CBS' 'Supergirl' takes flight, 'Wicked City' expects millennial audience

Melissa Benoist makes for a fun and joyous Girl of Steel.

SUPERGIRL - 8:30 tonight, CBS3. Moves to 8 p.m. next week.

Remember when a secret identity was, well, a secret?

If you do, you probably grew up before 9/11 (and Facebook) and before half the characters on network television went to work for the federal government and began spying on the other half.

Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist, "Glee") should, theoretically, be able to recall such a time, but as we learn in the premiere tonight of CBS' "Supergirl," her journey from Krypton to Earth hit a few snags. So Superman's cousin is now just another millennial, slaving away at the Tribune in National City for an imperious media mogul (Calista Flockhart) who, by the end of the episode, will be one of the few characters in the show not to be in on Kara's super secret, the one she's dying to tell.

There's so much fun stuff going on in "Supergirl," from cameos by Dean Cain ("Lois & Clark") and Helen Slater (1984's "Supergirl"), as Kara's adoptive parents, to the introduction of a sizzling hot James "Don't Call Me Jimmy" Olsen (Mehcad Brooks, "Necessary Roughness"), that it seems churlish to complain about a subplot that threatens to spoil the fun by making a federal issue out of Supergirl.

Like Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) in "Blindspot," which shares an executive producer, Greg Berlanti, with "Supergirl," Kara has gifts that make some feds - including one played by David Harewood - more nervous than grateful.

Chyler Leigh ("Grey's Anatomy") plays her adoptive sister, Alex, whose thankless task it is to remind Kara to keep her head down and stick with her job in journalism.

Yes, really. That's her advice.

Kara finds a confidant in Winslow "Winn" Schott (Jeremy Jordan, "Smash"), whom she's inexplicably friend-zoned, and a challenge in her boss, Cat Grant (Flockhart, who appears to delight in making the Daily Planet's Perry White look like a pussycat).

Purists will note that many of the show's characters, like Olsen, are drawn from the world of Superman, not Supergirl. But if your mother, like mine, long ago threw away your Supergirl comics, you may need to let that go, too.

Benoist's Kara is a joyful heroine and a tough one - some of the fight scenes may be on the intense side for younger viewers, who should otherwise be fine - and a welcome addition to TV's growing legion of superheroes.

Long may she fly.

WICKED CITY - 10 p.m. Tuesday, 6ABC.

For months, ABC programming chief Paul Lee has made a point of noting that "Wicked City," an '80s-set drama about a romantically involved pair of serial killers that premieres Tuesday, was the network's highest-testing pilot among millennials.

Let's see if they'll watch it, now that it's on ABC. I don't really have the stomach for it, but then I'm no millennial.

Ed Westwick ("Gossip Girl") stars as Kent Grainger, whose idea of a good time is picking up a woman in a bar on the Sunset Strip, taking her out in his car and, during a moment when her attention is very much elsewhere, plunging a knife into her.

Erika Christensen ("Parenthood") stars as Betty Beaumontaine, a nurse who narrowly avoids becoming Kent's latest victim and who's about to become his accomplice instead.

Or so I'm extrapolating from the pilot, which also stars Jeremy Sisto as a cop out to stop Kent, and Taissa Farmiga as a music writer, and is equal parts unpleasant and uninteresting.

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