REVIEW: DC Universe/CW's STARGIRL Season Premiere

Stargirl Season 1 art
Credit: DC UNIVERSE
Credit: DC UNIVERSE

Stargirl Series Premiere
Directed by Glen Winter
Written by Geoff Johns
Starring Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, Trae Romano, Christopher James Baker, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, Hunter Sansone
Produced by Mad Ghost Productions, Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television
‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10

What would you do if you found out your step dad was a superhero…well actually a sidekick? Stargirl stays true to the source material with co-creator Geoff Johns penning the pilot and co-showrunning the full series in a comic book franchise dedicated to his late sister. DC TV heavy hitters Greg Berlanti (the man behind the Arrowverse) and Glen Winter (long time DC TV director) also make for some additional buzz. The pilot lays down important groundwork for a promising series, and introduces the potential for well-rounded characters.

Credit: DC Universe

Stargirl follows JSA member Pat Dugan, even if only for his role as Starman’s sidekick, reeling from the destruction of the Justice Society of America. Though Brec Bassinger’s Courtney Whitmoore is the true star of the show, Luke Wilson’s portrayal as Pat is the standout. Duggan tries navigating his new role as a dad to a teenage daughter, while moving his whole family to the small town of Blue Valley. Wilson portrays his desire to be a good father and even a superhero perfectly, which creates an intriguing father/daughter dynamic that will hopefully guide the show just like it did in the comic books.

Courtney shines the most when with the staff – with her gymnastic skills she easily picks up its movements with a spark of excitement. Though her high school life is a bit bland – unlike the comic books she doesn’t have a core group of friends, and all the students she does interact with come off as high school stereotypes, which flattens her overall story arc.

Credit: DC Universe

The character building may need some work, but the pilot does a great job at delivering on the upscale superhero action that we’ve come to expect with these type of DC shows. Stargirl feels like a high budget TV series that doesn’t hold back on its special effects. It gives the narrative the opportunity to showcase a sprinkling of different type of power sets that we don’t see nearly enough in the other solo hero programs.

Stargirl is just as much about the fall of the Justice Society of America as it is Courtney Whitmoore’s origin story – and that blend is what can make this story stand out from the countless other comic book shows on air right now. The series has a lot of potential to be a great show if it leans into the themes that are already built into its story – legacy, family, and a young hero’s bright optimism.

Stargirl debuts on the DC Universe streaming service on May 18 and the following day on the CW at 9 PM EST.

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