Is Supergirl’s new costume not sexy enough? Videogame BANG! Podcast #83

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This Fall CBS is getting caught up in the trend of ‘Super’ shows by adding Supergirl to their weekly lineup. The CW has had a massive amount of success with Arrow and The Flash, and Fox has jumped into the game as well with the Batman-based show Gotham. With more DC shows on tap in the coming months, the most unique thing about Supergirl as a television series is that this is the first time in quite a while that we are getting a titular female lead in live-action super hero show.

Now back in the ’70s Wonder Woman had a three season run, same as Batman and Shazam!, but ever since then there has been a distinct lack of female leads in the super hero genre. To take that last idea just a little bit further, it may have been even longer since we have seen a strong female super heroine lead that did not fall back on sex appeal to attract viewers.

The ’70s live-action Wonder Woman was a hit with the young men of the era and I’m not convinced 100% that it was because of Lynda Carter’s thespian mastery. Sure the plotlines and effects where just as bad as any of the other male driven shows of that time period, but many times during the show’s run we did see a very underdressed, very busty Wonder Woman running full speed towards the camera. Shows like Alias, La Femme Nikita and even Dark Angel have popped up through the years with varying levels of success. Though not as hypersexualized as Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, these shows also feel to have been marketed towards males just as much as they were for women. This is not to say these shows are sexist by any means, but there was plenty of sexual situations and male ‘fan service’ sprinkled throughout the show’s plotlines. Based on the CBS six-minute preview, there was very little of the typical sex sells marketing tactics used.

Melissa Benoist, the woman playing Supergirl, is a very beautiful woman. That said she is not the bombshell one might compare to Lynda Carter, or the beauty icon that is Jessica Alba. Her last major network role was on Glee, where she was also a fairly conservative character. In the promotional materials released by CBS we see a Supergirl that is not as exposed as what comic book fans may be more familiar with. No super short skirt or exposed midriff, instead she is well covered from neck to toes. The trailer is sure to make note of this in a scene where Kara is trying to pick a costume and she comes out in something closer to what you’d expect from an exploited super heroine, and jokes at its impracticality. We see that Melissa Benoist has an amazing body, and this right there may be the ‘fan service’ I mentioned before used in a cheeky post-modern way. Given the idea however that we have a modestly dressed Supergirl, that based on the tone of the preview and actor selected will not depend on sexual situations or provocative costumes can the show survive?

Time will tell.. DC having plenty of short comings in the movie world lately has come up in a big way on television. Shows like The Flash and Arrow have been critical hits and each include amazing woman in the supporting cast. Now it’s time to see if Supergirl will hold her own and but the guys in the supporting, dudes in distress, role.

So Internet, what do you think of Kara Zor-El’s costume? Will it make a difference to the success of the show?

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.