If I can’t have effeminate male heroes, you can at least let me have feminine women heroes.
The recently released trailer for the upcoming Supergirl TV series has prompted a host of criticism. Most of it seems to be from fans of grim and gritty superheroes and most of it seems to think that it’s somehow bad for a TV series to be overtly feminine and revel in heroism both at the same time.
Which is nonsense.
We need heroes who are capable of showing emotion, wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and have interests other than cars, guns, and scowling. We need stories about heroes who aren’t muscle-bound fighters. If we’re going to get superhero TV series, we need some of them to be Supergirl.
I’m entirely on board with that idea.
But it goes beyond that. Fans of the grey, dank, and gloomy are up in arms about the fact that the trailer is full of romantic tropes. Some of them very silly.
(There’s a distinction to be made here between romantic tropes and Romance proper, with its conventions and traditions. I’m talking about the former, although it would be very interesting to see proper superhero romance stories at some point.)
But very silly romantic tropes are also a long-standing feature of the superhero genre. I don’t know about you but some of us read Spider-Man for the Mary Jane/Peter Parker romance (though, I have a soft spot for the Spidey/Felicia Hardy days). For some of us, the Lois-Clark-Superman love triangle was the only thing interesting about Superman.
(He is otherwise an extremely tedious character.)
The Vision and Scarlet Witch.
The Fantastic Four’s constant relationship drama.
Pretty much everything in X-Men.
Superheroes and romance are a natural fit and it’s a crying shame that nobody has properly gone for that particular genre amalgamation before. It would be a mistake for the show to shy away from combining the two.
So, I, for one, am hoping that the upcoming Supergirl series is all in on the romance.
I don’t know about you but I could do with more happy and joyful TV. And less grim, exploitative crap like Game of Thrones.
This is also why, btw, I refuse to apologize for reveling in stories/shows about women who actually get some measure of happiness with men. Do not tell us that THIS is “mature” TV and then then around and make fun of those who enjoy TV romances with consensual sex as “shippers.” I will gladly support romances that allow women some semblance of romantic and sexual joy any day of the week over this pitiful shit.(@CertainshadesL, 2, 3)
More of this, please. Not less.