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  1. Romulus
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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!
"Ghost Town" - Sam Roberts Band, from the CD/LP/Download All Of Us. (2020)
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Honestly, I just continue watching out of hope that it'll improve, or that somehow the story will focus on Supergirl, again.

I was underwhelmed, almost front to back, this season.


The real shame is, there were some really great stories, this season. J'onn's arc with his brother. Dreamer's focus episode, Reality Bytes. The Bottle Episode was a fantastic Brainy story. Back From The Future was a wonderful 2 part story where Winn was the lead. Alex in Wonderland was a great Alex episode, and Deus Lex Machina, while it featured more Supergirl than I expected, featured Lex as it's lead.

The only truly Supergirl-centric episode this season, in my opinion, was It's A Super Life.

The writing has improved, overall. Really, it has. But the writing for KARA is the problem. If they could give Kara/Supergirl some episodes as impactful and dynamic as Reality Bytes, The Bottle Episode, Back From The Future, or Alex In Wonderland, we'd be in good shape.

That's where I stand. I'll continue to watch until this show ends. I don't always know why. Out of some sort of hope that we'll get some fantastic stories for our lead.
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For me it was a very long and ultimately frustrating season.

The Good
- The primary strength of the show has been and continues to be the stellar main cast. They elevate whatever material is given to them. On and off camera they seem utterly committed to their roles. Obviously, they struck gold with Melissa, but it might be the best ensemble cast in the Arrowverse so far. The only negative is that it has continued to expand, as with Flash and Arrow.

- Guest casting this year was really impressive as well. Snagging Sean Astin and Cara Buono in particular speaks to how attractive the show is to actors. Mitch Pileggi delivered a powerful presence as Rama Khan. Phil LaMarr was also a standout.

- The technology theme was overall a plus, I think. Not as heavy-handed politically as last year, but it was still relevant. Examples of technology's potential to harm and help and the ways it can be twisted were generally effective. The worst I can say is that here and there, the writers struggled a bit to say something of value, becoming trite or moralistic.

- I particularly enjoyed J'onn's pre-Crisis arc.

The Bad
- The biggest flaw this year was much the same as last season--it just took too long to get anywhere. For too much of the year, Leviathan's goals and motivations were painfully vague. Part of this was probably due to the Crisis build up.

- Speaking of Crisis, I liked the crossover, but I am not a fan of the changes made in the post-Crisis world. I don't like that the main characters are largely strangers to the world they live in. The Department of Extranormal Operations becoming a subsidiary of Lex Luthor's company made zero sense.

- I've said it elsewhere, but the show has evolved from "Supergirl," though "Supergirl and Friends," and now to "Supergirl's Friends." Dead horse re-pummeled, I shall move on.

- I think somewhere along the line, the show decided to take itself way too seriously. Yes, there are moments of goofiness, but the sense of fun that was almost palpable early on has given way to occasional pop culture references thrown in a stew of malaise.

- You know what this show needs? Even more costumed vigilantes.

The Meh
Things I could take or leave:
Lena's arc
William
Kelly
The destruction of the DEO

Conclusion
Last year, I said nailing the ending was just enough to make Season 4 worthwhile.

This time, no resolution would have been enough to save the season. I simply quit caring. There is zero chance of me buying the blu-ray.

The Future
Obviously, I hate the show, right? At this point, in all honesty, a little, yeah. To my mind, a fan of a character can only be poked with a stick so many times before becoming resentful.

I saw Brierrose use the term "hate watching" in the news feed comments. That is a point of concern for me--and the last thing I want or intend to do. Toward the end of Arrow's 7th season, I just had enough. During the "Previously on Arrow" recap, of an episode, I decided I didn't want to do it anymore. I turned off the television and never looked back until COIE. I didn't miss it. Unless there is a change in trajectory, I expect that will happen at some point next season. I will take it episode by episode. I'll be sad if it happens, because it was my favorite by a country mile.

My hope is that the break gives them a chance to formulate something a little more towards the fun/aspirational end of the spectrum.

Maybe Trump will lose the general election and the writers will take the stick out of their collective butt. ;)
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I had very mixed feelings about this season. I think overall, it ranks last for me: 1, 2, 4, 3 & 5.

I will ignore the fact that CW moved the show to another time slot for the second year in a row... oops, I went there.

I thought things started off pretty good for season 5. Event Horizon and Stranger Beside Me had their moments: Supergirl revealed her nanotechnology enhanced new suit (pants!), she got to punch a dinosaur, she did a little fancy flying to catch a bullet in mid air, she was creative and used a truck side mirror to deflect a ray. So far so good :). I felt things got a little meh after that :o ... until Tremors :D, which I thought was the best pre-Crisis season 5 episode. I thought, the momentum has arrived! Next up, The Wrath of Rama Khan... I thought this is gonna be awesome... I was soooo wrong.
It landed with a thud. Rama, well cast, but ultimately he was not much of a threat :( . A real disappointment. Then, it was here COIE Part 1 :D . That was a huge undetertaking and I thought they pulled it off nicely and Supergirl was well represented throughout. Well done. The Bottle Episode :D was a outstanding showcase for Jesse Rath and kicked off what I hoped would be a solid post-Crisis world for Supergirl. Next up, Winn's return Back from the Future Parts 1&2... Again, my expectations were high, but I was left underwhelmed :( . Not a bad episode, just not a very good one either. I expected more, possibly too much. Apparently, I didn't miss Winn as much as I thought I did. But that was ok... the milestone episode 100 Its a Super Life really delivered :D. Kara gave Lena notice. Thomas Lennon was great as Mxy :D . The Bodyguard :p was perhaps my least favorite episode of the season. It essentially irritated me from start to finish. Next, we got the Dreamer and Alex showcases. Both had their moments... again, not bad episodes but neither would rank as a favorite with me :o. Deus Lex Machina was a favorite :D. I really like Jon Cryer as Lex and when he released his rage at Lena, I was floored. One of my favorite episodes. The show hit its stride and it was followed by the standout penultimate episode where I think Rama Khan was redeemed as a formidable adversary and Lena came to her senses. The makeshift finale made for an excellent cliffhanger/season finale. Loved the final 3!

What didn't work for me or what I found clunky...

That awful wig in Its a Wonderful Life :p :p!

I think they could have covered and concluded the Leviathan threat in the first half of the season. It did not need to be stretch out over the entire season.

I feel somewhat the same way about the Lena season long pity party. It seemed to drawn out. We did get 3 of my favorite episodes out of it (Tremors, Its a Super Life and).

Andrea/Acrata was somewhat wasted... Next!
William... Next! I didn't not like William, but.. Next!


Things to come...

I do know what to make of Gamemnae at the end of the finale or who she works for... did who she works for prevent her from being trapped with Rama and the rest in Brainy's bank tube? Could a gender swap new take on the [New Earth] "Annointed One" be who she works for?

I loved that Lillian popped up at the end. Can't wait to see what she is up to next season. Lex had better look out... she may have her own agenda.

Things I'd like to see....

They could film some green screen scenes of Kara talking with Kal and Lois and the nephews (hologram, zoom, skype) for Superman & Lois to ease the wait until mid season. Has Kara even met her nephews?

I think we need a shorter, more tightly written season 6.

Maybe Kara can go to Argo City and visit Alura. I just can't believe Kara would not visit more often. Earth might be her home now, but that's her mom and people!

Enhance the biosuit with the sun lamp emitters. Let Kara use the biosuit for an outerspace or underwater adventure. Could she fly to Argo? Could she search for Atlantis? If the show is going to add more cgi instead of hand-to-hand combat scenes, try something new.

I would like a return visit from Phil LaMarr.

I want the Supergirl/ Batwoman World's Finest... we don't need other shows involved in this one. I was very upset when I read on bleeding cool that CW was doing World's Finest with Superman and not Supergirl. This cannot happen! It must be Kate and Kara.

I wouldn't mind other pair ups like Kara and the original Vixen or Kara and Black Lightning. Maybe have coffee and donuts at Jitters with Iris and Caitlin? Kara likes her donuts!

I think they should do some stand alone, self contained episodes.

How about a hybrid live action/animation episode. Mxy could send Kara into a comic book or video game... for good obviously as he is reformed.

A little subtle cross pollination with other Arrowverse shows in the background. Perhaps Gambi (Black Lightning) has history with Lillian Luthor. (I liked how Black Lightning revealed ASA Odell is from Gotham... little easter eggs here and there).

I REALLY, REALLY want Cat Grant to take back CatCo Worldwide. I think they could include Calista remotely (ZooM and Skype sessions), she wouldn't have to relocate to Vancouver. Sign of the times people. It would be very reflective of our lives now. Besides, CatCo is worldwide, nothing say Cat needs to be in National City all the time.

Show Brainy in his true green form more often. Another follow up from Meaghan Rath. Make her green too...

Last but not least... let Supergirl save the day from time to time without any outside assistance. At the end of the day, the show is called Supergirl.
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This season never got into the swing of continuous episodes week after week. The season was plagued with delays caused by the pandemic which hurt the show's rhythm. But even without those bumps the season was weak but stronger then season 4.

I'm not going to get into each episode's likes and dislikes. In a general sense I would like to see more of Melissa's talent on display. And of course more of her being a hero and saving the day. I thought the decision to change her suit was a big mistake and was an abuse of power.;) If they want to change a character's suit let's start with Nia's and then rethink Alex's new get up.

Season 5 like all of the shows before have very talented actors and actresses but you need superior writing and stories to keep the fans engaged. That's what I'm hoping for going forward.
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Oh... and let's see Kara go nuclear in season 6 and raise her internal and external temperature to 1000 degrees to defeat an opponent, perhaps whatever Gamenae has become... wasn't aware she could do that... but it appears she can!

https://screenrant.com/supergirl-heat-power-temperature
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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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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 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?
Hope, Help and Compassion for all
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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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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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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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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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@ 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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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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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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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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@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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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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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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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!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supergirl Season 5
  3. # 20
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