CW PILOTS 2017/2018 – FLOPS AND FAVES

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The CW has a long time honoured tradition of having the best TV any young woman who enjoys trash and heart could want. The lineup this year has been mostly locked up into its new role as the official home of DCTV but this is the CW and it is a requirement to us all to have the trashy cheese that we all want. Let’s break down the new series on the schedule for the CW this fall.

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Supergirl 2×15- Exodus

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Following last week’s episode of Daddy Dean Cain stealing a registry of the aliens in National City. This week’s episode not so subtly tackling the treatment of immigrants (aliens) which is not to far off with what is happening in America right now. There is even a scene where the immigrant aliens are shown being gassed.

For it’s many flaws (Mon-El), one compelling thing about Supergirl is its running thread of inclusion and feeling like an outsider trying to find your place to fit in the world. Each character has their own arc this season of being an outsider. The opening scene of an innocent alien family being rounded up like cattle to eventually being killed is the parallel that to me, the audience of Supergirl – teenagers and tweens – can find powerful in understanding the times we are in.

Onto the recap!

ALEX GETS BENCHED | Still reeling from the betrayal of her father, Alex gets suspended after failing J’onn’s shape-shifting  loyalty test and goes off on a suspect that abducted Winn’s Darla-esque girlfriend. Maggie and Alex team up in going rogue to locate Cadmus.

KARA DANVERS, ACE REPORTER | In another parallel, the integrity of journalism and the advent of fake news is tonight’s B plot. Kara wants to write an article warning all the aliens that they’re being rounded up for slaughter. Snapper refuses to run the story without authenticating its sources with all the fake news out there. Kara offers up an exclusive with Supergirl but then in the actual interview refuses to detail how she knows the National Alien Registry was stolen. Snapper doesn’t think this counts as a credible source and shelves the article.

In comes Lena Luthor who advises Kara to be a citizen journalist instead and get the word out directly as opposed to trying to get it published in the paper. To be honest here, a realistic journalist in 2017 should at least have a Twitter feed and I’m surprised the show needed Lena to tell Kara that.

Kara launches Danvers.com with her alien expose, but it comes at a cost – she’s fired from Catco.

YOUR MAMA SO CRAZY | Lillian Luthor is straight up batshit and directs Lena’s assistant to shut her up when Lena detects traces in the LCorp Accounting books that leads to the location of Cadmus. Lillian is a little Trumpy tho and wants to straight up kill all of the aliens. Dean Cain negotiates to have them forcibly deported instead, lest to give them a semblance of a chance of life. Lillian’s minions end up getting Lena thrown off a roof and in one of the most pandering fan service shots I’ve ever seen, Lena is saved by Supergirl from falling off the building lol. #SuperCorp

DADDY DEAN CAIN | Turns out Lillian Luthor has been blackmailing Dean Cain into doing her bidding by trying to kill Kara and Alex over the years. Alex goes full bad ass, blowing ish up to call Lillian’s bluff to save the alien immigrants. Dean Cain and Cyborg-Superman fight and it breaks my 1998 heart to see Dean Cain getting totally beat. The deportation vessel is still launched though and Supergirl has to stop it from reaching into outer space because once it reaches that barrier, it goes into light speed. In a very touching scene of what Supergirl does best, sisterhood, Kara’s love for Alex gives her the strength to save her and stop the vessel.


TAKETHE-EL | One of the reason’s I stopped writing about Supergirl was the annoying inclusion of Mon-El. The entire arc of this white dude being force-fed for more than eight episodes and having the sitting plot of their father being trapped and tortured totally dropped, while Alex and Kara focused on getting laid and their love lives just rang so false to me. Teri Hatcher coming on the show is what got me feeling really inspired to write about the show again.

TERI HATCHER BISH!! | The episode ends with Mon-El’s parents arriving on Earth – Kevin Hercules Sorbo and Teri Hatcher. So not only is Mon-El a loser, he’s a lying loser too. Mon-El can miss me with that star-crossed shit. Though I haven’t been writing about all the episodes, I’ve been watching them and Mon-El is thoroughly useless, a liar and should be killed in the season finale I’m not even going to front.

I enjoyed the themes of journalism and the parallels to the immigration ban in this episode. For what it’s worth, of all the DCTV shows – Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow are two that consistently tackle harder issues. I think Arrow did an episode about gun control recently and I appreciate DCTV doing that. It’s influential to a lot of ears and eyes, young ears and eyes especially, and I think it’s good that they’re using their platform for something worthwhile.

GRADE: B

Stray Observations:
*Did Kara and Alex not give a shit about what happened to Daddy Dean Cain? Why didn’t they go back for him?

*Alex was da real MVP this episode – she had a decent amount of fight scenes this week.

*Minimal Mon-El fuckery always makes for a good episode.

*”You’re the only Superman we need”. Nothing like a subtle reference, ha.

*Danvers.com is a nice touch. With Cat Grant being gone and Winn being at the DEO, the Catco set was being used less and less. Realistically speaking though, Snapper was right to fire her for all the reasons he listed. It will be interesting to see Kara Danvers launch her own media empire. Me thinks she at least deserves some form of note from Cat Grant on this venture on an upcoming episode.

*I like when Supergirl does commentary about real life

*Did James have even a minute of screen time this episode? He’s supposed to be the male lead non? If Kara wanted the story run, James is a higher position than Snapper Carr, he could have overriden his decision?

NEXT: this is also the first of the 2 part crossover musical with The Flash!

Supergirl 2×16 “Star-Crossed” Season 2 Episode 16 Promo – TERI HATCHER (“DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES,” “LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN”) AND KEVIN SORBO (“HERCULES”) GUEST STAR; DARREN CRISS (“GLEE”) MAKES HIS DEBUT AS THE MUSIC MEISTER – A new villain (guest star Teri Hatcher) comes to National City, putting Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) on high alert. Meanwhile, Winn’s (Jeremy Jordan) girlfriend, Lyra (guest star Tamzin Merchant), gets Winn in trouble with the law. Maggie (guest star Floriana Lima) attempts to help Winn but old loyalties get in the way. The Music Meister (Darren Criss) attacks Supergirl. John Medlen directed the episode written by Katie Rose Rogers & Jess Kardos (#216). Original airdate 3/20/2017.

Supergirl: 2×03 – Welcome to Earth

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Supergirl ascends to the best episode of the series thus far in its stellar second season. This week, on the 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter guests on Supergirl as President. It’s surreal and honestly, wonderful. #girlpower

This is the first episode where we see Kara (Melissa Benoist) fly solo, no Superman and no Cat Grant. There are some really lovely special effects here, with my favorite of course, being Supergirl’s nod to Wonder Woman.

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Kara’s debut as a reporter could easily be a poor mirror of her cousin Clark Kent but they Kara’s deep passions about the Alien Amnesty Act and how it bleeds into her reporting is on par with Kara’s empathy and how it shapes her character. Snapper makes a good point with Kara’s report being biased on her own opinions and not facts. It is a good lesson for even myself to learn as I develop as a writer.

James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks)  has his own arc of self discovery as the new CEO of CatCo. Snapper is less than cooperative but James stands up for himself. Retcon of the relationship aside, I’m enjoying James being the head of Catco. The only reshuffle from the CW move that doesn’t really make sense is Winn going to the DEO. It’s clunky and too transparent in making him the Winn/Felicity of the show.

The cast expands with the addition of Maggie Sawyer, a clear love interest for Alex Danvers. Supergirl makes very transparent correlations to the current political climate and it’s all the more braver and better for it. It’s a powerful episode, the image of strong women and the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Everyone relates their own experiences of being an outsider: J’onn, Maggie and our Kryptonian pod dude, Mon-El.

The other addition is Miss Martian. I’m not very familiar with the lore of Miss Martian but I’m very excited to learn more and how she will add to J’onn’s arc this season.

Supergirl has set up seeds of character development for each of their main cast and I hope it continues on this upward trend. There was a teaser that a major character this year in the Flarrow-verse would discover their sexuality and this episode is cueing it up to be Alex. To the young girls who watch this show, this will be a really great thing for them to see. This episode felt a bit of a Captain America: Civil War /  Captain America redux but it’s easy to forgive because it’s such a series high point otherwise. I’m also excited about the reveal that Lynda Carter is secretly an alien. Season 2 of Supergirl is paying off to be an insanely good gamble.

Next: ALIEN FIGHT CLUB.

GRADE: A-

Stray Observations

“How did anyone else vote for that other guy?”

“It’s hope J’onn. How can it be false?’

How awesome that aliens have their own version of Dollywood as their open haven

RECAP: Supergirl – 2×01 + 2×02 – “The Adventures of Supergirl” + “The Last Children of Krypton”

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Airdate: 10th October 2016 & 17th October 2016

Supergirl ascends to its rightful home on the CW. As Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) puts it: “it’s like the old place but better”. And we welcome the Man (of Steel) himself : Superman.

Supergirl was an odd choice for CBS and is much more suited for the DCTV lineup of the CW which now has 40% of his fall lineup dedicated to comic book shows. The change has moved the filming of the show from Los Angeles to Vancouver and the changes in tone and budget are immediately felt.

In the first installment “The Adventures of Supergirl“, we pickup with effervescent superhero Kara Danvers  (Melissa Benoist) right off the season 1 finale. There’s a dude in a pod from Krypton.

The theme swells as we are introduced to the iconic Clark Kent played by Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) in this incarnation. I had my doubts about this casting but Hoechlin pulls it off with simultaneously being steely strength and #relatable sincerity. He switches between the sillier Clark and the solemn Superman with ease.

It could be easy for Superman to overshadow Supergirl but the show lets Kara be front and center while letting Superman still be Superman. There is a playful chemistry between the two (“I changed his diapers!“) and some genuinely touching parts where Clark asks Kara to tell him stories about their home Krypton. It’s a nice reminder that while Clark may be Superman, Kara is still his older cousin and is a mentor to him in other ways.

The changes from filming in Los Angeles to Vancouver bring about major and some puzzling plot changes: The Kara/Jimmy Olsen romance is abruptly retconned, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) is relegated to special guest star instead of series regular and somehow Winn (Jeremy Jordan) joins the DEO as a tech wizard (?) when he  was a simple tech reporter literally one month before. I guess Winn did design Kara’s first super suit so maybe he has something to make him into Cisco-Lite.

The fun continues in “The Last Children of Kypton” where the teamup between Superman and Supergirl continues. It’s a pure thrill to watch these two icons in action. Winn fangirls out, much like the rest of us. The villain for this season is project Cadmus, namelessly portrayed by Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives).

Phasing out Cat Grant, means Kara needs a new job and a new purpose, and she finds it in being a journalist in Cat Corp. Her new boss is Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez) who promptly dismisses her. It’s all part of Kara’s arc this season: to evolve more into herself, to find her place as Kara Danvers now that she has found her place as Supergirl. It (unintentionally?) mirrors Cat’s only new journey to discover and challenge herself in new ways. (But really it’s just because Calista Flockhart doesn’t want to move to Vancouver)

I watched all of Season 1 of Supergirl and the marked improvement in just these two episodes is huge. A lot of those episodes were painful in Season 1. The action sequences are better this season. The fight scenes between Supergirl/Alex and Superman/Green Martian is one of the best and most intricate the show has dared to do.

Emotionally, the show hits lots of great beats. Cat Grant has truly evolved into a great character on the show and the bond that Melissa Benoist and Calista Flockhart infuse into their characters is truly lovely and it makes their farewell scenes far more impactful.  You really feel the loss as Cat as evolved from steely employer to friend and at times, a mother to Kara and Supergirl. Similarly, Kara and Clark have an easy and fun chemistry as well and it reminds me of Season 1 of “The Flash” where the show was just fun and not all broody and serious. Alex  is given an emotional arc too, as eventually cracks with jealousy over Kara bonding with Clark. This is the other great female relationship of this show: Alex and Kara. Season 1 was incredibly clunky but the female friendships on this show always worked and was often, the saving grace of an episode. It’s punctuated with it being Kara and Alex working together to defeat the big bad and pairing Superman instead with the Green Martian.

The promotion of Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) to Cat’s new position is puzzling and weird but it’s part of reshuffling the characters in light of the show’s move. Superman exits and takes with him all of the DEO’s Kyptonite stores.

Hoechlin was marvelous as Superman and a great addition to the cast. The first two episodes of Supergirl were boosted with Clark and Cat and it will be a real test next week to see how the show flies with just Kara alone, without her mentor figures of Clark and Cat. The loss of Cat Grant in particular will definitely be huge. The dynamic between Snapper and Kara is no way near the mentoring mother that Cat Grant became. But in a lot of ways, Season 2 Kara seems to veer towards taking the training wheels off and bringing Kara into her own, without her cousin and without Cat. Supergirl has a lot of potential and I’m happy it was given a second shot at life on The CW. The big bad of the season appears to be Cadmus and finding Jeremiah (Daddy Dean Cain). I hope Cadmus proves to be less of a snore than Non last season. The villains were not that impressive. At times, down right embarrassing. Let’s all try to forget Livewire and Banshee. Ugh. Bleh.

GRADE: B- /  B+

Next Week / Random Observation:  Between Clark’s “I’m With Her” and and Kara’s  “We are Stronger Together“, is that a subtle nod to Hillary Clinton for President? (I am choosing to think yes with a wonderful woman coming up in episode three. Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) guests next week as the President (of National City? of America? definitely of my heart!). Cue my fangirl screams.