What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about series premiere for DC’s Stargirl! This one I have been anxious for. After everything we have gotten so far from the DC Universe, this was their most ambitious debut. These days it is hard to sell people on young heroes. Particularly when it is live-action. You have to go the extra mile to break from the mold, and that was what I looked forward to seeing most from this series premiere. Haven’t felt disappointed by one of these shows yet. Didn’t expect this one to be any different.
What can I say about this one? Stargirl had my attention from the opening scene! From the promos, we knew that we were looking forward to seeing how Starman was killed in action. Though, what you couldn’t have prepared yourself for was how much more there was too that scene. When it comes to live-action superhero series, the biggest worry is always how far the showrunners and writers are willing to go into that world. Are they afraid of superhero elements? To give you classic battles? Authentic costumes? These guys sent the message right away that they had no problem going big to give us exactly what we wanted to see from a show like this one. Heroes and villains clashing like you’ve never seen them before. It was a flashy display, and at the same time it was also brutal. This was just how many minutes, and they put more effort into what that looked like than all the Arrowverse crossovers combined.
Our introduction to Courtney (Brec Bassinger) was fairly standard when it came to a kid who lost a parent, got a new one, and had to adjust to big changes. Off the bat, you knew that there was going to be some fire to work through from the character. In the case of Courtney, I appreciated that they didn’t go too far with that. You can be angry, but it takes away from everything you are supposed to be building up in investment when the character is consumed by it. They addressed her situation, yet also made sure we knew everything else important about her. The things she values, where her moral compass points, the kind of personality we are dealing with that will wield cosmic power.
For me, it went a long way that Courtney dives into this world with a sense of wonder. That washes away quickly by the end, though it matters that you have a main character who can be just as excited as you are about discovering what is now possible with the cosmic staff in her hands. Already I loved just the fact that she is a character with acrobatic skill, and doesn’t waste an opportunity to show it. Especially in combination with the staff.
Now when it came to Pat (LukeWilson), it was important that early on we knew what kind of role he was going to play in this. We knew that he was Starman’s sidekick, and that he is now Courtney’s step-father. However, there was the question of what capacity he would exist in Courtney’s world. That much we know is something we can invest in. Pat is our link to the past with Starman and the JSA. He is the guide in the present for what it takes to be a superhero. Not to mention he is the symbol of caution towards the dangers. Above all, it was good having that one character who is established from the start to be genuine. Ignoring the past he kept secret, it makes a difference having a character like Pat who has a heart in the right place.
What I loved most about Stargirl is the fact that this isn’t the normal teenage drama you step into. As I said before, the biggest worry about this show was the idea that the story would get too wrapped up in things cliche for characters Courtney’s age. Clearly somethings are going to be hard to get around, but it is the execution of those things which matter most. I would say they nailed it so far. Mainly for the fact that this is a DC Universe show, more than a CW show. meaning that there is a lot more substance to look forward to. Not to mention they don’t hold back with what the teenage experience actually looks at these days. Its not enough to say that kids can be mean, and high school can be rough. You have to show that for everything that hits you where it hurts the worst. I mean that first scene where the mean kids roll in? The language, but exactly what you expect.
Speaking of language, I know that some people aren’t fans of when things get colorful. However, it says enough about the tone when you know that things aren’t going to be whimsical or watered down.
Rest assured, there is some action to look forward to from Courtney herself. That did not disappoint as we got our first taste of what action looks like for her. I was glad that there was nothing light about the way they took it. Again, it made a big difference that at the core this is a DC Universe series. If this were a CW series, there would be too many restrictions on how intense an action scene could get. There are no restrictions for a DC Universe series. The heroes get battered, things actually go boom, the fight choreography is something you can actually awe at. Courtney’s first taste of action got the blood pumping because she got the new hero treatment. For all that power, there is little control. And when stepping into the world of superheroes, the villains will be unforgiving of that.
Aside from all of that, obviously someone should rip the band-aid off. If this is a show where you are looking for a lot of Joel McHale as Starman, the most you are going to see from him is old photographs and flashbacks. This truthfully should be enough for most. He doesn’t do a bad job either of playing a superhero. I actually smiled at the fact he threw in some of his charm to the character too.
DC’s Stargirl “Pilot” in my opinion has had one of the strongest premieres for a DC series. We got our introduction, action, stunning effects. It was a lot of things wrapped up in to one episode. Even if it is too soon to say that this show isn’t cliche for a young hero story, this first episode should leave you wanting to stay tuned for what comes next.