By Jennifer Ives
The CW’s “Supergirl” T.V. show premiered in 2015 to positive reviews about its overall upbeat message. Main actor Melissa Benoist has also been lauded for her successful protrayal of Kara Danvers, a news media assistant and Supergirl by day as she juggles her work obligations and her duty to the city.
But her boss, Cat Grant, the mogul of CatCo–– the National City media to Metropolis’s Daily Planet–– is one of the single strongest characters in an entire cast of reasonably strong characters and actors.
The character of Cat Grant in “Supergirl” is one of the boss we love to hate: neurotic, demanding, and even ‘bitchy.’ She seems to have more in common with Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada.” But Cat Grant, in all her imperfect perfection- demnding glory, is exactly the hero that we’ve been missing on TV.
One of Ms. Grant’s recurring habits is demanding that Kara, her assistant and occasional Supergirl, fetch her a dose of Lexapro, a medication commonly prescribed for depression and generalized anxiety disorder. She also frequently references her therapist and tells other people to get a therapist.
It is rare we are ever shown a character on T.V. that is receiving professional psychiatric help and is not abusing prescribed substances, or engaging in an unhealthy relationship with their provider. Ms. Grant is even shown to be aware of the effect of projecting her anger onto subordinates, the importance of self care, and having personal and professional boundaries.
Ms. Grant is portrayed as an untight but incredibly successful businesswoman, who is piercingly aware of the effect that her gender has on the public’s perception of her behavior and position.
Ms. Grant even has several speeches in which she reminds Kara that as a women she will always have to be better, faster, and stronger than her male counterparts in order to be respected, advice that rings even more true as Kara struggles to establish her own superhero identity outside of the shadow of her cousin, Superman.
And despite her demanding presence and insistence on high standards of work from her subordinates, Ms. Grant is also shown as a loving and devoted mother who plays board games with her son, and encourages him to develop his own interests and hobbies.
She additionally displays deep empathy for others, and a sense of duty to National City and its citizens, repeatedly responding to disasters by encouraging calm and cooperation, as well as hope and belief in the goodness of others.
Cat Grant is rude, cold, ruthless, hard- working, anxious, controlling, and absolutely wonderful. She is amazingly flawed and human, and still massively successful. We all need role models who admit that even they, especially they, need help from professionals, and that it’s not only completely normal, but also something to be encouraged.
Supergirl’s second season will be premiering on the CW on Monday, October 8th, at 8 P.M. Season One is available on Netflix for streaming.