Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Supergirl? Not So Much

Ubergirl? Power Girl? Annoying Girl? What the heck was Laura Vandervoort doing on Smallville, anyway?

It's not that I don't think she's attractive or a good fit for the Kara/Supergirl role, but Smallville's recent episode Supergirl seemed like a jumbled mess.

OK, I get that Darkseid has come to Earth (though in a radically different form than in the comic books) to cause havoc and generally be a pain in the neck, but when did Jor-El suddenly start being Kara's promotional manager and turning over the safety of our planet to her?

Clark has been on Earth all his life. He knows who humans are. He knows what sort of hero we need. Kara grew up on Krypton and spent most of Clark's life in suspended animation at the bottom of a lake. She's had at most just a couple of years of experience with Earth and with people, and now she's an expert?

Also, Jor-El usually tells Clark when he's blowing him off and usually does something nasty like take away his powers, just to prove that dead guys still have pull. It must have been really painful to hear from your bratty blonde cousin that "Daddy doesn't love you anymore."

The writing seemed very inconsistent in the episode. The return of Lois to Metropolis and to Clark seemed more understated than it should have been. True, Lois was in fine form (literally) when she went after possessed "shock jock" Gordon Godfrey. She's normally that much of a pit bull and I have to admit, just dumb enough not to run with the pictures while the bad guy is still in handcuffs. I even liked the kinky outfit she chose to model, but it all seemed just a little too contrived. Does Darkseid really need to blow off some steam at the local S & M club while he's planning on taking over the world?

The whole "Kara bracelet repelling Darkseid" thing seemed to belong in a Saturday morning cartoon rather than a prime-time science fiction/fantasy program. Again, contrived. Oh, and why are both Kara and Lois (Lois?) "pure of heart" but not Super Boy Scout Clark? Don't tell me that Lois doesn't have conflicts and doubts and if Kara just came back from an unsuccessful trip to find her Mom, how can she not be experiencing internal conflicts and issues?

I can understand, given her "mission", why Kara would choose a costume to "perform" in public, but how did she end up at a photo shoot modeling the thing? She had time to go to a modeling agency, convince them to promote her, and do a shoot of Metropolis's latest superhero? That entire sequence was amazingly lame and designed only to show off her rather fabulous body. In other words, "eye candy filler" (not that I'm above such things, but it really contributed nothing to the story).

Hooray! Clark flew! Boo! It lasted about five seconds. Kara acts like it's some sort of Zen exercise to fly. It's just like any other power. He just has an Earth person's fear of falling, even though he's fallen plenty of times and knows it won't hurt.

Kara acts more like Jor-El than Kara, being punitive of Clark rather than trying to relate. It does make sense to have them both team up to defeat Darkseid. Bracelet aside, she might not be able to beat him alone.

Oh. Linda Lee Danvers. Clark Kent in drag. Laura Vandervoort looked like she was wearing a wig, fake glasses, and a frumpy costume straight out of wardrobe. I wasn't convinced for a second that she was a "real" person. No one else would be either. So much for having a "secret identity".

About the best part of the episode was the Green Arrow subplot. I know a lot of fans didn't like Ollie's presence and felt it was a distraction, but he was meant to mirror Clark's own doubts. Both Clark and Ollie were expressing worries and concerns about "working in the shadows" and the distrust the public has over "masked vigilantes" operating in Metropolis. Lois acted as the fulcrum between the two heroes and by the end of the episode, they had each chosen different directions. Clark will remain an unknown face as "the Blur", while Oliver at a press conference at the end of the episode declares, "I am Green Arrow".

The only "incredible" part of the GA subplot is how all of the reporters instantly believed Ollie was telling the truth. He didn't even produce his GA costume, bow, and trick arrows. It reminded me both of Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr) admission at the end of the first Iron Man film and of Harvey Dent's (Aaron Eckhart) "confession", "I am the Batman". Yeah, in the latter case, he was lying, but the reporters bought it then, too.

I watched Supergirl knowing it was panned in the reviews, but when you're a fan, you watch even the bad episodes, looking for a glimmer of hope.

Dear Smallville writers. We need a better episode next time, gang.

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