Comic book tv shows

Will the Supergirl TV show learn from the failed Wonder Woman Pilot? Maybe not.

wonder woman and supergirl comicWith all the latest news and castings from the upcoming CBS Supergirl TV show, I thought I should check out another high profile superhero TV show from a few of years ago, the Wonder Woman Pilot, which never made it to air, for obvious reasons. I’m a big fan of both Supergirl and Wonder Woman, and I gotta say I’m a little concerned that the upcoming Supergirl show will do the same crap that the Wonder Woman Pilot did.

First lets get into what was wrong with the Wonder Woman Pilot from 2011. NBC had made this Wonder Woman Pilot (which you can find online if you want) but it never aired. Now I wouldn’t say the Pilot was horrible, there were some good thoughts in the Pilot. The Pilot aimed to humanise Wonder Woman a little by showing a bit of her home life which was interesting, and the last action piece was actually quite good, but I can’t say it was really a Wonder Woman show, because the Pilot basically missed the entire premise of her character.

First of all they made Wonder Woman a branded image, a CEO of Themyscira Enterprises, which uses the Wonder Woman brand to sell action figures and such to fund her crime fighting. They show Wonder Woman in meetings talking about her action figure. It’s just ridiculous. When you think Wonder Woman, you don’t think of a CEO.

wonder woman pilotHowever within the context of the show, this worked, because they didn’t position Wonder Woman as a Greek Warrior (in fact there was barely any recognition to her Greek origins except some bits and pieces here and there), they positioned her as an American hero. Wahhh? A guy even says to Wonder Woman “Truth, justice and the American way right?”. Look, yes Wonder Woman is supposed to be a diplomat, bridging together the worlds of Themyscira and humans, however she’s not Superman.

If you’re making a Wonder Woman property, why would you ignore the greatest part of her mythology, her Greek Warrior background? Now granted they could have explored this later in the show, but they were really pushing for the American hero aspect, which I don’t think is really Wonder Woman’s thing, at all.

The Pilot also didn’t explore the full extent of her powers. Sure she could make tall leaps and had a bit of strength, but that was basically it. Her Lasso of Truth couldn’t actually compel people to tell the truth, she couldn’t fly, and definitely didn’t have the strength of an Amazon.

wonder woman pilotThey also made the show a crime procedural. Wonder Woman, Wonder freaking Woman, spent her time in the episode taking down a woman who is making a drug. Forget about the the evil Greek Gods, lets spend our time in LA doing down to earth crime procedural stuff. Eurgh. If this was another hero, then that’s fine, but this is Wonder Woman.

Okay now lets talk about the Supergirl show, and why I fear the Supergirl TV will most likely not be good. What we know is just like how the Wonder Woman origin was changed in her show, the Supergirl origin has changed in her show as well. Yes she witnesses Krypton get destroyed and escapes, however in the show this will happen when she’s 12, whereas usually this happens when she is in her later teens. We also know she reaches Earth and ends up being taken in by a loving foster family and grows up on Earth. This inherently changes the nature of the character. The biggest feature of Supergirl is the fact that she didn’t grow up on Earth and doesn’t really have anyone on Earth except her cousin who she doesn’t really like at first, and it takes a while for her to understand Superman’s loyal love to Earth. Supergirl is an often angry character, who finds it difficult to understand the social norms and customs of humanity.

supergirl lobo new 52I don’t think they will go down that route at all now, which is a shame because it’s what makes her character interesting to me, and different to Superman. The actress they cast, Melissa Benoist, has such a sweet face and a cutesy voice (don’t get me wrong though I think she’s a good actress), so I feel like they are going down the path of Supergirl being this nice young girl that loveeees Earth (dammit I want angry Red Lantern Kara!) and just wants to fit in and blah blah blah.

melissa benoist supergirlWe also know CBS is making Supergirl a crime procedural. Yeppp, just like the failed Wonder Woman Pilot. This makes me believe that just like the Wonder Woman Pilot, Supergirl’s powers will be down played, so that instead of fighting aliens she’s fighting drug lords with her kinda super strength and giant leaps. However we know that Superman exists in this universe, so maybe that won’t be the case and she will have the full extent of her powers.

I just don’t think characters like Wonder Woman and Supergirl are suited for the small screen. They are such big characters, with big mythologies, that creating crime procedurals out of these characters just seem like a disservice. I can’t say I have much faith in the Supergirl show right now except that it’s being produced by Greg Berlanti who does Arrow and The Flash, but I do hope I’m proven wrong about the Supergirl show being bad.

Oh and on a side note, what’s up with making Jimmy Olsen the cool attractive guy who’s being played by Mehcad Brooks? Huhh??

 

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16 replies »

  1. I don’t have any confidence in this one either. I might be wrong, but considering the track record of DC with any of their female characters….did they ever do something good with any of them in any live action adaptation aside fromt he first Wonder Woman TV show? Well…I liked the first Canary, but we all know how that ended and what they offered as replacement. Meh!

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  2. I like Supergirl enough to watch at least the first episode of this show, but if it’s anything like the Wonder Woman pilot it will be an utter disaster. Wonder Woman didn’t just make her a vigilante crime fighter, but in the pilot she was a monster who frequently resorted to torture (which has been proven as an unreliable method to gain information) slandered people on live television and even murdered security guards.
    I doubt the Supergirl TV show will be that bad and I hope it’ll be good. She’s a fantastic character and deserves a chance at something better than the 1984 movie (which is kind of hilariously bad if you’re into those sorts of movies). The idea that she spent much of her teenage years on Earth kind of ruins the whole aspect of her being from another planet and having difficulty fitting in but if the rest of the show is good, I’ll let that pass.
    What does annoy me is they’re changing her name to Kara Danvers. Sure, it’s true that one version of Supergirl was Linda Danvers, but mixing the names almost makes it sound a bit like Carol Danvers. This might be because I usually read more Marvel than DC, but that sounds suspicious to me. Either pick Kara Zor-El, Linda Danvers or use both the same way Superman is both Kal-El and Clark Kent.

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    • Oh yeah Wonder Woman was so brutal in her pilot it was crazy!
      And i’m also definitely going to give it a chance and hope it’s good, it’s just odd how they changed such a defining aspect of Supergirl’s character
      As for the name, that is pretty weird they went with that, i have no idea why they did that

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      • In my opinion supergirl is an easier character to translate to live action than wonder woman. She grew up around both men and women not just women like Diana, so she automatically fits in more socially. Her origin is also much simpler to rationalize. You can’t make a person out of clay, period. Also someone in greek attire running around city streets looks laughable.
        As far as the origin change with the loving family, it had to be done. The new 52 supergirl wouldn’t work in live action unless you introduced superman. He would have to show her the ropes just like in the comics. Once superman is introduced the show is no longer about supergirl, it has just been hijacked by her cousin. That would create a major distraction, just like bringing in batman to arrow.

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      • Yeah that’s true, i am interested to see how they go about things, and I’m fine with changes as long as she’s still Supergirl to the core

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  3. As long as she doesn’t get trapped inside a bloody Pyramid again I’ll give the show a chance.

    Oh, that was the Phantom Zone,whatever, I wasn’t paying attention and fell asleep.

    Silly Supergirl movie!

    Dear TV people, please don’t mess up one of the few iconic female heroines!

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