Let’s face it, CW’s Supergirl has always been preachy. But there’s preachy, and then there’s obnoxiously, sycophantically preachy. The superhero series flies towards the latter in yet another episode proclaiming how being trans is being "strong" and "authentic" nowadays.
The April 28 episode “American Dreamer” follows the president’s recent militarization of the anti-alien group The Children of Liberty. Because Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) has been branded a public enemy, they begin hunting down innocent alien citizens in public and in hiding. Somehow, this is supposed to represent current U.S. behaviors regarding illegal immigrants - they even had the good guys protesting for alien amnesty.
In the meantime, our transgender hero Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) has stepped up to protect the city as the superhero Dreamer - and, yes, that is what they’re calling her with a straight face. Despite not having the mantle for long, she’s apparently doing a decent job against crime. However, that doesn’t stop all of the xenophobic attacks. The super friends then decide to come up with another idea to combat hate.
Supergirl, using her alter ego as reporter Kara Danvers, gives a public interview with “Dreamer” to promote a positive image of human and alien unity. After all, Nia is the product of a human father and an alien mother as well as a trans woman. That last detail really has nothing to do with the alien crisis, but the show just can’t help but remind us in this pandering speech.
Dreamer: My mother was a Naltorian, but my father was human.
Kara: So you are both human and alien.
Dreamer: Yes. My parents believed that humans and aliens could co-exist. And I'm living proof of that. But growing up wasn't easy. I am also a trans woman. I'm different, Miss Danvers, but so is everybody. And I don't know when that became such a bad thing. The greatest gift we can give each other is our authentic selves and sharing that. Sharing our truth is what will make us strong. So, here I am. I am both human and alien. And I am a trans woman. S'mores are my favorite dessert. But I will always choose salty over sweet. I broke my nose when I was 15 during a game of kickball. My mother was my heart. And since I lost her, it's felt like a piece of me is missing. But my father is my spine. I'm a Gryffindor. Uh, my Patronus is a Dapple Grey Stallion. I am an INFP. House Stark. I love Thursdays and April. And nerdy boys who think too much. And I am proud of all that I am.
Kara: You should be.
The other characters predictably hail her words as brave and inspiring instead of the preachy and cringey mess they really are. They act like we’ve never heard these words before in the media or even on this very show. We didn’t believe it then, and we don’t believe it now.
The Children of Liberty then come to arrest Dreamer for “an illegal seditious broadcast,” only to be stopped by CatCo Media editor James Olsen (Mechad Brooks). In full social justice warrior fashion, he defends the broadcast saying, “All I see are journalists exercising their right to freedom of speech and doing their duty to uphold freedom of press.” Strangely, I doubt that these characters would say the same thing about people discussing how men cannot be women. Or how landing on Earth shouldn’t automatically make you an American citizen. Then it would probably be considered a hate crime.
Supergirl continues to be one of the more hypocritical shows on the air, but now it’s definitely one of the more obnoxious shows as well. If we never get another episode waxing about sharing "our authentic selves," it’ll be too soon.