Supergirl: It’s Time for a Break

Katie Yu/The CW
Katie Yu/The CW

Look, I tried with Supergirl. I really, really tried. I gave the series so many chances that I would’ve never given to other shows, but no matter how hopeful I remained, I continue to find myself disappointed in the show it has become. No matter how bad I want this, the time has come for me to get off the ride. Sure, there’s been some really great moments in Season 3, but it seems that every time I get my hopes up, the show routinely dashes them. I’m tired of watching Supergirl squander away the massive amounts of potential it possesses. The time has come and I just need to be done.

Perhaps it’s taken me so long to get to this point because I used to really love Supergirl. It’s a show that has the ability to showcase a wide variety of powerful female characters and in a landscape where so many superhero shows center on men, it gave the ladies a chance to shine. It wasn’t even a month ago that I was singing the show’s praises, going on about all the reasons I had hope for its future. Sadly, it’s done nothing since then but disappoint me. I can’t keep going on a cycle where the writers seem to remember everything that makes the show great and completely nail it one week, only to follow up with several substandard episodes in a row.

It’s not as if the show doesn’t have the pieces to be great and in fact, we’ve seen it on many occasions. One of the biggest reasons why I love Supergirl is that it has shown that it can be a show where women are out in front, working together and can have a variety of different relationships. Through Kara and Alex we’ve seen the power of family and Sam and Lena have given a great example of female friendship. Through Reign and Lillian Luthor the show has even given us some really great female villains that go beyond stereotypical ones we’ve seen in the past on screen. It’s shown it can play to all these strengths and live up to its potential. Yet, despite all these glimpses of greatness, I’m frankly just tired of waiting for that to become Supergirl’s everyday reality, especially when as of late it seems as if the show is dead set on becoming the opposite.

Katie Yu/The CW
Katie Yu/The CW

Just how far off track has the show gotten? I don’t even recognize the Kara Danvers that is on screen in recent episodes. What happened to the main character that we all loved so dearly? Her decisions and treatment of the people in her life that she supposedly loves and cares for has been all over the place. This isn’t the Kara we met in Season 1. I can overlook a lot of things in a TV show — budget restrictions, poor visual effects or even crazy plots — but as soon as people start acting completely out of character then a show loses me.

Are we really supposed to believe Kara was ready to just leave the citizens of National City, Alex and her friends behind on this week’s episode, “Not Kansas”? All it took was a quick conversation with Alex on the couch to realize she’s done enough and is ready to focus on herself? I know that couch has magical powers for the Danvers sisters, but really? We deserve more than a quick chat comparing this to going away for college? To me, a development such as this requires a decision that’s formulated over several episodes, not just a split second decision.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Kara’s story has been so infuriating as of late is because she continues to be sidelined and made a supporting character of her own show. This was a major issue in Season 2 and with the reemergence of Mon-El in the back half of Season 3, Supergirl once again seems to be putting his needs and story ahead of its titular hero. Not only that, but Mon-El’s growth and story advancement always seems to come at the expense of Kara. Also, is she really saying things like she can only truly be herself with him? Has the show completely forgotten that Alex exists?

Katie Yu/The CW
Katie Yu/The CW

Alex has felt as though she’s on a completely different show as of late. Recent episodes of Supergirl have felt disjointed and stories within them feel as if they have nothing to do with one another. Unfortunately, the person that this affects most has been Alex. Why have we seen so few interactions between her and Kara? Don’t get me wrong, I love the family stuff with Alex and J’onn, and I didn’t even completely get annoyed when she was hanging out with Ruby, but the show is never better than when it focuses on the Danvers sisters. The lack of screen time for this relationship seems to be just another in a long line of detrimental side effects from the show pushing Mon-El to the forefront. He has now taken over the role of sounding board that Alex always filled so wonderfully.

Yes, the same Alex who isn’t even 30 years old, and yet was seen looking at adoption websites by the end of the episode. We know she and Maggie broke up because she wanted kids, but did that really mean this very instant? The end of the Sanvers relationship was hard, but the reason felt like a very real one to break up over. However, I don’t think anyone wanted Alex to immediately jump into motherhood. Can’t we take some time, find another woman for Alex and maybe see them start that venture together? This all just feels too fast.

I wish I could say that Kara and Alex were the only characters that Supergirl has let down as of late, but the reach has been far and wide. The Sam/Reign storyline seemed to have great potential and really held my attention, but like many other things, the show seems to have completely squandered that and it’s really fizzled out in recent weeks. The end of this week’s episode makes it apparent that Reign is far from silenced, but I still can’t help but wonder what could have been.

Then there’s Lena Luthor. She’s been a great addition to the show from the moment she arrived on the scene in National City, but what the show has done to her lately is unacceptable. Supergirl spent so much of Season 2 building what was supposed to be a rock-solid friendship between Kara and Lena. Kara was there for Lena when she had no one else and Kara was always the first to speak out and stand up for her friend. However, despite seemingly everyone in the world knowing Kara’s secret identity, including anyone who just happens to wander in and out of the minimally secured DEO, the show has kept Lena in the dark.

Katie Yu/The CW
Katie Yu/The CW

Viewers are expected to believe that Lena, one of the most brilliant minds in the world, has yet to figure out that Kara and Supergirl are one in the same. Because of that, Kara Danvers has been nowhere to be found when it comes to supporting her alleged best friend. Kara, the biggest Lena supporter since Day 1, who has backed her against anyone who dared to say anything bad about her friend, is not only not in her corner, but outraged at Lena for making Kryptonite? The show seems to have completely thrown Lena and Kara’s history out the window in favor of creating a conflict between the two women that goes against everything we know about them up to this point.

If the show wanted to explore that conflict then I wish we could’ve seen more how the tension between Supergirl and Lena was affecting Kara and Lena. However, the show has opted to have Kara and Lena continually talk to James about their problems and never to each other. These are two women who are supposed to be the very best of friends and yet, they’ve ceased all direct communication? Lena trying to cure Sam, a mutual friend of Kara’s, is one of the toughest things she’s ever been through and she never once calls her best friend? None of it makes any sense.

Coming to a point where I’m ready to walk away from Supergirl, especially when I still see so much potential in it, has not been easy. However, shows must keep in mind that there’s an overload of content available now and viewer’s free time is very precious. I can no longer choose to spend mine on a show that I don’t recognize, who sidelines its main character and has others act completely out of character.

It’s unreasonable to expect perfection, especially when it comes to TV shows, but all I ever wanted out of Supergirl was for it to be better. I’d still love for it to use and live up to all of that potential for greatness. I do still want Supergirl to succeed, and I’m never above saying “I was wrong.” Should I hear that things have changed, a hard left turn has been made and that the series does one day realize that potential, I’ll gladly come running back. In the meantime, I’m tired and don’t think I can stand to be dragged along on this ride any further.

 

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Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW and Showcase.

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