I took a break from writing a story with a female lead to watch the pilot episode of a show featuring strongest female on television, and I was sorely disappointed with Supergirl’s treatment of female characters.Supergirl

Let’s start with the Bechdel Test. This show should have been an easy “pass.” At this point, I am going to assert that the show fails. Every conversation between two named women included comparisons of Kara to her cousin, Kal’El, especially about how much better he is than her.

Let’s pause on how badly the show is at representing women to ask, “Why is it that movies and TV won’t call him ‘Superman’ anymore?” I mean, seriously, WTF, Mates? “The guy in blue”, “him” (hopefully lowercase), “this superlative man”? What is wrong with having the quintessential American mythological hero called by his name?

Instead of harping on each problem I have with the script’s treatment of each female character, I’m going to list how inebriated you would be if you played PTC’s Exclusive Supergirl Drinking game. There are several options, pick your item and take a shot each time it happens.

  • Twig-like Calista Flockhart commands her assistant to get her a food item in an angry non-sequitur.
    • You are unsafe to drive. Good thing you only watch this show at home.
  • Reference is made to Supergirl’s clothing being destroyed by her invulnerability and its normality (of course they are only talking about her cape).
    • You are probably seeing double.
  • Supergirl receives a violent strike (from a male character) that sends her flying or appears to hurt her badly, though she isn’t injured so the visual effect really just makes her look like a weakling.
    • Unless you are a hardened alcoholic, you are unconscious.
  • It is revealed that someone else knows Kara’s secret identity.
    • You are definitely unconscious, and your friends are getting out Sharpie markers.
  • Someone has to convince Kara that she can do something heroic, because they believe in her.
    • You have died of alcohol poisoning; thank you for playing.

The real problem with the pilot episode isn’t the treatment of half the cast, though. It is the lack of character in all the characters. Everyone is a “one-note” personality. I.T. guy has a crush on Kara—interrupts himself to ask her out. Government agent hates aliens—literally says the line “I hate aliens” twice. Sister would rather die than have Kara reveal that she has super powers—her first response is, in effect, to call Kara “stupid”. The titular character doesn’t know if she can fly because she hasn’t flown in years—that’s right, she was able to fly as a child, her cousin can fly, but she doesn’t know if she can because–um, reasons?

We will probably watch the next two episodes because you really can’t judge a show by its pilot anymore, but it has an uphill climb before this Supergirl could be considered a positive role model.