Supergirl aired this evening and though I was not expecting to give it a go, I've been getting into comics adaptation television pretty heavy these days. So why not? As I am not a comics reader, I have no real experience with the character outside of a few run-ins on the various cartoons over the years... these do not actually help at all.
The Verdict: Not Horrible
James Olsen. Jimmy Olsen decided to move from Metropolis to National City to expand his horizons and along the way he reverted back to the more serious version of his name and turned black. Aside from the initial confusion over him being in the city at all, I have no problem with any of this. James is the only character of the lot who didn't annoy me at some point in the episode and is the only character aside from Carl (Kara) that I find at all likable.
I like Carl's enthusiasm. She knows how to use her powers and is into the hero thing. She knows what she can do and jumps right into the role without hesitation.
So the thing about Carl's enthusiasm is that it completely disappears whenever she is in a fight. A switch is flipped and she goes from gung-ho to I can't do this. I'm not strong enough! Despite saying time and time again that she can do everything that Supes can do, she doubts herself so that an authority figure or friend can talk her through it and reassure her that she is a hero and that she can do this. It's The Flash all over again, but Carl has had her powers for a lot longer and knows how to use them and therefore has no excuse.
Speaking of fights or even just action scenes... hoo-boy, I'm really hoping that they improve in the regular episodes. The fights in particular are kind of slow and stiff. Carl looks awkward when trying to fight and what hits she lands, there sure aren't many, tend feel as though they have no weight behind them. Things break, sure, but it isn't convincing. The attacks that rely on her superpowers, mostly flight at this point, not only have the same problem but also just look weird. After watching Carl throw a few lackluster punches, I'd hoped that she would realize that she may not be able to fight proper but she's super strong and invulnerable and can still wreck someone. Alas, that did not happen.
I'm hoping that this is a pilot thing. On the technical side of things, a bigger budget or better effort needs to happen to improve things for future episodes. If Carl's inability to fight at all is intentional, then story side we need to see her get some combat training immediately. If it wasn't intentional, then better choreography is needed. I'm also hoping for better from other action scenes like the plane rescue, which may just have been too ambitious for a pilot.
I'm not fond of most of the characters. Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) and Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), both authority figures for Kara and her alter-ego, are thoroughly unlikable characters. Kara's friend Winn Schott may as well be wearing a fedora, as he figures the only reason she isn't into him is because she's a lesbian. Alex Danvers, the sister, isn't so bad once you get past the part where she shits on Carl's desire to be a hero through most of the episode.
I'm assuming that Carl will be working for The Department of Extra-Normal Operations as the series continues because, well... you have to stick to the working formula. This isn't exactly bad, but it is a tired formula that I have had enough of with Arrow and The Flash.
Way more good than bad at the moment, but I am going to watch a few more episodes before decided whether to keep going or drop it. There is potential there. I just hope that it is able to live up to that potential.