CBS announced its fall lineup today and revealed that the network will be pitting Supergirl against Fox’s own superhero show, Gotham. In addition, the network also released the first trailer for Supergirl, showing a full six-plus minutes of what we can expect in the first season. And, contrary to what one might expect from network superhero fare, it actually looks pretty good (visually, anyway).
The trailer starts off by showing how Supergirl made it to earth before the destruction of her home planet, Krypton. It then skips forward to a twenty-something Kara Zor-El struggling to juggle her job and her powers. Before long, she is thrown head-first into a situation that only a Kryptonian could handle: She saves a plane full of passengers from crashing into National City.
As her identity as a superhero is slowly revealed, she goes through the origin story tropes we have all seen before: discovering how to fly, picking out an outfit and fighting low-level crime. Slowly, she begins to reveal her secret identity to people that she is close to, like her coworker Jimmy, now James Olsen, intrepid reporter from the Daily Planet that now works in the same office as Kara.
Comic book fans will be pleased to see Olsen in the show, as it brings a tenuous connection to Superman. The Man of Steel is mentioned offhand a number of different times during the trailer, as Olsen gives Kara Superman’s baby blanket, which is actually an indestructible cape, and tells her that Superman wanted Kara to become a superhero on her own terms. Superman fans shouldn’t get too excited, however; it’s unlikely he will make an appearance in the series.
The trailer finishes up by showing Kara flying, fighting crime, and trying to join a government organization that fights aliens, which appears to slowly reveal a deeper, more sinister plot at hand. The CGI looks to be on par or better than CW’s The Flash and Arrow, and there appears to be room for some depth here, including an exchange about the negative connotation of the “girl” in Supergirl between Kara and her boss, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart).
The vibe of the show isn’t dark or brooding like Zack Snyder’s take on the other Kryptonian on earth in Man of Steel, but upbeat, with bouncy songs and optimism. It’s definitely a change from the superhero fare on the small screen at present, not anywhere near as gritty as Netflix’ Daredevil, but seeming to offer a slight turn from the teen/heartthrob vibes of the aforementioned CW superhero series. Whether it can pick up steam, and stand on its own merit, remains to be seen.
Supergirl is set to debut on CBS in November. Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, and David Harewood star.