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CHUCK WENDIG LIKED THE SUPERGIRL TRAILER
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So! The Supergirl trailer has landed.
And some people love it.
And some people hate it.
I’m going to casually fling my chips into the loved it side, and I’m going to tell you why:
1. Girl Power
I popped the trailer on my phone last night and my (oh god almost four-year-old) son was nearby and he’s like, “What are you watching?” So I invited him over and he hunkered down next to me in that precious tiny human way of not giving one hot shit about my personal space (seriously, he climbs up onto you like you’re a tree and he’s a spider monkey). He started to watch and he’s like, “What is this?” And I said, “You’ll see.” “Who is that?” “You’ll see.” And he watched, a little confused — confused, but interested. And then, when she starts to fly, he gets more excited. “Who is that?” And I’m just, “Dude, I know you have all the patience of a short-circuiting Roomba, but give it a second.” And then when she finally starts doing her Supergirl shit and she’s got the S on her chest and his eyes lit up. “Supergirl!”
Yeah, hell yeah. That’s Supergirl. And he dug it.
It’s a female-led superhero show. With some extra diversity thrown into the mix. I need my son to see stuff like this. He needs to see stuff like this. I don’t know whether or not Black Widow’s portrayal in Age of Ultron is sexist or not — white guys like me aren’t the best judges of that –but what I do know is, the Avengers in general is mostly five handsome white guys and one woman. And though she’s supremely bad-ass, she’s also routinely cast as a second-stringer, usually doing clean-up instead of leading the charge. (And one who doesn’t have her own show.) And it’s not like the situation is much better elsewhere. It’s white guys all the way down. Daredevil! Star-Lord! Bats! Supes! Flash! Arrow! Ant-Man! Wolverine! Woo! Sure, sure, some of these properties feature “strong female characters” (that still sometimes end up weak and powerless) but at the fore of each is one cool white guy doing his cool white guy schtick. Not one of these properties is woman-led, yet. (That’s changing, of course, but slowly, so very slowly.)
I need my son to see that sometimes you get Black Widow.
But sometimes you get Supergirl.
2. I Mean, Jesus Hell, Did You See The Jem And The Holograms Trailer?
Did you? Did you?
Where are the holograms?
Where is Synergy?
Where are the goddamn Misfits?!
What the actual crap happened? Let’s see, Jem was the #1 rated cartoon in ’86-87, and averaged 2.5 million viewers weekly. It wasn’t some short shrift cartoon. Jerrica/Jem ran a fucking record label. She like, helped orphans and stuff. She (by all remembrances) had a great deal of agency. And now we get a movie where it looks like the lead character is shuttled around, her entire persona created for her by a label, and she’s mostly like a paper boat in a storm-flooded river. She doesn’t say, “I want to be a rock star,” she says, “I don’t,” and then the world makes her a rock star anyway because ha ha girls can’t want things. Maybe the movie ends up painting her in a far stronger light, but so far, the trailer gives us some trauma-bombed YouTube star who has none of the rad-as-fuck vibe of Jem and all the vibe of a wet, forgotten handkerchief.
She’s almost the polar opposite. She’s aware of who she is and what she wants, and destiny forces her hand and suddenly — she’s out there. And she likes it. Even in that preview, she’s claiming agency for herself. “I want this, so I’m going to go get it.” Not, “Society wants me to want this, so society has pushed me toward it, and I’m going to have to go along with that.”
I see a lot of hand-wringing that this looks like a rom-com. (AKA, “Romantic comedy.”)
First of all, it loses that vibe somewhat about halfway through the (very long, very spoilery) trailer. (It’s very long and very spoilery because early previews for next season’s television shows showcase roughly the entire pilot of each show, so please know that going in.)
But even so — who gives a shit?
What’s so bad about romantic comedies?
Romance is awesome.
Comedy is awesome.
Pair that up with superhero antics and I’m jolly well fucking in.
Gilmore Girls is a romantic comedy.
The Mindy Project is a romantic comedy.
Why is that a problem? Superhero properties are sometimes overlaid with other genres — Winter Soldier is essentially a conspiracy thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy is a Star Wars-ian space opera. Why can’t we have some romantic comedy elements in Supergirl?
When done well, I really like romantic comedies.
4. Not Some Dour Sourpuss Show
Grr my parents are dead grr my planet exploded grr something-something gentrification of Hell’s Kitchen grr I want to put armor around all the world grr they cut out my babbies grr the secret is I’m always hangry grrrrrr.
Listen, I like dark stuff.
I write dark stuff.
But sometimes, I just want fun.
I like The Flash because it’s hella fun.
I loved Guardians of the Galaxy because it was weird, wonky shenanigans from start to finish.
Supergirl looks like its bringing its own kind of goofy glee to the mix.
It doesn’t look trauma-throttled or slathered in grim-grime. It doesn’t look desaturated and bleak. (Though it seems to tie to the Superman franchise at present, which is a little jarring.)
We don’t have to “adult up” every superhero property.
Did you see the photo above?
What mad hell is this?!
5. She Doesn’t Look Super Sexed Up
Hey, I’m just saying.
6. Because Fuck Yeah, Supergirl
I probably never would’ve read any Supergirl comics if friends hadn’t pushed me into it way back when. I had gotten it into my head that GRR BATMAN was what I liked and DUDEHEROES RULE and — I dunno, whaddya want? I was college-age and stupid. But man, so many great characters and great comic books that weren’t that, and one of them was Supergirl. It was lighter, airy, more fun. And the show seems to capture that same feeling for me. Supergirl’s awesome.
So fuck yeah, Supergirl.
I hope the TV show is good because I want this to stick around.