By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. It’s not a man. It’s Supergirl. On May 13, 2015, CBS unveiled a monumental, 7-minute trailer for the new television show Supergirl. The television show is headed by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg who are the masterminds behind other DC television show hits like Arrow and The Flash on The CW Network. Emertainment Monthly breaks down this fantastic trailer and what’s ahead for Supergirl.
The trailer begins with the best thing possible. An incredible voice over by Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist). A classic trope seen in Berlanti and Kreisberg’s other television shows. Kara tells viewers, “My name is Kara Zor-El. 24 years ago my planet was impaled. My cousin, Kal-El was sent to a planet called Earth. You may know his story, but you don’t know mine… Until now.” This is very similar to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) now classic openings for Arrow and The Flash and will soon become essential to the world of Supergirl. Kara Zor-El is played by Glee and Whiplash star, Melissa Benoist. Although the actress is well-known for her incredible singing voice on Glee, she still remains a relatively unknown actress, which works perfectly for this character. If Amell and Gustin have taught the world anything, they are willing to work hard to fill-out the part of DC super heroes. This is something Benoist is already doing just in this trailer alone. The Supergirl trailer continues with a cast of incredible actors from all backgrounds.
In the opening scene, fans get a glimpse at Kara Zor-El’s life on Krypton while the voiceover plays. Kara’s mother is played by Tony Award winner and Broadway veteran Laura Benanti. Benanti was recently seen on television as Sadie Stone in the ABC hit drama Nashville. Just in this trailer alone, fans see flashes of Kara’s life on Krypton with her parents. If Arrow and The Flash are any indications on the structure for Supergirl, flashbacks to Krypton and the life Kara left are bound to come into play.
The Supergirl trailer then takes a turn to current day Kara who is living a seemingly ordinary life in National City as an assistant for the media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Just from her opening scene where she comes sauntering into the office, fans can already expect Flockhart to make a major impression in the Supergirl universe. Last seen on television as Kitty Walker in Brothers & Sisters, Flockhart is making her triumphant return to television and that is definitely not a bad thing. In Kara’s office fans also meet Winslow “Winn” Schott (Jeremy Jordan), a co-worker of Kara’s who seems to have a crush on her. Jeremy Jordan is a renowned Broadway veteran mostly known for originating the role of Jack Kelly in the musical Newsies. He was last seen on television as Jimmy Collins in the NBC short-lived hit, Smash. Just from their short scene together, Benoist and Jordan exude chemistry and fans cannot wait to see where that relationship goes.
The trailer for Supergirl also gives fans a glimpse at her home life. Kara has been protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers. On Earth, she has learned to conceal her extraordinary powers, some of which she shares with her famous cousin, Superman. Kara appears to live in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh) who tries to get Kara to continue to conceal her abilities. Leigh is most notable for her work as Lexie Grey in the ABC and Shonda Rhimes hit Grey’s Anatomy. Leigh fits the role of Alex perfectly and it’s refreshing to see her play the more adult role, which is a change from Lexie Grey. Alex seems to be the one constant role model in Kara’s life. When Alex is on a plane that begins to experience engine failure, cue Kara to use her amazing flying skills to save the plane however in the process she showcases her abilities to the entire world.
With the help of Alex, Winslow and recently hired Daily Planet former photographer, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), Kara decides her abilities are best used for helping take down criminals in National City. Kara even begins to help save the city from extraterrestrial invasions by teaming up The D.E.O, the Department of Extranormal Operations. With the help of Alex, Kara believes she can help them out. With a few funny moments like Kara seeing herself on TV for the first time, Winslow helping her pick a cape and juggling being an assistant, effortlessly intertwined with moments of pure, heart-pounding drama, Supergirl looks like a high-flying success.
Just from this trailer alone, Supergirl seems to be running a parallel to the classic story of Clark Kent that more people are acquainted with. Throughout the trailer, she keeps mentioning her famous cousin and how much he was adored. Although Superman seems to be playing a major role in Kara’s journey to being a superhero, she appears to be going her own route, which is refreshing. With male superhero’s dominating both television and movies, here’s hoping that Supergirl flies the route of providing a fully-formed, female character for fans to look up to instead of a superhero constantly in the shadow of her male counterpart, Superman.
At CBS upfronts, the company also unveiled that Supergirl will be scheduled to premiere in November on Mondays at 8/9c, putting it in direct competition with FOX’s Gotham. This past television season that time slot on CBS failed to be filled and seemed like an obvious choice for Supergirl. Now with Supergirl finding a home on Mondays at 8/9c, DC Comics television seems to dominate primetime television almost every night.
Fans should prepare for Supergirl on Mondays, The Flash on Tuesdays and Arrow on Wednesdays when superheroes dominate primetime television this fall. Until then, fans can keep watching this amazing, out-of-this world, 7-minute trailer and begin to countdown to Kara Zor-El’s epic return to television. Up, up and away!