March 31, 2016

Supergirl + The Flash: no “v” required

Supergirl + The Flash: no “v” required

I haven’t seen Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice yet. I’m sure I will. It’s the basis of the DC Cinematic Universe, after all, and I intend to see the future Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, etc. But I can’t say that I’m enthused about it. I think Henry Cavil made a wonderful Superman. I’ve read that Gal Gadot is an excellent Wonder Woman, and I’ve no doubt that Ben Affleck makes a fine Batman. But the movie looks so unrelentingly, exhaustingly grim. Can’t superheroes simply respect each other?

On TV, they can.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts about superhero TV shows that I’m enjoying both Supergirl and The Flash. Well, this week was the crossover that both fans and the creators were hoping they could make happen: CBS’s Supergirl and CW’s Flash team up in this week’s Supergirl episode, “Worlds Finest.”

You can read full reviews of the episode online (they’re all filled with  spoilers, so here’s the gist: they loved it). The basic idea is that Kara Danvers aka Supergirl, a 24-year-old alien from the planet Krypton and cousin of Superman, meets up with Barry Allen aka The Flash, who ran so fast that he created a portal from his (and Green Arrow’s) Earth to the parallel Earth in which Supergirl exists.

It was an extremely fun and joyous pairing, and I enjoyed every minute of it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what superhero team ups should be. When we first meet The Flash, he is saving a life, he’s not introduced in some dark or brutal way. And when The Flash and Supergirl confront each other, there is initial confusion, but a desire to understand each other and get to heart of the matter, not beat each other up and talk it over later.

The repartee between the main characters is excellent. It is crisp, funny, relaxed, and never seems forced. Cat Grant (Callista Flockhart) is in excellent form, sparing nobody from her zingers while still making her heartfelt moments resonate. Both Mellisa Bensoist and Grant Gustin are in top form as Kara and Barry, being great as ever and having fantastic chemistry with each other. It’s not a perfect episode—the fight choreography could be better, some of the “love triangle” stuff that has been a through-line of the season is a bit silly, and while the special effects are great, some of the make-up effects are not. But none of those issues keep this episode from being an interesting and entertaining example of a superhero team up done very well.

In the USA, you can stream the episode for free from CBS.com. I doubt this works outside the USA, but I’m sure there’s other ways to see it outside of North America. This is an episode very late in the season (#18 out of #20 episodes) but it stands alone very well. The series has a whole has been worth watching, a great premise and cast with some gripping episodes and some throwaway ones. But it’s never been bad, and it’s been on a constantly improving trajectory. I’d recommend it in general (as I would The Flash) but even if you’re not interested, this one episode will be a fun 43 minutes.