I’ll admit I had no interest in this show. While I have no problem with watching shows based on comics (Loved Agent Carter, Walking Dead can be fun) at heart I’m a Marvel guy. I’ve tried shows like Arrow and Constantine that, while entertaining, would lose me early on. Still with news of the leak on my mind and the show appearing on video streaming sites I decided to give it a shot. Happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised.
Not to say that I found it perfect. Like a lot of people feared the whole bootleg Devil Wears Prada thing didn’t work for me. Maybe it’s being a male but it didn’t click with me. It didn’t help that a lot of the characters felt very one note. Aside from our lead they were more singular character traits than anything else. It certainly doesn’t help that the characteristics can get grating after awhile. It doesn’t help that the writing was pretty blunt at times. I could have easily imagine the “waa-waa” horn or a studio audience wooing at times. It’s especially bad when it comes to getting across it’s girl power message. While I love having a strong female hero it’s so on-the-nose about it. It can get pretty cringe worthy at times.
Another, admittedly minor, pet peeve was the show’s tendency to avoid saying the name Superman. More often than not they’d use euphemisms like “him” or “the big guy.” In a world where Superman is a known entity surely people would use his name more often.
Saving the show character-wise is Melissa Benoist as Supergirl.The former Glee actress brings a certain innocence and sense of fun missing on all of the other comic book shows. I found her re-learning her powers and embracing her role as the guardian of National City endearing. Backing this up were the action scenes. While the special effects were shaky at times the fights she had on the show were fun for TV show fights. It certainly has a better grasp on them than Gotham has shown.
It’s hard to judge a show by it’s pilot because shows inevitably evolve over time. Judging by this first episode of Supergirl though, things are off to a good start. Sure it can be heavy handed at times and the writing needs some work. But at its core it’s a pretty fun show that could work with the right villain. If it gets past the villain of the week gimmick they set up it could work out pretty well.
Going all out insane with your movie is a double edged sword. No doubt you’ll get attention and major buzz behind your movie. Heck there’s nothing the internet loves more than movies involving dinosaurs. The downside is that very few movies actually live up to the hype. That’s why I was hesitant to get too hyped for Kung Fury. No doubt it looked amazing but all we had was a great trailer for a Kickstarter campaign. Well out of nowhere it hit Youtube. Surely a movie couldn’t live up to the hype. Right?
Despite all odds, and maybe a deal with the Devil, it did. While what we saw in the trailer was amazingly bonkers it was far from the best bits. Yes, it gets better than Hitler as Kung Fuhrer. An homage to 80’s movies I found it hit the perfect amount of cheesiness without becoming to self-indulgent like a lot of these tributes. It helps that despite the bells and whistles the action and special effects are actually pretty decent. Sure it’s obviously all on a green screen but you can tell a lot of effort was put into making a great product. There’s even a straight up martial arts scene that they make work despite the fighters obviously not being filmed at the same time. The other great thing about the movie is that it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Running just a bit over 30 minutes it isn’t bogged down by trying to justify it’s plot (like Snakes on a Plane) or exhausting it’s ideas (like pretty much every Sushi Typhoon movie). Instead it’s a well paced collection of greatness that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.
If I had any complaints it would be the ending. Not that it was bad but it is very open ended and seems like sequel bait. I can’t imagine how it could get better and I’d hate to see it go down the overly self-aware route. That’s more being worried about something that hasn’t happened yet though. As it is this is a pretty perfect product. If you have the chance watch the hour long special from the El Rey network. There’s just something special about seeing the David Hasseloff’s True Survivor on a TV screen.