Anyone that’s ever made a superhero movie or TV show can tell you about the thunderous and often unfair criticism received from fandom before even one second of a production ever screens. That’s the kind of pressure that can ruin you. So now imagine being the first brand name female superhero to enter the current, crowded TV superhero landscape. When the first six-minute trailer for Supergirl hit the web last month, the reaction was, let’s just say, less than kind. Unfavorable comparisons were made to a certain Saturday Night Live sketch feature Scarlett Johansson in a Black Widow solo movie, but Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist, says that your fears are ungrounded.
In a pre-San Diego Comic Con interview with Entertainment Weekly, Benoist addressed the critiques of the trailer and how it felt less like a serious superhero show and more akin to a silly Hollywood rom-com with a superhero star. That attack more or less sank the NBC Wonder Woman pilot several years ago, but Benoist is adamant that Supergirl will be a serious show, but with the appropriate, but not over-powering. amount of lightheartedness.
I do. Of course, I do. We don’t really take ourselves too seriously in that respect. The camp is going to be there. It’s a superhero show. But I don’t think that takes away from the female empowerment. Obviously you see Kara in her work atmosphere, it resembles the Black Widow parody, but what you don’t see is Kara kicking butt. There’s so much more in the pilot that I think people are really going to be surprised by. Also, it’s a girl. Supergirl, that whole discussion, it’s a girl figuring out how to become a woman. [The SNL spoof] came out and all of us thought it was so hilarious. I don’t think any of us expected people to compare them or put them side-by-side.
Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t any pressure at all becoming TV’s only full-time superheroine toplining her own show.
I do think there’s a lot of pressure. I want to do right. Of course this is a broad statement, but I want to do right by women. I want to portray someone they can relate to and look up to that’s not a trite or a shallow depiction. I want her to be complicated and flawed. I guess I just want all women to feel like they could be Kara and Superwoman as well. I don’t want it to be campy. I want it to be grounded and human. That goes for anybody. It doesn’t matter what sex. It doesn’t matter if it’s women or men I inspire, I just want to inspire people in general to realize their strengths and their potential, and that you can do the things that you feel like are impossible to accomplish.
Of course, we’ll see that for ourselves when Supergirl premieres later this year on CBS. A lucky few will see Supergirl sooner, of course. The finished pilot is being screened at Comic Con next week, and at that point I’m sure we’ll get some even more strong opinions about the show and the direction it plans on taking the cousin to Krypton’s other, more well-known survivor.
Source: The Mary Sue