It’s time! The Supergirl pilot has officially aired and it’s finally time to talk about it. The first episode of the season kicked off on Monday October 26 at 8:30/7:30C on CBS and not only won the night on network TV, but pulled in the highest viewership for any new fall TV premiere. As we are podcasting about this show, these numbers are very exciting. But it’s equally exciting to see a female superhero TV series get the kind of attention that this one has pulled in so far. Neither Karen nor I would call ourselves feminists, but as women we are encouraged to see the effort the producers and writers of this show have put forth in order to inject a depth of realism into its female characters.
The Bechdel Test
Also known as the Bechdal-Wallace Test. This test describes three rules to gauge whether a piece of fiction incorporates “active female characters” into its premise. There must be at least two women who talk to each other about something other than men is basically what the test comes down to. A horrifyingly low number of films currently meet this requirement. Whenever a subgroup of individuals are overwhelmingly reduced to a generalized activity, their contribution to the overall product is limited. Their purpose isn’t to support, but rather to enable, the plot.
Ironically, I was reading this article about Aziz Ansari’s explanation of why he won’t do an Indian accent on screen this morning and realized that this same test could be applied to many other subgroups of people. Stereotypes help us to compartmentalize and process data, but they are also a significant crutch that our culture relies on in order to tell stories. My hope is that Supergirl can help break the mold for women in TV!
Cougar’s Comic Corner
This week, The Scarlet Cougar (Karen) recommends Many Happy Returns by Peter David. Check out the link to get your own copy!
Season 1 Episode 2 “Stronger Together”
Thank you to all who sent in feedback for the pilot episode of Supergirl! If you want to participate, it is SUPER easy! (See what I did there?) Go to our feedback page and type up an email, upload an audio file, or record a message with our Speak Pipe widget. We record our podcast on Wednesdays following each new episode of Supergirl, so the deadline for feedback submitted to the podcast before recording is 6/5C on Wednesdays!