Nov 2015 05:19 #44957 by lfan

YAGS wrote: Just watched episode 2 as it aired in eastern/central time, USA. It was a mix of good and bad, IMHO.

The characters all get fleshed out more here, except for Winn, who got so much screen time in the pilot that his time was severely cut back here by comparison. As noted above, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Perry White all get mentioned here, as well as a cameo appearance by another character from the comics, which was an interesting surprise. I'll be curious to see where they'll go with Maxwell Lord.

The concerns about Supergirl's lack of training are addressed head on, with good results. She needs training, and now she knows it. I really liked the loyalty she showed to Jimmy Olsen, and the scenes with Cat Grant. Cat's discomfort at having her car carried across town was amusing. But so far, Cat has been shown to be a bitch who's usually right about everything. Again, I'll be curious to see where they go with that.

The supervillainess Astra is interesting. I love the concept. The down side is the execution. There's a Supergirl vs Superbitch fight, and we can't really make out what's happening half the time. There were a couple of good blows shown on screen, but between the fast action, bad lighting, closeups at bad times, showing things from the wrong angles, etc, I'm just having a hard time really enjoying the action on this show. Heck, Astra uses superbreath, which is a favorite of mine, and we don't even get to see her face when she does it, just the result.

Honestly, this has been a complaint of mine for a lot of recent superhero movies. I like being able to see and enjoy the details of the action, but more and more, it's done in a way where you can't tell what's going on half the time. I really hope this trend doesn't keep up on this show.

Oh yeah, and "Fluffy" was awesome. I was expecting Streaky, but this was WAY funnier.



Agree almost with everything, especially your crits of the action. Often in the fight, it made me think of other unwatchable fight scenes like the ones in Transformers (take your pick) where everything is just a blur of edits and punches. I know they are superfast, but the execution should be better. One of the things that Man of Steel I thought did well was the fight scenes and how they conveyed the superspeed of Kryptonians in "spurts" (Faora's fight with the military comes to mind) when needed. But that is nit-picking.

Another thing I'm kinda rolling my eyes at are all the "she's only a girl" or "because I'm a woman" references, like its getting shoved down our throat. I understand it's trying to make a statement, but after Cat's "girl power" diatribe in the Pilot I thought they might put it on the back burner. I hope a reference doesn't appear every episode....

What was good? Everything else!!! Mel Benoist is a superstar and, as Sarge said, makes the show worth watching by herself. Her emotions and acting skills have her plausibly vacillating between gawky and awkward nerd (staff meeting ) to unsure heroine (fire on the dock) to fierce warrior (fight at end) at the drop of a hat. Saying she runs the gamut of emotions from A-Z would be spot on, IMO.

FX? In a word, dazzling! Sure there are some "less seamless" VFX (like the bow of the ship breaking off) but overall, very impressive! And as Sarge referenced, their attention to certain details (e.g. fingers carving grooves in the ship) is impressive. The fight scene at the end as well as the fire on the dock come to mind as being done really well. The set designers (and the FX team) also really did a great job with the DEO headquarters and their "danger room".

In terms of the other characters, Alex was great in this episode. Much less forced than in the first I thought, and I loved how they are exploring their sister relationship. And Cat, who I probably liked the least in the pilot, really was great this episode. She's a little less "Miranda Tate" in this episode and more of just a ball-busting, snarky boss in this one -- definitely some comic relief. I'm reserving judgment on James, as I'm still kinda waiting to see where they go with the James-Kara-Lucy dynamic. Hank and Wynn were good this episode as well, albeit in smaller doses than in episode 1. Astra was great, and I think her "discovery" of Kryptonite was a nice way of breaking up the fight as a "draw", though it's surprising to me that with Superman around for X number of years, neither the Fort Roz crowd or Kara herself knew about it.

Best part of the episode was already mentioned: Saving Fluffy

Most disappointment: While there was a nice array of uberness, so many lost moments....lifting the ambulance, lifting Cat's limo, the pizza robbery. I know they are on a budget, but they could have been far more spectacular IMO (now, I'm nitpicking).

I remember when the show was first announced, and there was speculation amongst some that we'd see Kara as Supergirl maybe 10-15 minutes tops per episode. So far, this show is vastly exceeding expectations in that department, and I hope they keep it up. Bring on Reactron!

ElF
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03 Nov 2015 11:21 - 03 Nov 2015 12:44 #44962 by five_red
[Warning, this may contain very minor spoilers for future episodes.]

For me it was a so-so episode.

Coming off the back of the pilot, it was definitely a step down in terms of action and story, but that's to be expected -- and not necessarily a bad thing. This was a filler episode -- just a competent hour of tv that wasn't trying too hard to wow, but instead gave a bit of breathing space to fill in some of the gaps in the pilot and to let the characters settle in to their new roles.

Cat was a bit better in this episode, largely because she wasn't spitting venom with absolutely every sentence. I'm still left with a bit of a problem with Cat -- she's supposed to be this super-savy former gossip columnist who's worked her way up to be "the most powerful woman in National City" by being one step ahead of everyone else, yet she can't see that the PA who she spends most of her working hours talking to, and the costumed woman on the giant screens behind her, are the same person. James' default argument (people see what they want to see, not what they actually see -- which is an old comicbook standby) might work for the majority of people... but if Cat really was Cat, surely she should see beyond that?

I really like Laura Benanti -- she's smart, and very funny, and talented. Unfortunately, she turns in a pretty wooden performance as Astra in this episode. No subtly, no hint of any depth, no nuance -- a total pantomime villain from start to finish. :( Her Alura isn't all that good either -- and I'm not just referring to the robo-hologram.

[Edit: Benanti has a lot of experience of acting through musical theatre -- but for a role like Astra they really needed to cast someone with a wider range of experience at screen acting. For a reoccurring villain you need some who can do more than just voice the lines and scowl.]

The special effects were mixed. Some good, others not so; the worst offender being the Kara/Astra fight which had some pretty dodgy flying (very concious of the removed wires in some shots!) and blows that didn't look like they connected, yet sent the opponent reeling. The other 'fight' sequence, Hellgrammite vs the DEO, was much better.

The humour didn't seem to have been as well handled in this episode... it seemed forced compared to the pilot. Perhaps this is because a lot of the smiles were supposed to come from James and Winn's interaction, and that is still a pairing that's new to the audience. Winn's goofiness worked well opposite Kara in the pilot -- not so well when James is the straight man in episode two. Perhaps this will grow on me, though(..?)

Oh, and they're using kryptonite again... so early on. I'd have much preferred it to see the Kryptonians be not so all-invulnerable, so we didn't have to rely on magic glowing rocks every other episode to solve problems or create a sense of danger. There's a reason why Julius Schwartz tried to banish Kryptonite from the Superman universe, and that reason has to do with the promotion of lazy storytelling.

On the plus side, the cast seem to be settling in nicely, the script was competent, the pacing was better (as you'd expect) and the dialogue was mostly okay. It was a fairly solid hour of tv to follow up an ambitious pilot... but nothing to write home about. Perhaps that's a good thing.

POSSIBLE MINOR SPOILERS: As for the future: so we've had it confirmed that Hank is a cyborg already (those 'jokes' from David Harewood at Comic Con turned out not to be jokes after all, as many suspected at the time, although he won't be Cyborg Superman... not in the comicbook way) and we can see the setting up of the four core superfriends team: Alex, Winn, Kara, and James. Initially Alex is going to find it hard to accept that Kara has chosen to trust outsiders (Winn and James) as part of her team -- you already saw a brief fragment of that in the episode three preview -- but the long term plan, it seems, is to have the four of them work together as the show's primary crime busting outfit. Which begs the question... where does Hank and the DEO fit in? I guess we'll see as the show progresses.

Next episode ups the pace, just a little. ;)


R5

Supergirl Pre-Crisis Chronology: www.superwomenmania.com/supergirltl/
Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El: maidofmight.wordpress.com/
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03 Nov 2015 12:14 #44963 by Markiehoe
LOVED episode 2!!!!!!
As noted lots of Supergirl in costume action.
Krtyptyonian smack down in the second episode!
I actually liked both of Cat's speeches in this episode.
They got the all to true "Women have to work harder" speech out of the way early.
Now we can move on.
Cat's little talk to Kara about Supergirl trying to hard was brilliant.
She was using Supergirl as a metaphor to help Kara.
Cat must really see something in Kara and she must believe in "tough love"
General Astra is a great character.
She reveals herself to Supergirl and actually holds back in their fight to toughen her up.
She wants to recruit Supergirl not destroy her.
The krypto knife was an unseen variable which now makes her have to adjust her plans.
I liked Hank, right up to last scene scene with the "big tease"
Fluffy: Best scene ever.
James Olsen:
I'm a "Gosh Mr. Kent" Jimmy Olsen fan.
James is just all to perfect and put together.
Most unbelievable character on the show.
Win has taken on the Jimmy Olsen role.
Which makes me wonder why did they switch up the characters?

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03 Nov 2015 14:38 #44970 by lfan

five_red wrote: [Warning, this may contain very minor spoilers for future episodes.]

I really like Laura Benanti -- she's smart, and very funny, and talented. Unfortunately, she turns in a pretty wooden performance as Astra in this episode. No subtly, no hint of any depth, no nuance -- a total pantomime villain from start to finish. :( Her Alura isn't all that good either -- and I'm not just referring to the robo-hologram.

[Edit: Benanti has a lot of experience of acting through musical theatre -- but for a role like Astra they really needed to cast someone with a wider range of experience at screen acting. For a reoccurring villain you need some who can do more than just voice the lines and scowl.]


R5 managed to share my sentiments perfectly on Astra. While I said she was great, I was referring more to the concept of the Astra character as a whole. I loved the fact that the "big baddie" not only is her equal (or superior?) powers-wise, but she also has family ties to Kara -- and a family grudge to boot!

My issue with Astra, like R5 said, was her personality. found General Astra as pretty over-the-top and very similar to Vartox. Granted, she is a general and should be "stoic and disciplined" but it comes off wooden. Michael Shannon portrayed a Kryptonian General with much more panache, IMO. It's early, so I'll reserve final judgment but I hope they give her more depth of character and let Benanti give her more of a personality. As for her duel role as Allura, I'll give her a pass as she IS playing a computer and doesn't really get to explore a lot of range there.

ElF

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03 Nov 2015 15:24 #44974 by kikass2014
Just saw the second episode and I really can't add anymore then whats already been said in terms of a review :)

I think all the points made so far in this thread are valid, though I'm not sure it was that much of a "filler" episode, as they was a bit of world-building in this episode and character development. Curious to see how that develops throughout the season.

Having said that, I thought the episode was a blast :) I personally really liked it, making it 2 out of 2 so far for me :) The star of the show is without a doubt Benoist. And like others have said, the show would not be anywhere near as good without her. I can now understand Berlanti's comment on the show not existing without her.

Will be waiting with baited breath for next Tuesday :)

Peace.

/K
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03 Nov 2015 19:42 #44980 by jdrock24
Saw episode 2 last night and loved it.

Really, the only thing I have a problem with right now is the huge shadow Superman is casting over the show. Where is he? Why doesn't he help Kara with her training? I understand that he is busy and they made the point that "he likes to work alone" but still, there is a Kryptonian invasion going on and he doesn't seem to care? They have to find some way to get rid of him as soon as they can IMO. Send him off into space or have Astra capture him...I don't know...just do something. The idea that he is in Metropolis just hanging out while this global threat is going on is silly.

Besides that complaint, I'm especially pleased by the quality of the special effects, especially the flying scenes. Sure, I would have liked to see her actually lift the ambulance and the car but I realize it is a show and those effects probably aren't in the budget.

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03 Nov 2015 21:59 #44981 by MackTheMouse2
Maybe I'm asking too much, but I would love some more realistic / consistent physics modelling. One punch sends Kara flying, through several walls... then a few moments later barely knocks her head around. A superspeed push crumples a support girder, and a (probably) nearly full strength hairgrab/headslam into the same pillar doesn't dent it at all.

I liked the metal deforming on the bow of the ship and pulling a little too hard, a great visual strength feat. But at that level of strength, someone shouldn't get knocked back a few feet. Unless the 'flight' power is basically 'make myself stationary at the same level of strength as everything else I do'. Someone who can root themselves enough to crumple a speeding truck in episode 1... I suppose that could counter an impact while flying.

I just wish they'd use a minute or two of an upcoming episode to explain the physics. "How can you stop a truck?" "I just think, 'I want to be right here'. It's like the opposite of how I fly. I want to be over there... really, really, fast."

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03 Nov 2015 22:12 #44982 by shadar
1) The Maxwell Lord TV interview was an interesting twist, where he says that Metropolis has had all these alien encounters since Superman arrived, and we don't want that here in National City. As if there is a wall between them that not even Superman an penetrate.

I recall old (as in very old) discussions about Superman where it was discussed that if Superman hadn't come to Earth, then most of the people he fought wouldn't have come either. So was Earth less safe with Superman protecting it than if he'd never come? The kind of thing only a comic book geek would worry about.

Anyway, Maxwell Lord was echoing that sentiment, and in this case, it appears to be true. If not for Kara showing herself, all those bad guys would still be hiding. I enjoyed seeing that here.

2) The introduction of Kryptonite (come on, you knew it was coming). That itself didn't bother me, but rather the way Astra decides they've got to slow down and keep their head down a bit more because of it. Actually, it was both the Green-K and the fact that Kara is (unexpectedly) opposing them. Like they'd figured it would be easy to walk all over the humans.

That really, REALLY poses the Superman question. Clearly he's a far more formidable opponent than Kara, except that for reasons they haven't explained, he apparently can't travel as far as National City. That's a huge weakness for the show, far larger than the training question. and so far they haven't come up with anything to explain it other than "let Kara become a hero on her own". That doesn't begin to work given all the alien freaks (and Kryptonians) that Fort Roz dumped on Earth.

They've got to find a plausible way out of that (assuming there is one which I can't think of) or else be honest and just say that its a "copyright/studio kind of thing" and handle it in the real world. That would be a major cop-out for a comic book inspired show. One rule of comicdom is that everything can be explained in the fictional world.

I hope this isn't a sign of general sloppiness in writing that will spill over into other areas (some of which are already shaky).

So far I give the Writing a D, Directing a C (by TV standards) and Special Effects a B+ (by TV standards). But Melissa gets an A so I'll keep watching, hoping for improvement in the writing.

Shadar

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03 Nov 2015 22:15 #44983 by AlbertC
Just watched Episode 02 now, and despite all the mentions to Superman, I like the fact he isn't appearing and it is just a simple mention, but I expect this may decrease over time. Not necessary to say that I'm really glad with the two Superbreath scenes.

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03 Nov 2015 22:19 #44984 by shadar

MackTheMouse2 wrote: Maybe I'm asking too much, but I would love some more realistic / consistent physics modelling. One punch sends Kara flying, through several walls... then a few moments later barely knocks her head around. A superspeed push crumples a support girder, and a (probably) nearly full strength hairgrab/headslam into the same pillar doesn't dent it at all.

I liked the metal deforming on the bow of the ship and pulling a little too hard, a great visual strength feat. But at that level of strength, someone shouldn't get knocked back a few feet. Unless the 'flight' power is basically 'make myself stationary at the same level of strength as everything else I do'. Someone who can root themselves enough to crumple a speeding truck in episode 1... I suppose that could counter an impact while flying.

I just wish they'd use a minute or two of an upcoming episode to explain the physics. "How can you stop a truck?" "I just think, 'I want to be right here'. It's like the opposite of how I fly. I want to be over there... really, really, fast."


One plausible spin they could employ to explain some of this is that her reflexes and ability to use her flight power are slower than a punch. We've seen that enough in the comics where a superpowered punch sent someone flying through walls, only to catch themselves in mid-air and fly back to attack. That would explain why she can pull a ship but still gets knocked around in a fight. Flight power is a conscious thing that requires her to either plan ahead (like she did when hitting the truck) or she gets behind the power curve.

Presumably with experience she'll get better at applying flight power more effectively. When you think about it, the most important skill in applying superstrength is to back it up with flight power. Otherwise you are limited to crushing things with hands or arms/legs.

Anyway, that's how I'd deal with it in the fictional 'verse. I'd make that biggest part of her fight training.

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04 Nov 2015 01:21 #44988 by YAGS

AlbertC wrote: Not necessary to say that I'm really glad with the two Superbreath scenes.

Really? I thought they were awful.

Again, I wish they'd slow down enough to actually show us what's happening. I know things like showing Kara carrying the car or ambulance would push their fx budget up. But taking a second or two to focus on the face of a kryptonian woman blowing with her superbreath would just give us a chance to take in the action, without costing any more.

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04 Nov 2015 03:25 #44989 by shadar

YAGS wrote:

AlbertC wrote: Not necessary to say that I'm really glad with the two Superbreath scenes.

Really? I thought they were awful.

Again, I wish they'd slow down enough to actually show us what's happening. I know things like showing Kara carrying the car or ambulance would push their fx budget up. But taking a second or two to focus on the face of a kryptonian woman blowing with her superbreath would just give us a chance to take in the action, without costing any more.


We have to remember that they aren't making this show for us, the fans of SG. The people it's being made for don't care about seeing the feats, it's only important for them to know that they are happening. So a glimpse is plenty. They come for the interpersonal relationship stuff.

Far more important to them to discover who Kara's boyfriend will be, not what she an do or who she fights.

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04 Nov 2015 04:14 #44990 by YAGS
It's still a superhero show with lots of action. My complaint is that they're handling that action poorly. If they keep it up, they'll lose the superhero fans and be left with nothing but soap opera fans.

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04 Nov 2015 21:44 #44999 by AlbertC

shadar wrote:

YAGS wrote:

AlbertC wrote: Not necessary to say that I'm really glad with the two Superbreath scenes.

Really? I thought they were awful.

Again, I wish they'd slow down enough to actually show us what's happening. I know things like showing Kara carrying the car or ambulance would push their fx budget up. But taking a second or two to focus on the face of a kryptonian woman blowing with her superbreath would just give us a chance to take in the action, without costing any more.


We have to remember that they aren't making this show for us, the fans of SG. The people it's being made for don't care about seeing the feats, it's only important for them to know that they are happening. So a glimpse is plenty. They come for the interpersonal relationship stuff.

Far more important to them to discover who Kara's boyfriend will be, not what she an do or who she fights.


Let me explain better. Of course it wasn't the best scenes or the scenes I wished to see. But I was considering the possibility that wouldn't happen. In addition to shadar's words, I would say that there is a very thin line between action for the fans and ordinary viewers, and the success of the series, it is mandatory to walk in this line.

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05 Nov 2015 03:13 #45002 by lojack
Something to note is that this is more of a first episode in a production since the pilot. I expect a regular shooting schedule and better coordination with the various film crews as well as practical and digital effects will yield a better product, question is how soon can they gel? Some of the practical effects were good, most of the digital were fair to "I'm a cgi effect!" As for the inconsistency of action, that is writing wanting certain visuals, although toning down the wirework fighting would help, can't fix the physics of some actions in post.
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05 Nov 2015 04:26 #45006 by castor

lojack wrote: Something to note is that this is more of a first episode in a production since the pilot. I expect a regular shooting schedule and better coordination with the various film crews as well as practical and digital effects will yield a better product, question is how soon can they gel? Some of the practical effects were good, most of the digital were fair to "I'm a cgi effect!" As for the inconsistency of action, that is writing wanting certain visuals, although toning down the wirework fighting would help, can't fix the physics of some actions in post.


These are probably going to be the effects for awhile.

Practical effects are very hard to do on a TV time frame, and so far so good its tricky. Digital effects even on 100 million dollar movie can be hit or miss.

But a lot of effects are dependent on cinemtography-and that is something that can improve. A show to to compare it to was s Powers a show that had god awful effects-part of the issue was that did try for a visual look they shot but becuse of the every show is in the can before we see anything they couldn't work to match. With this its much better. Its learning what looks good, and what doesn't, and how to use light and focus to make it seem more impressive- but that takes time. i suspect your going to get improvement certainly by next season

As for the stunts-one of the things about the show is the Stunt team has done some pretty good work before-but i still don't think they understand it. Ubergirl fights are tricky to do. At one level its just two people slugging each other at another its effortless wire work.

But agian you know give it time. they could get there but its not going to be a one week or a 10 week thing. for an example take al ook at Izombie a show that in its second year has its effects improve a lot. So will see.

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05 Nov 2015 05:34 #45008 by shadar
I was watching EP2 again tonight, and one thing caught me that I'd forgotten about on the first viewing. In the beginning, when she's breaking the sound barrier and dodging explosive missiles, there are a bunch of tables set up below with technicians working at them. So far so good. Everyone's doing their job.

But when she drops from the sky to land in the middle of the team, none of the technicians even look up at her.

Excuse me, but I don't care who you are or what you're into, if Supergirl lands in front of you after exploding missiles over your head and breaking the sound barrier, you are going to be gawking and having one hell of a problem focusing on your work.

Related to that is the way Hank and the DEO treat her. He does the "Oh, its Miss Danvers and her sister from another star" with no more emotion than "Oh, it's your sister from Philadelphia." Also, nobody at the DEO looks at her when she's walking around except Alex and Hank.

They are WAY underplaying those scenes. A cute alien girl from Krypton walking around in a costume isn't something people ignore.

I know they are trying to portray the DEO as an organization focused on aliens, and all professional and everything, but it isn't like these people have had any of these aliens walking around their building before.

Has Superman completely desensitized everyone to the idea of Kryptonians? I don't buy it. His presence would fire up tremendous enthusiasm and celebrity worship like we've never seen. And Kara... even more so.

In this area, the directing and writing can be greatly improved.

Shadar

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05 Nov 2015 10:37 #45010 by lfan

shadar wrote: I was watching EP2 again tonight, and one thing caught me that I'd forgotten about on the first viewing. In the beginning, when she's breaking the sound barrier and dodging explosive missiles, there are a bunch of tables set up below with technicians working at them. So far so good. Everyone's doing their job.

But when she drops from the sky to land in the middle of the team, none of the technicians even look up at her.

Excuse me, but I don't care who you are or what you're into, if Supergirl lands in front of you after exploding missiles over your head and breaking the sound barrier, you are going to be gawking and having one hell of a problem focusing on your work.

Related to that is the way Hank and the DEO treat her. He does the "Oh, its Miss Danvers and her sister from another star" with no more emotion than "Oh, it's your sister from Philadelphia." Also, nobody at the DEO looks at her when she's walking around except Alex and Hank.

They are WAY underplaying those scenes. A cute alien girl from Krypton walking around in a costume isn't something people ignore.

I know they are trying to portray the DEO as an organization focused on aliens, and all professional and everything, but it isn't like these people have had any of these aliens walking around their building before.

Has Superman completely desensitized everyone to the idea of Kryptonians? I don't buy it. His presence would fire up tremendous enthusiasm and celebrity worship like we've never seen. And Kara... even more so.

In this area, the directing and writing can be greatly improved.

Shadar


Great point, Shadar! I kinda thought the same thing at the dock scene where she lands to help no one appears to really pay attention. When she starts blowing, the people behind her don't even look either. Considering she's new at this, one would think people would be in awe or at least curious. If not the DEO, then just regular firemen!

ElF

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05 Nov 2015 15:14 #45013 by lojack
Definitely. There is a budget limit, and these shows use it all up. Heck, they used a digital DfN shot of the military trucks driving into the DEO rather than shooting a separate night version of the shot. Have a feeling that if you pay attention, you may see other 'clip library' shots. Save the pennies!

But production aside, I do think they did a pretty decent job on casting, I can't think of any of the main cast that seems wrong. I think they have more of comic Cat in her character than Jimmy from his, but Melissa gets extra credit for being good at projecting joy of being Supergirl.

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