Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

Blog

Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

@ Supergirl: Please Stop Letting Me Down

supergirl.jpg

Anybody who has been on this blog for less than a day knows that I like Supergirl. I read the comics when I was younger and I really like the new comic, Being Super. I'm also a big fan of the TV show. Specifically, season one. And, while I was excited that it's got a third season coming out this fall, part of me wishes it could've ended after it was cut from CBS. At least then, 1. I'd be free from this mess, and 2. Season one could stay pure. Comic Con was this weekend, and prior to Supergirl's panel, they did a little musical rendition of season two. I'm pretty sure they did this for season one last year. It makes sense. Supergirl herself used to be on Glee, and the dude who plays Winn got his start on Broadway. So there's musical talent there.

As a background, a good portion of the fan base is LGBT. A lot of it came from the show's canon LGBT storyline and just the fact that superhero media tends to be popular with LGBT people. Many times, superheroes and superpowers have been allegories to the LGBT movement. That's literally the plot and purpose of X-Men. They even wrote the scene of a kid coming out as a mutant to heavily mirror what it's like for a kid to come out as LGBT.

So, while Supergirl does have the canon Alex and Maggie relationship, a lot of people have kind of latched onto this idea of Kara (Supergirl) and Lena. First of all, it would be such a cool dynamic. A Luthor and a Super. Like how would Superman feel about his kid cousin dating the kid sister of his biggest foe? That's a wildly interesting starting point to build a relationship on. Romantic or otherwise. Their relationship, however you want to view it, was probably the best thing season two did. Second of all, I can see where people are coming from because Kara and Lena's friendship is filled with a lot more lingering glances than most platonic friendships I know of. Third of all, people speculating about a fictional couple is the least of anyone's worries.

It's harmless. It's not an insult to the acting or the writing or anything like that. It's just how people interact with media. Especially LGBT viewers who are searching for any type of representation.

Well, some of the cast of the show decided, during their little musical recap, that this was a big deal.

Here's the thing; I doubt it was done one hundred percent out of malice. A lot of it probably stems from the fact that they aren't gay, so they don't know what it's like to be on the receiving end of things like this. They still should've known, though. The main guy singing has a niece he fought to get out of an anti-gay conversion school and they've all spoken out about how happy they are about having positive LGBT representation on their show. But not happy enough to 1. Actually mention that relationship in the full video of the singing recap, and 2. Treat their fans with a little respect and not like thinking two women being together is some massive joke.

It's one thing to lightly laugh in an interview and say, "oh, no, they're just friends." It's another to scream it a few times in a row when it's so entirely irrelevant to the plot of the show.

It's not like the fans who supported the idea of Kara and Lena were threatening to boycott the show if a romance didn't develop. Just the opposite. They're fans who are watching despite the fact that what they want to happen will most likely never happen. They knew that even before the events of this weekend and this video. These fans help keep the show afloat. They talk about it. They tell their friends. They watch it every week. So what if they see it slightly differently? They still show up, week after week, keeping the show alive and keeping everyone involved with the show employed.

So, yeah, I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed that a fictional lesbian relationship got treated as a punchline to a dumb joke. I'm disappointed that it spiraled to what it became. Media is meant to be consumed and interpreted by the viewer or reader. Once it's created, it's the viewer's. If you wrote something and you feel one way about it, but the reader feels another way, you can't change that. Art and pop culture belong to the consumer.

They only belong to the artist for a brief moment in time. After that, they have to let it out into the world.

What they did was careless. It was a mistake and an oversight, but one that stings especially to a community that doesn't get to see itself often in a positive manner. So what if it's fictional? So what if it has limited basis in the show's reality? So do people in capes that save the day, but here we are. It's not hurting anyone to play a little make believe.

Katie McGrath, who plays Lena, has spoken out time and again about her support of fans that see relationships that aren't explicit. She used to be on Merlin and I guess there was a large fan base rooting for Merlin and Arthur to have something together and she said it was up to the fans and how they felt. That was six years ago. Time and time again, she has said that she supports however fans read into TV shows. I have to give her an immense amount of credit for voicing those same opinions in the interview after the little song. It was clear she wasn't thrilled by the situation.

After her comment, the dude that plays the literal worst character on the show says, "And sexuality is all about others' perceptions of yours, right? Am I right? That was sarcasm.”

First of all, this is a fictitious television show with fictitious characters, so any speculation about sexuality is different than speculating about actual people's sexualities. Second of all, you're a straight white dude whose character was not involved, so I'd really prefer not to hear your opinion on this matter. Third of all, there is literally no harm whatsoever in making assumptions on the sexualities of fictional characters BECAUSE THEY ARE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. It says nothing about the sexuality of the actors who portray them because if it did, Neil Patrick Harris would be straight after all those years of playing Barney on How I Met Your Mother. So as far as perceptions go, I think it's safe to say it's pretty harmless.

Then the guy that started this mess chimes in with, “Listen, I went to musical theater school. I know all about other people’s perceptions of sexuality.“

Oh, man, I'm sorry somebody might've at one time assumed you were gay because you went to a musical theatre school. Sorry, bro, but people assumed I was straight for eighteen years of my life and I'm not torn up about it, so maybe you should figure out why you've got such a negative reaction to people assuming you're gay. Doesn't make you any less straight, just like it didn't make me any less gay.

Could it be you were bothered because LGBT people still aren't readily accepted by society? Or maybe it's because LGBT people get treated poorly, even by people that consider themselves allies. Unreal, right?

Melissa Benoist, Kara, has also said that if that's how people see the Kara/Lena relationship, then more power to them. But you can't have it both ways. You can't smile and say whatever floats your boat and then outright mock the fans who enjoy it like that. Your actions don't exist in vacuum just like pop culture can't exist in a vacuum.

Recently, I haven't particularly cared for any romantic relationship on the show. Canon or otherwise. I don't think that's something they've done well this season. The heart of the show, to me, is Kara Danvers, her sister, and the idea of what it means to be a family. Kara and J'onn lost their whole families, Winn lost his dad, Lena's family hates her, Alex lost her dad and feels estranged from her mom, James lost his dad, and Maggie's family kicked her out. All of them lost the traditional idea of a family, but have found one in each other. That's the damn heart of the show and somebody over at The CW should remember that.

I will say, there was a great romance in season one with James and Kara, but fifteen minutes into the season two opener, the two decided that their feelings had drastically changed. Instead of Kara spending the season learning about herself, like she said she wanted to, she spent it teaching an arrogant prick of a boy how to be a decent person. I mean, she failed at that, but still.

Kara's relationship with Mon-el was just bad. The actor who plays Mon-el literally said his favorite part of the relationship was "that they give each other a hard time."

I'm sorry. What?!

Kara Danvers of season one, whose headstrong belief is doing what's right for the greater good, would never end up with a boy whose least favorite thing about her is her heroism. Season one Kara Danvers wanted to find the perfect game night partner, and lemme tell you, it isn't a boy who hates her purpose in life. She's said time and time again that keeping earth and humanity safe are what she's born to do and what makes her happy. You want me to believe Kara's "entire world ended" because this SLAVE-OWNING glorified frat boy, who barely treated her nicely, had to leave earth? Nice try.

But fans rooting for a relationship of equals between two women? Obviously a joke.

For now, I'm going to catch up with Legends of Tomorrow and my favorite bisexual time traveling assassin, Sara Lance. See ya next time.