Melissa Benoist is obviously adorable in the title role and, as an actor, works really well with the material she's given. The only problem is, the material Benoist is given to work with is better suited to an adolescent character instead of a 24-year-old professional woman who also happens to have superpowers.
The latest episode of Supergirl, "Human For a Day," highlighted the huge gaping problem with the program: For a show that spends so much time filling its dialogue with over-the-top feminist quips, Supergirl doesn't really paint its heroine in a positive light. In fact, if you strip away Supergirl's powers, instead of an empowered young woman, in her place all you would have is a wimpy girl with a crush.
In every episode, we're forced to experience awkward encounter after awkward encounter in which a twitterpated Kara practically twirls her hair and blushes every time James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) enters her air space, and "Human For a Day" was no different. Unfortunately, Kara's behavior around James has only gotten more pitiful since his girlfriend, Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), was introduced a couple episodes ago.
Now she's all flustered by an attractive man -.- Why do people watch this again? She's supposed to be supergirl!— Jake Coldwell (@_ColdFrame_) December 8, 2015
It's obvious that Kara's hurt that she can't be with James, and I get that it stings when your crush is with someone else, but after high school, you learn to swallow that shit or risk looking petty.
Side note: The above rant is not to say that I don't appreciate the presence of Mehcad Brooks in a tank top in Episode 7, because Lord knows I do.
Um, where was I? Oh, yeah.
To be fair, Winn is right along there with her. God, get over it, you two.
Also, Kara can't stop talking about Supergirl. There's nothing wrong with being confident and it's awesome that she thinks her own abilities are worth mentioning, but it's starting to get juvenile just how much she blabbers on about how great Supergirl is to other people.
"The world can survive without #Supergirl for one day." KARA YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT OUT LOUD.— Michael Henson (@ChasingBristol) December 8, 2015
It annoys me how much Cara wants to convince people that #SuperGirl is so amazing. Stop being annoying.— Jas (@jasmyntalks) December 8, 2015
Kara's reaction to not being able to save the dying man during the earthquake is also jarring. Being upset when unable to help fellow humans during a crisis is a normal response, but Kara throws a tantrum and then feels sorry for herself when put in the situation.
"I couldn't even save one man," she cries.
Maybe Kara's demeanor is because of past events and/or her traumatic childhood. If that's the case, the writers need to show it. Fans have asked for more of Kara's backstory on social media. The Supergirl writers stand to gain a lot by layering the character and making her more real. If the writers want Supergirl to seem immature for her age, fine — but explain her pathology. Benoist has proven she's a strong actor; give her some more ammo to work with within her character.
Furthermore, it's only halfway through the first season, so why is Supergirl already losing her powers? Are the writers running out of story lines already? Sure, Clark Kent lost his powers at some point on Smallville and Lois & Clark, but those story lines didn't come until much further into those series. Halfway through the first season of Supergirl and Kara's already rendered powerless. Instead of filling the story with rich past experiences — events from her childhood that could explain why she's awkward around men, for example — to give her character more depth, the show is going with an old plotline that would work just as well down the road.
1st season of #SuperGirl and she's already lost her powers? Lame.— RADale (@goflight001) December 8, 2015
If Supergirl wants to keep the story lines the same, write it in a junior high setting instead of using CatCo as the backdrop. The plotlines — and Kara's behavior — would make so much more sense if teenagers were the main characters.
Otherwise, create an empowering female character who all viewers can appreciate, instead of the weak character we have now, who, without her superpowers, is reduced to a sad woman-child who pines over unrequited love and cries when things don't go her way.
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