Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Supergirl S1E12 Bizarro

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A twisted version of Supergirl, one who’s the mirror image of the Kryptonian hero, sets out to destroy her national city counterpart. Meanwhile, Kara grows closer to Cat’s son Adam.

CBSSupergirl has some good and some bad in this episode which revolves around a different version of the classic character Bizarro than we’re used to.

And the episode really fails with the concept of Bizarro who isn’t the opposite of Supergirl at all. She just talks in a stilted speech pattern. That’s part of the charm of the actual character. Instead of saying he hates someone, he says he loves them. And that can create some pretty funny moments. Here, we get none of that, just really bad makeup and horrible writing that misses the point.

If you’re not going to go all the way, why would you even give a nod to the character? It raises the bar for fans of Superman and Supergirl, and I’d imagine many will be disappointed for similar reasons that I am.

The rest of the episode is dealing with Kara and her personal relationship, and all of that is very predictable plotwise.

The acting, some of the action, it’s all pretty decent otherwise and rather entertaining. There’s just some big opportunities here that were ignored and thrown to the side. This is an example of why giving nods to the source material can backfire.

I will say that the turn with Maxwell Lord is welcome and nips the worry I had that he’d be dragged along as a younger hipper version of Lex Luthor. That’s not the case, which is a good thing.

I had high hopes for the episode. I expected Bizarro, we just got Supergirl in bad makeup.

Overall rating: 6.1

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TV Review: Supergirl S1E11 Strange Visitor from Another Planet

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Hank is confronted by his painful past when a member of the alien race that wiped out his people kidnaps Senator Miranda Crane. Meanwhile, Cat’s estranged son arrives in National City.

CBSSupergirl has an interesting spin this episode. The majority of the episode doesn’t focus on Supergirl, but instead it splits its story between Cat and her estranged son and Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz.

Both stories really are one in the same in that they are focused on family and dealing with your past decisions or events.

In Cat’s case it’s letting her son go to pursue her career. Through some meddling they’re reunited and it’s rather awkward at times. It’s an attempt to probably make Cat a bit more human, and there’s some tender moments, but something doesn’t quite sit right about it all.

The majority of the episode involves a new threat, a White Alien which we learn is from Mars and at war with J’onn J’onzz Green aliens. We learn his people were enslaved and murdered by the alien. This has him seeking both revenge against the White Alien and at times wanting for things to end so he can return to his family in the afterlife.

This is a bit better as far as the plot, but again, something is off. The story is a but predictable in how it ends and the lines and acting is a bit cheesy.

While the idea of the episode is cool, and it’s great to see other characters fleshed out, the acting, tone, and even some of the special fx, just aren’t quite up to snuff compared to previous episodes. Not all will be winners, and this one is a bit of a clunker.

Overall rating: 6.7

TV Review: Supergirl S1E10 Childish Things

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara does her best to support Winn when he hears that his father Winslow Schott Sr. breaks out of prison. His father looks for Winn for a reason to become like him. Cat offers Lucy a job working at CatCo and Alex asks Hank to use his powers to find out and uncover Maxwell Lord’s plans.

CBSSupergirl takes a bit of a darker turn this episode. The coloring and vibe reminded me much more of The Flash series from the 90s which had a darker palate and vibe.

The episode does a solid job expanding on a lot of the characters that haven’t gotten a ton as the show pivots a bit more to focus on Maxwell Lord’s plan (which you know will be evil).

The may thrust of the story is Winn’s father who turns out to be Toyman. There’s some nice nods to the character in comics and we learn a lot more about Winn. There’s also some solid moments where we reflect on Kara’s family situation. Of course Winn’s crush on Kara is addressed and the series goes where I was hoping it did.

Then there’s J’onn who we learn a bit more about his powers and what he is and isn’t willing to do with them. That’s clearly building and gives us more of the great power comes great responsibility aspect of having super powers.

The final thing is Lucy Lane being offered a job. There’s some solid exploration of women and jobs, with some really fascinating back and forth between her and James. I want more of this in many ways. It’s great in that in gives a lot more depth to the characters and also explores real world issues.

The episode brings the series back with what’s hopefully a long uninterrupted run. There was an episode two weeks ago after a break, then another break, now this. It’s a good episode to set up what’s to come in the second half of the season.

Overall rating: 8.1

TV Review: Supergirl S1E9 Blood Bonds

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A standoff ensues between the DEO and Astra’s forces also Non kidnaps Hank, while Kara tries to refute Cat’s allegations that she’s Supergirl.

CBSSupergirl returns from its holiday break with a brand new episode that has the DEO and Kara figuring out what to do when Hank is kidnapped.

The episode is a mix bag with Kara talking to her aunt a lot in a boring, predictable way. It has the warm and fuzzy boringness and feels really anticlimactic. The whole situation could have built into something much more, but it just seems to fizzle leading in a direction that’s somewhat predictable.

What is actually good is Kara dealing with Cat thinking she’s Supergirl. We get some solid insight as to what someone like her would keep a job like that. It’s always a good question considering how powerful she is, not like she really needs work, or can’t work for the DEO. The end of that situation is handled really well with a nice twist that makes sense.

What’s really solid is the build of Maxwell Lord which the series has been slowly progressing into a worthy bad guy. It hasn’t been obvious, and what he’s up to isn’t obvious at all. But, this episode gives us more in that storyline than any episode before.

This wasn’t the best episode of the series, but a welcome return to the small screen that has me excited for the latter half of the first season.

Overall rating: 7.8

TV Review: Supergirl S1E8 Hostile Takeover

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara faces off with Astra after her aunt challenges Kara’s beliefs about her mother; and Cat is threatened with being removed as CEO of CatCo after a hacker exposes her private and damaging emails.

CBSSupergirl goes a different route this episode. While there’s movement in the Supergirl/Astra storyline but really the focus is Cat and her being threatened with being fired.

Not only does the episode reveal that Cat has another son, but as she says herself she’s dealing with the “walking personification of white male privilege.”

The episode takes on its girl power theme through this storyline focusing on Cat this go around. It addresses the issues of a woman being the CEO of a corporation. It’s something we don’t see often in a drama, let alone an action series like this one.

The story also feels right at home and natural for the series.

It’s also clear there’s a bigger plot concerning Astra, and we get a taste of some of what that is. Also on tap is Henshaw/J’onn mentioning his powers in a nice wink and smile for comic fans.

Overall, the episode is solid in that while there was action and adventure, it also is very personal in many ways in its focus on Cat addressing a real world issue.

But, with all of that, we also finally get someone being smart when it comes to secret identities instead of everyone being an idiot about it all.

The end fight scene had some good and some bad, but overall much more good than bad.

Treating characters intelligently. Addressing real world issues. Lots of action. This is a solid episode, especially after last week’s excellent reveal.

Overall rating: 8.1

TV Review: Supergirl S1E7 Human for a Day

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara and her friends are forced to rely on their inner strength and courage when an earthquake strikes National City, while Alex’s mistrust of Hank reaches its breaking point when the earthquake traps them in the DEO with an alien escapee called Jemm.

CBSSupergirl adds another familiar face in a big payoff episode that runs a story that’s been done over and over, but, it’s done really well here.

Supergirl has lost her powers after last episode which saw her go against the Red Tornado. Unfortunately an earthquake has hit the city and everyone is looking towards Supergirl to save them which she can’t. That has the stereotypical story of people realizing the superhero within them. We’ve seen this story before and here it’s done decently. It’s very cute and there’s some moments that definitely gave me feels.

But really the bigger story is the D.E.O. and and reveal of who Hank Henshaw really is. We’ve been teased that he’s not human and we finally get the reveal.

Stop reading if you don’t want to know.

You good?

Ok, here we go!

Henshaw is in fact the Martian Manhunter! J’onn J’onzz is now on television and the outfit and look is reminiscent of the New 52 version, but it actually looked really good!

This feels like a great payoff and reveal, one that was well worth the teasing and the time it took to reveal it was solid, not too long, not too short.

It may be that reveal that saved the episode from being cheese, but overall, it pumped me up excited to see what comes next.

Overall rating: 9

TV Review: Supergirl S1E6 Red Faced

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Stress makes Kara go too far during a training exercise against a military cyborg commissioned by General Sam Lane, while Cat’s mother comes to visit and Winn helps Alex investigate her father’s death.

CBSSupergirl adds a familiar faces for fans of DC Comics as Red Tornado makes its debut on the series along with General Lane.

While the introduction of those characters may have kept the comic fans focused, really the episode is about women and expectations of how they react in public. Coming up a few times, there’s talk of Supergirl/Kara not keeping her cool and how that is a societal faux pas. It’s nice for the episode to really just put that out there as it has danced around the “lady like” subject for some bit.

We also get to see Supergirl have a lot of issues taking on the Red Tornado. With its strength and ability the character really gives her a run for her money.

The episode in many ways takes on the ending of Man of Steel. How the ending is shot mimics the anger Superman had on his face facing Zod. Both touch upon how these two beings are supposed to be so much better than us all, but like every person they too have anger underneath it all that some times just needs to come out in cathartic rage. It’s interesting the television show can make you think of that film in a different way.

The ending gets really interesting in that it grows the mystery of Alex’s father and Cat’s reaction to her mother. Plus…. Supergirl bleeding!?

Overall rating: 8.2

Sunday Roundtable: DC Comics, Should it Be One Cinematic Universe?

JLA Roundtabledc movie and tvWelcome back for our second Sunday Roundtable where the Graphic Policy team take on a topic and discuss it throughout the week. On tap?

Though we’ve only had hints so far, DC Comics has split their television and movie universes (there’s two Flash for example). Should it have all been integrated? Discuss!

Monique: I would have preferred it if everything was integrated as it would feel a lot more real. It’s nice when things are connected and fun when audiences can spot things that link the DC universe together. However it’s nice to have a TV show to look forward to every week.

Alex: I think in many ways splitting them up gives each show more creative freedom (but if rumours are true, then Arrow had to drop Deadshot because of the Suicide Squad movie – not 100% sure on that, though).

batman v s uperman dawn of justiceMr. H: I like it split. We all know Batman V Superman is going to be epic, but I like the feel of shows like Arrow and Flash which have done beyond what I’ve ever expected. DC owns the small screen for sure! I am looking forward to Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl as well. It like in wrestling, you have the main eventers and the mid carders. The tv shows are the midcarders and let you appreciate it more because they work harder. Personally I want an Aquaman show. It’s well over due and the time is right. I hope they don’t integrate because they give us different flavors. Like on a tv show we might get underutilized characters like Ralph Dibney. Where we wouldn’t on a movie. For everyone that likes chocolate chip. There’s always someone that likes Butter Pecan. Good quote (Identity Crisis)

Brett: But is it really split? DC is all about the multiverse. There’s no reason we can’t see some giant Crisis film and the multiple same characters come together. I actually think DC has an advantage over Marvel due to that.

Alex: You know what? I had never thought of that until you mentioned it, Brett. That being said, will it actually happen? It’d be awesome if it did, but I suspect we are at least five to ten years away from that possibility.

Monique: That is a very interesting point, never thought of it like that Brett.

Alex wouldn’t it be relative to their budget though? If we’re talking about Marvel, Samuel Jackson was in the movies Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America but made an appearance Agents of Shield.

arrowBrett: Yeah, it’s interesting that DC is dominating the small screen too with this strategy and it’s allowed them to do such diverse programming. Agents of Shield had been so hit and miss. It really just feels like I watch the season to get to the movie tie in. DC I watch because it’s good television that also has geeky easter eggs.

And adding to DC too is their web content. They launched the Vixen animated series which is set in the Arrow/Flash universe.

Monique: Yeah, I’ve been watching it, it’s fantastic. I agree, they’re definitely dominating in all aspects and I think they always have done really, in terms of shows movies and cartoons

Alex: I think that’s the advantage to Shield; because it has the movie tie ins, more people are willing to stick it out on the lows. DC’s TV shows have to be consistently good (which is only a good thing for fans).

Elana: The vixen launch was not adequately promoted. I didn’t find out it already started in fact! As for the division I just really resent them turning Green Arrow into Batman. Admittedly I never watch the show because it so obviously had nothing at all to do with the character that I actually love. But it’s just aargh.

Alex: I’m enjoying Arrow so far, but I also agree with you Elana. It feels far too Batman like at times (I know Green Arrow was at one time very imitative of Bats, but I’m pretty sure that was long ago). I’ve never read any Green Arrow, though, so I don’t really have much expectation of what he should be.

Brett: I also find it interesting that DC has really played with the tone of each television series, and wonder if we’ll see that carry over to the movies.

Alex: Do DC have a similar structure governing their television/cinematic output that Marvel had up until recently? I ask because I wonder whether the tonality has been a conscious choice of a group, or simply the creative freedom allowed by DC’s approach.

theflash_full_costumeBrett: As far as how it tv ties to movies? Nope. Everything stands on its own so far. There’s the Arrow/Flash/Vixen/Constantine universe, there’s the Man of Steel/upcoming movies, and there’s Supergirl and Lucifer (not counting iZombie). Each has their own tone/style even within their own grouping.

Shield‘s style mimics the films I think, and that seems to also hamper it a bunch. Agent Carter wasn’t vital to the film narrative and felt a bit free to me.

People give DC a lot of crap, but when it comes to TV they’re knocking out of the park (plus their animated stuff). And the movies are set up, it looks like, for similar freedom.

Alex: It’s true. Last year Constantine was one of the best shows on air before it was cancelled. And whilst I keep hearing great things about Gotham I stopped watching after the first four or five episodes. Why? Because it was competing for my time with Shield (yes, I know they air on different nights, but I DVR most things and watch them later), and Shield has the benefit of being part of the MCU.

If Fox can pull off an X-Men TV show, do you think it’ll be odd essentially having two Marvel TV universes or not?

Brett: No different than it is now, right? The big difference is DC controls all of its output (or parts of their parent company does), unlike Marvel.

Here’s something that’d fit the discussion, is there too much when it comes to television shows. We have to be near saturation in film, but how many shows is too many shows? If there even is such a thing.

Alex: Honestly, for me, we’re dangerously close to over saturation. My wife isn’t as big a comic fan as I am, and really only wants to watch a few shows (Flash, Arrow and maybe Heroes or Supergirl), which leaves me a lot to squeeze at other times; and obviously things fall by the wayside, and I end up not watching half of what I want to watch.

Do any of you have a list of shows you’re willing to drop s the season goes on?

Brett: I review them, hard to drop them! The one good thing is that some won’t be out in the Fall and will be out in the Winter, but there’s still about a half dozen this fall?

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 2Add on top of it, some are going head to head. It’s Gotham vs Supergirl Mondays!

Alex: Yeah, I suppose you’re slightly more obligated to watch them than I am, eh?

Brett: But, beyond splitting the DC universe, do they risk hurting the movies because people love the shows too much? Will people who like the Flash tv show brush off a Flash tv movie? I can’t figure out if folks will let each stand on their own. Hints of reactions may be similar to reactions with the Batman and Spider-Man reboots.

Alex: I think the problem we’re closing in on isn’t that there’s simply not enough time in the day for most people to watch all the comic book TV shows and other TV shows. Laugh all you like, but next week there’s two programs starting up that I’m super excited for; the two hour Heroes Reborn premiere and, uh, Grey’s Anatomy. I’m sure that won’t be the only conflict.

Brett: I’ll admit I watch Grey‘s. I’ve dedicated all this time, I want to see how it ends. Yeah, I haven’t even thought of Heroes as a comic show, but it’s similar in subject.

Alex: To your last comment: I’m more willing to skip the Flash movie because of the TV show. Which I’m sure isn’t their intent at all.

At the end of the day, there is a lot of great TV happening this year, both comic book and not. I think there’s going to be some great shows cancelled that shouldn’t have been (like Constantine last year – I still am not over that).

Supergirl Challenges you to be Super

Supergirl premieres this fall on CBS. You can read our review of the pilot episode here.

Supergirl – A Hero Will Rise

A new teaser for this fall’s Supergirl has hit the web! You can read our review here.

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