by Dana Corrin (@atomeve on Twitter and @thedisreputabledoge on Instagram)
With the emergence of the "Supergirl" TV show trailer, the internet just can't seem to come to a unanimous decision on whether or not the show will be "good". This is not unexpected and is generally par for the course with any live-action adaptation of a superhero story.
Overwhelmingly though, I've seen a LOT of criticism hurled at the show's initial sneak peek that I absolutely cannot get my head around. In particular, people have been upset that the trailer for "Supergirl" is almost an exact copy of the SNL parody skit about a Black Widow solo film.
The problem with this being used as a criticism against "Supergirl" as a show is simple: not all women are the same. People seem to have forgotten that somewhere along the line and in doing so, apparently now want all female characters to forget it as well.
Kara Zor-El is the ultimate metaphor for being a teenage girl. She's lighthearted, kind, benevolent, and often naive. She is frequently manipulated into nefarious plots because villains play on her insecurities, her desire to belong, and her sometimes naive universal kindness and belief that everyone and thing has the capacity for good.
Black Widow on the other hand is a hard and fast kind of woman. She's grown up tough and had the cards stacked against her for as long as she can remember. She's a no-frills-get-shit-done and mission-driven woman. She's a fighter in the same way Supergirl is a protector.
So, when you take this hard, gritty, fight-til-someone-wins woman and toss her into an overly feminized rom-com situation, it's hilarious. The reason it's funny is because it's out of character. There are times when Natasha gets to let loose a bit and just honestly chill out and be a person for once (which is a necessary breath of fresh air for characters like her), but even then she is not saddled with "OMG I just spilled coffee on my new day dress I was going to wear to meet Bucky in the park" scenarios because that's not her and audiences know this and don't expect it of her.
Kara, on the other hand, is a teenage girl. Or at least most often, is still quite young. She's had her share of trauma, yes, but that isn't what she's built herself on. Supergirl is the flaxen-haired, cape-wearing, girl group-look-a-like we see saving cats from trees because she feels that's important. She's fretting over what to wear to school/the office because she doesn't want to look out of place or like she doesn't belong.
So, what exactly is wrong with the "Supergirl" trailer? Nothing. Okay, well, truth be told, I can do without the lesbophobia, wet cardboard white dude sidekick, and a few other very minor things, but in terms of being an accurate, loving interpretation of an iconic female character? I couldn't ask for anything better. "Supergirl" looks fun, full of heart, and ready to make you feel some warm and fuzzies and you can bet I'm interested.
While the "Supergirl" and Black Widow parody comparisons are funny to a degree (really mostly only in timing, I suppose), using that a legitimate criticism against "Supergirl" is not. Ultimately, the sooner we stop trying to hold all women to a sexist carbon-copy standard, the better and we can start doing that by treating our fictional women the same way. Black Widow and Supergirl are vastly different characters and to expect the same tone and style of show from both is bullshit.