Why Supergirl merging universes with Arrow & The Flash would be a mistake

After a successful first season CBS, Supergirl is set to begin airing on the CW channel, alongside The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. Ultimately, this is probably for the best; the show will now be far more economic to produce, in terms of costs and efficiency, and it’ll be able to tie into its sister shows far more easily. Indeed, we’ve already had two crossovers confirmed; one four-night event, incorporating each show and taking place around November, as well as a later musical crossover between The Flash and Supergirl. I’m hugely excited for where this show will be headed next, and I can’t wait for it to begin again.

However – as much as I’m looking forward to the new season and various crossovers – I’m quite firmly of the belief that Supergirl should remain in a different fictional universe to its counterparts.

Allow me to explain. At present, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow all take place within one universe – the events of Arrow happen just a few cities over from the events of The Flash, essentially. Supergirl, however, is set in a separate universe – a parallel universe, essentially. Thus far, the only crossover between Supergirl and another programme, in this case The Flash, involved dimensional travel.

The DC comics that these television shows draw on as source material has a history of “Crisis” events, wherein different universes are split apart from one another or merged together; typically, it’s an attempt to streamline continuity, although it’s debatable as to whether or not it really does make things simpler. As such, then, there are a vocal group who are clamouring for a similar such event to occur now, moving Supergirl into the same reality as The Flash and Arrow, positing that the slated crossover special should be used to reset Supergirl, and essentially reboot it to better fit with the other superhero programmes currently airing on the CW.

To my mind, though, this would be quite the mistake – both in terms of the story, but also from a business point of view.

Despite now being in a position where it has to move networks, Supergirl’s viewership on CBS did in fact far outstrip the ratings that The Flash maintains on the CW; this is, of course, because CBS itself has a far wider reach than the CW, but it’s also a certainty that the CW is hoping that a large number of these viewers follow the show to the CW. It makes little sense, then, to try and change what is essentially the more popular show to ‘fit’ the more niche one – why would the CW consciously alienate the fans they’re trying to attract?

Even then, though, it’s clear enough that the majority of the people calling for this are paying little regard to Supergirl as a programme in its own right – it’s essentially a request to dismiss any character growth and plot points from the past year. What’s to be gained from this, exactly? Very, very little. To undo much of what’s been established so far, so as to simply mesh better with other shows is an entirely reductive decision to make. It’s a particularly bad idea, really, when you consider that there would be little chance to deal with the fallout; rather than explore a plot like that, we’d be expected to accept entirely different versions of the characters we already know, and quite quickly, so that the storyline can continue on its own.

Supergirl is, currently, pretty fantastic - why throw it all away?

Related:

The Flash Season 2 Review

Arrow - The Disturbing Trend of Fridging Female Characters

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