CW will be saying farewell to the last daughter of Krypton next year. According to Deadline, the long-running Supergirl will come to an end after its sixth season. When Kara Danvers flies off into the sunset, she’ll be leaving behind a show that overcame huge obstacles and went on to break new ground in the genre.
Supergirl originally aired on CBS. While characters like Melissa Benoist’s Kara, Chyler Leigh’s Alex, and Calista’s Flockhart Cat Grant immediately stood out as three dimesnional and compelling characters, flat villains like Peter Facinelli’s Maxwell Lord and Chris Vance’s Non dragged the show down. The heavy-handed dialogue and villain-of-the week subplots didn’t help matters either. And although Kara’s cross network crossover with Grant Gustin’s Flash was well-received, their team-up wasn’t enough to boost the show’s flailing ratings. But instead of canceling the show outright, Supergirl got a second life on the CW.
After switching networks, Supergirl really started to find its stride. Instead of taking down villains with her superpowers, Kara had to defeat her foes in ideological battles. Her commitment to fighting against xenophobia and dangerous political movements proved the show could handle serious and timely topics that forced the viewers to question their own views.
Along the way, the series made some fantastic acquisitions to its cast. Katie McGrath’s Lena Luthor added a cunning character to the show that alternated between ally and outright villain. Jon Cryer played a surprisingly terrifying and devious version of Lex Luthor that was so good that it almost made you forget about Jesse Eisenberg’s terrible take. But the most historic addition to the show was that of Nicole Maines’ Dreamer, the first transgender superhero to have a regular role on television. In addition to giving a great performance, her presence paved way for the show to tackle transgender issues in a realistic and meaningful way.
There’s honestly so much more that can be said about the great casting, deep topic exploration, shortcomings and successes of Supergirl over its run. While I don’t have time to grumble about how they mishandled Jimmy Olsen, praise Jesse Rath’s Braniac-5, or commend their portrayal of LGBT+ relationships here, I can confidently say the show came a long way from where it started. When it concludes in 2021, Supergirl will be a superhero story that persevered and found its own identity—while encouraging its viewers to do the same.