When my family used to sit down to watch TV together, we’d run through a litany of potential shows to watch together, with everyone saying why we should or shouldn’t watch certain ones. Often, we’d come up empty and just decide to read or hang out instead. But, then along came Supergirl – first on CBS and then on the CW.
After ruling out TV shows for too much violence. Too many adult innuendos. Or, too many questionable stereotypes. Supergirl passed our initial test – and then won us over. One episode at a time.
My sons like the DC characters, the storylines and the humor injected into so many of its scenes. And, this mom likes all of that and so much more.
Here are my top 5 reasons you should watch Supergirl with your children:
1. Diversity reigns supreme. We have to start here because Supergirl (also known as Kara Zor-El Danvers) – the star of the show – is a female. She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s got integrity. She’s resourceful. She’s going to change (and save) the world. And, that’s just “super” cool.
My family includes two young boys and they’ve never once asked why the show isn’t about Supergirl's cousin – Superman. No. They’ve just dug into the characters and the story – and I’ve happily sat back and enjoyed them seeing a woman as being powerful, too.
Supergirl isn’t the only strong female on the show. Kara’s adopted sister, Alex, has a senior role at the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) along with a her culturally diverse boss - which I won’t go into detail about here so I don’t ruin any surprises!
Kara’s friend and colleague, James Olsen, also brings a healthy dose of diversity to Catco where they work together. And, James continues to take on new roles in Catco – and beyond.
2. Inclusion is the norm and relationships know no bounds. This show continues to happily surprise me with the relationships its characters form with people of all races, sexual persuasions and universes.
As a parent, I always like when popular culture validates that love is love is love. And, this show helps it – in spades. Of course, I can’t share all of the details here without sharing spoilers in the process. But, trust me. You will enjoy seeing these relationships develop – especially in Season Two!
3. Science and technology often saves the day. Yes, Supergirl has a whole host of super powers, which include superhuman strength and speed, heat and x-ray vision, super and freeze breath and flight – to name a few. But, her human colleague and friend, Winn Schott, often saves the day with his smarts alone.
From the time Winn learned Kara’s identity, he’s used technology to help Supergirl face villain after villain, showing that brains and power are a fruitful combination.
For me, this is refreshing – and important – because I’m the mother of two humans. And, while I think they’re pretty “super,” they weren’t born with (and haven’t since acquired) super powers. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t use their brains - and their hearts - to make a difference in the world.
4. The star of Supergirl is a great role model for girls – and boys. Melissa Benoit of Glee fame plays the lead role of Supergirl. As an actress, she brings a great deal of humility, humor and honesty to her role. She makes you cheer for her – as Kara and Supergirl. But, it never hurts to hear that she’s pretty “super” as a person, too.
That’s why I was so thrilled to see a photo of her at the Women’s March on D.C. earlier this year. The actor sported a “feminist” sweatshirt and held a perfectly worded sign – with a subtle nod to her role and the president – in the air.
I remember telling my sons about it (in a child-appropriate way) when I saw news coverage of Melissa at the March, noting how cool it was that she’s a real-life “super” role model for us all.
5. Passion guides characters to find their true purpose. In Supergirl, the roles they’re dealt don’t define them. Rather, their passion does. Without giving anything away, I can say that many of the characters are able to realize their dreams thanks to determination – and a good supporting squad standing behind them.
For this mom, it’s great to see because I want my sons to always know that the sky’s the limit – even if they can’t fly. And, they can do anything they put their mind to – even if they don’t have mind control powers. All they need to do is believe in themselves, work hard and fight for what’s right – just like the “super” people all around us.
Do you watch Supergirl with your family? What do you enjoy about it? What other shows – DC or otherwise - do you like to watch with your family? Share your thoughts in the comments below.