Blu-ray Review – Supergirl: The Complete First Season

Release Date: August 9, 2016
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: Approx. 880 minutes (Excluding Bonus Content)

Born on the doomed planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped at the same time as her cousin, Superman, but didn’t arrive on Earth until years later after being lost. Raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out.

All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be. With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO), who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world.


The first season of Supergirl had its high moments and low moments and in all of this, I couldn’t quite seem to quit this show. It’s solid. It’s entertaining. It’s chockfull of characters we can root for. It has heart, eventually, but for some it might be too little too late. If you stayed on to watch the entire season like me, you know it’s worth watching and that this is just the beginning. But I’d be lying if I said this show, in all its glory, didn’t get off to a rocky start.

For one, all of the talk of feminism before the show even premiered, so it had a lot to live up to because God forbid someone’s feminism doesn’t look like yours. We can all wear the color blue but that doesn’t mean we’ll wear it the same way. So. When the show premiered, there were mixed reviews and I for one, do, for the most part, like how the show has presented itself in this way.

What I liked? It’s important Supergirl not embrace the super in the way that we expect her to in every single circumstance. It takes strength to hold back and so many people don’t realize or want to accept that. It takes strength to say no. It takes strength to be still. To think before taking action. Supergirl is strong even when she doesn’t match the physicality of strength in your mind. Supergirl’s strength is not limited and not difficult for me to understand or embrace.

That aside, overall, I was expecting the themes of female empowerment and equality and equity to be more insightful without being so consistently preachy and to be even more bold in its message without the message becoming redundant. In knowing that this is just the beginning, I’m anticipating what the writers have in store for Kara and the show in the future. It’s hard to not bite off more than you can chew when you’re creating a TV show and you don’t know if you’re going to get a second season to continue to say what you want to say. So. I get it. There’s a lot that’s touched on here in the first season but there’s also a lot that wasn’t and you can’t expect a show to hit all of the points just right in one season. So I can forgive the missteps in season one. Nothing wholly wrong has been done in its approach here. It simply, can get better.

That aside, I was annoyed by something else. The constant reference to her cousin, Superman, without actually saying “Superman.” I think they actually said “Superman” maybe twice in the entire season. I believe Superman will be making an appearance in the second season, so hopefully, “cousin” can be thrown out the window and we can go with “Superman” or, you know, “Clark.”

Then there are the villains. I actually didn’t mind the villains until the last few of the season which seemed to cartoony at times or simply, rushed. I was impressed with the special effects on the show and was really satisfied with what was delivered in regards to Krypton. Tone wise, I think the tone for the show was established really well in the Pilot (which is not easy to do right off the bat) and it smooths out really well as the season goes on. I like that it’s humorous at times and always at the right time. This show knows how to make me smile and laugh just as much as it knows how to keep me on the edge of my seat.

That said, story wise, I was sometimes bored or confused but never for too long. Though if not for this amazing cast bringing these (some of them pretty flat or too tropey) characters to life, I very well may have quit watching when I initially thought about doing so. This is a great testament to the cast, regular, supporting, and even more minor. They are really engaging and I’m connected to the characters even as I wait to be more deeply connected to the heart of these characters. I did like that we got backstory for more characters than I thought we’d get in the first season. But there’s still more to explore and I’m hoping season two delivers. So. Season one in a nutshell? Solid but season two needs to be even better for many viewers to continue to stick around. Only time will tell what that means but for now, season one is fine enough to re-watch – and even appreciate more some things I didn’t see the first time.

Bonus Features:
* 2015 Comic Con Panel (14:50 minutes) – This is the discussion portion (minus the Q&A) of the Supergirl panel which starts off giving me a whiplash because I can’t believe we’re still talking about the importance of a female lead and a female lead standing on her own (strong or not). I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to accept the fact that women are just as complex and interesting and strong and weak and entertaining as guys. I don’t understand why acknowledging that is actually a conversation within itself. Anyway, the rest of the panel is great and Peter Facinelli comes in at the end to make a surprise appearance.

Appearing in this Feature:
Moderator, Damian Holbrook (TV Guide Magazine)
Executive Producers, Ali Adler, Sarah Schechter, Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti
DC Comics Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns
Cast Members, Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, – David Harewood, Jeremy Jordan, Peter Facinelli

* The Man From Mars (9:36 minutes) – This feature is all about the other big superhero on the show, J’onn J’onzz (who poses as Hank Henshaw until he’s outed). This is a solid exploration of J’onn J’onzz – the significance of his role in Kara’s life and how he presents himself to Kara to get the job done. As the season begins, he’s very much one way and as the season progresses, he opens up tremendously so this was a great walk down memory lane if anything else, a nice brief recap of this character’s season one arc.

Appearing in this Feature:
Executive Producers, Andrew Kreisberg, Ali Adler
DC Comics Co-Publisher, Dan DiDio
Cast Members, David Harewood, Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh

* A World Left Behind: Krypton (10:41 minutes) – This is a great feature in which the cast and crew talk about Krypton, Kara’s relationship to Krypton vs. Superman’s relationship to Krypton, and giving readers something familiar within all that’s new in what they’re seeing in Krypton. One standout from this feature is the discussion of Kara’s relationship to Krypton and how that affects her decisions on earth. I loved it when executive producer, Ali Adler says, “Just because you’re invisible, it doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable” because that could really be Supergirl’s theme. So, all in all, this is a really great special feature and it kind of makes up for the fact that there are no commentaries on the blu-ray/dvd.

Appearing in this Feature:
Executive Producers, Andrew Kreisberg, Ali Adler
DC Comics Co-Publisher, Dan DiDio
Cast Members, Melissa Benoist, David Harewood, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks

* Deleted Scenes (Approx. 16 minutes total) – There are 16 deleted scenes on the blu-ray which play all by the episode. Episode 106 “Red Faced” has two deleted scenes, the first was solid, the second was forgettable and included Peter Facinelli who I actually forgot was on the show! Talk about a TV hiatus brain freeze. Episode 109 “Blood Bonds has four deleted scenes, the first two ere forgettable, the third I wasn’t a fan of Melissa Benoist’s delivery, and the fourth was actually quite funny due to David Harewood’s delivery as Hank. There are four deleted scenes from Episode 115 “Solitude,” though only two stood out, one of which showing the tension between Siobhan and Kara which I just can’t get enough of as they both play BAMF so well.

The rest of the episodes each have one unaired scene. I liked the deleted scene from Episode 108 “Hostile Takeover” because I like the chemistry between Alex and Hank. The deleted scene from Episode 111 “Strange Visitor From Another Planet” was quite sweet and the scene from Episode 113 “For the Girl Who Has Everything” was quite the opposite, rather tense. There was nothing particularly wrong with these scenes, I don’t think. It’s a crying shame the deleted scene from Episode 116 “Falling” didn’t make the cut because Chyler Leigh clearly worked her acting chops off in this scene. Episode 117 “Manhunter” was one of the longer deleted scenes and it was between Kara and Alex though I much prefer how things played out in the final cut of the episode. Finally, there’s the scene from Episode 118 “World’s Finest” starred the villains but felt too cartoony so I’m glad this was cut in favor of what we saw.

* Gag Reel (4:05 minutes)

Own Supergirl: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Watch new episodes of Supergirl on its new channel, The CW this Fall.