Parents' Guide to

Supergirl

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Strong female lead shoulders the weight of superhero series.

TV CBS Drama 2015
Supergirl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 109 parent reviews

age 8+

Here's the lowdown on the level of sex and violence

I should qualify this by saying I'm only most of the way through Season 2 so far... Sex - There is literally only one scene in one episode that I've seen so far that you may want to skip. That episode is Episode 5 of Season 2 'Crossroads', at between 17-18 min. It's not graphic - everyone is clothed from what we can see - and the innuendo in the dialogue would have sailed over a younger child's head, but for the fact that Kara is so visibly shocked and then refers to the moment as sex. So if your kid is old enough to wonder about that and you're not ready yet to answer those questions, you could literally just skip that scene or episode. My 9yo knows that there is such a thing as sex but not precisely what it involves, other than it's something to do with kissing. She's not going to learn anything more from that scene, so I'm not worried about it. Gay people - Many of these reviews are complaining about LOADS of sex and inappropriate themes for children and lifestyle choices and agendas. This is all clearly code for 'there are gay people in this and the show's message is - it's ok to be gay - and I have a problem with that.' Aside from the incident noted above, there's nothing else they could be referring to. There is literally nothing we see here that is any more suggestive than occasional kissing, which kids see straight people doing all the time, including in G-rated Disney cartoons. I don't restrict my 9yo from seeing straight people kissing in movies, so why would I have a problem with her seeing gay people? In fact, I want her to understand that same sex relationships are normal and healthy, and to create an environment where if she ever has these feelings, she will know that our home is 100% accepting of that, and if she is straight that growing up seeing gay relationships as normal will mean she treats everyone with respect, regardless of sexuality. They are the values we have in our household and I think this is an excellent, age appropriate presentation of a gay relationship that will foster those values. Violence - Lots of cartoon style violence but live-action. People are constantly getting tossed around into walls and smashing things and looking pained, but there is very little blood and everyone somehow bounces back fine. There's lots of magicky-type science and superpowers around. Role models & messages - there's nothing objectionable here (in my view) but actually there's not a lot of content in this space, beyond the mere fact we're focused on a female superhero, and the aforementioned positive portrayal of a lesbian relationship. Great that we have an equal balance of powerful male and female characters (and probably a higher number of female villains), as most action-genre shows skew heavily male. However, most of this show is chasing monsters around, not actually dealing with human issues. As a contrast, a show like Smallville has action, but has a lot of content exploring things like: what does it mean to mean to be good? What does it mean to be a good friend? When is it ethical to invade someone's privacy? What do you do when you disagree with your parents? etc. Supergirl is mainly about providing girls with an alternative superhero to pretend to be other than Elsa, and I'm all for that. Let's face it - we're all pretty sick of hearing Let it Go.
age 16+

Honestly

I am on season two. It seems they are less concerned with good writing and story arches than they are with pushing politics in your face. Whether you agree or disagree with their politics is not the point. The point is most of us turn off the news to escape and turn to Netflix (especially now) to escape it all. Relationships in the show are fickle and come and go with the episodes not even seasons. Although I like the characters I think the writing needs a bit of work. If you want to work politics into it fine, but do it well and in a story arch not a rushed piece. Also not recommending for kids. Although depends on maturity. I mean can you discuss racism with a 4 year old? Not in the way the show does. So probably leave it after 12 years old.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (109 ):
Kids say (152 ):

Actor Benoist really sells this sometimes corny side story to the Man of Steel's tale, soaring into the role of Superman's kid cousin with candor, determination, and flashes of grace. It's hard not to like this fresh-faced addition to the billowing ranks of reimagined superheroes, and it's always exciting to have greater gender representation on the superhero panel. Some of the story's finer details are a bit fuzzy, and it sometimes leans too heavily on parallels to Superman's evolution. That said, Kara does well by the role, taking her lumps as an anonymous novice hero and long-suffering personal assistant to a demanding boss, but using those lumps to inspire improvements on both fronts.

Even though we only get blurry glimpses of Superman himself at first (this is Supergirl's story, after all, not his), he makes his presence known through James, who bridges their stories before Superman shows up for a superheroes vs. villains battle royale in Supergirl's second season. Speaking of that second season, when the show switched to the CW it also got more violent and intense: more battles, more drinking, and more far-out storylines, so parents should be ready for that shift. Nonetheless, Kara struggles to chart her own path in the shadow of her famous relative and her successful older sister, many viewers no doubt will relate to the rocky process of finding herself. As far as female heroes go, you could do worse than charismatic, determined Supergirl, even if she does cling tightly to her secret for fighting villains without getting so much as a hair out of place.

TV Details

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