Why You Can’t Stop Me from Loving “Supergirl”
The villains slowly approach Supergirl as she struggles to lift herself off the ground, incapacitated from Livewire’s high-voltage attack. She continues to twitch as electricity runs through her body. This is it; they’re going to finish her off.
Then, the crowd of National City citizens that is looking on, mere bystanders to the violence, steps forward as one. Livewire yells out.
“Now you’re willing to die for her?!”
“She was willing to die for us,” a woman from the crowd exclaims.
Livewire begins to rise from the ground, turning her focus of attack to the citizens. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a team of National City firefighters unleashes a powerful fire hose onto Livewire, electrocuting and taking her down. The crowd cheers. A fireman approaches Supergirl.
“Supergirl,” he says, offering her a hand as she climbs to her feet. “It was our turn to help you.”
She stands. Triumphant music plays. There are more cheers. Supergirl saved the city. And the city saved her.
This scene from “Worlds Finest,” the 18th episode of the first season of “Supergirl,” was over-the-top, ridiculous, and incredibly cheesy. And you know what? I was giddy with joy watching it unfold. I loved it.
“Supergirl” is far from a perfect show. The romances are forced and lacking in chemistry. The action looks as much like “TV” as something can. The pop-culture references are awkwardly wedged in as if to prove the show was made recently. But I could not care less about the show’s flaws.
I can’t possibly defend “Supergirl” to you in a critical sense. However, I don’t think I should have to. TV is a form of entertainment, which means it’s meant to entertain you. You should watch things that you enjoy. You shouldn’t care about what other people think of the shows that you love. I doubt I would still be running my Fantasy Survivor league if I cared about what other people thought of it. You should have shows that you can’t rationally defend. You should have shows that you love with all of your heart and none of your brain.
For me, “Supergirl” is one of those shows.
The world is a messy, broken and depressing place. Bad stuff happens every single day, every single minute. People are starving, persecuted, tortured, killed. You name it, and the sad truth is it happens. Try reading the front page of the New York Times and not stumbling upon one or several horrible things happening around the world that day.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think entertainment needs to alwaysfeed us with more of the same. This is one of the main reasons why I viscerally despise the newest Superman movies. They took a character designed to give people hope, to be better than the rest of us, and dragged him down to our level. “Supergirl”came on CBS in the fall, and it had everything that the movies lacked. Supergirl believes in goodness in all people. She believes that helping people is the best thing we can do, the only thing we can do. She believes we can make the world a better place. She believes in hope. Maybe “Supergirl” isn’t representative of the world that we live in, but is it really so bad to dream?
Melissa Benoist — who plays Supergirl — is a star. She has an almost indefinable quality, a spark that makes you believe, oh yeah, she is a superhero. For sure. She has the perfect balance of humility and pride. She exudes enough confidence to be a superhero but enough doubt to be relatable. She’s charming. She’s got the smile. And most importantly, she conveys what it really means to be Supergirl. Like the rest of us, she didn’t have a choice about living on Earth. But damn it, she’s going to do what she can to make the world a better place while she’s here. And she’s going to try to love others and have fun while doing it.
Maybe I sound like an idiot. Call me naïve or whatever you will. But it’s comforting to watch “Supergirl” and know that at the end of the hour, things are going to be okay. Isn’t that all any of us really want? To know that, in the end, things are going to be okay?
And that is why I love “Supergirl.”
“Supergirl” just finished airing its first season. You can watch its six most previous episodes on CBS.com. It was recently renewed for a second season. However, its second season will be airing on The CW. Check it out.
Hidden in Plain View is a bi-weekly column where I help you find great shows buried in the clutter that is modern television. With more than 400 original scripted series on TV in 2015 alone (and more expected this year), it is simple a fact that you’re missing out on something great. Archive of previous columns here.