Supergirl: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: A Lighter, Refreshing Superhero Tale

Overall, the show was entertaining, filled with good storylines, villains of the week, and an overarching story that came to a satisfying conclusion.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.

With the success of the DC shows currently running on the WB network, CBS decided to acquire their own superhero show based on Superman’s most famous relative, Kara (Melissa Benoist).  Just before the destruction of Krypton and moments after her cousin was sent to Earth, Kara was placed in a spacecraft to help look after him since she was much older.  But just as her ship left the atmosphere, the planet exploded causing her ship to veer off course and into the Phantom Zone where time stood still. When the vessel finally escaped and she made it to Earth, she was still a 12-year-old girl while her cousin was a grown man who had already taken on the mantle of Superman and places her with a nice family to take care of her.

Suppressing her powers for years and wanting to fit in like a normal human, Kara grows up and takes a job as an assistant to Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) at CatCo Worldwide Media, a company dealing in newspapers and online media. But being an average person isn’t being true to herself and when her sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), is on an airplane that is about to crash, Kara rushes to the rescue not only saving the passengers but herself as well. And once her spirit has been unlocked there is no way for her to return to just simple Kara. She must become Supergirl.

Over the first season she fought enemies that included Livewire, Silver Banshee, Bizarro Supergirl, and Red Tornado while in a season-long arc was trying to stop her aunt, Astra (Laura Benanti), who also made it to Earth but in a giant Kryptonian prison ship along with a lot of other super-powered criminals.

There were big expectations for this series because comic book fans had been clamoring for some kind of superhero film or television show with a female lead. With the amount of anticipation for the show, it was impossible for it to satisfy everyone’s expectations. The biggest criticism seemed to come from those not as knowledgeable about the character. Supergirl was not the finely polished superhero like some of the others. She was young, inexperienced, and needed to develop and learn what it meant to be a hero. Many wanted her to be a confident, strong, and powerful counter to the man of steel.

The weakest part of the story is the four-person love triangle. Or maybe it should be called a square? Kara immediately falls for James “Jimmy” Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), but he’s dating Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum) who is Lois’ sister while Kara’s best friend, Winn (Jeremy Jordon), is carrying a torch for her. These complicated matters of the heart have been done many times over in just about every television show on the dial and doesn’t really add anything which comes across as forced and predictable.

What does work is most everything else. Flockhart is amazing as the tough-as-nails media mogul who eventually comes around to having a heart, being a mentor, and demonstrating that she truly is the smartest character. Benoist gives a good performance as the meek and timid Kara while making herself believable as Supergirl. She does such a convincing job that if I didn’t know her secret identity I might believe they were two different people. The special effects are as good as any other comparable television show and the action scenes are shot and choreographed well.

The Blu-ray contains all 20 episodes and is presented in 1080p High Definition 16x9 1.78:1 with a DTS HD 5.1 Audio soundtrack. The video is very clear and distinctive with bright colors and sharp, dark contrast. The audio has a nice surround sound that immerses you into the episodes and adds to the experience.

The set includes two featurettes, “The Man From Mars” and “A World Left Behind: Krypton”.  The first goes into the character of the Martian Manhunter and his background in the DC Universe to help explain a character that the audience may not know. The second is how the creators came up with the look of Krypton and Kara’s relationship to her home because she was old enough to remember what it was like before she left. Also included as special features are a “Gag Reel,” some “Unaired Scenes,” and the “2015 Comic-Con Panel”.

Overall, the show was entertaining, filled with good storylines, villains of the week, and an overarching story that came to a satisfying conclusion. I could see where some might have thought it was a little too much on the lighter side, but after all of the recent DC films and television programs I found it to be a refreshing change. It has more the tone of The Flash, who also made an appearance during one of the episodes.

"Team Supergirl" -- supercut from Supergirl: The Complete First Season:

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