Season 1 x 20 Spoilers and Discussions Better Angels

21 May 2016 04:10 #48045 by shadar

Brad2 wrote: As for the whole "sisters" relationship, this is again problematic. Sure, I get that Alex wants to protect younger sister Kara. This is partly out of caring, and partly to keep their mom off her back.

Then again, Kara turning into Supergirl, using her powers, saving others, and working with the DEO has to be a MAJOR change for Alex, as well. Suddenly, her world is invaded by someone who has great powers, and who she grew up with. The prospect of jealousy was mentioned in episode 1, but not mentioned again until episode 16. Both times, Kara brings it up.

The show seems to treat Alex as this professional robot who does as she's told: Her mom says to keep her sister safe, so she does, and Hank says to fight against alien threats (such as the Fort Rozz escapees), so she does. There are exceptions, but usually one of these two orders seems to motivate Alex. She completely buries the jealousy.

This is interesting, because one would think that Alex would want to not have to protect her sister. After all, Kara has super powers, and Alex doesn't. Also, their mom isn't around, so she doesn't have to know. If it weren't for how they wrote the character, I could see Alex "testing" Kara by sending her into dangerous situations to see how she does. Then, when confronted, she reviews the situation with Kara and offers her tips on how to get better (and masks her envy). Given how Supergirl is written, I'm not even sure she'd be smart enough to tell that Alex was testing her unless the latter told the former to her face.

As for Supergirl being more competent than Superman, this isn't true. Again, Supergirl needs help to save the day, while Superman can do so alone. This point goes to the man of steel. In terms of saves, Superman saved Supergirl from Reactron on episode 3 (though he didn't defeat Reactron), and someone other than Supergirl brought him to the DEO hospital on episode 19 or 20. See, I think in terms of up close and personal saves, not "Supergirl saved the city, and by extension Superman or Alex or Hank" (this wouldn't work anyway, I'm not sure if Alex or Hank live in National City, so saving it might not save them).

The central problem of the show is that far too much attention is focused on Hank or Alex being heroic (Hank's "heroism" in episode 20 was him killing Indigo, and he was reluctant to use his powers for violence in the past, so this isn't exactly a slam dunk, either), and not on Supergirl being heroic. They seem to think that her having powers and assume the role of protector is enough. It isn't. She needs to get smarter in how she goes about protecting others.

In this area, I suspect the writers were told (or decided) that they didn't want to make Kara TOO powerful or they'd have plot issues. They wanted her to need other people. To be interconnected to the lives of the other people on the show, and that means being a but vulnerable.

Also, they wanted us to remember that her developed personality is that of Kara, not Supergirl. Her first reaction to most things is as Kara, not Supergirl. But she's working through that.

While the "don't make her too powerful" thing was basically good advice for a CBS show, given they need the "family working together" thing, they went overboard in strange ways. Sometimes they kind of had it working, with SG behaving much more stronger and decisively than Kara ever would, but then they'd slide back into softening her by making her stupid or incompetent or whatever. She had trouble fighting off someone with strength only several times that of a human, and the next thing we know she's lifting a million tons. I think the writers had the right concept, but they sucked at realizing it, so they wrote stupid scenes.

But its very clear that people can be strong and be emotionally available, especially women, but that takes both acting and writing skill to portray. I don't think the Season 1 show was up for this.

But that said, Melissa has improved as an actress in the role, and if we can get some good writing behind her, she might be able to pull off the strong, decisive but also emotionally available thing. In other words, we can get there, but not if they keep most of the Season 1 writers. Or at least a strong leader who can direct the writers to take the show where it needs to go.

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21 May 2016 05:32 #48046 by Brad2
Actually, I don't have a problem with Melissa Benoist's portrayal of either Supergirl or Kara. And I will admit that there are moments (even whole episodes) where the show's portrayal of her was spot on.

In terms of viewing, I have two objections:
1: I came to the Supergirl show hoping to see a strong heroine. I get that she starts out inexperienced, but sometimes she seems like she's learning, and sometimes not. Seeing her needing to be saved (and so frequently) and/or relying on others so heavily reminds me of the way Supergirl is portrayed in a lot of peril films (though I would admit that the show is a lot better than most peril films, for the most part) that I got bored with.
2: There is a need for her to be a heroine in her own right. Hank has used kryptonite on her (twice), and the DEO often engages in unethical behavior. What happens if Supergirl needs to stand up to them or strike out on her own? More to the point, what happens if others (the city at large or villains) find out she depends on others for ideas? What if Alex or Hank is in trouble, and the villain is smart enough to hide from Supergirl? Or, what if they're gone?

We already know that the hunt for Jeremiah Danvers is supposed to be a part of season 2. I would love to see Hank and Alex leave Supergirl alone for a while during this part. We could then watch as the girl of steel is forced to deal with villains without help, and gets smarter as a result. Seeing her forced to help Hank and Alex could be fun. And/or when they return, seeing Supergirl suggest (or figure out) ideas for taking down villains that actually work would be awesome.

I'll admit that I'm in favor of seeing a strong Supergirl. But seeing a Supergirl that is strong and smart would be even better. We see this happen occasionally in season 1, but it doesn't happen often enough.

Oh, and Superman was often forced to use his brain. Just look at the Fleischer episodes. I'll admit there were some that were racist and idiotic (and I wouldn't recommend). But in others, he wasn't able to do things one way, so he had to figure out another way to do them. This approach might work for some Supergirl episodes.

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