CBS has just released the first trailer for its upcoming DC comic series Supergirl, starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El … and it’s six and a half minutes long!
Now that I’ve had time to watch what is essentially the entire pilot, let’s break down what’s happening here. CBS is not holding anything back, are they? We get Kara’s origin story (with the necessary and obligatory nod to her famous cousin …) and then a flash to her current life — as an assistant. As Kara herself is quick to point out, this isn’t exactly her living up to her “super” potential, so she decides to take action and test her limits by lifting up a plane, repelling bullets, and most importantly, flying.
The whole tone of the extended trailer is very reminiscent of The Flash, which is also produced by the same team handling Supergirl (Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Ali Adler, and Sarah Schecter). There’s humor and some meta references, too, as Kara balances her regular life with that of being Supergirl (a name she doesn’t take to immediately). It also looks like there’s going to be a lot of action, including some badass fights … and some of it looks like it belongs on Lifetime. (Also noteworthy: Cat’s rant about the word “girl,” which reads like a preemptive “shut up about it, people!” statement).
What has helped The Flash and Arrow be so successful on The CW is that network’s commitment to knowing its audience, and catering to them unabashedly. CBS does the same thing … it’s just that CBS’s demographics don’t tend to often overlap with The CW’s. To reach her full potential, Kara is looking to be more like her cousin. For Supergirl to be a great show (and this trailer has some high and low points to it), it needs to start by imitating its CW cousins. From there, I’m extremely hopeful that it will truly take flight. This trailer is definitely a good start.
The show also stars Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen and Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, along with Chyler Leigh and Jeremy Jordan, and special appearances by Helen Slater and Dean Cain.
Here’s the official description of Supergirl:
SUPERGIRL is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), Superman’s (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Twelve-year-old Kara escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret. Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant (Golden Globe Award winner Calista Flockhart), who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), as her new art director. However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime. Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”), Ali Adler, Sarah Schecter and Andrew Kreisberg are executive producers for Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Glen Winter (“Arrow”).