Do any of you watch Supergirl? It’s not something we talk about much around these parts. Personally, I fell head over heels for the pilot. I was so excited for this show, which felt so exciting, so enthusiastic, so primed for young feminism to dive in cape-first. And then I watched two more episodes and was bored right out of caring. So know that my excitement for this news comes not out of a great knowledge of what this show IS, but out of what I hoped it would be.
Supergirl has defied all expectations by being renewed for a second season. And it did so by moving from CBS to the network many of us already thought it was on, The CW. And that is AWESOME news.
First of all, The CW gets superheroes. Just look at The Flash, which— especially after this week’s phenomenal Kevin Smith-directed episode— is maybe the only live-action DC property not boring the actual snot out its audience. (Side note: I may have fallen asleep during BvS and awoken to small amounts of snot.)
The CW excels at taking high-concept pieces, alternate realities, and far-out melodramas and making them relatable, engaging, and funny as hell. Which is exactly how they nail not just the superhero genre, but also point #2:
The CW gets women. Not to put more stock in these awards than they merit, but there’s a reason why the Best Actress Golden Globe has gone to a CW star two years running. (What do we want to bet Melissa Benoist gets the award next year? Are we taking odds?) Most networks have shows for “everyone” that are about men with one or more Strong Female Character, and then they have their lady shows, the shows that they only market to women or especially woke men (Girls, Gilmore Girls, Something Something Girls In the Title). But there isn’t another network that treats female-driven shows quite like the CW. Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are two shows that are about women, and for women, but not just for women. The CW doesn’t market itself as a “feminist network,” it just IS one. Are all of its shows perfect? No, duh, of course not. But it’s a huge step forward towards the Hollywood most of us want to see for a network to thrive on female-driven shows without feeling the need to separate those properties from its other “regular” shows.
Especially after the now-official departure of Agent Carter, we are in dire need of superhero properties that are about women, in these universes so many people feel need to be dominated by men. It’s one thing to have a Black Widow kicking ass alongside (or opposite) Captain America, but who knows if Kevin Feige is ever going to actually recognize her as an equal player and give us that solo movie we want. For now, The CW is doing that work, and doing it well. Supergirl’s first season wasn’t something most of us were interested enough in to stick with, and maybe it’ll fall flat here, too. But it’s at least being given its fair shot, on the best possible platform.