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Supergirl: The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 11, 2016 by  



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“Supergirl: The Complete First Season” is a delightfully, entertaining superhero action drama series that definitely does a great job of paying homage to the comic book series, but also showcasing episodes that are entertaining, well-written and features a good balance between humor, action and drama. Whether or not you enjoyed the comic books, this is a superhero series definitely worth watching!  “Supergirl: The Complete First Season” is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Supergirl: The Complete First Season

TV SEASON AIR DATE: 2015-2016

DURATION: Episodes 1-20 (877 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Warner Bros.

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: August 9, 2016


Directed by Glen Winter, Dermott Downs, Larry Teng, thor Freudenthal, Karen Gaviola, Kevin Tancharoen, Kesse Warn, Lexi Alexander, Jamie Babbit, Chris Fisher, Nick Gomez, Adam Kane, Steve Shill, John F. Showalter

Written by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, Caitlin Parrish, Derek Simon, Yahlin Chang, Michael Grassi, Rachel Shukert, Ted Sullivan, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, James DeWille, Anna Musky-Goldwyn, Jessica Queller, Robert L. Rovner

Produced by Michael Grassi, Ted Sullivan

Co-Producer: Sheridan Thayer, Jennifer Lence, Carl Ogawa, Joanie L. Woehler

Executive Producer: Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Sarah Schechter

Consulting Producer: Robert L. Rovner, Roberto Aguirre-Sarcasa

Music by Blake Neely

Cinematography by Jeffrey C. Mygatt, Michael Barrett, David Stockton

Edited by Andi Armaganian, Barbara Gerard, Harry Jierjian

Casting by David Rapaport, Lyndsey Baldasare

Production Design by Seth Reed, Cabot McMullen, Tyler Bishop Harron

Art Direction by John B. Josselyn, Giao-Chau Ly, Jim Wallis, David Meyer

Set Decoration by Andrea Mae Fenton

Costume Design by Kiersten Ronning


Starring:

Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers

Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen

Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers

Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott

David Harewood as Hank Henshaw

Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant

Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord

Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane

Briana Venskus as Agent Vasquez

Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El

Chris Vance as Non

Italia Ricci as Siobhan Smythe

Helen Slater as Eliza Danvers

Glenn Morshower as General Sam Lane

Dean Cain as Jeremiah Danvers


Born on the doomed planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped at the same time as her cousin, Superman, but didn’t arrive on Earth until years later after being lost. Raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be. With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO), who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world.


From Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg (the creators of the “Arrow” and “The Flash” TV series) comes the action-adventure drama TV series “Supergirl”.

The series stars Melissa Benoist (“Whiplash”, “The Longest Ride”, “Glee”), Mehcad Brooks (“The Valley of Elah”, “Glory Road”, “Necessary Roughness”), Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Not Another Teen Movie”, “Brake”), Jeremy Jordan (“The Last Five Years”, “Joyful Noise”, “Smash”), David Harewood (“Blood Diamond”, “Homeland”, “The Brothers Grimsby”), Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal”, “Brothers & Sisters”, “The Birdcage”), Peter Facinelli (“Twilight” films, “The Scorpion King”), Jenna Dewan Tatum (“Step Up”, “Tamara”, “10 Years”), Briana Venskus (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, “Nashville”, “Grace and Frankie”) and Laura Benanti (“Nashville”, “The Good Wife”, “Nurse Jackie”).

With the first season airing on CBS (and the second season moving to the CW and set to premiere in October 2016), “Supergirl” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in August 2016.

“Supergirl” revolves around Kara Zor-El, the young daughter of Zor-El (portrayed by Robert Grant) and Alura (portrayed by Laura Benanti).

When she was 12-years-old, she was placed in an escape vehicle before the Planet Krypton exploded.  Her mother gave her instructions to protect her infant cousin, Kal-El (who would be known as Clark Kent/Superman) and similar to her cousin, she would have special powers once she arrives in Earth, due to the sun.

But as Kal-El made it to Earth, Kara’s spacecraft was caught in the shockwave of Krypton’s explosion and was stuck in the Phantom Zone where time has stopped and 24-years has passed but yet Kara has not aged.

Kal-El, who was Superman found Kara’s spacecraft and saved her.  And he places her in the company of her new adoptive parents, the Danvers family and her sister Alex Danvers.  And was taught to hide her powers and not use them.

The series takes place a decade later and Kara Danvers (portrayed by Melissa Benoist) is employed as an assistant at the CatCo Worldwide Media.

She works for the arrogant and snobbish boss, Cat Grant (portrayed by Calista Flockhart) who is jealous by her former mentor, Perry White of the Daily Planet thanks to their coverage of Superman and trying to find ways to boost attention to her company.

Kara is closed to her IT friend Winn Scott (portrayed by Jeremy Jordan) and former Daily Planet photographer, James Olsen (portrayed by Mehcad Brooks).

One day, Kara’s stepsister Alex Danvers (portrayed by Chyler Leigh) was riding in a plane that was sabotage to explode.

Fearing for her sister’s life, Kara uses her superpowers and eventually, saving her and many people from death.  But as others took photos of her, Cat Grant immediately has her paper reporting on the mysterious woman, dubbing her “Supergirl”.

But Kara learns that her sister Alex is a doctor and scientist that works for Hank Henshaw (portrayed by David Harewood) at the DEO. The DEO’s role is to study extraterrestrial activity and are very familiar with Kara’s powers but also are aware that when Kara’s ship was caught of the shock wave explosion, it pulled a Krypton prison known as Fort Rozz along with her to Earth.

And now, Krypton’s top criminals are running around Earth and are gathering together, many who want she and also Superman dead.

As Kara now wants to use her powers for good but also to learn more about herself and her true powers, with the help of her friends and the DEO, she has taken the identity of Supergirl and has become the latest sensation in National City.


VIDEO:

“Supergirl” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). The picture quality for this series is very good. With its high production value and many outdoor scenes, overall picture quality shows very good detail, especially with closeups.

I didn’t notice any major banding issues or artifacts.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Supergirl” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The series is crystal clear when it comes to dialogue and action sequences.  From the various battles that Supergirl takes part in, to the sounds of her flying through air, there is good use of the surround channels.  Overall, lossless audio is very good for this action/drama TV series.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Supergirl: The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring deleted scenes from the episode “Red Faced”.

DISC 2:

  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring deleted scenes from the episodes: “Hostile Takeover”, “Blood Bonds”, “Strange Visitor from Another Planet” and “For the Girl Who Has Everything”.

DISC 3:

  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring deleted scenes for “Solitude”, “Falling”, “Manhunter” and “Worlds Finest”.
  • Supergirl: 2015 Comic-Con Panel – (14:50) A featurette from San Diego Comic Con for the “Supergirl” panel (excerpt).
  • The Man From Mars – (9:36) A featurette about J’onn J’onzz (Martian Manhunter) and his alias, Hank Henshaw.
  • A World Left Behind: Krypton – (10:41) A short documentary about the history of Krypton and its role and depiction in “Supergirl”.
  • Gag Reel – (4:05) Outtakes from the first season of “Supergirl”.

EXTRAS:

“Supergirl: The Complete First Season” comes with a slipcover and an UltraViolet code.


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As a person who grew up purchasing and reading a lot of DC Comics titles, I have always been a big fan of the Superman-related titles.  May it be “Superman”, “Superman: The Man of Steel”, “Action Comics”, “Justice League of America”, “Superboy”, “World’s Finest” and also “Supergirl”.

“Supergirl” was always an interesting title because she has been depicted in so many different ways through the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and the present-time.

As Kara Danvers was a girl growing up and discovering her powers and showing a different lifestyle compared to her cousin, her storyline has been given more substance in recent stories to make her more relevant in the DC Universe and with today’s TV series giving new life to DC characters such as “The Flash”, Green Arrow in the series “Arrow” and now with “Supergirl”.

While the series manages to capture the “Supergirl” style of the comic books of Kara’s self-discovery, trying to fit in today’s society and businessworld, the series also goes further in exploring Supergirl’s relationships, with her stepsister Alex, her co-worker James Olsen and Winn Scott and more.

For DC Comics fans, they will no doubt love the series for its fascinating storylines but also the inclusion of J’onn J’onz (Martian Manhunter), Red Tornado and also a series collaboration with “The Flash” (and yes, the multiverse is discussed).  Also, for those who loved Helen Slater in the older “Supergirl” films, they will love the fact that she plays the role of Kara’s stepmother Eliza.  And also, the fact that her stepfather Jeremiah is portrayed by Dean Cain, who played Clark Kent/Superman in the TV series “Lois & Clark”.

Let’s first talk about what I loved about the series.  I loved how the series established it’s connection with Kal-El/Superman and creating this new story of how Kara’s spacecraft brought down the Kryptonian prison to Earth.  So, it really lends to storylines in regards to Supergirl taking on other Kryptonians and alien superbeings.

I loved the fact that not every episode relates to Kryptonian villains and there are other interactions with DC superheroes and characters.  But most importantly, humanizing Kara Danvers by featuring her relationship with her sister Alex.  And the two working together but also having their own differences at times.

I also enjoyed the use of comedy in this drama series.  Similar to “The Flash”, I really dig the balance of humor and drama.

What I didn’t like?  It’s not more of not liking, it’s more of how similar the DEO is to Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m not sure if I want to see the DEO on every episode but it is what is and Kara is doing work for the organization to trust her as Supergirl and it gives her access and opportunities.  But the problem I find with this, is how James Olsen and her friend Winn Scott are involved with Supergirl’s life, including her actions with the DEO.

This is something that Superman/Clark Kent would ever allow a civilian that he is close and have a friendly relationship with and letting them be so close.  Superman/Clark Kent never gave James Olsen much access to his superhero life because he was always in fear of putting his friends and family in jeopardy.

But for “Supergirl”, with her two friends now going with her to the DEO location, this leaves her friends open to being targeted and I can see these them as liabilities.  So, this is something that I can only hope to see writers explore as part of Kara’s learning experience of being a hero.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good as close-ups show very good detail.  Picture quality is primarily outdoors and is vibrant, while I saw no signs of banding or artifacts.  Lossless audio is very good with crystal clear dialogue and good use of the surround channels for action sequences.

As for special features, you get several deleted scenes and also a few featurettes.  Unfortunately, no audio commentary are included.

Overall, “Supergirl: The Complete First Season” is a delightfully, entertaining superhero action drama series that definitely does a great job of paying homage to the comic book series, but also showcasing episodes that are entertaining, well-written and features a good balance between humor, action and drama.  Whether or not you enjoyed the comic books, this is a superhero series definitely worth watching!

“Supergirl: The Complete First Season” is recommended!

 






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