20 November 2017

Season 3 of Supergirl: a boldly crafted social commentary on Trump Era US

Season 3 of Supergirl recently hit our screens and boy has this season stepped it up. The writing has been so satisfyingly good (not to say that the previous seasons failed in this respect) and if you haven't noticed the show's social commentary on everything we have been hearing in every US related news article over the past year and a half, then quite frankly you must be living in a bubble of your own.
These comments and issues have been written into this season's story-line so perfectly well, so much so that I couldn't stop myself from discussing them on this little platform and giving them the attention they deserve. No other show has been quite as unapologetic-ally Feminist as Supergirl (of course we have a way to go yet - Trans characters and Muslim characters are lacking - ever noticed how rare it is to see a single person wearing a hijab on American TV?) but Supergirl is still leading the way when it comes to addressing disheartening Trump-related political affairs which few other shows even whisper about, or fail to produce in a well-crafted manner at all.

In it's 3rd season, show-runners have decided to address current events happening in our own world as opposed to exploring the fictional realm Supergirl's Earth is part of.
Of course each show has it's own diegesis, it's not part of our world and Supergirl sets itself apart even more given it's nature in the Arrow-verse multi-verse story-line. This decision to boldly comment and criticise current events happening the US could be considered as a continuity problem taking into account past story-lines but the team behind Supergirl (minus the CW Producer recently accused of sexual harassment) has done a pretty good job of addressing these issues in the season so far.

There is no doubt that these criticisms are referring to the shameful comments and actions of the current US president and government. The refugee crisis (opening credits in which Kara describes herself as "a refugee on this planet"), the Wall to keep 'the Mexican criminals and rapists out' (I still can't believe this is actually a thing), the incompetence of the President, and many more troubling issues have been discussed in Supergirl's 3rd season. Not only are these topics being addressed in a thoughtful way, they have been intertwined into the character's story-lines in a way that doesn't feel forced. It is not rushed and neither is it forgotten after 1 episode, as may be the case for many shows which stretch over 20 episodes per season.
Kara now describes herself as a refugee on Planet Earth, a term which could easily have been introduced in the 1st season. The choice to use this term to describe a female superhero is a powerful one: for all those young girls who have no choice but to leave their home to survive, to see themselves somehow represented on their screen can only be positive.

Out of all the scenes which refer to the current state of the US government, the scene between Maggie and her estranged father in episode 3 was perhaps the most direct, the scene which unquestionably confirms that the writers decided to write these events from our Earth into Supergirl's own world.
In Far From The Tree, we are introduced to Maggie's estranged father who doesn't accept his daughter's sexuality. An intense conversation about discrimination follows, a word-by-word direct accusation towards Trump and his troubling views on Mexico. It was powerful enough to make my stomach drop: "they're building a wall to keep us out!".

More shows should be following in Supergirl's footsteps: the writers have given us MULTIPLE female characters, a lesbian bad-ass couple, MULTIPLE female characters in POSITIONS OF POWER and Cat Grant, the iconic Cat Grant.
 I still feel so much joy when I see more than 1 woman on the screen at a time, and women discussing something other than their love lives. I mean, is it really that difficult people?


*I do NOT own any of these images* 


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