TV SHOW REVIEW - Supergirl: Season 2
You know what I’ve realised recently? Netflix and other streaming services have definitely spoilt us. By giving us shows with smaller seasons, we’re used to watching 13 episodes and then done. But unfortunately, the TV channels are not the same, and as I looked to return to a CW show, a part of me knew then it was going to take a while to get through it! Nonetheless, here we are. Following its start on CBS, Supergirl was dropped after a season, only to be picked up by the CW and join the Arrowverse! The first season was pretty much all ‘rainbows and butterflies’ so I was looking forward to seeing what being on a new channel would do!
Season 2 of Supergirl, sees Kara Zor-El, finally begin to enjoy her time as Supergirl. The city has now clearly accepted her and she’s begun to revel in it. The cliffhanger in the last season is dealt with fairly early on in Season 2 where Kara finds another crashed Kryptonian escape pod with a stranger in it. This stranger is revealed to be Mon-El of Daxom, which is the sister planet to Krypton. Kara tries very hard to teach Mon-El the ways of Earth and believing that he can be a hero, she begins to train him. Unfortunately, Krypton and Daxom never really saw eye to eye and Kara and Mon-El initially cannot seem to get along. But that crest of hope stands for something and with time, Mon-El appreciates the sacrifice that Kara makes daily by dedicating her life to helping others. This dedication is tested when a Luthor returns to National City. The Luthor in question is Lena, who is Lex’s sister. Naturally, everyone in the city is a little sceptical, none more so than Kara, but with time she finds a budding friendship and the two of them rely on each other a lot. Of course, Lena doesn’t know that Kara is Supergirl but that’s a story for another time it seems. Season 2 also sees a number of side plots explored. For one, J’onn discovers that he is not alone and now that aliens are more welcome on the planet, he meets another martian named M’gann. She disguises herself as a Green Martian, but we soon find out that she is in fact part of the White Martian race, who were responsible for enslaving the Green Martians. At the same time as all of this, James Olsen, who is now in charge of Catco Worldwide, finds himself feeling obsolete whilst his friends are out being superheroes. Taking on the moniker ‘Guardian’, he and Winn, start running their own little vigilante operation in National City. Naturally, a larger threat is always round the corner and when Mon-El’s parents come to Earth, beckoning him to come home, the consequences of his choice could be dire.
I remember watching the first season of Supergirl and thinking that it was designed for a very specific audience. At first, I thought this was largely a female audience, but after hearing my sister’s verdict, I realised that it was more likely that CBS was targeting a younger audience altogether. The CW, which tends to make shows for those in their late teens and early twenties, obviously wished to tackle different themes and that was evident from the get-go. The show seemed a little more mature, and also a little more exciting. I really enjoyed the introduction of Mon-El. I thought it was time that Kara had a love interest that was more on her level, no offence to Jimmy! Haha! In a way, I thought that the character development of the two was almost symbiotic. Mon-El learns from a superhero who is coming into her own, and at the same time, Kara learns that despite her status in National City, there is still so much work and growth for her to do. It was pretty awesome to watch. I also liked that J’onn was given his own storyline and the twist on the whole Miss Martian thing was interesting to see. I think there’s still a lot more that the show could achieve with him though. One of the only issues that I think the show will have going forward is that the supporting characters may start to feel a little obsolete. Winn was amazing in the first season, but now that he works for the D.E.O. he’s just another person in a larger organization and he doesn’t shine at all.
Melissa Benoist returns as our titular character and I think there was an improvement in terms of her acting this season. Most likely that is because she was more than a season in, her confidence grew. I also think, not that it’s always accurate, but given everything I’ve seen of Melissa on social media, her natural personality is very well suited to Kara. Chris Wood debuts as Mon-El. I’d seen him as the maniacal villain, Kai, in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ so I was pretty excited to see how he’d do as a hero. There were no complaints from me, he very quickly became my favourite character in the show and was certainly the most interesting, in Season 2. Also, have to give a shout out to Katie McGrath who plays the enigmatic Lena Luthor. She’s played a role similar to this before in ‘Merlin’ but it’s evident that her acting abilities have certainly advanced since then. The supporting cast including David Harewood, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh and Jeremy Jordan all do a great job and through their storylines really bring a lot of inclusivity to the show. Also, we can’t discuss the cast and not speak about the Man of Steel himself! Bringing Tyler Hoechlin on as Superman was a stroke of mastery by the casting directors. I once felt like he could have been a good Batman, but Hoechlin proves that Superman was who he was meant to play!
The cinematography this season has been phenomenally better than the first season. A lot more money went into it and some of the scenes with J’onn especially have increased in quality. The graphics have also improved, and that was obvious when I consider the last three episodes and their scope in design. Don’t get me wrong, you can still tell that it’s a CW show, but at the same time, Supergirl and her entire world are a lot more difficult to put on the small screen compared to heroes like Arrow! The theme music was a lot more prominent in the episodes individually, although, on the whole, I’m not sure it was amazing. Nevertheless, a definite improvement from the last season.
Overall, a move from CBS to the CW seemed to have worked out for Supergirl because Season 2 was a lot more watchable than the first season. The cast is now well set into their characters act far more naturally which means we get to enjoy the show a lot more. The new characters introduced, Mon-El and Lena steal the show for me and it’ll be interesting to see how the writers utilise them going forward. I think the show still sits behind ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’, but it’s done a decent job to spark my interest again!
Story Arc: 13/20
Integral vs filler episode: 11/20