If you pay any attention to television, the name Greg Berlanti is probably a familiar one. He is creator and executive producer of five current television series, three of which are based on DC Comics. Arrow and The Flash are two of The CW network’s most popular shows ever and last night Supergirl premiered with more viewers than any other new show this fall. It’s no surprise that Supergirl did so well considering the success of Arrow and The Flash, but even with their success, Supergirl seemed to be a breath of fresh air and to fill a hole in the DC Comic Television world many didn’t even know was there. It seems that Supergirl will do for Arrow and The Flash what The Flash did for Arrow a year ago.
Despite it’s popularity, the darkness of Arrow needed some light to give it a chance of being a long-running series. While characters like Felicity helped, the coming of Barry Allen in The Flash provided the light-heartedness missing in Oliver Queen. Just as watching Barry makes watching Oliver better, watching Kara will make watching both Barry and Oliver and their respective teams even more enjoyable.
While Arrow and The Flash both have some kick-ass female characters, the leaders of these teams are decidedly male. Supergirl reflects Berlanti’s commitment to women on television and gives viewers their first female superhero in decades. Berlanti has already proven in his shows that women can be smart and can handle themselves in a fight, they can care for their families and fall in love while also having careers they enjoy. With the addition of Kara he shows women can also lead and be the face of heroism for a city.
Also, Kara is the first of Berlanti’s superhero characters to actually be supernatural. Oliver Queen is a normal human who has had extensive training and Barry Allen got his powers from a science experiment gone wrong. Kara, however, is an alien and has had her superpowers her entire life. This in no way makes Kara a better or more important hero, just that she adds something new and fun to this trifecta of heroes. Not only does Supergirl bring a new kind of hero, but it brings a new kind of villain. Queen fights mostly humans trying to gain power, Allen takes on metahumans, but, at least according to the premiere, Danvers will spend much of her time fighting aliens. I, for one, am excited to see what these alien villains bring.
Like Barry, Kara is excited about her powers and seems to have fun while saving her city. She brings light and joy to the superhero genre. She shows that someone quirky and awkward can also save people. Together, Oliver, Barry, and Kara reveal what superheroes can and should be. Superheroes can be born or made. They can come out of pain, opportunity, or love. They can be rich, poor, or anywhere in between. Heroes can be dark or light, physically strong or not so much, bookish or brawny. And, as mentioned before, male or female.
Now with Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash can truly give hope not only to the people in their fictional cities, but between the three of them they can bring hope to all sorts of viewers, while providing the superhero genre with the variety it needs to not only survive, but thrive on television. Thank you, Greg Berlanti, for creating television that is not only entertaining but inspires and sets precedence for future shows.
Don’t forget to watch each of Berlanti’s shows:
Supergirl– Mondays at 8 on CBS
The Flash– Tuesdays at 8 on The CW
Arrow– Wednesdays at 8 on The CW