Smallville has been gone for a while now and Supergirl seemed like a great opportunity to bring the world of Superman back to television, but Supergirl has been somewhat of a disappointment right from the start.
Like her counterpart Wonderwoman, Supergirl is one of the few female superheroes that have wide recognition outside of the hardcore comic reading fan base and she has feminist appeal despite being in the shadow of Superman. Alas, here is where Supergirl really is a let down, because while the series pays lip service to feminism and “grrlpower” it is hard not to overlook the fact that its central heroine, Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoit) is an adolescent girl trapped in a woman’s body who spends her days awkwardly pining over her crush James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and fumbling through her day job as an executive assistant to the catty Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who frets over juggling her professional life and taking care of her special needs son. This wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of the series compensated with some hefty action, but instead we get a season of Supergirl struggling to break out of the shadow of her must more popular, and apparently stronger and more skilled cousin Superman, and repetitive, freak-of-the-week plotlines with a less than menacing “villain” in the likes of billionaire Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) who had nothing on Lex Luthor.
To add insult to injury, Supergirl did so poorly in the ratings that its network, CBS, dropped it, forcing production company Warner Bros. to buy out the deal and move the series to its second tier network, The CW, where, in its second season, Superman will be added to the cast. So much for grrlpower.
There really are no complaints about the visual aspects of this Blu-ray release of Supergirl: Season 1 from Warner Bros. The colors look vibrant and lifelike, just as they should in the hyper-realty comic book world of this superheroine. The picture is bright yet nuanced, with brilliant primary colors and a natural portrayal of flesh tones.
Supergirl: Season 1 has a pretty average lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix on Blu-ray. Given the type of series this is, one would expect it to be a least a little more aggressive, but there are very little discrete effects in the surround channels, though there is an abundance of beefy atmospherics that make the sound more muddy that lush. Dialogue sounds good, although I must say that Calista Flockhart’s voice tends to sound like she is speaking through a tin can. This reminds me a lot of the first season of Star Trek: Voyager, where the sound engineers had Kate Mulgrew’s voice sounding so whiny and grating.
Warner Bros. offers up an average slate of extras here that are just promotional in tone. The Gag Reel and Comic-Con highlights give the best entertainment value.
- Digital HD UltraViolet
- Deleted Scenes
- Supergirl: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:14:51) – Warner Bros. Television presents a night of DC entertainment at Comic-Con 2015: Supergirl.
- The Man from Mars (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:09:37) – This documentary explores the complex J’onn J’onzz and his alias, Hank Henshaw.
- A World Left Behind: Krypton (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:41) – This documentary explores the history of the famous planet, Krypton, and its role and depiction in Supergirl.
- Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:06)
The Final Assessment
It will be very interesting to see if Supergirl manages to right the ship in its second season on The CW, which is home to all the DC live-action series except Gotham. At home with The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow, perhaps this super-powered newcomer will grow into something worthier of that “S”.
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