To start with, the pilot has one good thing going for it: in having a healthy, sexually attractive lead who is above the age of consent, it will most likely help fill Google Image search results for "supergirl" with something other than pictures of grotesque waifs and the Superman logo photoshopped onto porn stars. For this alone I am willing to watch at least four seasons of whatever CBS want to throw at me.
Some thoughts as they come to me (the following may or may not make sense if you haven't seen the Supergirl pilot):
I know Clark Kent is categorized in popular culture as being the same kind of stumblebum character, but he's never actually been a doormat in the various tv shows and movies in the way Supergirl's alter-ego is - the closest he's ever come to that has been the Christopher Reeve movies, but those have the in-built rationale that Clark Kent spent over a decade in the Arctic learning to control his powers (and to be Superman) and forgetting what it was like to be around people so that when he has to be around them as one of them when he rejoins society, he genuinely is clumsy because he doesn't yet know how to function in this world where he can now knock walls down with a careless sigh, and so overcompensates with politeness that is usually thrown back in his face. With Supergirl, she's grown up around humans and learning to be human all the while, which makes her alter-ego a conscious choice rather than a consequence of isolation, so this is what she thinks a woman should be like in order to blend in. And why is she wearing glasses? Clark wore glasses because he knew he was going to be Superman ahead of time, but Supergirl doesn't know she's going to be Supergirl yet, so why the glasses? Is that what she thinks "forgettable" people look like or something? What an asshole. Okay I am probably overthinking this.
Smash. I'll be upfront and say he might have done too good an acting job on that, as I now instinctively hate this character he's playing, even before he says the line "if there was an algorithm for love I would know about it."
totally on board for superheroines doing plane rescues, but it is 2015 now and outside parody, I think we can do better for an origin story. Before flying, Supergirl also throws away a perfectly good coat for some reason - more evidence she is stinking rich! She was also wearing this huge overcoat while on a date in a nightclub for some reason - or was it a restaurant? I literally could not tell what the set designers were going for just by looking. Also I am not sure what to make of her clearly only taking an interest in a crashing plane when she thinks it has someone she knows on it. Oh wait, I do: asshole.
What I do have a problem with, however, is the tremendously tasteless visual of the plane's wing scraping across the bridge.
Supergirl Overture never caught on, as I always like that it was identifiably a riff on John Williams' Superman score, but mostly lacked the militaristic undertones and replaced them with a sweeping sense of scale fitting for a credits sequence featuring light years of space travel. They might give it a nod in the show proper, though.
Supergirl hugs someone and nearly breaks their spine, so I am expecting they will address The Sex at some point - specifically how she can have some with a normal human male or female (it's 2015, no reason the dramatic potential should be limited to one gender). I picture her attempts to mate with a human man to end up with something like that time I accidentally stood on a slug when I was taking out the bins.
Oh shit they are calling the place National City. On one hand I like comic booky logic, but on the other hand fuck off.
Now he's saying Superman saved a plane. Dissing the originality of the show he's on is a total cock move. And also my job.
Her bezzie says Supergirl must be gay because she's not into him. My personal theory is that she's seen Smash. Her bezzie is also now sliding prickwards in the characterisation scale.
I could have done without that clumsy flying FX and the comedy mugging to the camera. Also evil truck drivers are making some astounding leaps of logic and deduce within seconds of speculation who Supergirl's mum was out of all the millions of people on Krypton - they just pull it out of the air.
Supergirl finally debuts in her fancy costume and is immediately kidnapped and tied up.
A character has just decried the power of coincidence. I can't tell if this is a sly nod to the viewer about the quality of scripting or a Freudian slip.
A character is asking why the character is called SuperGIRL if she's a grown adult. Again: nod/Freudian slip=?
I am assuming these super-vision effects are at the unpolished stage and will be refined later, because they are kind of underwhelming as they are right now.
Supergirl has her first fight with a supervillain and is immediately beaten up and has to be rescued.
Sadie Stone from Nashville!
It's the third act, so Supergirl is much better at fighting now. Because.
But still gets beaten up.
Which was so inevitable that the characters who are supposedly on her side factored this into their master plan.
Like TV's The Flash, Supergirl needs someone to be talking to her over a radio telling her to do stuff that is both blindingly obvious and also the only possible course of action to take apart from "stand there like a fucking lemon."
Basically, this advice amounts to "use your powers." So she does.
"Blah blah big bad threat is coming you have no idea" - tv pilot writing by the numbers.
James Olsen delivers a message from Superman to Supergirl about being proud of her, despite what can only be called a total absence from her life. Isn't aliens wandering around a major city with a laser axe the sort of thing Superman should take a more active hand in, rather than leaving it to someone who's never even been in a fight?
So them's my impressions of the Supergirl pilot that was definitely not leaked deliberately - by which I mean it totally was leaked deliberately. By which I mean it's only a possibility and I use phrasing to suggest it as being the case purely for the purposes of humor in case you're reading this Supergirl's producer's lawyers.
Overall, I thought it was at best average. It lacked focus and a lot of elements seem to be there purely because they're staples of these kinds of shows rather than because they contribute anything at all to what I just watched - like the bestie played by the guy from Smash, who contributes literally nothing to the story beyond making an inappropriate costume for Supergirl to wear so meninists can reassure themselves that the female lead is still there to be ogled now and then and won't accidentally empower any female children that might be watching, but this is not actually contributing to the story so this bestie character is pretty much superfluous.
When they try to overexplain things or create character logic, that's when it seems to me to fall apart a bit more than I'd like, and that bit with Supergirl's sister doing the "I believe in you" speech is beyond painful to watch and disintegrates at the point the writers give up and turn the chore of plot progression over to the Superman staple of holograms of dead parents, leaving the character elements unresolved in favor of Supergirl doing a crying bit that I am not sure would fly were we dealing with a male character. It also brings up a recurring trope in superhero media where a lot of superheroes are orphans, but they have surrogate parents in their story (Uncle Ben, Alfred Pennyworth, etc) that they love just as much as anyone might be expected to love a parent, so the disregard for Supergirl's human family the moment she sees a hologram of her biological mother seems a bit of a disservice.
I don't like the costume, either - it seems too busy for the sake of being busy, because if you take the disparate elements it has, it's just the same Supergirl costume from the 1984 movie but with lots of unnecessary texture and piping and all the primary colours muddied down until it may as well just be black with a red logo on it.
So a resounding "meh" from my critical faculties for this one, though it'll probably get a pass for its many faults because it's a genre show and/or aimed at teens, both of which usually have pretty low standards as audiences. It'll also likely get a free ride because it's the first costumed female superhero on USTV since Wonder Woman and female genre fans are treated so poorly that I can understand why they'd be happy enough being tossed a bone like this, as even if the show isn't much good and features a character derived from a male, it's still a lead female superhero on the screen, a feat that Marvel haven't managed in 11 movies - though to be fair to Marvel, they know what they're doing and I'm sure every last one of those billions of dollars their superhero movies made came exclusively from male cinemagoers.