A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers see Kara evolve from being reserved and somewhat timid to a genuine hero who won't back down from a fight, no matter the adversary. Central to the story is the sentiment that you shouldn't define yourself by how others see or relate to you. Instead, listen to what your heart tells you is your path. Some issues arise because of her gender (an argument over whether she should be called "Supergirl" or "Superwoman," for instance), but they're usually lighthearted. Integrity, self-control, and courage are important themes.
Positive Role Models
Kara has a lot of great qualities that have nothing to do with her superpowers; she's industrious, self-motivated, and empathetic. Even as a hero, she's not out for recognition. She does what she does because it's what she's meant to do. Her sister Alex isn't always her biggest supporter, but when she disagrees with Kara, it's out of concern for her safety and when the two work together they present a terrific example of female friendship and cooperation. The series is relatively diverse; Jimmy is African-American, and a plot revolves around Kara's sister's experience coming out as gay.
Violence & Scariness
Supergirl faces off against sinister villains, and the physical clashes are intense and violent, enhanced by the players' super strength. Some scenes feature gun use (fortunately, Supergirl is inherently bulletproof) and other weapons as well. Even so, serious injuries are rare, but battles are frequent, including fistfights between men and (super) women.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting among adults; an important subplot centers around Supergirl/Kara's sister coming out as gay, same-sex kissing follows the reveal of her sexuality. Kara interrupts a couple having sex, but nothing sensitive is shown.
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A few curse words in every show: "hell," "ass," "damn."
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Products & Purchases
The series is related to the story of Superman, who's not visible but whose legacy is influential for Kara. Some episodes involve characters or plotlines from the shows Arrow and The Flash, which share common creators with Supergirl.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In the show's second season, characters drink at bars and at home -- clinking glasses and chugging beers and glasses of wine to celebrate when good things happen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Supergirl is a side story to the Superman legacy, following the evolution of his younger cousin, Kara, from his would-be protector to a hero in her own right. There are strong themes of self-reliance, embracing destiny, and following your own heart's desire, all portrayed by a very likable, fresh-faced heroine who's not perfect from the get-go. Her encounters with the show's villains are lengthy and violent, even if the players' superpowers keep them from showing signs of wear and tear, and viewers should know that they may see male characters battling -- including punching -- female characters. You'll also see some gun use, which has no effect on Kara's bulletproof body. You don't need to know Superman's story to ease into this one, but if your tweens and teens haven't seen the classic movies, they may want to do so after all the inferences here.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.