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    Supergirl - the democratic response

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    mindspike
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    Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  mindspike on November 9th 2015, 9:46 am

    Paeter won't watch Supergirl until he hears the show is aspiring to be something better than the pilot? That's fair.

    The actual show is better than the pilot. I get the feeling that the pilot we saw is the basically unaltered pitch for the show. Good enough to get the green light, but still in need of much work.

    The pilot had a large number of problems, nearly all of which were correctly pegged by Paeter in his podcast review - and nearly all of which are notably missing from episode 2. A quick run-down:

    * The "girl-power" theme is gone, replaced by a quick rant by Cat Grant about the glass ceiling.
    * Young Kara is portrayed as exactly like adult Kara. (I think flashbacks are going to be a thing.)
    * Kara's mom is the prosecuting attorney that put the bad guys in the phantom zone, not the supercop that caught them.
    * Kara tries to "be herself" and is constantly told by the ADULTS in the show that she needs to be someone better, until it does sink in.
    * The boy sidekicks are able to contribute believably (well, sorta) to the plot of the show.
    * The DEO is being used as a blanket MacGuffin, pushing plot hooks and answering plot holes. Not perfect, but good enough.
    * Multiple plot hooks for a season-long arc are scattered through the show.

    I thought the pilot was okay, and it really evoked the old "Lois and Clark" tv show vibe for me. From the pilot, I expected this would devolve into a slightly goofy action comedy. Episode two has some real dramatic teeth and sets up the show for a very different run. My advice is to ignore the pilot and start the show afresh with episode two. I think it will be a better experience, and you won't lose anything in the way of plot hooks. All the essential ones are recapped. Please don't let a bad pilot episode make you write off this show.

    I think I can also answer some of the issues concerning the absence of Superman and the portrayal of Jimmy Olsen. Following a long and complicated battle over trademarks, Supergirl and Jimmy Olsen were both separated from the Superman IP. The licenses are completely separate, a show that includes Supergirl cannot explicitly portray Superman without a separate license. Jimmy Olsen's trademark was established a "young photo journalist with red hair and light skin" among other IP factors that establish the trademarked name as "Jimmy". The character in the tv show is a columnist, who is bald, and has dark skin. Also, his name is James. As trademark law goes, the veneer is thin, but probably just thin enough. Just my thoughts. The whole legal battle makes fascinating reading.

    ====================

    Paeter said this show is like the CW - and it is. I think that's a good thing; I like several CW shows. I think Arrow is the best "Batman" show on the air, and a stand-out example of what dramatic television should be. Season 1 had some trouble finding its feet, but seasons 2 and 3 were knock-down drag-out action shows with believable and meaningful character drama. Flash scratches that action-comedy itch for me. I think it's fun but not essential. Supernatural is one of the best shows on all of television right now. It's got relateable characters that suffer real consequences, an intriguing meta plot, complex plotting, and it's led to repeated discussions between myself and my kids (now teen & pre-teen :: shudder) about the nature of God's involvement in the world. Plus, Sam and Dean are really and truly adults now, with a completely different approach to hunting than they had at the beginning of the series.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  Paeter on November 9th 2015, 5:10 pm

    Thanks for the info!

    Everything you said until the last paragraph makes me willing to possibly try another episode(while playing a video game).

    Regarding that last paragraph:

    If I hate CW shows, hate even recent samplings of Arrow and am struggling with The Flash, is Supergirl worth another try? I know that's hard to answer, but your gut reaction would be useful.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  mindspike on November 9th 2015, 8:57 pm

    Much as it pains me, I think you'll probably hate this show. It's made for the generation that thinks Twilight, Divergent, and Hunger Games are quality storytelling. I think its a good example of what quality network television can produce. It's not outstanding in the way that Supernatural is outstanding, but I think it's good. CW is producing some really excellent content, I just don't think it's the kind of storytelling structure you're looking for.

    I seem to recall that you really enjoy both the Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. I suggest Continuum and 13 Monkeys as well if you want to try out a new show. It's the same kind of storytelling that seems to appeal to you.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  Paeter on November 10th 2015, 6:42 pm

    Thanks, mindspike! Not to rabbit trail, but have you tried Limitless? So far it's working for me pretty well! (Good father-son story, too, if you're a sucker for that kind of thing.)


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  mindspike on December 4th 2015, 3:31 pm

    I'm enjoying Supergirl just a bit more with every episode. These are characters with meaningful personal struggles surrounded by oodles of eye-candy effects and fan service. It's not lost on me that the show is made for a young audience, and that the main characters are young people. I'm seeing them deal with many of the same feelings that I did at that age, and in much the same way - by screwing up.

    The shadow of Superman looms large over this show. He is "the big brother who made good" and everyone else feels the pressure to live up to that standard.

    James Olsen works to make a name for himself apart from Superman. I get it. Everything he does is overshadowed by someone with super powers. General Lane blatantly accuses him of riding the coat tails of everyone else's success. At some point, he has started to wonder if that is true. He is without mentors in a world that has become much bigger than it used to be.

    Kara has been struggling to meet the demands of those around her for her entire life. Now that she is in a position to make her own choices, she doesn't really know what she wants to do or be. She begins by trying to imitate important people in her life, her cousin Superman and her boss Cat Grant. When that doesn't work, she tries to be like her peers. Failing at that, she has begun to give free reign to the emotional reaction of the moment.

    Kara has an advantage over James. She still has mentors, adults in her life that are unafraid to give her bald instructions and subtle guidance. Hank Henshaw is instructing her in the reality of life dealing with super powers. Cat Grant (who I'm convinced knows Kara's secret) is guiding her through the challenges of being an adult. Both of them wield disciplinary power over Kara and are unafraid to use it.

    It does not surprise me that the adults in the show are the ones showing restraint and wisdom. What surprises me is that the show endorses the validity of being an adult who shows self-restraint and wisdom.

    This stands in marked contrast to The Flash, where the two token adults (Joe West and Martin Stein) repeatedly are shown as over cautious and unwilling to take chances while the energy, enthusiasm, and innovation of the kids carries the day. Even Jay Garrick is a young man, only in his mid-thirties.

    The more I watch Supergirl the more I enjoy it. Kara is a storm of conflicting emotions, the most evident of which is confusion. I find it reflective of the real people in my life, past and present. Supergirl is quickly rising to the top of my viewing queue, and I recommend it to everyone. This is very much Kara's story, with everyone and everything else serving as contrast and highlight to her actions.

    Just skip the pilot and start with episode 2.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  ComiKate on December 6th 2015, 1:28 pm

    I held on for four episodes of Supergirl, even after the dreadful pilot, but then I really couldn't stand for it any longer. I love the Cat Grant character, and would love a show about her, but as it is, she is not enough to keep me watching Supergirl.
    So it fell off my watch list, alas, for I really wanted to like this show.

    Still watching other DC shows, Arrow, Flash and even Gotham. I'm thinking about quitting Gotham - though I really like the Bruce Wayne & Selina, and Penguin characters. Arrow is dropping in popularity on my watchlist. Still like the Flash okay.
    Just watched crossover episodes 8 of both series (Arrow and Flash), which was an introductory episode to Legends of Tomorrow, in which we meet Hawkman (awe! some!) and Hawkgirl (Hm. My jury's still out on her). Great special effects with the wings!

    Loving Agents of Shield at the moment, they are kicking a**!
    I'm planning on watching Marvel's Jessica Jones.

    Also like Limitless, Scorpion, The Blacklist.

    And of course, as a Star Wars fan, I'm totally in love with Star Wars Rebels.

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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  cleireac on May 16th 2016, 5:35 pm

    Now that the season is over, here are my thoughts on Supergirl:

    http://geekklesia.blogspot.com/2016/05/supergirl-v-batman-v-superman.html

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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  Paeter on May 20th 2016, 3:21 pm

    cleireac wrote:Now that the season is over, here are my thoughts on Supergirl:

    http://geekklesia.blogspot.com/2016/05/supergirl-v-batman-v-superman.html

    Ooof! Tough words to read, but I'm glad you're enjoying the show.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  cleireac on May 20th 2016, 4:03 pm

    Just to clarify further, I didn't hate BvS, but I didn't love it, either.  I like Man of Steel okay, but there were things that stood out to me more like the level of destruction that caused me to question how many insurance companies were going to be bankrupted in the aftermath of the Superman-Zod throwdown.  Its a fair criticism to level at the Marvel movies as well, and it may be that after having seen many of those films I was more sensitive to it in MoS.

    I think there is room for disagreement.  I'm guessing that the majority of folks (including myself) who felt BvS was lacking found what they wanted in Civil War, and those who loved BvS found things that bugged them about Civil War. Neither film is perfect.

    I saw BvS by myself. When I got home, I told my wife that there were things I liked in the film, but the overall effect felt like I had enough of a taste to want more, and the film didn't deliver what I wanted. What I can't understand is how some folks can recognize some of the problems in the film and still give it a "9 out of 10" simply because it put the Justice League on screen.

    There was also an interesting article I read last week (I need to try to find it) that made the argument that Captain America has replaced Superman as our "national superhero." Again, I'm sure that there are those who will disagree, and I'm not sure I even agree, but for me personally, I find it easier to root for Cap than Supes right now.

    Hopefully, the shakeup at DC Films will right that ship (unless you are happy with the way things are, then I hope we all can find more agreement on what we see onscreen.)

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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  cleireac on May 23rd 2016, 10:32 am

    Oh, since I haven't posted in a verrrrrrrryyyyyyyy long while, is this something that would work for the CGC blog (assuming I'm still allowed to post after my hiatus)?

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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  Paeter on May 24th 2016, 11:19 am

    cleireac wrote:Oh, since I haven't posted in a verrrrrrrryyyyyyyy long while, is this something that would work for the CGC blog (assuming I'm still allowed to post after my hiatus)?

    Sure! In fact I could use some material to share on the podcast right now as I'm in the thick of "AWOS" stuff and struggling to plan/create content.


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    Re: Supergirl - the democratic response

    Post  cleireac on May 24th 2016, 1:37 pm

    I may have something in the works. I need to finish writing it, then I wanted to record it. I'm hoping for it to be an occasional segment. I'm calling it Geek Catechism. Don't want to go too much further into it now (so as not to threadjack this any more), but it's in the hopper, for sure.

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