Ranking the Pilots of SDCC Preview Night

Thursday, 09 July 2015 - 1:52AM
DC Comics
Supergirl
San Diego Comic Con
Thursday, 09 July 2015 - 1:52AM
Ranking the Pilots of SDCC Preview Night
Comic Con has officially commenced, and as always, it kicks off with Warner Bros.'s Preview Night. This year, we got to see screenings of four pilots: Supergirl, Blindspot, Containment, and Lucifer, as well as a video presentation for DC's Legends of Tomorrow and a new episode of Teen Titans Go! For details on the Legends of Tomorrow footage, check out our live blog, and here's a ranking of all four pilots, from worst to best:

4

Blindspot




Blindspot wasn't terrible, per se, as long as you know what you're getting yourself into. So here it is: it's a paint-by-numbers thriller about a mysterious amnesiac who has tattoos all over her body that may contain clues about her identity. At some point she gets upset because someone calls her "Miss" and she says, "Miss who? I don't have a name!" She turns out to be

Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)


an expert assassin who attempts to thwart a plan to blow up the Statue of Liberty
.

The characters aren't even ciphers, as they literally don't have any personality traits to their name. But does that necessarily matter? If you like other NBC dramas like Stalker or Hostages, you'll probably enjoy this level of ridiculousness as well.

3

Containment




I was pleasantly surprised by Containment. It was a perfectly serviceable pandemic thriller that was admirably restrained; the virus, for example, is

Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)


a particularly nasty strain of influenza
, which is much more grounded and realistic than an alien or zombie virus, for example. And it was definitely a departure from most CW shows, as the cast was almost entirely composed of actual adults, rather than adults playing high schoolers. And while the cast was typically good-looking, Chris Wood is the only one who has that CW "he's not even a real person" kind of good looks. And he was a standout on this season of The Vampire Diaries, so we'll be happy to see him back on our screens.

That said, it was a mistake to refer to the pandemic as a "zombie apocalypse" and set it in Atlanta. Comparisons to Walking Dead would not be especially kind.

2

Supergirl




If there's one word I could use to describe the Supergirl pilot, it would be "charming." The cast is strong all around, particularly Melissa Benoist, who is completely endearing as the title character, and Calista Flockhart, who is brilliant as Kara's Devil Wears Prada-esque boss. There's some focus on Kara's dating life, but not nearly as much as it seemed in the initial trailers, the action was well-choreographed, and the special effects were spectacular, especially for television.



This is all very encouraging, as "charming" is probably how I would have described The Flash this time last year. But there are definitely a few rough spots, particularly some unearned melodramatics with her foster sister. And the feminism- it's not quite as bad as the Black Widow SNL skit, but the jury is still out on whether it's more "girl power" than actual empowerment. But it was entertaining, it had plenty of potential, and it places women and the relationships between women at the forefront in the best way. Kara is a female superhero with a female boss, her most important relationship is with her foster sister, and best of all, she's

Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)


facing a female villain
, which is all too rare nowadays.


1

Lucifer




I enjoyed Supergirl, but Lucifer was the real Cinderella story here. The cast, the dialogue, the soundtrack, the tone, everything worked together like a well-oiled machine. It was funny in a witty, tongue-in-cheek kind of way, which is absolutely key in a show that's literally about the Devil. It could have been incredibly shlocky, but instead it was irreverent, tons of fun, and boasting a surprisingly big heart.



I had a couple reservations, as I usually do; sometimes the Devil jokes got a little too cutesy, and I'm not sure how the procedural element will play out over the course of the season. It worked in the first episode because the chemistry between Tom Ellis's Lucifer and Lauren German's detective Girl Friday was so much fun to watch, but we probably all have enough police procedurals in our lives. I predict that if it's a success (which I hope it will be), then it will go the Gotham route and ditch the case-of-the-week formula in order to rely on the strength of its characters. 
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