You want to hear an appalling statistic? "Supergirl" is the first female-led live-action superhero TV show in 40 years.
FORTY YEARS, people.
With statistics like that, in the current glut of superhero stories on our screens, it would seem that almost any female superhero would be the superheroine we've been waiting for. But Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) isn't just checking the "superhero" and "female" boxes, and calling it a day. That's a depressingly low bar to jump over — let alone fly over.
No, Kara Danvers is leaping Bechdel tests in a single bound. She is strong, compassionate, and full of life. She is a role model not for her ability to potentially fly backwards around the Earth reversing time, but for her desire to help others.
Here are 13 moments from the "Supergirl" series premiere alone that proved Kara Danvers is a superhero to root for — and hopefully the first of many more diverse TV superheroes to come...
Kara was clearly a badass at the age of 12.
Some people never become badasses. Kara had it down by age 12. Before she was even old enough to drive, she was agreeing with her parent's crazy plan to fly off of an exploding Krypton to go babysit her baby cousin on Earth. Sure, the alternative was far less desirable, but girl didn't even blink. Instead, she was all: "I'm not afraid, father." Girl's got gumption.
Kara's superhero is her sister.
This show is populated by some pretty kickass female characters and, right now, the best relationship on the show is the one between Kara and her big sister, Alex, who also happens to be working to save the planet as a bioengineer for DEO. Their relationship isn't without its complications, but it's pretty clear that Kara totally looks up to Alex. #Sisterhood
Her other superhero is her mom.
Another one of Kara's inspirations? The mom who sent her to Earth from Krypton. When Kara is able to get a hologram message from Allura, it inspires her to not only believe in herself, but in the power of goodness. Yep, still crying about this scene.
Kara isn't afraid to cry.
As we've already established on other Team Berlanti shows, crying does not make you weak. And Kara isn't afraid of showing her emotions.
...Or to show her absolute joy over having superpowers.CBS
It's so unbelievably refreshing to see a superhero who doesn't angst over his or her superpowers.
Or to admit when she doesn't know what's going on.
False confidence is for losers.
Or to get angry.
Sometimes, the situation calls for some anger. And you better believe Kara has a lot to get angry about. And that was before she found out about the alien prison ship she accidentally pulled to Earth.
Kara has absolutely zero time for misogyny.
Newsflash from Supergirl: Your planet sucks, dudebro.
But she still exists within a system defined by it.
It would be unrealistic if Kara didn't have to deal with the patriarchy like the rest of us. Sometimes, she has to listen to condescending speeches from her boss about how the term "girl" when applied to a grown woman who can carry planes on her back is not condescending. Other times, her future colleague at the DEO tells her to fetch coffee.
Sometimes, she saves planes from crashing.
Is this not how you spend your Friday nights?
Other times, she works on perfecting her look.
Because Kara should be able to do both plane-saving and outfit-choosing.
And she has absolutely no qualms about letting others help her.
The more, the merrier, right?
Which is why Supergirl needs help from other diverse superhero characters.
Because Kara shouldn't be expected to represent all diverse superheroes. That's not only impossible, but severely limiting. (After all, as amazing as Kara is, she's not breaking any molds when it comes to being straight, white, upper middle class, etc.)
We need more female-led superhero shows. We need people of color on our screens. We need greater diversity in television, full stop. "Supergirl" is an amazing start, but it is still just that: a start. And, if Kara represents anything, it's the inspiration to do better.