It’s been a long time since I’ve done this feature but I thought I might grace you all with my presence once again and supply you with some sort of opinion of mine on the state of nerd culture.
Over the past couple of weeks there have been some trailers released for upcoming new shows and two in particular caught my eye so I’m going to talk about them. Normally I don’t watch trailers but for some reason this time I felt compelled to have a look. This isn’t something I’m planning to make a habit of but we’re all allowed one relapse aren’t we?
The trailer for the CBS superhero show Supergirl is around 6 minutes long and has been met with mixed reactions as far as I’ve seen. If you don’t know who Supergirl is then here’s a quick summary. She’s the blood cousin of Superman and was sent to Earth by her parents for various reasons depending on what version it is you’re reading. In general she is younger than Superman so should have slightly different challenges despite having the same powers..
This version is played by Melissa Benoist and is in her mid 20s. She is depicted in the trailer working for media giant Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) and being very awkward. Apparently growing up with infinite power hasn’t stopped her from being sheepish when it comes to standing up to authority as she is depicted as being mistreated and having her potential unseen by her boss.
As trailers go I found myself fairly conflicted. Everyone that has even spoken to me or read anything I’ve written knows that I love superheroes and can’t get enough of them so the prospect of a TV show with a strong female led superhero with cool powers is something that I have a lot of time for on paper. So far it has been a male dominated market so having Supergirl on the air could really go a long way towards changing that.
The conflict I had was with the way the trailer was presented. It makes the show look like it’s going to be something of a cross between Ugly Betty -though some have said The Devil Wears Prada– and Smallville. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if I thought it was done well but here it kinda wasn’t. It could be a combination of the cringeworthy music and the editing but it certainly looked like a tone I wasn’t really able to get behind.
From the trailer it looks like the pilot episode will have her at the end of her tether in so far as hiding her powers are concerned. She suddenly yearns to make a difference and an accident involving a plane that her adopted sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) is on gives her the impetus to leap into action and save the day. This sudden taste of heroism inspires her to take this up properly and thus Supergirl is born. It looks somewhat standard as far as superhero origins go but it might be fine if it’s done well. I just hope the tone is vastly different to the one in the trailer otherwise I’ll have trouble with this.
Melissa Benoist looks like a good fit for the character. She’s charmismatic and seems very capable from what I’ve seen so far. She also looks the part which also helps but time will tell if she’s able to make this character work. Based on the trailer so far so good. The rest of the supporting cast seem like a mixed bag so far. Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant looks like she will be a persistent pain as the boss who underappreciates her and constantly says mean things. Chyler Leigh’s Alex isn’t featured much but seems fine so far. Jeremy Jordan’s Winn Schott -future Toyman?- already seems pretty insufferable as the best friend who pines after her. That line in the trailer where he accuses her of being a lesbian simply because she’s not into him comes across as more offensive than charming so I’m expecting to hate this guy. David Harewood’s Hank Henshaw looks like he’ll be a cool character as the hardass government alien hunter guy plus he is well placed for development into the Cyborg Superman as the series progresses. Mehcad Brooks’ Jimmy -or James- Olsen is the biggest question mark. Traditionally this character isn’t muscly and confident so this is a bizarre departure from the character as depicted through all time. I’m not sure this will work for me but we’ll see.
It looks like a show with potential certainly. The premise looks pretty solid and the special effects for the heroics look great for the pilot at least. Also, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg of The Flash and Arrow fame are leading the charge so they’ve done enough good work to have my trust to get this right. At 6 minutes long the trailer gives away far too much. I genuinely feel like I’ve seen the entire pilot and won’t get much more out of actually watching it. A 2 minute preview would have done the job nicely I think. The pilot did leak online but at the time of writing this review I haven’t watched it so my opinions are only based on the trailer that has been revealed so far.
Legends of Tomorrow
Over on the CW ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ continue to be incredibly successful shows so another spinoff was almost inevitable. There are so many other characters that have been introduced who are lying around with lots of potential so that has been recognised and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ is happening.
This show stars Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/The Atom, Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein/half of Firestorm, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary, Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl, Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave,Franz Drameh as Jay Jackson and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter.
Most of these characters will be known to those that watch The Flash and Arrow but there are some that are new. The trailer basically takes the audience through a speech given by Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen/The Arrow and Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen/The Flash about the need for a team to stop the villainous immortal Vandal Savage. Dr. Stein provides the contrary voice pointing out how ridiculous it is to bring this group together given how disparate they are but as Rip Hunter says they have been brought together because as far as he’s concerned it has already happened.
The underlying premise seems to be that this team will be traveling to various time periods to take on Vandal Savage throughout history and stop him doing whatever it is he does. Whether that means they’ll just be fighting in various warehouses and calling it the 1800s or something remains to be seen but so far it looks just awesome. All of the footage of the team interacting is fun and in keeping with the way the characters are set up and it looks like a really dazzling display of superpowers and tech working together.
Robbie Amell’s Ronnie Raymond isn’t featured in the trailer but I can only assume that he appears since the whole Firestorm package is seen flying around in the trailer. He might just be a special effect but I hope it’s the whole thing. Similarly Jay Jackson isn’t seen at all so who he turns out to be is anyone’s guess.
There are some really memorable sequences in the trailer such as one of the aforementioned warehouse battles involving the entire team doing their thing and having the whole thing looking awesome. It also should be interesting on a character level to have Sara Lance back from the dead for the second time. She has been pronounced dead twice but only actually died once. Having Captain Cold and Heat Wave on the team should create some friction as they are supposed to be criminals so I do imagine that their own agendas will come out at some point. I also have to laugh that Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame is playing a Time Master which isn’t so far removed from Time Lord. I imagine that casting decision was somewhat deliberate.