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  3. Supergirl Season 5
  4. Monday, 18 May 2020
Hi,

I just opened this thread so that our board members can post their thoughts, feelings, analyses and impressions of the Season 5 that just was. Mention the highs, lows and everything in-between. What worked, what didn't, and where (ideally) should the show go from here.

As always, please be respectful of others' opinions and points of view. You may disagree with one-another, but kindly agree to be agreeable and keep it civil. :)

1, 2, 3...GO!
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@Brierrose

While I think the Kara/Lena "fight" plot was dragged out too long and understandably alienated Lena and Supercorp fans and I would have like it resolved pre-Crisis, I do think post Crisis episodes, It's a Wonderful Life, Deus Lex Machina and Missing Link really gave us exactly what we needed and were amongst the very best of Season 5. I definitely would not give those up. I think there were just too many episode inbetween that really didn't move the needle in regards to the Kara/Lena arc.
So your preference would've been for the relationship to have been resolved pre CoIE I can understand that. That certainly would've changed the post CoIE storyline. I think there was value in the reaction we saw from Lena when Lex returned. For me pre CoIE would've been too fast perhaps episode 16 or 17 would've made more people happy.
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@Brierrose

While I think the Kara/Lena "fight" plot was dragged out too long and understandably alienated Lena and Supercorp fans and I would have like it resolved pre-Crisis, I do think post Crisis episodes, It's a Wonderful Life, Deus Lex Machina and Missing Link really gave us exactly what we needed and were amongst the very best of Season 5. I definitely would not give those up. I think there were just too many episode inbetween that really didn't move the needle in regards to the Kara/Lena arc.
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….Do you think it would have been as effective if they went there and resolved it quickly or do you think letting it simmer throught the season made it more impactful?

Thoughts?
I say overall impactful. This was a big issue with legitimate grievances on both sides. I liked the fake-out resolve in the first episode because I didn't want it resolved that quickly. Almost all the Kara/Lena scenes we had were meaningful and every one was beautifully acted. Let’s think about the timeline from the characters perspectives for a minute. For the first six episodes Kara thought everything between her and Lena was good. It was us the audience that knew how Lena really felt and what she was up to. So yes for the audience might that might have dragged on too long. In episodes 7 and 8 the relationship hit rock bottom. Then CoIE happened and brought Lex back. Episode 10 established some of how things had changed and that Lena remembered what had happened on Earth-38. By the end of episode 10 they're basically like fighters who go back to their corners. Episodes 11 and 12 welcomed Winn back. Then we have Kara’s breakthrough in episode 13. After that Kara doesn’t know what Lena’s up to and doesn’t need to stop Lena as she said she would. Bottom line it was a long time for us the audience but for the characters not so much.

Logistically I think CoIE had a lot to do with the pacing, especially the first eight episodes. If they wanted to be at a certain place post crisis they could only make so much progress before. Also they had Jeremey for a certain time period and if they didn’t use him they would lose him. All in all I think it was better to have the Kara/Lena conflict stretched out than resolved too quickly.
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I thought this sub-topic fits fine within this forum thread as opposed to starting a new one concerning this article found on cbr...

https://www.cbr.com/supergirl-kara-lena-making-up-silly-fight

I totally agree that the Kara/Lena fight lasted too long, but resolving it in the season premiere may have been too soon and undercut the impact considerably. In addition to the season premiere, I think we did get good follow-up on the "fight" with Tremors, Its a Super Life and the penultimate episode, The Missing Link. (Honorable mention to Deus Lex Machina which was the catalyst for Lena's turnabout. ) Now, these three episodes, while spread far apart throught the season, does demonstrate there was good drama to be mined and they got some of the seasons best moments from it. But, It also shows they could have resolved it in 3-4 episodes, pre-Crisis, albeit without Lex.

Do you think it would have been as effective if they went there and resolved it quickly or do you think letting it simmer throught the season made it more impactful?

Thoughts?
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@ superbill,

Re: Your last post.

Fair points. You are certainly entitled to your views and I am entitled to mine (and others are to theirs). To each their own.

How I critique it and how you critique it differs. Not a big deal. You may not appreciate my style or generalisations (many people don't) and that's perfectly fine. I have valid reasons for being as harsh as I am at times and using the terms that I do. You are most welcome to use whatever terms you wish in your assessments as well. I am very well aware that I do not represent the "entire" fanbase or SG community. The choice of words may have been inaccurate in my post. It happens. Such is life. This is not a scholarly dissertation, merely a forum for opinions.

Truth be told, I used to be an apologist for the show and let things slide by the wayside for four consecutive seasons but there came a point when it became impossible to be so any longer. Apparently you have a higher threshold for things than I do. Again, not a big deal. You can enjoy it and view it and critique it any way you wish and I will do the same. We agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Side note: I have made it a point in my postings to give praise where praise is due (esp. the actors and various crews), and to not sugar-coat my feelings where I believe the show could improve. To date - and from my personal perspective only - I have not seen the needed improvements from the people that need to make the improvements and from those who have the ability to elevate their "game" and the end product, so to speak. That is why I am as stark in my assessments as I am.

Final point: You stated: "It is possible to critique the show without tearing it down."

My rebuttal: Yes it is. But the PTB do such a wonderful job of tearing it down unwittingly. They're extremely busy doing it on so many levels for so many viewers. Irrespective of the amount of times the show is automatically renewed, or the increasingly seemingly irrelevant viewership numbers, or the praise (faint or or genuine) heaped upon it by various outlets, it still manages to miss the mark for many viewers on a regular basis.
"Ghost Town" - Sam Roberts Band, from the CD/LP/Download All Of Us. (2020)
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I agree with jacksc101.
I have loved the show from the first episode! I know it has its faults, but it is still my favorite show I have ever watched in my life and I will watch it until it ends or until Melissa leaves it. She has outstanding talent and outshines the rest of the excellent cast.
I would like to see more of her, both as Kara and as Supergirl, and more times when she saves the day rather than being saved by others. I know she can't always be the one, and they are stronger together, but my favorite parts revolve around her prevailing. I have been rewatching earlier seasons and I do get the feeling she has less screen time per episode than in seasons past.
And I love all the little humorous elements; and when she inspires and uplifts us all.
Mine too!
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I agree with jacksc101.
I have loved the show from the first episode! I know it has its faults, but it is still my favorite show I have ever watched in my life and I will watch it until it ends or until Melissa leaves it. She has outstanding talent and outshines the rest of the excellent cast.
I would like to see more of her, both as Kara and as Supergirl, and more times when she saves the day rather than being saved by others. I know she can't always be the one, and they are stronger together, but my favorite parts revolve around her prevailing. I have been rewatching earlier seasons and I do get the feeling she has less screen time per episode than in seasons past.
And I love all the little humorous elements; and when she inspires and uplifts us all.
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Quoting Romulus:
"The criticisms levelled against the writers aren't personal attacks against specific individuals but genuine ongoing concerns. We're all aware that everyone has differing tastes and standards and some will enjoy what is on offer and others will struggle with it. Everyone's a critic to some degree.

The reason it appears that some of us have fixations regarding the quality of the writing, story directions, flow, character decisions, and other writing devices is simply because they're continually not being addressed properly and it is very trying on the viewership since the cohesion and flow of a show are paramount for the audience to be able to be engaged in the action, to follow the plot and dialogue with ease without having to reach for antacids on a frequent basis, and to also become genuinely invested in the characters. The fact that there has been a large, revolving cast over five seasons is taxing and is wearing a tad thin on many viewers. The old adage, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" comes to mind.

True, the show for the vast majority of us is simply an hour-long entertaining diversion, but for others who are a little more invested in the project's well-being and longevity, the show's direction is questionable at best and woefully remiss at worst. No one wishes to single out the writers for their efforts, but the deficiencies start at the top and wend their way down. Thus far, what has kept the show's viewership, in my view, are the actors and crews and their dedication to doing their very best even if the directives from above (esp. executive choices) to be out of left field or inappropriate for the type of superhero series the dedicated viewership and general fanbase are hoping for."

Here is my problem: All of this is valid, for you. And although you acknowledge that fact, you quickly revert to descriptors which imply that you are speaking for "the viewership," as highlighted above. You probably do speak for many, but not for all and certainly not for me. Let's remember that this show won an award for best superhero show last year. Most of the reviews I have read have been positive, while also recognizing the faults that many of us, including me, have noted. It has been renewed repeatedly and has maintained a loyal fanbase. And the weekly polls on this site, while unscientific, reflect approval by the great majority. So considering those facts, I think that the use of terms such as "unwatchable," "crashed and burned," "having to reach for antacids," and other similar descriptions is unwarranted. It is possible to critique the show without tearing it down.
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@jacksc01

I have long questioned why they downplay Kara's superior intellect. I assumed it was to make her more humble.

I am hoping the showrunners/writer take this time and review Supergirl's powers and abilities, including her intellect. She has a couple that superman doesn't possess and she has the biosuit. They should circle back do a laundry list and then see where they can use them in S6.

Between Covid-19 and Melissa's maternity leave, they have a unique opportunity to take a deep dive into her character and see what is possible to explore in S6.

It does appear they are planning pursing the William relationship... as a slow burn.
https://tvline.com/2020/05/24/supergirl-season-6-kara-william-future-melissa-benoist-interview
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My thoughts of Season 5

Not one of my most favorite seasons. Yes it does cost money to show off SuperGirl's powers but the writers did not seem to have any trouble showing us the powers of Dreamer or of Brainy. I would have rather seen less of their powers and more of the powers of the girl of steel. It will be interesting to see just how much they hold off on SuperMan's powers due to money. I am sure we will receive the full spectrum of the capabilities of the man of steel. One thing I wish they would show as part of SuperGirl's powers is the fact that she is a genius compared to humans. Also show off all her powers: freeze breath, heat beams from the eyes, able to see through things, strength, super-hearing, flight, etc. This is SuperGirl's show and I'm not that interested in seeing the super powers of Dreamer or Brainy.

I like that SuperGirl has a human boyfriend - I think it makes for a more exciting relationship. What will really be fun is when William finds out that he is dating the girl of Steel. I really do feel they make an adorable couple.

I am pleased that the Kara and Lena's relationship was able to be saved. I think they make good friends and that Lena makes a great addition to the SuperGirl team. Also, with Lillian Luthor coming back into the picture, Lena and Alex's science knowledge will be greatly needed.

For me, in my opinion, we could have seen a little less of Dreamer who within a short period of time acquired immense powers and self-conceit demonstrated by her looks and actions. Brainy we could of had a great deal less of. I realized that SuperGirl was pregnant during this season but I think that saving the earth from Leviathan should have been done by SuperGirl and not Brainy. There are entirely too many Superfriends which makes less time for Kara/SuperGirl and Alex. J'onn I think got plenty of time this season.

I am hoping that in season 6 we see more SuperGirl action, more SuperGirl scenes, more SuperGirl powers and of course more scenes between Melissa and Chyler. As always, I enjoy hearing the calm, father-like voice and presence of J'onn.

I want to make it clear that I love this show and that my dislike of various things does not, will not and never has equated to a dislike for the show. This is the only show I watch on television. I will continue to watch the show for as long as it continues which I hope is a long long time
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The Kara/William relationship may continue into season 6... see Melissa's recent comments.

https://tvline.com/2020/05/24/supergirl-season-6-kara-william-future-melissa-benoist-interview


Very nice, I (as seemingly one of the few) enjoyed Kara and William in Season 5 and look forward to what's in store for them in Season 6.

Hopefully it's part of nice balanced story for Kara/Supergirl next year, something along the lines of 50% Supergirl, 30% Kara working life and 20% Kara personal life.


I figured that storyline would continue into season 6 so not surprised.I don't really have a opinion on it.I think William is fine and since I don't ship(not after the Buffyverse),I just go along where they want on ship fronts.There hasn't been a ship I hated on the series and I've enjoyed elements of the various ships as they happened.For example,I thought the karaoke duet this season was cute as well as William making food for Kara.
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The Kara/William relationship may continue into season 6... see Melissa's recent comments.

https://tvline.com/2020/05/24/supergirl-season-6-kara-william-future-melissa-benoist-interview
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@ superbill,

Very well articulated points. Great contribution! ;)

You also mentioned:

"Having spent 30+ years as a writer, I know very well that no writer can ever please everyone. We all look at this show from our own perspective and with our own preferences and expectations, as we should. But in my opinion that can sometimes lead to fixation on a perceived deficiency or point of irritation that affects our opinion of the overall."

*****

The criticisms levelled against the writers aren't personal attacks against specific individuals but genuine ongoing concerns. We're all aware that everyone has differing tastes and standards and some will enjoy what is on offer and others will struggle with it. Everyone's a critic to some degree.

The reason it appears that some of us have fixations regarding the quality of the writing, story directions, flow, character decisions, and other writing devices is simply because they're continually not being addressed properly and it is very trying on the viewership since the cohesion and flow of a show are paramount for the audience to be able to be engaged in the action, to follow the plot and dialogue with ease without having to reach for antacids on a frequent basis, and to also become genuinely invested in the characters. The fact that there has been a large, revolving cast over five seasons is taxing and is wearing a tad thin on many viewers. The old adage, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" comes to mind.

True, the show for the vast majority of us is simply an hour-long entertaining diversion, but for others who are a little more invested in the project's well-being and longevity, the show's direction is questionable at best and woefully remiss at worst. No one wishes to single out the writers for their efforts, but the deficiencies start at the top and wend their way down. Thus far, what has kept the show's viewership, in my view, are the actors and crews and their dedication to doing their very best even if the directives from above (esp. executive choices) to be out of left field or inappropriate for the type of superhero series the dedicated viewership and general fanbase are hoping for.
"Ghost Town" - Sam Roberts Band, from the CD/LP/Download All Of Us. (2020)
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Overall, I liked season 5. The technology theme interested me, and I thought there were several great episodes and the season ended on a strong note despite the unforeseen pandemic. That being said, I agree with some of the criticisms cited. I did think the Lena arc dragged on too long; speeding up a truce with Kara could have led to a longer and more interesting reconciliation arc between them, and might also have enabled a resolution of the Lex story despite the late season production halt. I also agree that there are too many characters and sub-plots. More focus on Supergirl and key cast members while limiting others to recurring roles as needed would make for tighter stories. The focus should always be on Supergirl/Kara.

Having spent 30+ years as a writer, I know very well that no writer can ever please everyone. We all look at this show from our own perspective and with our own preferences and expectations, as we should. But in my opinion that can sometimes lead to fixation on a perceived deficiency or point of irritation that affects our opinion of the overall. I invest one hour a week in this show. It has many good points and a few mess-ups, but I always try to focus on the positives. One hour isn't much of an investment, and I can say unhesitatingly that I have never regretted watching. Judging from some comments I'm not sure that is true of everyone. While constructive criticism is important, picking away at the same scab over and over will only increase aggravation. So for what it's worth, I advise enjoy the ride, bumps and all.
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My question is does that perspective at all change your opinion of the EPs and writers moving forward?

When I look at season 5 which did have legitimate excuses for an unpolished product my point of view doesn't change. In season 4 there was no Covid and Melissa wasn't pregnant and in my opinion the season was the worse. Among other things they never took advantage of Melissa's talent when she was the Rooski and missed a golden opportunity to showcase the STAR. And now looking back at season 5 it appears that nothing has changed. If not for Melissa I would have been out the door after season 3.
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My question is does that perspective at all change your opinion of the EPs and writers moving forward?

My issues with the EPs are not related to Melissa's pregnancy or COVID-19. In my opinion, the issues have existed from the day they took over and have not improved since.

More "Supergirl action" alone would not change the fact that Kara is largely a bystander in her own show. She could be dynamic and proactive, but for too much of the time since season 3, she is passive, reactive.(The Flash has similar problems, but as I've said before, this isn't theflash.tv. ;) )

The most frustrating thing to me is that the writers have shown themselves to be capable of putting together some quality stories. J'onn and his brother had a great arc.

If the showrunners displayed half the passion for the main character as I saw shown for Stargirl last night, I think it would go a long way.
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Brierrose wrote:

"My question is does that perspective at all change your opinion of the EPs and writers moving forward?"

****

From my perspective, not really.

Every trick in the cinematographer's / producer's playbook can be used, but it will not cover up the fact that the stories are increasingly flimsy and the end product, irrespective of budget or Hollywood voodoo used to prop it up, has sorely gone downhill. This has been a recurring problem since the mid-point of at least Season 3. The writers may be good at getting scripts out the door and on schedule, but they have certainly not been exceptional or of any consistent quality since at least Season 1.

I am loathe to say it, but when AA left after Season 2 and AK left at the mid-point of Season 3, the original vision for the series, sense of cohesion, and creative forces that made the show watchable on a consistent basis went by the wayside. I'm not defending anyone's actions, decisions or behaviours, but I'm simply pointing out that the caretakers (current showrunners) are out of their depth with this project. That's not implying they're terrible EP's, but their talents are far better suited to be working on non-superhero projects.

Melissa's pregnancy may have reduced her physical wire-work and her action sequences as the shooting for Season 5 went on, but it doesn't make up for the fact that the stories have been lackluster and the overall trajectory has been haphazard. Season 4 was difficult to watch on many levels and for many reasons and Season 5 has has been consistently and spectacularly inconsistent and in many respects worse than prior Seasons.

In my modest opinion, the show needs to have an abbreviated Season 6 (which is a good possibility given the state of things globally) and call it a day thereafter. The cast and crews have done excellent work on this project, but everything else surrounding it (and them) and supporting it (and them) has crashed and burned.

Truth be told, the Supergirl project needs to be completely rethought, redone and revamped from the ground up. No more soft reboots, no more band-aid solutions to ongoing structural problems and no more weak story re-writes. This can only happen if a different iteration is used and a completely new retelling of her story is done. Supergirl works best if it is a film or a short-duration project (e.g. mini-series) and not dragged out way past its best by date.
"Ghost Town" - Sam Roberts Band, from the CD/LP/Download All Of Us. (2020)
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I wasn’t planning to drop into this thread but a conversation with a friend today made me think. Melissa was pregnant during the filming of a good portion of the back half of the season. We’ll have a rough idea of how much after the baby’s born. Changes had to have been made, we’ll never know the extent only that it wasn’t just the virus that altered the original plan. As an example things like the flying rig were off limits for her. The EPs, writers and directors may have had to make decisions that they didn’t like but were necessary. That being said the finished product that is season 5 is what it is and is liked or disliked. I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind on the finished product, I haven’t even decided how I feel yet.

My question is does that perspective at all change your opinion of the EPs and writers moving forward?
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Well, I just watched the pilot for Stargirl and it was good entertainment with much potential. I know it's early but It's possible that Stargirl may become CW's flagship show in the coming months. Maybe that will spark some positive change with the Supergirl folks going into season 6. The flash,batwoman and legends are unwatchable in my opinion. Yes the CW is in trouble.
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I'll only add a few cents to this conversation because most long-time members of this board know my stance regarding the trajectory of Season 5 right from the get-go. I knew trouble was a-brewin' when the changes were revealed back in July 2019 and let's leave it at that.

What I will add is that, like most, I can take or leave what was offered in Season 4 and 5 and emotionally disinvest / divest myself from this show at this point and only hope and pray that the PTB, writers and creative juices needed to reinvigorate this project for Season 6 are in synch. Truth be told, I'm not expecting miracles but a pleasant surprise here and there would be welcome

The extended hiatus will either make or break the show and its continuity. Full stop. All that is certain is that there will likely be some sort of resolution to the Leviathan / technology / Lex Luthor arc at the outset of Season 6, Chyler Leigh will likely get to direct an episode, and that Melissa in her personal life will be a new mother. Other than that, everything else is a total free-for-all.

And, with the announcement that Ruby Rose has left Batwoman and a recasting is in store for that show only indicates that not all things are on an even keel on the Good-Ship Berlanti. Now with this added pressure, it's possible that a few of the newer Season 2021 shows will have to pick up the slack in a hurry for an ailing trio of the Flash, Supergirl and Batwoman.
"Ghost Town" - Sam Roberts Band, from the CD/LP/Download All Of Us. (2020)
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