Written by Luke Kalamar and Marisa Carpico
Warner Bros. television came to New York Comic Con 2015 in force. While they have a whole list of panels lined up throughout the weekend, they close off Thursday’s main stage by premiering three of their upcoming pilots. The original schedule had Supergirl, Containment, and a sneak peak of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but as with nearly all Con events, it changed last minute. Instead of Legends of Tomorrow, the audience was treated to the pilot for DC’s Lucifer, starring Tom Ellis as the infamous fallen angel.
Official reviews of these shows will come at a later time, but two Pop-Break staff members were in attendance and couldn’t help but share their brief thoughts on what they saw. Which shows are must watches and which need some work? Read on to find out!
Supergirl didn’t exactly start off on the right foot. Within the first few minutes the show was defined by a few things: Superman is a constant background presence and all typical female stereotypes are present. Melissa Benoist’s Kara grabs coffee for her demanding boss Cat (Calista Flockhart), she bumbles around men, and genuinely presents herself as a pretty meek human being. Of course this is all an act, but it’s weird that Warner Bros. couldn’t have at least made her more confident or have a stronger alter ego identity.
Once Kara began embracing her role as Supergirl, the show improved by leaps and bounds. It’s exciting to watch her kick ass despite everyone else counting her out (because she’s a woman. That happens way too often). She is exactly the same as her cousin Kal-El too and the show didn’t shy away from showing exactly how similar they really are. While this didn’t do much to take her out of her cousin’s shadow, it still made her more engaging. Plus, there’s a definite sense of fun here, and that ending has me hooked. I’ll keep watching.
Marisa Carpico: Soft Watch
Despite the fact that this pilot leaked online months ago, I denied my baser instincts and waited to watch it legally—and it was totally worth it. Supergirl is fantastic. There’s something really refreshing about this show’s approach to superheroing. It’s bright, fun, optimistic and doesn’t make being a hero seem like a horrible burden. Kara just wants to help people. The show makes a lot of the fact that Supergirl is the first female superhero (in the world of the show and on our televisions) and it can occasionally be a little obvious with its messaging. Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant is the worst example of that and a bit of a caricature to boot. The show is also maybe a little too beholden to the Superman story, but Kara’s (and Melissa Benoist’s) excitement is undeniable.
Supergirl will premiere October 26th at 8:30 PM on CBS
For a program that I didn’t expect to show itself at all, Lucifer surprised me by leaps and bounds. This show is funny, clever, and has a killer soundtrack to boot. It’s also extremely edgy for a Fox program. Throughout the pilot, Lucifer swaggered his way into the hearts of many. There even was a point where a therapist practically threw herself at him with her sexual skills from hot yoga. You just can’t help but have a good time watching it. That’s saying a lot too because the main character is literally the devil walking on Earth. We’re supposed to hate the guy, yet we can’t help but love him on this show. The only drawback at the time is Lucifer’s immortal, so the threat of death isn’t prevalent if humans are attacking, but I’m sure that will change as demons come along. Fox is crazy to put this on the midseason.
MC: Definite Watch
I woke up at the crack of dawn to get a wristband to this panel based almost entirely on my desire to see the DC’s Legends of Tomorrow pilot, but this was a worthy substitute. This show is so strong I don’t understand why Fox is holding it until midseason. The dialogue is witty, the production value is outstanding and Tom Ellis is devastatingly charming as the titular fallen angel. He makes striking the right balance between carefree rogue and secret good guy look easy. Lauren German is also wonderful as the exasperated detective whom Lucifer keeps pestering. I even liked the precocious child and I hate kid sidekicks.
Lucifer will premiere early 2016 on Fox
I like a good crisis program. It’s why I’m such a big fan of The Walking Dead and really enjoyed movies like the classic Outbreak and the novel The Stand. This field is getting really crowded though, and unless a program can really separate itself, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle. That’s where Containment lies. The show gripped me with its never-ending danger for literally everyone within the contained zone and the make up design for sick people was pretty incredible. However, this is such a “been there done that show,” and the brief flash forward showed that nearly all the main cast is in huge danger of death. Plus, with a show like this, it just can’t last that long. Either they successfully contain the virus and it’s over, or someone gets out (which will happen) and the second season is without containment. Then…that’s it. I’ll give it a few watches but I’m wary.
Maybe this show suffered from coming after Lucifer or maybe it’s how similar it is to both The Walking Dead and Stephen King’s The Stand, but Containment didn’t grab me. It’s well made and certainly tense, but it lacks a certain oomph. While the pilot introduced a number of characters, none of them really seem like people I’d want to spend time with every week except maybe Claudia Black’s Dr. Sabine Lommers and David Gyasi’s Lex, the former because she’s clearly evil and the latter because he’s clearly good. I’ll give this one or two more episodes before I jump ship, maybe more if the walking plot devices aka busload of schoolchildren start getting infected.
Containment will premiere early 2016 on The CW