Saturday, October 29, 2016

That's Super!

I didn't watch Season 1 of Supergirl at all last year (I just didn't have the time), but I did finally start watching Season 2 now that the show's moved over to The CW where it should have been in the first place.

Sadly, I won't be doing any weekly reviews of the series. Nothing against the character of Supergirl or her show, but there are only so many hours in the day, and personnel is stretched pretty thin here at Bob Canada's BlogWorld without adding another show to the mix.

I did want to take time to comment on the addition of Superman to the series this season though. Last year we caught brief glimpses of him on Supergirl, but this year he's finally dropped the coy act and stopped hiding just off camera, and has finally become a semi-regular character.

I'll be honest here I didn't think much of the casting of actor Tyler Hoechlin as Superman when I first saw the early production photos of him. He seemed way too thin, his face didn't have the necessary square-jawed quality, and he just didn't looks all that... well, super to me. 

Happily, after finally seeing him in action, I'm glad to report I'm very impressed with Hoechlin in the role. He makes a damned fine Superman, and seems to know just how to play him. In fact after just two appearances as the Man Of Steel, he's already a better Superman than Henry Cavill will ever be (BURRRN!!!).

Hoechlin also makes a pretty good Clark Kent, playing him as a befuddled and slightly nerdy reporter. In fact his performance as both Superman and Clark Kent were very reminiscent of Christopher Reeve, which I think is awesome. It's not an outright impression or swipe of Reeve's work, but sort of a slight... homage.

Obviously Hoechlin, and more importantly the show's producers actually get Superman, and understand him in a way Zack Snyder never will. This is the way Superman was meant to be portrayed— as a true hero. Someone who dedicates his life to selflessly helping others and his adoptive homeworld. 

Compare this to Zack Snyder's Superman, who's nothing but a brooding, sullen god who looks down on humanity with disdain and actively resents his powers.

Hoechlin and Supergirl star Melissa Benoist work well together too. Take the scene in which Superman and Supergirl rescue a plummeting space plane together. Superman flies up alongside Supergirl and asks her if she needs help. Her first words? "Hey, cuz!" Amazing!

I also loved the scene immediately after they save the space plane, when a group of bystanders gawks at them in amazement. Supergirl sheepishly turns to Superman and says, "I usually say hello." Superman says, "Really? Me too!" Delightful!

How amazing to see DC superheroes who are actually FUN! There was more joy and entertainment value in those two brief scenes than in all the recent DC movies combined. How can the TV shows get the characters so right, while the movies— with millions of dollars more in resources— get them so wrong?

All superhero movies and shows don't have to be sweetness and light. There's nothing wrong with an occasional dark movie, featuring a brooding hero. But Superman is not that character. Superman is not a dark avenger. He's a beacon of hope in a hopeless world. I don't get why that's so hard for the movie producers to understand.

One last thing I wanted to point out. In the recent episode The Last Children Of Krypton, Supergirl is injured by the kryptonite-powered villain Metallo. Superman picks up her injured body and poses dramatically for a few seconds before flying off.

This scene is an obvious and very cool homage to Issue #7 of DC's Crisis On Infinite Earths miniseries from 1985, in which Supergirl is actually killed. Pretty awesome!

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