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Friday in Review: How Alex Danvers Went From Strong Indepedent Character to Walking Cliche

So big Warning here and now: If you aren't caught up on Supergirl this post contains spoilers, it's most just one big spoiler actually. If you don't mind spoilers than read right on ahead.




Ok, so this topic may be controversial and my opinion may not be the "popular" opinion but it's been on my mind a lot lately. Yesterday inspiration struck at 10:00 because my brain is weird and I got to thinking and came up with a great Friday in Review topic and name for this post.



It's all about Supergirl's very own big sis: Alex Danvers. I loved her in season 1. She was strong and independent and outspoken. She was fiercely loyal and a great role model, not to mention even greater big sister. I guess I could resonate with her overprotectiveness toward Kara since I'm the big sister of four younger brothers and have felt that protectiveness and need to help them many times myself. She and Kara's sisterly relationship was beautiful and something to be admired and still is. It's grown and changed for the better over season 1 and now into season 2. But while all of those traits are part of the reason why Alex is a dynamic character there was one thing that set her apart from most other heroines. She didn't have a love interest. Trust me I love my love interests and my romance (to tell the truth to me a show or book or movie is no good without a little romance) but Alex was one of the exceptions. Probably because there was a lot of love interest-y stuff going on with other characters. The whole no romance looked good on Alex and suited her. She was just so busy helping Kara and her friends, busy saving the world! Not to mention she already felt like a complete character to me. She had dynamic relationships already. With her sister. With her parents. With friends. With Hank Henshaw. To me her life already seemed pretty complete.




Even when she came face to face with the handsome and charming and sometimes morally gray Maxwell Lord she didn't let up. Yeah there were those scenes that had some tension between the two of them. There was even that one episode where they went on a "date" (I use date loosely because if I remember correctly Alex was distracting him so Kara could break into his building).




Anyways, by the end of season 1 you feel like you have a pretty good idea on who Alex Danvers is. Sure, I could see a love interest subplot somewhere in the future but by the end of season 1 and beginning of season 2 she seemed like a pretty complete, pretty well-rounded character. There's always room for improvement but she already seemed pretty improved to me from a writer standpoint.




And this is where my opinion and view comes from. As a writer. As a writer analyzing plot and character.



So Alex Danvers was a strong, independent, world saving heroine (not to mention the big sister of Supergirl herself!). And then she meets the cop Maggie and thing's spiral out of control fast. The whole Alex coming out thing and "finding herself" thing came out of nowhere! It shocked me because that was so un-Alex. It felt so out of character that Alex would compromise herself for someone else. In season 1 I got the impression Alex was fixed in her ways. She was... strong... she didn't compromise and she didn't change herself for anyone because she liked herself the way she was. And then Maggie comes along. They have lot in common. Their both in law enforcement and they both have saved the world in different ways and levels. Both of them are married to their careers. Both are hardworking, independent, strong female characters. In season 1 Alex didn't have a lot of friends. Real friends. Close friends like Kara did so when she met Maggie I was happy for her. Happy that she met a friend, someone to talk and relate to.




But then the relationship took an unexpected turn. I was exasperated when I found out Maggie was gay. It was so cliché! The one other strong, independent, uncompromising, world-saving female character in the show and she's gay? Kind of like almost every other TV show female character with those exact same traits in every other TV show made in the past few years. So cliché. But I shrugged it off. Ok fine, whatever, let her be in there. Alex can still have a friend to confide in. But then Alex goes and changes! She compromises who she knew herself to be, her identity to come out as being gay! She changed for another woman. This wasn't even for true love people. This was for some friendly, girly feelings that turns strong, emotionally deep, amazing character Alex into a giggly, girly heap of lovey dovey gooiness! I don't even recognize her anymore! She's become a completely different person! If you saw the latest episode titled Supergirl Lives then you know what I'm talking about. She's acting like a teenage girl who's never had a crush before. So unlike the Alex I got to know in season 1 that I'm beginning to dislike her more and more as season 2 goes on.




Every show nowadays as the gay character or the gay couple. So much so that it's become a cliché! List the TV shows and even books and movies you watch and read in your mind and pick out the gay couple or person. From a writer point of view over doing a character stereotype (like what is happening now with gay characters and couples) is called a cliché. So the writers of Supergirl have reduced the strongest female character besides Kara herself into a walking, talking cliché! There's even the stereotypical drama to go along with this sudden, unexpected and cliché change in Alex. The whole Character A (Alex snaps at Character B (Maggie) because she's worried about The Most Important Thing (Kara). Character B says "fine, fine, whatever. I'll see you later," in a very cold tone, obviously miffed. Character A takes care of business, finds Most Important Thing and regrets snapping at Character B. Character A goes to Character B now that Most Important Thing is found and safe and apologizes. Character B accepts apology and happily ever after. But now add Alex practically begging Maggie to stay with her in the whole apology scene and that's what happened. Tell me that isn't cliché from a non-opionated, writerly point of view.




This is just my own observation and I may be completely wrong but the whole Maggie/Alex relationship has felt extremely odd and manipulative. When she talks to Alex Maggie sounds... almost superior. Like she knows better than Alex and knows what's best for Alex. In the latest episode when Alex came to apologize for snapping at her Maggie shook her head and said I don't know if this is going to work. The way Maggie and Alex has created this relationship is completely one sided and that would be Maggie's side. The writer's wrote their relationship in a very strange, slightly creepy and holly manipulative way. I don't like how it feels like Maggie has almost manipulated and brainwashed Alex into thinking she's gay because frankly that's how this whole transition feels. Maybe that's not what the writer's wanted but that's how it looks on the screen.




There isn't any specific thing or opinion or whatever I'm trying to convey in this post, except for my annoyance and frustration that TV show writers keep turning some of my favorite characters into characters I don't even recognize. Making them do things so out of character all in the name of political correctness. What happened to just being a writer and keeping political agendas out of it? I can't wait a single TV show or movie without having political agendas shoved down my throat. I mean seriously, over the last few years I feel like I'm being brainwashed the way they go out of their way -- even making characters do illogical and completely out of character things -- to get a gay or gay couple in a show! It's just sad that some of my favorite female characters that I would like as a role model have been changed so completely just to fit political correctness and the "popular opinion" such as Alex from Supergirl, Clarke from The 100 and Mulan from Once Upon A Time. Yes some of these storylines from a writer point of view were done well or at least decently. Clarke and Mulan's whole coming out scenes to the audience were... they were done a lot more smoothly. I may not agree with it at all but at least the writer's did it half way decently. Clarke's whole thing was a little... disconcerting and out of character but the writers did ease you into it at least a little bit. Mulan... the writer's did OK with. But Alex? It felt shaky and forced and not at all well done.




What do I want to see for Alex's character in the rest of season 2? I want to see her go back to her core characteristics and I want to see Alex's character Arc to be more evolved than just the new cliché of "girl meets girl. girl changes for girl and they 'fall in love'" stereotype. Her character deserves more than to be a cliché.




Thanks for listening to my rambling! Hope you all have a great weekend and let me know what you think of what I have to say in the comments!

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