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Saturday, September 2, 2017

TNH Roundtables: End of Season Review - Supergirl

With the season now wrapped, some of the TNH Staff decided to sit down and discuss the shows and our thoughts on each series individually as well as the network's franchise as a whole. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Where have they been and where could they be going? We are re-visiting this now to what has changed. Make sure you read our End of Season Review and continue on to check out some of our analysis' and theories in the 8th of this 9 part series and then let us know what your thoughts were in the comments below.

Supergirl


(DC Entertainment)
           Supergirl is a show that nobody asked for, but the majority accepted.  The show won people over with its pilot episode of its first season and brought to the table a few concepts that garnished an overwhelming request to revive once canceled.  The CW picked the show up and made some changes.  Some for the better, some not.  The question we set out to answer today is, whether the show was worth keeping around and does it deserve its third.  Without wasting your time, let's get into our final thoughts on the second season of Supergirl.

With the show moving from CBS to The CW, do you believe they have done better with the show, and why?

Michael - Absolutely.  The writing has improved.  On CBS, the show was a pretentious pandering mess.  On CW, it's more grounded, more focused, and more concerned with story and character development.

Marlon - The move to The CW network and filing in Vancouver helped the second season a lot.  I believe it should have always been on The CW, as I feel that they have more creative control and a bigger budget.  I believe that these played into what made the second season better than the first.

Jack - I feel that the possibility to do more things has come of the move, but other things have been lost such as Kat Grant; and that worked. I do not believe they have done enough from the change yet, but I think now that they have regained a footing and a steady home, that they can do much more with it in the third season.

What are your thoughts on the showrunners decision to abandon the Phantom Zone story for a more "Grand Scale" story?

Michael - The Phantom Zone is more of a Superman thing.  Let's focus more on story elements that are specific to Supergirl and stop borrowing everything from Superman stories.

Marlon - Ever since the original Superman and Supergirl movies, I have always wanted to know more about the Phantom Zone.  Smallville did a great job exploring the Zone and I wish the Supergirl show would have gone more in depth about what the Phantom Zone was/is.

Jack - I think that the lack of explanation is odd, but I do believe that the story was being improperly used in the first place.  Not even that it's not Supergirl's story, but that the plot was being used as more of a procedural style to fit CBS.  The Phantom Zone is much more than that.  I think the story used in the second season was better, but in my opinion, still not Supergirl enough and now too large of a story.  That's not to say that the Phantom Zone as CBS was using it was a bad idea, but I think next season we should see something in between the previous seasons, scale wise.

What do you think about the final scene of the finale?  Where do you think they will go with that?

Michael - I'm curious to see what's in store next.  I'm hoping it's NOT a reference to the original Brainiac or some other made-up family member of Kara and Kal that never existed.

Marlon - "Who the hell was that?"  Those were my exact words.  I mean, is it a member of Zod's family?  Is there another "royal" we haven't heard of?  Whats going on?

Jack - For those who had the opportunity to read the first few volumes of Supergirl during the New 52, this will be obvious.  Without spoilers, I can tell you that this is exactly the right move the next season needed to make.  This is a Supergirl villain that tested her strength like no other before.  This is a villain that can help rewrite the whole narrative of the show if done right.

Do you feel that Mon El's story was sufficient, and what would you like to see the writers do with him if he were to be revisited?

Michael - I felt it was sufficient for now, seeing as he's not as well-known of a character.  But I'm more than certain we haven't seen the last of him.  Bring him back and one of his other comic books alter egos, like Valor.

Marlon - I hated the fact that Mon El had to leave, but I believe it's an homage to the timeless tale; The hero never gets a happy ending. I hope he returns in some capacity.  I enjoyed his character and the actor himself has come a long way from being on The Vampire Diaries.  Although, this new season I would like to at least see the same actor return, only this time as Connor Kent; The clone created by Lex Luthor and Superman's DNA.

Jack - I actually liked Mon El as a chracter and I think that the development of his character was sufficient for a first season, but upon his return, major changes need to have happened during his time away.  If he is to return he needs to return under the Legion.  In fact, he NEEDS to return to finish his story.  Such a character can NOT just be used as a plot tool and a boy toy.

What are your thoughts on the final scene for Mon El and what it means for the character?

Michael - I think this is opening the door for something in line with either Apokolypse & the New Gods or something else that might be brand new.

Marlon - All these shows on The CW have one thing in common; no one stays dead, and no one stays gone.  So, I'm hopeful he will return.

Jack - I have no idea what that was, but that tells me that this isn't the last we've seen of the character. Perhaps that is their way into the Legion.  Maybe the Legion opened up a wormhole after seeing what Mon El had done on earth.  Maybe it's something sinister.  Who knows.



Click Here to Read 'TNH Roundtable: Mid-Season Reviews - Arrow

Do you believe that James Olsen has gained himself a worthy role in the third season, or would he be better off as a casual appearance?

Michael - Frankly, I was never big on James, to begin with.  He's a Superman character.  Using him in Supergirl is just an attempt to make the show more "relatable" I guess.  And the decision to make him Steel- I mean "Guardian" -was terrible.

Marlon - I hate James Olsen.  Now, It's not due to the race thing.  I just feel that Jimmy Olsen was always that nerdy photographer that was always around for comedic humor.  This James Olsen is The Guardian.  Come on!  I hope that Kat Grant stays and he goes back to being someone in the background.

Jack - I feel like the way they made the character was different than Jimmy in the comics because Kat Grant played that character in the show.  When she left, they felt this was an opportunity to use the screen time to give the black character more of a forefront role rather than a background role.  They attempted to replace the strong feminist with the black man overcoming his weaknesses.  But, what shows continue to fail to realize is that they can't just turn characters black and pin ridiculous new storylines to them.  These characters, no matter how small or insignificant to those who haven't read them, do in fact have personalities that do not mix and match.  Jimmy Olsen was always an unnecessary character in this show. Between Winslow and Kat, everything Jimmy provided in the comics was taken care of.  I think it's time to send James back to Metropolis.

What are your thoughts on the Martian Manhunter's sub plot overall this season?  Did they execute it well?  Would you have liked to see it go elsewhere?  Where would you like to see them take the Martian Manhunter story next season?

Michael - I'm on the fence with Martian Manhunter. Love the characters, love the way he's being utilized, loved the introduction of Miss Martian, but I don't know, it's just not "wowing" me yet.

Marlon - I'm good with The Manhunter.  I'm also good with M'gann being on the show as well.  The Manhunter never gets too much credit and he is a great superhero.  His backstory and sub plots are solid.

Jack - I'm a huge Martian Manhunter fan, so I really like his addition to the show.  I like everything they've done with him so far and they've kept him as a supporting cast but yet a crucial supporting cast.  This is the right way to go with this character for this show.  However, nothing has impressed me either.  I suggest putting his life in the balance with fire.  They need to do so while having both him and Supergirl at equal perilous fates and unable to save each other.  They both need to overcome their own odds at the same time and show their true powers.

What are your thoughts on the usage of various Kryptonite forms and how they used the white Kryptonite this season?   Which color would you like to see next season and how would you go about using it?

Michael - I'm okay with the idea, but again, this is the problem with most Superman/Supergirl stories in general; when in doubt, Kryptonite.  It's like back in the old days of Star Trek: The Next Generation; when in doubt, it was Q messing with reality.  Let's deviate from the cookie cutter story elements and be more original.

Marlon - To be honest, it wasn't until Smallville that I found out there were other forms of Kryptonite, so I'm glad they explore the different types and the effects.  I would love maybe silver as that'd be a funny nod without little no implications. Blue would be another nice option being that it's my favorite color and it could reintroduce the Supergirl Bizzaro. Maybe we can even see both Supergirl and Superman affected by "red K" and have them tear up the city and that would lead into a crossover with the other shows.

Jack - I'm torn on this.  Many of the Kryptonite's bring interesting story possibilities if used right. I enjoyed how they used the white Kryptonite but they need to be very careful and focused when using them or they become lame tools.

Do you believe that the second season was a success as a whole, and do you think that the second half was better, worse or even to the quality of the first half?

Michael - I think that as a whole, it was a success.  A significant improvement over the first season which, in all honesty, I had to force myself to finish.

Marlon - Overall, the second season was awesome!  With all of the characters, story lines, the musical episode; it was a great season to me.

Jack - I think it was a success but a lot of pros and cons between this and last season. Hopefully, the positive difference is stronger in the third. Same goes for this seasons start and finish; lots of ups and downs, no definitive better half.

What do you think needs to happen for Supergirl to come out with a strong start for the third season, and what would you like to see them try to incorporate?

Michael - The writers have had 2 seasons now to play it safe.  They need to stop being cautious and take some risks with the writing. Go bold, be creative, and have some faith in your product.

Marlon - Well as I mentioned before, I'd like to see Connor Kent.  Have him be the final experiment Lex was working on before he got put away.  I'd like to see Superman in a few more episodes.  Hell, I'd be geeked for a more in depth revisit to Bizarro Supergirl; perhaps with the usage of blue Kryptonite or even Bizarro World.

Jack - Between them forcing The Guardian on us in an unpleasing way due to the request that they make John Diggle said character, to the blatant social justice appeasement, the entire show has been built as its own safety net.  The show is on its third season and has a footing.  It's time to go strong, unique and original.  This has yet to solidify itself as a "comic book show."  It's time to bring in Supergirl characters and it's time to stop using characters as tools to keep the showing moving rather than using creative story telling to develop your characters.  

In conclusion, the idea that Supergirl may have prospered from the network move is still up for debate but is without a doubt in a realm of possibility. As to whether or not the second season can be called a success. The answer is yes, but by no means is in resounding fashion. Supergirl has much work to do in order to reach its full potential, but may just one day "Reign" supreme.



Stay Tuned for our next installment of this Roundtable Review series where we give our thoughts on what The CW needs to do with these shows in the future and our thoughts on the upcoming Black Lightning series.

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*Questions originally recorded in June of 2017.*


Written and Edited by, Jack Flowers. Contributions from Marlon Ortega, John Ayre, and Michael Shea

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