1. Supergirl definitely follows the formula set by Arrow and the Flash, but that's both good and bad news. While on the one hand, we might be annoyed that every hero needs a whole team of friends who know their secret identity and help with the crime-solving - that's TV 101, you want a cast people care about - on the other, the show wants to explore an entire corner of the DCU, specifically the Superman-related universe you just know the movies, with their Lex-Zod obsession, never will. If they're not doing Brainiac in the movies, what are the chances we'd ever see the likes of Metallo, Toy-Man or the Parasite? Well, they could show up in Supergirl, and I'll talk about some of the references to comics characters in due course.
2. Melissa Benoist is terrific as Kara Zor-El/Danvers/Supergirl. Unlike Clark Kent's awkward goofiness, her similar attitude doesn't feel like a put-on. She really is that girl who doesn't quite feel right in her skin. Supergirl is the costume, the brave face she puts on so she can make a difference. But even as the lowly office assistant who gets abused on a daily basis by her boss (and Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant almost steals the show), she's thinking about the welfare of others, people's jobs, etc. It's awesome and exactly the kind of inspirational superhero we need her to be. Love the little mannerisms that show she's unsure of herself, and they eye rolls when Cat mispronounces Kara. Benoist is clearly having fun, and we're along for the ride.
3. This looks like a different Krypton from the Donnerverse's and the Snyderverse's. That's fine. All new continuity where Superman's been around for years before Supergirl shows up, and playing coy as to what he looks like so that we can imagine anyone in the role. I hope they keep the Man of Steel at arm's length (though perhaps never wanting to say his name is going a bit far - is it a rights issue?), as he feels like a Superdick manipulating his cousin in a rather Silver Age way. Jimmy may be a love interest for Supergirl, but Superman's kind of spoiled it by telling him her secrets before the show even starts.
4. Oh my God, are those Helen Slater, the original Supergirl, and Dean "Superman" Cain as the Danvers!? Squee! Very fun casting!
5. Okay, let's talk about some of the comic book references. Just like The Flash's pilot, there are tons and most offer clues about future storylines. And so the boss at the D.E.O. is Hank Henshaw, destined to become the Cyborg-Superman (uh-oh). Supergirl's best friend Winn Schott shares a last name with the Toy-Man, and part of a first name too. Is Winn really Winslow, or just related to him? There's a fun montage where Supergirl tries on some outfits, with many design features her comic book self has worn. The Fort Rozz escapees include a purple guy who I first thought could be the Parasite, but on the rewind looked more like Despero. Fort Rozz itself IS from the comics, but you'd have to remember the Krypton Chronicles mini-series to recall that Kryptonian prison (I guess it played a part in the New Krypton storyline too?). It's apparently the villain-creating engine for the series (kind of like the Island on Arrow and the incident on the Flash). Oh and there's Vartox...
6. If this was Vartox, it was Vartox in name alone. I mean, they kept his sexism, but he's a brute for Supergirl to fight and has none of the seductive charm of his Sean Conneryesque comic book self. I'd have liked it much better of they'd kept him for later and used him like they did with Power Girl, as a relic from the a less enlightened time trying to find a super-powered mate. He's wasted here, or at least his name is. And what's with the axe? Is he the Persuader? Ooohhhhh, please have the Legion show up in this series!
7. The one character I can't stand however is Kara's adoptive sister Alex. Probably because despite the non-Snyderousness of it all, she's the Pa Kent character who doesn't want her sister to be a hero because people won't accept her. Then it turns out she's a D.E.O. agent, making me not care at all for that whole organization and its pseudo-Batcave, what with Alex seeking approval from her boss in such an obvious way. Ugh.
8. National City?! That's an odd one. First of all, it's not actually one of DC's fictional cities. Supergirl once made her home in Midvale, which would have been correct. Sure, National is the name of one of the companies that evolved into DC Comics, but it doesn't sound like a real place, and it's like Supergirl was ever published by "National Comics". Since they aren't using Argo City as a Kryptonian colony (or maybe they will), why not simply call her Earth-bound base of operations Argo City?
9. The consensus seems to be that the show was good, but for some pacing issues, and I have to agree with that consensus. Superman's origin is so well-known that I can take the glossing over the parts of Supergirl's that are essentially the same. But the first half - by far the most interesting half, with the introduction of Kara's like at Catco, and her first steps into herodom - seemed to fly back all too fast. And then there was a fight, some exposition, and then another fight, and then an epilogue... It didn't seem to ramp up to a climax, nor did Vartox amount to much except to show how the D.E.O. will help Supergirl fight her adversaries week in and week out.
10. Haha, it's not an "S", but it's not "Hope" either. It's the El family crest, no hokey explanation necessary.
11. Heat vision is blue?
So those were some of my thoughts watching the pilot. I think DC's got another TV hit on its hands, and it's a real shame Supergirl doesn't have a title in print at the moment. Real lack of foresight (or of faith in the show) from DiDio and friends. But what did you think?