When it comes to superhero-related TV shows, comics and movies, comparisons will likely come up.

And sometimes, those comparisons have justification: many of these superheroes seem a lot alike. However, sometimes those comparisons make no sense and really fulfill the whole "apples to oranges" statement.

As is the case of Supergirl and Jessica Jones—it's less like apples and oranges and more like apples and unicorns: the two series really have nothing in common, save for one thing: they both feature a female lead.

But many would justify that this detail alone is enough to write things like "Supergirl vs. Jessica Jones" and determine which series is better. But the problem with that line of thinking is that these are two shows with completely different themes, characters and settings.

Here's how the two shows differ so much from each other that comparing the two is pointless:


Supergirl's theme is one of hope, reflecting the hope from the Superman comics and movies. Sure, Superman got a little darker with Man of Steel, but ultimately, his story has and always will feature hope front and center: hope for mankind and hope for a better future. This is the same thing that drives Supergirl, who feels that it's her duty to make a difference and give National City hope by being a superhero.

Jessica Jones, however, has already given up on becoming a superhero and hung up her cape early on to become a private investigator instead. Her story is not about hope, but survival, even after horrible events. Her tale is completely different from Supergirl's because she's led a harder life and faced darker villains: these kind of villains don't really exist in Supergirl's world.

So you've got one theme that is light and one theme that is dark. And that reason alone should serve as enough of a reminder that these are two distinctly different series.


Supergirl takes place in the vibrant National City, a place similar to Metropolis, where good outweighs evil and people still believe that the city deserves saving. People lead normal daily lives here, usually without criminal activities, and the usual threats they face are crashing airplanes and the occasional bomb set off by a villain. National City isn't even real: it's a made-up place created for Supergirl's fictitious life.

On the other hand, Jessica Jones takes place in a very real Hell's Kitchen, New York, although this version is darker and grittier than its real-life counterpart. In Hell's Kitchen, crime runs rampant and the struggle for surviving daily life is often difficult.

Again, the setting reflects the themes of each show: National City is bright and full of hope and Hell's Kitchen is dark and filled with hopelessness.

Target Audiences

Although it has a wide demographic, the target audience for Supergirl is young boys and girls. Supergirl is a series that wants to give young people a hero to look up to, someone that embodies the morals of Truth, Justice and the American Way. Supergirl also reminds viewers that girls can easily become heroes, too. The series seeks to lift up kids and let them know that doing the right thing is the way to lead their lives. Also, because Supergirl is who she is, and because her series appears on CBS, the series is appropriate for all ages.

Jessica Jones, however, is about a woman who gave up on becoming a superhero and her character is actually more of an anti-hero. Sure, she can save the day, but it comes with a lot of baggage and often ethically gray decisions. Jessica Jones isn't going to become a role model for young children, but she is a character that adults can relate to. This series also features more adult situations and language because it's target is more mature audiences.

So which is better? The answer is simple: neither, because they are so different. When it comes to watching either of these shows, perhaps the best motto isn't just to pick which one someone says is better, but to pick both, which are the first female-led superhero series to grace TV screens in a long time.

Jessica Jones is available on Netflix; Supergirl airs at 8 p.m. EST Mondays on CBS.

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