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Supergirl: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

11 Sep, 2017 By: John Latchem

Superhero Sci-Fi Action
$49.99 DVD, $54.97 Blu-ray
Not Rated
Stars Melissa Benoist, David Harewood, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan, Chris Wood.

The addition of Superman as a supporting character for the second season of “Supergirl” solved one of the show’s biggest problems from its first — the need to downplay the presence of the more-famous character to focus the show on what really are his supporting cast members in the comic books.

He would be mentioned here or there, or shown off in the distance when needed, but otherwise mostly just served as a big plot hole when it came to why he had no involvement in the main story arc, which involved his family.

Well, he shows up at the opening and closing episodes of season two, played by Tyler Hoechlin, who fills out the suit well, to at least tamper down any thoughts that the show needed to make an effort to exclude him.

However, the minor retooling the show underwent for the move from CBS to the CW raised other questions that are never addressed — military liaison Lucy Lane and techy industrialist Maxwell Lord are never heard from again, despite storylines in which their involvement would seem rather obvious.

Rather, most of the storylines that carried over from the first season are waved away, particularly the budding romance between Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Jimmy Olson (Mehcad Brooks). Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) decides to take a leave from running her media empire, leaving Jimmy in charge and making Kara a reporter, which just ups the “female version of Superman” parallels even more. Her new supervisor is Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez), a hard-edged editor who seems to be the only character with any actual journalistic sensibilities on the show.

The overriding theme of the season is self-discovery, as the bevy of characters struggle to find their place in the world. Kara is unsure of just what kind of journalist she wants to be. Jimmy, bored with his new job, turns to vigilante crime-fighting under the guise of Guardian. Kara’s sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), must come to terms with her sexuality after meeting lesbian supercop Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), who deals with the underground alien population that suddenly popped up in between seasons.

Speaking of new aliens, there’s Kara’s latest love-interest, Mon-El (Chris Wood), a frat-boy Daxamite who has similar powers to those from Krypton and must learn the virtues of heroism and responsibility.

The show plays up its alien storylines hard, hoping to resonate amid real-world debates about immigration. The season’s primary bad guys seek to wipe out the alien population of Earth through whatever means necessary. This direction of the show is the focus of the 19-minute “Aliens Among Us” featurette on the Blu-ray.

The story arcs are solid, but are undermined a bit by some bizarre writing choices that tend to bolster the case of the very thing the writers seem to want to argue against.

The alien storylines do dovetail nicely into the big CW superhero crossover with “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” but that “Invasion” storyline is mostly confined to those shows.

Instead, the Blu-ray extras focus more on Kevin Smith’s involvement with the show, directing the episode “Supergirl Lives” after helming a few episodes of “The Flash” the previous season. He and executive producer Andrew Kreisberg provide an entertaining commentary for the episode, and also discuss the show in a separate four-minute conversation video.

Rounding out the Blu-ray are a 28-minute version of the show’s panel at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International; “Supergirl: Alien Fight Night,” a featurette about the super-powered cage fighting in the episode “Survivors”; and seven factoid videos running about a minute each.

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