From Comic-Con 2015: Preview of Fall TV Pilots

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P1180559 Daytime excitement continued through the night.  Like the inaugural year in 2014, DC Entertainment put on a grand show for fans.

Ian Somerhalder emceed the superhero panels.  Last year’s emcee and star of “Arrow,” Stephen Amell, stole the stage by appearing the Arrow himself, in a newly tweaked costume for season 4.  The costume has more of an ‘armored’ look, more in line with the Green Arrow outfit in the comics  The show that catapulted CW into superhero stratosphere is still going strong after three years.  Next up was “The Flash.”  The highest-rated CW show will return for a sophomore year.  I was awestruck last year by the premiere and am psyched to see it continue this fall.  Another show premiering last year that got renewed was “Gotham.” Cast and crew from the shows appeared on their respective panel, talking about their characters and developments for the upcoming season.


P1180795P1180839If Marvel has the Avengers on the movie front, CW will showcase a superhero ensemble show with “Legends of Tomorrow.” Rip Hunter, a time-traveler who has seen the future, assembles a legendary team consisting of an eclectic mix or heroes and anti-heroes – Dr. Martin Stein (the other half of Firestorm), Atom, White Canary (resurrected from Black Canary), Jay Jackson, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Heat Wave and Captain Cold.   Several of them have appeared in either “Arrow” or “The Flash”).  It would be interesting to see how the stories might intertwine in the CW multi-verse.  In its debut, the team’s first order of business is to stop Vandall Savage, a 6,000-year old immortal, from dominating the world.

Last but not least, the highly anticipated new show, “Supergirl” soared with a lovely pilot.

“Supergirl” (CBS; October 26, 2015)

P1180872Making a show about Supergirl carries an inherent challenge, which is how to create stories that do away with her famous cousin, Superman/Kal-El.  The show’s solution is to mention him as a distant background story and have him appear in a shadow as an acknowledgement of his existence.  But this is clearly a Supergirl/Kara Zor-El story.

Right before Krypton imploded, 12-year old Kara was sent to Earth following baby Kal-El’s pod to help care for  him in the new planet.  The explosion sent Kara’s pod off course and had her trapped in the Phantom Zone for years.  By the time she arrived, Kal-El has grown up and no longer needs her care.  He placed her with a scientist family, the Danvers, so that she could grow up with a normal childhood as he did.

Kara did, along with her adopted sister, Alex.  For as long as she could remember, P1180871Kara has always tried her best to suppress her superpowers and blended in as an ordinary girl, if not socially awkward and quirky.  Now 24, Kara works as a personal assistant for a media mogul, a Devil-Wears-Prada figure like.  A completely unassuming life, having a demanding boss and dealing with a crush from a colleague and crushing on a new co-worker, James Olsen (the Jimmy Olsen from the Daily Planet).

When Alex’s plane is in danger of crashing, Kara makes a major life-saving decision (an outstanding action sequence) and shows her true color to the world.  A mysterious female hero is born and capturing the interest of the public and the media.

Melissa Benoist is adorably on point with the scenes following her emergence as an involuntary, yet enthusiastic newly minted superhero.  There are supporters and doubters in her inner circle.  Riddled with doubt and enthusiasm, Kara is both strong and exposed. With an honest desire to help people, she’s learning to utilize her powers and embrace her higher purpose in life.

Kara’s life becomes more complicated when her movement is tracked by DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), an organization that keeps tabs on extraterrestrial forces.  At the same time, an enemy that followed her from the Phantom Zone, made himself known.  And he’s not alone. Kara will have her hands full in no time.

If “Arrow” is dark and gritty and “The Flash” flashy and light (although not without dramatic  moments), “Supergirl” is a league of its own, brimming with bright optimism and mirth, featuring a big-hearted superhero that emanates innocent charm and wholesome goodness.  Somehow the cheery, comedy aspect works.

The year of “The Flash” went fast and fabulous.  I hope “Supergirl” will fly high and I P1180793look forward to it being on my weekly viewing schedule.


“Blindspot” (NBC; September 21, 2015)

Stepping out of superhero central, I was pretty enthralled with “Blind Spot,” a primetime pilot of mystery, crime procedural drama and action.

The opening scene is nothing short of intriguing.  A naked amnesiac found inside of a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square.  Her whole body is covered in fresh tattoos, including a tattoo of a name of an FBI agent on her back. Mind erased, her body is full of clues.  Images, numbers, symbols and words as puzzle pieces that would help the FBI to map their steps to solve crimes, or perhaps lead them to something bigger.

What makes it the more intriguing is the mysterious woman herself.  Naturally looking and feeling lost, scared and vulnerable, it’s quickly revealed through a series of incidents that Jane Doe is a force to be reckoned with.  Strong, sharp, determined with surprising capabilities that would make her a treasured asset to the agency.  Her burgeoning connection to the FBI agent in question merits further exploration.  A glimpse of her backstory ends the pilot on a curious note that would make you wanting more.

There’s a lot to be explored and discovered here, which should earn “Blindspot” a regular viewing spot.  Hopefully the show can maintain the intrigue and momentum by balancing crime-of-the-week episodes with its underlying mystery.


Another show I’m excited about is “Limitless.”  The story revolves around one man who gains the full capacity of his brain and extends his capabilities beyond imagination. Yep, it’s based on the thrilling “Limitless” movie (what would it be like to become the perfect version of ourselves?) in 2011 and co-produced by its star, Bradley Cooper.

It’s going to be an amazing autumn!


Copyright (c) 2015. Nathalia Aryani

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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