Melissa Benoist is indisputably the most perfect actor embodying the role of a comic-based character since Christopher Reeve donned the red and blue for Superman in 1978. Given all the competition since then, such a statement might prove controversial… to constipated Trump Toon comic geeks, but their opinion is as worthless as their Craven Cantaloupe Christ who currently resides at 1600 Penn Avenue (or rather, the golf course). Too, I need to alter the title a tad; it’s not only the hippest damned superhero show on TV, it’s hipper than any of the comic-inspired productions being offered in cinema and the hippest genre series since the 1960s Adam West Batman.
Yet, Supergirl is also among the favorite of alt-right fanboys; favorite targets that is, joining the esteemed company of 2017’s Star Wars; The Last Jedi (how dare Rey-a girl-earn the role of a Jedi through work as opposed to being fathered in? Kinda the antithesis of President Oompa Loompa) and 2018’s Black Panther (for obvious reasons, despite the fact that the comic book off which it’s based is over 50 years old).
Let’s first address fanboy complaints from the yawn-inducing Goebbels Operational Playbook. Why? because it’s so damned fun to out them as the 19th century bigots and Neanderthals that they are. Naturally, they’re as predictable as a paint-by-number set; amusing in their ethical timidity and the ease by which they are offended.
Complaint One: “GASP! Jimmy Olsen is black! That’s PC BS! “
Never mind that to complain about political correctness is politically correct in itself. In some of the complaints seen on various social media outlets, the mentally and ethically challenged alt-right don’t often come right out and say it’s because he’s “black.” Rather, they say “Olsen is supposed to be a geeky redhead with freckles and Mehcad Brooks plays Olsen like a GQ model!”
Let’s call this lame BS spin-doctoring for what it is. No one complained when a freckle-less Olsen had black hair in “Lois and Clark.” They didn’t complain when Hack Snyder killed Olsen off in a war zone. No, this is just a smokescreen to mask the inherent bigotry of Trump Toons.
Why? Because these are comic book fundamentalists. They have the same mindset as religious fundamentalists. Comic book characters are essentially gods to Trump Toons and even though the fanboys know the characters to be fictional (we hope), they still edify literal portrayals of deities who wear underwear outside of their pants-WHEN it’s convenient for them to do so (like bible fundies-they pick and choose).
In the comics, Superman doesn’t kill. Trump Toons didn’t protest one bit that this long-held tradition was deviated from in the execrable Man of Steel (2013). Superman had a curl hairdo. Henry Cavill doesn’t have a curl. Superman had red briefs. Not anymore. And so on. Thus, these complaints being spewed by funny paper-reading Trump Toons are rendered as cartoonish and hypocritical as they are.
Complaint Two:” It has lesbian sex!!! This is political propaganda! with a pro-gay agenda!”
Uh, no it doesn’t have lesbian sex. It depicts a couple who happen to be in a same-sex relationship and they did kiss a couple of times, but essentially we can translate this as: IF Hollywood happens to show any characters that are not hetero WASP males, then it’s … “POLITICAL!” Never mind that the Trump Toon geeks’ Kool-aid serving savior has a much put-upon wife who did a same-sex photo shoot ( a few years earlier these same politicos were outraged that Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress). This is also telling because homophobes only associate same-sex unions with sex. Of course we knows that gays are subhuman, they don’t have feelings and don’t do things like take out the trash, fold laundry, or go to church together, etc. Perhaps even worse, Supergirl’s big gay sis Alex (the too-hip-for-words Chyler Leigh) can kick male butt.
Of course, Hollywood is the great evil empire; the whore of Babylon; the secret illuminati trying to brainwash us by sending subliminal pro-gay agenda messages. Oh wait; Mango Messiah Trump was a Hollywood trash TV host? Throw a blanket over that inconvenient fact and scream “FAKE NEWS!”
Complaint Three: “It’s not family-friendly!”
Millennials are a favorite target of Murican Neo-Nazis, er “alt-right” (let’s be ‘politically correct’ here to appease a demographic who claims to despise political correctness). Why? Because millennials aren’t as saddled with my generation’s inherent bigotries. Yet, for the crowd who constantly complains about Hollywood brainwashing, there is an intense sense of frustration and angst because Hollywood isn’t cooperating with alt-right parents in ongoing attempts to brainwash their tykes into mantling mummy and daddy’s hatreds and judgments. It’s not going to work. Overall, millennials are a more ethical lot than us and their sense of community will, in the long run, supersede attempts of parental manipulation.
Even more hypocritical are the valueless puritan values of Trump Toons. Pornstar lubbin’ Donnie “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump certainly inspired more pubescent redneck boys toward misogynistic behavior in schoolyards than an entire season of Supergirl showing a same-sex couple brushing their teeth and fighting bad guys.
Complaint Four: “They’ve ruined Superman by making him “POLITICAL!”
First up; Tyler Hoechlin is easily the best Superman since Reeve-bar none. Second; he (thankfully) doesn’t possess the self-loathing of Cavill as directed by Snyder. Finally, here again we have cherry-picking hypocrisy of self-styled traditionalists because Superman’s tradition is indeed “political” (insert another FAKE NEWS claim here). 1951’s Superman and the Mole Men depicted George Reeves’ Wyatt Earp-like Superman enforcing gun control on a mob of bigots attempting to butcher “illegal immigrants” and had a high-powered feminist in Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates). Reeves’ 1950s Superman was essentially an “I like IKE” Rockefeller Republican; you know the original Republicans (i.e. John McCain, John Glenn, Richard Lugar, Barry Goldwater) who were moderates (they’re now called RINOS). These were the pre-Strom Thurmond/Religious Right-influenced Dixiecrat Republican extremists that we have today.
In the classic Adventures of Superman series was a clearly gay actor (Jack Larson) playing a redhead Olsen (minus freckles). The only people who failed to see that Larson was gay were the same simpletons who didn’t realize that Liberace and Paul Lynde weren’t card-carrying hetero males.
Let’s be frank, what Trump Toons are complaining about isn’t “political” per say, it’s the “justice”part of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”
Complaint Five: “Supergirl is a feminazi.”
Ah, here’s alt-right hypocrisy at it’s most pronounced.
First, conspiracy-minded Trump Toons love to make the historically absurd claim that Nazism was socialism because it had the word “socialist” in “National Socialist Party,” just like they love to hone in on the “discrepancy”of the Auschwitz sign that changed from 6 million murdered to 1 million murdered, without realizing that the camp merely altered the number to reflect how many died there as opposed to how many died in the war itself. Also, Trump Toons love to throw a blanket over the fact that socialists were among the first victims of the Third Reich; that Hitler was funded by right-wing extremists and that Hitler himself authored the phrase that “liberalism is a mental disorder.”
Too, the eternally adolescent mindset of Trump Toons is as follows: “Supergirl (and her like) are intolerant feminazis because they are intolerant of our intolerance.”
Adding to this paranoia is Benoit’s well-publicized appearance at an anti-Trump rally. Now, for the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake is the too-hip-for-words Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant. “She’s a Hillary supporter” scream Trump Toons incessantly. While I’ve never been a Clinton fan per se, she’s a tad too shrill and she didn’t work hard enough during her campaign and she frustratingly repeated her 2008 mistake of assuming that she was going to win, there is no doubt that she was far more experienced than amateur Trump and, yes, she’s more ethical because while Trump and his toons repeatedly ostracized Clinton for having a serial adulterer husband, they hypocritically whited-out that Trump himself is a serial adulterer. Character flaws are conveniently ignored as long as you’re a WASP male. Clinton was crucified for having far less flaws than Donnie boy. Supergirl, actually believing in that Truth, Justice, and the American Way nonsense dramatically evens out the playing field by showing a powerful, self-made woman in Cat (unlike Trump who inherited daddy’s dyed-green paper).
Too, Benoist and her alter-ego have plenty more guts than Prez Bone Spurs. Let’s be honest, would perennial crybaby snowflake Trump have the guts to stand amidst a crowd of protestors? Hell, Megan (of all people) sent him into a Baby Huey-tantrum.
Predictably, Trump Toons have now mantled hatred of ex-Wonder Woman Lynda Carter since she portrays a (GASP) woman president in Season 2. We’re only about a thousand years behind Europe in accepting women leaders.
Complaint Six: “It’s too cheesy.”
Translation: Supergirl likes being super. She has fun with it and doesn’t possesses all that angsty hyper-masculine narcissism of Trump, Cavill, Affleck, etc.
Complaint Seven: “Supergirl supports illegal immigrants.”
Hmm, what forms did our forefathers fill out exactly when applying to Native Americans here for citizenship? It’s no accident that the Orangutang-in-chief has a life-history of hostility toward Native Americans. Sure, Supergirl uses extraterrestrial aliens as metaphors for immigrants. So did Superman and the Mole Men, along with Twilight Zone approximately sixty years ago.
Of course, the bible that GOPers love to claim they literally live by, also has a couple of words to say about aliens/ immigrants/foreigners : “When an alien resides among you, do not mistreat them. The immigrant residing amount you must be treated as your native-born.” (Leviticus 19) Things that make you go hmm.
Complaint Eight: “They’re cramming minorities down our throat and all the bad guys are rich white males and military.”
This is a complaint made regarding the character General Lane (Glenn Morshower), which is a character from the comics and apparently is faithful to the source material in that he is at first a Supergirl nemesis who becomes an ally. So too it is with the billionaire character Max Lord (Peter Facinelli). Many of the most prominent antagonists in Supergirl are women: Reign (Odette Annable), Astra (Laura Benanti), Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong), Rhea (Teri Hatcher), Indigo (Laura Vandervoort), Livewire (Brit Morgan), Silver Banshee (Ricci Cast), Psi (Yael Grobglas), Bizarro (Hope Lauren), Maxima (Eve Torres Gracie), Roulette (Asian actress Dichen Lachman), and Purity (black actor Krys Marshall).
Dean Cain (former Superman and Republican actor) is a protagonist. There goes that ill-informed theory.
As for minorities; yup there are (count ’em) TWO African-American male leads…in one show, even!!! There is the afore-mentioned Brooks as Olsen AND David Harewood as the Martian Manhunter. Here’s the fallacy of the Trump Toon argument: PC Hollywood is cramming minorities down poor white boy throats by employing non-caucasian actors (worse, the show even depicts a…drum roll please… interracial kiss!!!). Because, you know that we white boys didn’t enslave anyone and, heck, blacks have had their rights for a long time now. Ok, but the concept of civil rights is less than 60 years old. You can’t wipe out 600 years of oppression and maltreatment in half of a century. Yet, Trump Toons and their like wonder why many minorities feel that racism is thriving.
The Pop Theology of Supergirl (don’t let that T-word scare you):
My grandfather once chided a fundamentalist that the “bible” was outdated. He argued that we now had Superman (he was referring to the George Reeves series) and, being more fun, that supplanted the old myths. Essentially, my grandfather, in having a pulse on the power of myth, was a Joseph Campbell-type before Campbell’s work became known.
Being predominantly a heart-geek, Kara Danvers makes for an edifying mythological pulp model. She’s most super in her Pollyanna heart (to quote the cynical Livewire); combining the better qualities of millennials with the sacred feminine. However, she’s not sacred because she’s a martyr or infallible. She’s sacred because she wants to help and lift the downtrodden. Yes, that’s the power of the Christ and Marian symbology as well. Inexplicably, evangelicals have long focused on the sacrifice motif and completely ignore the beatitudes (along with the entire book of James). In the narrative, Christ is predominantly a maternal figure and there’s no doubt that he’s the son of the woman who spoke the Magnificat (both writings being similar in theme, Christ was influenced by his mother).
Most revealingly, there is a reason that many 1960s fundamentalist churches were downright vocal in their paranoia about the Superman figure and saw it as authentic “competition” to their version of one Jesus of Nazareth. That’s because, along with the origin similarities, Reeves’ Superman was 40ish and a benign paternal figure (unlike later portrayals of a twenty something Kal-El).
Benoit’s Supergirl is an even bigger threat. Hell, she’s a super-powered Magnificat in a red cape and mini-skirt. Taking to heart that other goddess-Lady Liberty, Kara protects the stranger (The Goebbels Operational Playbook omits that along with Matthew’s quoting of Christ: ‘When I was a stranger, you took me in’ and Luke’s report of Mary’s ‘He will bring the mighty down from their thrones and feed the hungry’).
Supergirl offends deeply because she does charitable things, has boyfriend problems, bad hair days, doesn’t make much money, doesn’t want to be pedestaled, occasionally loses, and has a live-and-let-live POV (as long as one isn’t harming another). She is inherently the antithesis of Trump Toons who crave demagoguery.
She’s far more offensive than the recent incarnation of Batman (Snyder/Affleck), who, let’s be honest, is a kind of authoritarian revenge-seeking rich white trash dressed as flying rodent. Benoist’s Supergirl, like Jesus, doesn’t give a hoot or holler if one is an “illegal” human being, non-Wasp male, or gay (see the biblical story about the centurion and his pais). Of course, I’m not comparing Supergirl to Jesus in any literal sense. However, the arch-conservative funny paper geeks do inherently compare them in a way (or at least to their Messianic Trump), even if they’re not overly conscious of it and a super girl is as threatening as a woman president. It’s better to have a pathological lying xenophobic misogynistic serial adulterer silver spoon-fed raging narcissist than an EVE as leader because we know that evil woman is nothing but temptation and the only way to deal with them is to grab ’em by the pussy.
Sorry, to disappoint Trump Toon boys, but Supergirl’s got a pussy of steel.
Next Week: Supergirl Season One Review & Episode Guide.
2 thoughts on “SUPERGIRL: THE HIPPEST DAMNED SUPERHERO SHOW ON TELEVISION”
Thank you Myriah. Corrected.
Great article but I have one correction. Brenda Strong plays Lillian not Lena Luthor. Lena Luthor is played by Katie McGrath and is a friend to Kara and ally to Supergirl, who is trying to break away from her family. Lillian is Lex’s mother and Lena’s stepmother.