It's fun to be a super star at Halloween time


About this time each year, people grumble that the new season didn't bring many really exceptional TV shows.

This year? Well, the new "Fargo" miniseries is brilliant, "Life in Pieces" is sometimes hilarious, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is wonderfully original and some dramas ("Blindspot," for instance) can grab us. Still, we want more ... and now we get it. "Supergirl" arrives belatedly on Monday, Oct. 26, bringing zest, joy and an instantly likable star. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

As “Supergirl”
stardom nears, Melissa Benoist faces a logical question: What will
she be dressed as this Halloween?

“I think I'll be
David Bowie,” she said, but “it would be fun to (trick-or-treat)
as Supergirl.”

It would also
startle people. After massive promotion and warm reviews, CBS debuts
the series Monday and reruns it on Halloween. It would startle people
to see that same hero at their door.

Last year, Benoist
said, she ignored the holiday because she was preparing for her Nov.
1 audition. “The second that I saw in my E-mail in-box the title
'Supergirl,' I just knew automatically that it was something
important.”

She might not seem
to fit the role in surface ways. Benoist isn't:

-- A fan. “I never
read 'Supergirl,' and I didn't read too many of the other comics.”

-- An imposing
force. “I'm terrible at sports; I'm not coordinated in that way.”

What she may have is
Supergirl's attitude. Benoist “has the strength, the hope, the
heart, the humor and just that instant likability,” said Andrew
Kreisberg, one of the show's writer-producers.

And, he said, she
brings a joy. “There are a lot of heroes who are sort of very
ambivalent about their powers and very dour – and we're certainly
guilty of putting some of those people on TV.”.

His other DC Comics
shows, “Arrow” and “The Flash,” started with brooding,
reluctant heroes. Supergirl, Benoist said, is “finding the joy in
being a hero and using her powers.”

In her own
childhood, Benoist said, there was plenty of outdoor time amid the
beauty of Littleton, Colo. She was active, but not athletic; her
early heroes were Judy Garland and Rosemary Clooney. “I watched a
lot of old movies with my grandmother.”

Like Garland and
Clooney, she managed to blend music and acting, playing Marley Rose
for two “Glee” seasons. She also married a castmate, Blake
Jenner.

Other roles have
ranged from serious (the overwhelmed girlfriend in “Whiplash”) to
“Supergirl” fun.

Well, semi-fun. Like
all the previous superpeople, Benoist copes with fake-flying in a
harness. “It's really difficut, and there have been moments where
I'm in that position and they're like, 'Try to look less concerned.
You need to look comfortable.'”

Mostly, though,
she's comfortable with her high-flying role. For some of her
childhood Halloweens, Benoist dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi of “Star
Wars.” Now one of her co-stars – playing a high-maintenance boss
– is Calista Flockhart, the real-life wife of “Star Wars” star
Harrison Ford.

As Flockhart sees
it, “Supergirl” lets women be and feel super. “It's a real
celebraiton of girl power .... I think it's a great show for moms and
daughters to watch together.”

-- “Supergirl”
debut is 8:30 p.m. Monday (Oct. 26), rerunning at 8 p.m. Saturday
(Oct. 31), CBS

-- Then will be 8
p.m. Mondays