“Supergirl”: The Complete First Season has its issues, especially early on, yet as the season wore on, the writing got better, particularly the dialogue. But from beginning to end, the casting was pitch perfect starting with Melissa Benoist who is both beautiful and charismatic to pull off a character like Supergirl/Kara.
“Supergirl”: The Complete First Season
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Warner Home Video | NR – 877 min. – $54.97 | August 9, 2016
Date Published: 08/08/2016 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.
THE SEASON — 3.75/5
Note: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS concerning certain parts of season one’s plot.
The story is familiar: After Kal-El is sent from Krypton prior to its pending destruction, 12-year-old Kara Zor-El was sent by her parents, Zor-El and Alura, to follow her cousin to Earth to protect the child. However, her ship is taken off course upon Krypton’s explosion taking it into the Phantom Zone where she would remain for 24 years, without aging. When her spacecraft eventually escaped the Zone, she lands on Earth as a 13-year-old girl but during the duration, Kal-El has grown up and is known worldwide as Superman, and he placed her with the Danvers’ family: dad Jeremiah (DEAN CAIN), mother Eliza (HELEN SLATER) and their daughter, Alex.
The series fast forwards about ten years where a grown up Kara (MELISSA BENOIST) is in National City working for Catco, run by former Daily Planet gossip reporter, Cat Grant (CALISTA FLOCKHART), who has built a multi-million dollar conglomerate empire. At the company, James Olsen (MEHCAD BROOKS) has relocated from Metropolis as a favor to Superman to keep an eye on Kara and tech whiz Winn Schott (JEREMY JORDAN) who has a major crush on Kara.
Feeling she needs to break out on her own and become a hero with the powers she possess, she goes into action first by saving a plane carrying her foster sister Alex (CHYLER LEIGH) and with a poor cell phone pic, she’s introduced to National City and thanks to Cat Grant, she’s given the moniker of Supergirl, much to her alter-ego’s chagrin.
We are also introduced to a secret governmental organization named the D.E.O. (The Department of Extra-Normal Operations), created upon the emergence of Superman decades earlier. The organization is led by a man named Hank Henshaw (DAVID HAREWOOD) and his right-hand woman just so happens to be Alex Danvers herself. There’s more back-story involving her father who agreed to join the group years back and was killed in action. Oh, and Mr. Henshaw has a secret of his own…
The season also sees a variety of villains, one a major threat to Supergirl and the D.E.O.: Astra (LAURA BENANTI), Kara’s Aunt and identical twin to her mother, as well as Astra’s husband, Non (CHRIS VANCE) who is more dangerous and has no qualms in killing Supergirl, only holding back at the behest of Astra who is also the General to fellow Kryptonians stranded on Earth when the space prison they were held in also crashed landed along with Kara’s ship.
We also get introduced to the nasty and brilliant, Maxwell Lord (PETER FACINELLI), a businessman with, seemingly, noble ethics for green causes but soon reveals himself to have major mistrust in Supergirl and her kind, though throughout the season he does cooperate in the old enemy of my enemy saying as Non has plans for the planet and its inhabitants in a mission nicknamed Myriad, something so dangerous even the hologram of Kara’s mother will not reveal what it is to the point of self-destruction if Kara inquired any further…
After a struggling beginning, “Supergirl” does get better as the season went on, though I did enjoy some of the plotlines even early on, however the dialogue in those early episodes were downright atrocious and with it, some of the performances suffered. However, seemingly the writers found a better footing and the stories were compelling the characters far more rounded and, in turn, interesting.
The highlight, of course, is Melissa Benoist as the title character, she embodies the strength and necessary vulnerabilities to make the Supergirl/Kara character so charming and interesting, never the boring goodie-two-shoes that sometimes plagued Cousin Superman; if only some of these ideas were incorporated in the DCEU version of Superman… One of the other standout was, surprisingly, Calista Flockhart who shares some nice scenes opposite Benoist, though the character’s emotions were sporadic going from cold and harsh to warm and welcoming and then ultra cold and harsh later. Still, Flockhart thrives in what could’ve been a throwaway role. I also enjoyed Mehcad Brooks in his updated portrayal of Jimmy… err… James Olsen and David Harewood once we get his transformation which was one hell of a reveal. Add in a cross-over episode with “The Flash”, and you have one of the better episodes of the season, one that if you’re a fan of DC, or superheroes in general, will make you smile.
In the end, “Supergirl” is hardly perfect and starts off inauspiciously yet as the season went on, the characters and stories became more interesting and Benoist does well as the title character balancing the right amount of charm to make the character something more than a hero but one with actual issues. My hopes that the second season will see some improvement though with a lower budget being on the CW and now the inclusion of Superman, I’m not entirely hopeful, yet I’m at least interested to see where the story and these characters go from here.
* Denotes my favorite episodes.
Update: Found out from a reader that due to the Paris attacks, CBS chose to delay one of the episodes because of a train explosion. The episodes are now properly placed for the Blu-ray and DVD releases.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The 3-disc set is housed in a standard Blu-ray case and comes with a side-sliding matted slip cover. Inside is an episode guide and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Unaired Scenes are included for the following episodes: ‘Red Faced,’ ‘Hostile Takeover,’ ‘Blood Bonds,’ ‘Strange Visitor From Another Planet,’ ‘For the Girl Who Has Everything,’ ‘Solitude,’ ‘Falling,’ ‘Manhunter,’ and ‘World’s Finest’
“Supergirl”: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (14:50; HD) is footage from Comic-Con featuring a Q&A with members of the cast (Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood) and crew (Executive Producers Ali Adler, Sarah Schechler, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti and Head of DC Geoff Johns).
The Man from Mars (9:36; HD) is a featurette that explores the complex J’onn J’onzz and his alias, Hank Henshaw.
A World Left Behind (10:41; hd) looks at the history of the famous planet, Krypton, and its role and depiction in “Supergirl”.
And last up is a Gag Reel (4:05; HD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5
|“Supergirl” flies onto Blu-ray presented in its original televised 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). For the most part, this is a good looking show. Colors are generally bright, even nighttime scenes, and the blues and reds in Supergirl’s costume have a nice pop to them. Detail isn’t terribly strong but there’s some decent sharpness and this looks like a clean transfer, free of artifacts, aliasing and banding.|
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|The show includes a strong enough DTS-HD Master Audio track which provides clean and crisp dialogue levels and when the action picks up, and there are quite a few action-centric sequences, there’s some OK depth to them, though nothing mind-blowingly awesome, yet it’s still impressive and probably a nice step up from how it was originally televised.|
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, “Supergirl”: The Complete First Season has its issues, especially early on, yet as the season wore on, the writing got better, particularly the dialogue. But from beginning to end, the casting was pitch perfect starting with Melissa Benoist who is both beautiful and charismatic to pull off a character like Supergirl/Kara. The Blu-ray released through Warner Home Video offers good video and audio transfers and a unremarkable selection of bonus material.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.