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  4. Tuesday, 01 June 2021
(As you guys know I haven't been here a while. This is probs the last post I'll make on this site, and I just wanted to leave some final thoughts on what went wrong, and what could have been. I just wanted this show to be good :()

Objectively speaking, casting aside all personal biases and hopes for characters and storylines, pretty much all DC shows on the CW have gone into the dirt, their decline starting at about their third season if not earlier.

Despite being a big fan of the series and arrowverse overall when it started(members back in the day might recall the supreme enthusiasm we all shared), I must admit I haven't watched any of shows in the past year. I tried to, and simply couldn't. And that's really sad because I very much want to like these shows. I wanted them to succeed.

I think the CW format is the downfall. Long runnning, poorly planned seasons, with weak plots that is inadequately compensated by endless fillers, "new characters", pandering to shipping and representation*, and a strong focus on manufactured character drama, over the core of each show, which is well, about its titular superhero. This has been seen in each arrowverse show, where the main characters, none of them really had or needed "teams", have been all superceded by their "teams". Always Iris or Nia or somebody to the rescue, always their drama.

I get CW likes drama. Supernatural in its long 13 season milking is a prime example. But it annihilates shows. Each show on the CW starts with promise and end as unwatchable. The format ruined DCTV. I wish Supergirl, and the Flash, started on Netflix or something.

*About representation. It's not a bad thing, but done as the main focus, neglecting actual plot and structure, is terrible. I'm neurodivergent, asian and bisexual. Adding a character of any of those identities don't make me like a show any better. Fixing the **** plot will.
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I generally agree with your take but will add a few points, if I may.

1) CW shows - especially the superhero variety - are usually watchable for three seasons. After that, they tend to lose their muster and focus.

2) Way too many crossovers and poor planning / follow-through. One hero going over to another show once per season (like the Flash to SG in S1) is fine, but to do a three or four night mega-crossover involving all of the shows tends to dilute the overall product too much. For me, the straw that did me in was the COIE one. It should have been a complete stand-alone project and filmed outside of the regular season. It would have made an interesting sub-story / stand alone feature but not a universe breaker on all shows.

3) Too many distracting storylines and arcs. One or two episodes featuring the secondary characters and their issues every so often is fine but to do a story arc on secondary characters every season defeats the purpose of why people tune in to watch the shows - to see the titular hero be super.

4) Unwise cosmetic / costume changes to the heroes at various stages in each show's run. Tweaking costumes for aesthetic and practical purposes is good, but to totally revamp or overhaul a costume when one has been firmly established is a show-wrecker.

5) Too many characters introduced in a haphazard way. Also, the villain of the week format is / was not properly thought out.

6) The constant changeover in the writing rooms from episode to episode and season to season (i.e. too many cooks).

7) Inconsistent / weak scripting and lengthy seasons. Each show would work best as a 10 to 12 or 13 episode season in order to retain viewer focus and interest.

8) Poor executive decisions (although some are understandable given the nature of the business) on a consistent basis. If they do not have a basic grasp of the source material or have a clear, concise direction of where the character(s) is / are supposed to end up when the season is done, they really should work on non-superhero shows.

9) Supergirl, in hindsight, was a very good fit for CBS and worked well as a very mainstream show (despite its inherent 1st season wonkiness), but was completely diluted and bogged down with varying agendas and unnecessary polarising subject matter when it shifted exclusively to the CW.

10) Supergirl's story works best as a three film series (trilogy) and not necessarily as a multi-season TV series. The concept and application of Supergirl as a feature film focusing on one topic / adversity at at time would strengthen the overall brand. Having Supergirl as a TV show is / was a good idea and it did bring the character back to the viewing public's consciousness but it could have worked more effectively if it was 3, 4 or at a maximum of 5 seasons.
"Little Alien" - The Chills, from the CD/LP/Download, Scatterbrain. (2021)
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One of my biggest complaints for all these shows does stem from this inherent need to turn every show into a team dynamic.

If I'm being honest, Arrow handled it better than any of the other shows. It was just Ollie in season 1, then Ollie and Canary in season 2, then Ollie and Roy, with the later addition of Laurel in season 3. Then in season 5, they jumped the shark with "New Team Arrow".

The Flash is similar. Seasons 1 and 2 were extremely strong, with Barry being the only costumed hero. Then we added Vibe, Killer Frost, Jesse Quick, and Kid Flash in season 3. Way too much, way too fast. Season 1 felt like it had been meticulously planned, front-to-back. I feel like all of the shows should have their full seasons mapped out in that way.

Supergirl added J'onn relatively quickly, but his primary role was still as DEO Director. And for the first 2-3 seasons, he never really overshadowed Kara. Though there were some frustrating issues of regular DEO agents with guns regularly rescuing the Girl of Steel, which made no sense to me. And James as Guardian ALWAYS felt unnecessary. Season 3 added the Legion, but they always felt like Guest Characters, so I wasn't too offput by that. I never thought they overshadowed Kara. There were other problems in season 3, for sure, but I don't think the team dynamic was to blame. Then, season 4, J'onn got a more intense and emotional arc than Kara, with his rivalry with Manchester. Adding on to that, the addition of Brainy as a regular (who I love), Nia as a sidekick/partner, and this is where Kara got sidelined in her own show. Even James got a better personal arc than Kara, which is nuts. The shame is, IMO, the show had great potential in season 4, if they hadn't decided to switch gears mid-season, completely botch the Manchester Black story arc, and go the "It was Lex all along" route.

Season 5 was a disaster, front to back. Many fans were offput by the new hair and suit (I think if they had done something similar in design to Overgirl's suit, that would have looked better, though I will admit the new suit looks much better now that the bangs are gone). Aside from the suit, the villains were just poorly written. Every supporting character got a better arc than Kara. J'onn with his brother, Brainy coming to terms with himself after losing his inhibitors, and how it impacted his relationship with Nia. Alex's relationship with Kelly. Even Lena's manipulation by Lex. Meanwhile, Kara's whole arc for the season was naively blaming herself for Lena's actions. That arc could have been great, but it was dragged out WAY too long. Should have been resolved by midseason, or shortly after Crisis. And now in season 6, the first arc was light on Kara (out of necessity), Alex is a proper "hero", now, and even Kelly is taking on the mantle of Guardian...it just seems like too much for the final season.

I think the majority of the issues in all these shows stems from bringing on too many cast members and losing focus. So by and large, I agree with Romulus.

I do think Supergirl would have been cancelled if it stayed at CBS, so I'm not going to comment any further on that point.

The jury is still out on Batwoman, for me. The character change between seasons 1 and 2 really ticked me off. It's like they wanted to create a whole new show with a new lead, but just use the brand recognition of "Batwoman". And that doesn't sit well with me. My final thoughts on that will depend on how they wrap the season, with Wallis Day's recast of Kate Kane.

I'm greatly enjoying Superman & Lois, but it is annoying because we are already seeing the building blocks for their eventual "team". Jordan, Johnathan, or both will clearly eventually become Supers. And "The Stranger" (I won't spoil his identity, here, in case others aren't caught up) is clearly being set up to eventually join Team Super.


Circling back to Supergirl...am I bummed that it's ending? Yeah, a little. But I'm more bummed that it's ending during the pandemic season, where filming has slowed, what can be filmed is more restricted, and we don't get a proper crossover for her final season. This was really the biggest reason I was hoping we'd get a season 7. But alas, it wasn't in the cards.
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One of my biggest complaints for all these shows does stem from this inherent need to turn every show into a team dynamic.

Anything produced by Greg Berlanti is going to be about the group/family/team. Sometimes that's obvious from the show's title (Brothers and Sisters, No Ordinary Family, etc). Other times not so much (The Flash, Supergirl, etc.), but that's still what's going to happen.
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I have a slightly different take on this subject. I personally don't think this is specifically a CW format issue. Any show that runs a long time is likely to suffer from fatigue regardless of the network. If these shows were not on CW, they would have lasted a couple of seasons at most, some wouldn't have gotten past episode 13. Supergirl may have made it to season two on CBS if CBS and Warners did not see its greater potential for their CW platform. But, it's cost would have likely prevented it going beyond that, so CW was a lifeline. As far as the teen angle, we'll that is the CW model. Fox toyed with it early on with 90210 and that may have exposed the niche market that launched WB and UPN, which ultimately gave us CW. CW is a broadcast network and subject to stricter content limitations that do not apply to cables and streamers.

I think Arrow fell apart in season 4. Flash is basically unwatchable since Crisis. Legends camp factor has grown stale. Batwoman without Kate Kane is not Batwoman. Black Lightning came to an end earlier than expected. Supergirl has been my overall favorite, but there have been many hit and miss moments starting with season 3. So, I get the luster begins to wear after a few seasons. But, ultimately I appreciate having several of the episodes that I would not have gotten to see if on another network. A streamer may have been better in some respects as they would have had fewer restrictions... but how many shows has Netflix kept for as many seasons as these shows have run?
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Does the CW format inherently ruin shows? The proof is in the pudding. I pretty much agree with everyone and would like to point out the opportunities that were squandered concerning Supergirl. In particular when they created the Rooski Melissa they missed a chance to put on display this multi talented lady. They should have focused 10 minutes on every episode to the Rooski. It would have been nice to see some character development so the fans would be more involved. Instead we got nothing. Oh yeah, we got Lex Luther who shouldn't even be on the show. And I'll take it a step further and say that these past several seasons have damaged Melissa's career.

July 20,1969 "The Americans Are On The Moon"
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And I'll take it a step further and say that these past several seasons have damaged Melissa's career.


Ouch, but probably huh? Grant, Melissa, Stephen they're all good actors. But the CW takes good actors and then grind the shows till they're playing junk parts.

A few points have been raised that if the shows weren't on the CW they wouldn't have as many seasons, but that's probably a good thing. I think fewer seasons and episodes would actually cut down the need for fillers and extra arcs, and it's what makes shows on the streaming sites (Amazon Prime, Netflix etc) good compared to CW
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Oh yeah, we got Lex Luther who shouldn't even be on the show.


Where the plot and design of the show is weak, they try to fill by using fan-service, bringing iconic DC characters and elements in to add appeal. It doesn't work and they ruin those characters. CW Lex is a meme. And they even added in the anti-life equation, only to use it as a mundane throwable plot device? smh
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And I'll take it a step further and say that these past several seasons have damaged Melissa's career.


Ouch, but probably huh? Grant, Melissa, Stephen they're all good actors. But the CW takes good actors and then grind the shows till they're playing junk parts.


I wouldn't go that far. While the writing has been an issue, Melissa's talent has never been in question. And Melissa has managed to do what very few other TV actors, especially CW actors, have done. In her off season, she manages to diversify her career with films and projects that take her out of the "Superhero" archetype. These are things other actors in similar situations have been unable to do. This includes cast members from Arrow, The Flash, Legends, etc.

Between seasons 1 and 2, she shot Patriots Day, a film about the Boston Marathon bombing. Between seasons 2 and 3, she shot the Waco miniseries, between seasons 3 and 4, she made her Broadway debut. She finally just took a break between seasons 4 and 5, but between 5 and 6, she clearly worked on her book with her sister. Not to mention, somewhere along the line, she formed a Three Things production company and cemented a contract with Warner. She had every right to slow down when she had her child, but she appears to be busier than ever.

I'm not going to defend the writing of the show. That's been an ongoing problem. But I don't think that the show has damaged Melissa's career. I think it's afforded her more opportunities than it cost her.
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@... And I'll take it a step further and say that these past several seasons have damaged Melissa's career.

I gotta disagree... I doubt Melissa would have her current production deal without the 5 seasons of Supergirl under her super belt. I doubt she would have had the opportunity to play Carole King on stage without it. This show made her a star and opened lots of doors. She is a standout performer and brought Kara/ Supergirl to life. I think her career after Supergirl will be a success, furthered by her fan base built from Supergirl and not damaged from it.
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Some interesting commentary here..
Here are my thoughts.

As for myself, I really liked the idea of the Supergirl Team in Season 1. It set Kara apart from Clark/Kal-El in her approach to the role of a superhero. But I thought that Kara should be the only one with superpowers and that the other members of the Team should be human friends and co-workers, each of whom had their own special skills and areas of expertise to contribute to the Team. But I always felt that Kara should always be the unquestioned leader of the Team. I did like J'onn at first, because he was mostly just the DEO director who happened to have superpowers, too, and never overshadowed Kara. (In fact, he supported her.) Of course, the Supergirl team concept inspired me to begin writing my own "hard science fiction" Supergirl stories (actually screenplays).

I was also aware by inconsistencies in the show, like DEO agents armed only with bog-standard guns somehow rescuing Kara. And then there were the apparent (and unexplained) shifts in Kara's power (and vulnerabilty) levels from one episode to the next. I really liked (and miss) the character of Cat Grant, but thought her frequent "mood swings" were a bit over the top, and never really adequately explained. I used Cat in my own stories,but made her much more supportive and sympathetic in her relationship to Kara. I also liked the idea that Cat really knew that Kara was Supergirl all along, but kept that knowledge to herself, only dropping subtle hints from time to time. Of course, I used that approach in my own stories, too.(Actually, I modeled my Cat on my school's principal at the time!)

As others have said, the show started going off the rails, as far as I was concerned, in the subsequent seasons, when more and more superpowered characters were added to the mix. I felt that many of them were really unneceesary, and tended to take the focus off of Supergirl.. Before long, Kara was being regularly overshadowed, if not sidelined at times. It sometimes seemed as if the titular character was no longer really the star of her own show. This development was a major disappointment for me (as others have already said).
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@... And I'll take it a step further and say that these past several seasons have damaged Melissa's career.

I gotta disagree... I doubt Melissa would have her current production deal without the 5 seasons of Supergirl under her super belt. I doubt she would have had the opportunity to play Carole King on stage without it. This show made her a star and opened lots of doors. She is a standout performer and brought Kara/ Supergirl to life. I think her career after Supergirl will be a success, furthered by her fan base built from Supergirl and not damaged from it.

Let me be as clear as possible. The Supergirl role for Melissa was a shot in the arm for her career. From her outstanding portrayal of the character Supergirl many doors were opened to her. She got the Broadway gig right before the show went into the crapper. Season 4 and 5 damaged her career because she was no longer the focus of the show and her star was dimming.
She got the production deal and a show of her own because she's Melissa Benoist not because she played Supergirl.

July 20,1969 "The Americans Are On The Moon"
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Everyone is entitled to their opinions...

It seems obvious that the production deal Melissa inked with WB comes after her establishing a good working relationship with them during her long 100+ episode run as Supergirl, further reinforced by her obvious talent showcased on the series... all seasons. The correlation between the two seems quite obvious. Again, I see Supergirl as furthering her career, not hindering it. So, let me be clear... seasons 4 and 5 did not damage her career. The series obviously opened doors and those doors remain open. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it, as I see no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Any long running show, whether or not on the CW, runs the risk of fatigue. Personally, I would have liked Supergirl to continue through season 7. But, in hindsight, I think overall the seasons may have been better/tighter with fewer episodes. I look forward to the back 13 and hope the show gets a great send-off.
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I guess anybody's career is beyond our speculation, nor really should we speculate, as, what for?

As to the original point about the show itself, I was really hoping since this is the last season, it'd be better than previous ones. I haven't been watching, but I have been reading the synopsis on this site, and sadly it doesn't look promising for me.

What do you guys think of the current season? Worth a watch? Or the same old problems?
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I guess anybody's career is beyond our speculation, nor really should we speculate, as, what for?

As to the original point about the show itself, I was really hoping since this is the last season, it'd be better than previous ones. I haven't been watching, but I have been reading the synopsis on this site, and sadly it doesn't look promising for me.

What do you guys think of the current season? Worth a watch? Or the same old problems?


Honestly? No. But the first arc of the season was always going to have problems, as we knew that Melissa would be absent for the first 3 months of filming due to maternity leave.

In my opinion, they still could have used that arc to explore the world's reaction to Supergirl's disappearance, as well as the character's emotional reaction to her possible loss. As it stands, even Alex's reaction was kind of lackluster. She got "over" Kara's loss way too quickly. J'onn showed no emotion, whatsoever (for Kara, anyway). The only two characters who had really compelling reactions to Kara's loss are Lena and Brainy...an odd combo, indeed.

They also missed the opportunity to explore the concept of the world thinking that Supergirl was gone. That could have been really amazing, to me. And even when Kara returned at the end the arc, there was no emotional payoff, because whatever geniuses were in the editing room cut that scene short after only 4 seconds (literally).

As such, the first stretch of episodes was disappointing, to me. Now I'm just hoping they can make it up in the last 13, now that Melissa is back, full time. But we need Kara, front and center. Not only that, but she NEEDS to have an emotionally compelling arc. She needs to have the best arc of the season (an issue they've been struggling with for the past two years, as J'onn, Alex, and even James have had better arcs and more emotional stakes than Kara). These last 13 episodes need to be HER story.

Honestly? If they blunder this back end, I'm gonna consider this to just be a three-season show, ignoring seasons Four, Five, and Six. Four had potential, but the writing was inconsistent as they shifted gears halfway through the season, botching the Manchester Black arc in the process. Yet Four was a masterpiece compared to Season Five, in my opinion. That writing was just...I'll put it this way; Season Five was when I stopped trying to defend the show to my friends.

Season Three had some issues on the back end, but was overall a very strong season, compared to anything we've gotten since then.
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Fedguy

What do you guys think of the current season? Worth a watch? Or the same old problems?

It's hard to judge the current season up to this point because your Mickey Mantle has been out of the line up. I will continue to watch because I have been a loyal and supportive fan since season 1. They say that an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

It's worth a watch as long as you have your favorite alcoholic beverage on hand. For me it's become a Dry Martini chilled, straight up with an olive. During season 4 and season 5 I was doing shots of Stoli with beer chasers. The start of season 6 made me switch to the Martini's.

I know this is not an approved method of getting through pain but I would suggest that you give it a try. :)

July 20,1969 "The Americans Are On The Moon"
Rita Hayworth Higher and Higher you tube
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