When CBS unveiled the extended look at its upcoming "Supergirl" series, being underwhelming was the least of its problems. In the wake of a the pilot episode being leaked on torrent websites, reception has been slightly more positive. While I want to reserve judgment on a show that hasn't even released yet, CBS needs to realize how much is riding on its woman of steel.
A plot line in the newest Season of HBO's "Veep" (stay with me here) has Selina Meyer become the President of the United States. Since every character on that show is hilariously incompetent, Madam President is not doing so well, causing her female campaign manager to decree that we will never again have a woman president, "because we tried one, and she fucking sucked."
Back to "Supergirl": if this show bombs, gets canceled after one season and fades into obscurity, how many producers will be lining up to take on a female-led super hero series? It certainly won't be fair, because, although the 6-and-a-half-minute "Supergirl" trailer had a lot of problems, the fact that it had a female protagonist was not one of them. But that's the way producers see it: "we tried that already."
Take film as an example: the last two female-led super hero movies were 2004's "Catwoman," and 2005's "Elektra," both of which were critical and commercial failures, and we're just now getting the ball rolling on Wonder Woman and Black Widow films.
Meanwhile, "Daredevil" and, to a lesser extent "The Flash" have received high praise, further perpetuating the idea that audiences respond well to male-centric shows (rather than just good shows). So I can only hope that CBS is taking "Supergirl" seriously, otherwise I'll be in my 30s before we try this again.