Supergirl Trailer: Did Episode One Deliver?
Though the new CBS TV show, Supergirl was initially up against skepticism from superhero fans, the highly anticipated Supergirl trailer vanquished that resistance to make way for the most successful Fall pilot of the season, and secure a full season order from CBS.
The Supergirl trailer is indeed super-sized, clocking in at over 6 minutes. However, the trailer provides a glimpse into the life of Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) as she navigates life as an entry-level young woman in the office workplace of a multimedia corporation, complete with friends and her mean boss Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Supergirl even flies for her first time during the trailer, to save a plane from crashing, and begins realizing she has the potential to be more, through her alter ego Kara Zor-El, than just an awkward girl.
Supergirl, as adapted for this CBS program, begins when Kara Zor-El is 24 years old, and must unleash her alter-ego and superpowers in order to prevent a disastrous plane crash. As one of the last remaining Kryptonians, and biological cousin to Superman, she was previously banished to Earth at the age of 13, where she was taken in by the Danvers family. This family taught her to conceal her super-abilities and protect herself. CBS picks up the story, fittingly starting it with Kara’s first use of her formally repressed powers.
The series will follow Kara Zor-El as she seeks to harness her powers for the good of National City, and self-actualizes not only as a superhero, but as a woman.
Producer Andrew Kreisberg spoke of the plot plans, saying “We always have a traditional ‘Big Bad’ for the season, this sort of uber-villain who is setting the plan in motion. But there’ll also be villains of the week.”
Producer Ali Adler also shared a unique creative approach that the writing and production teams use to shape and deliver the drama each week. ““We always talk about this character as if she didn’t have superpowers. How would she approach a given situation if she was just like you or me, but she has this bonus skill set? That’s really how we look at each villain of the week or problems in her emotional or romantic life. We definitely look at it with the perspective of being powerless, and what her powers then bring to it.”
Benoist is excited about her role as Supergirl, and for more reasons than having super powers. (Though if she were to pick a super power, it would reportedly be flying.)
Of her role as Kara Zor-El, Benoist said, “What’s so wonderful about her is that she is such a relatable characters, amongst her powers. What I’m the most excited about is telling a story about a human being really realizing their potential and strength, and I think that’s something that everyone will for and want in their own lives-I’m really excited about that.” This passion and insight into what the Supergirl character represents also shows through in Benoist’s hopes for the show. She said, “It’s a beautiful story to tell in a sometimes scary world. I just want people to have fun watching the show and really enjoy watching Kara’s journey. She kicks some serious ass!”
There is no shortage of superheroes, adventure, and villains on the big screen or the TV screens around the country. But Supergirl endeavors to divert from the doom and gloom that has become such a commonplace backdrop and theme to television adaptations of comic book superheroes, and to have some fun with saving the world again-while empowering young girls and women. Producer Ali Adler said, “Something that we’re really proud of is that this really is not just about a woman that’s readily able to accept help, but also Kara learning how to hone her powers, how to be herself and how to stay attached to the people that she’s protecting. Having said that, Kara has very differentiated parts of her world – her professional life, her personal life, her Supergirl life, – and part of the fun of the show is that she’s keeping things separate as best she can, but as the show moves forward they start to bleed into one another in fun complicating ways.” Producer Andrew Kreisberg added, “There’s something about Supergirl that represents light and hope in people. It’s important for our time and our world.” To which Adler adds, “And it’s important to note that the qualities of hope and strength and courage are genderless, so we hope to inspire both men and women with the stories we tell.”
The Supergirl pilot aired on Monday, October 26, 2015 to a viewing audience of almost 13 million viewers, making it the #1 premiere of the 2015 Fall television season. DVR viewings accounted for another 3 million watching as the series began. These numbers are notable, and especially impressive considering the Supergirl pilot leaked online prior to the television debut. There were over 100,000 downloads of the program before it aired, yet interest remained high enough to land the show it’s number 1 positioning in the Fall lineup.
Fans seem to be won over from trailer to pilot, and are moreover very eager to share this show with their children and families on Monday nights. Twitter was filled with positive commentary following the Supergirl trailer, with people excitedly tweeting. One twitter user said “Holy cow-I am really digging the Supergirl trailer! Can’t wait to watchwith my kids this fall!” Another tweeted, “I’m hoping every father out there sees this #Supergirl trailer, and realizes their daughter could one day geek out with them OVER COMICS.”
Supergirl airs on Monday nights on CBS at 8PM ET, following “The Big Bang Theory” and strategically not competing for airtime against Fox’s superhero show “Gotham” Just a few episodes in, Supergirl is showing super promise with a leading lady who is growing into a super human, and infusing super power fun into Monday nights for fans, families, and young women.