Home TV ‘Stargirl’ Mid-Season 1 Review – Striding to the Top of DCTV

‘Stargirl’ Mid-Season 1 Review – Striding to the Top of DCTV

by Jeremiah Monaghan

Over the course of the last seven weeks, the latest release in the ever-expanding world of DCTV, Stargirl, has aired roughly half of its thirteen-episode debut season. In those seven weeks, DC has delivered another absolutely stellar series on caped heroes protecting what they lost most. Stargirl has grown and expanded within this moderate time frame, fully demonstrating itself as a top contender in the DCTV universe. Fans cannot be left with more excitement for how the show is going to bring it all home in the latter half.

Stargirl focuses on Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she moves to Blue Valley with her step-father Pat (Luke Wilson), mother Barbara (Amy Smart), and step-brother Mike (Trae Romano). As Courtney settles into Blue Valley, she uncovers a mysterious group known as the Injustice Society, led by Icicle (Neil Jackson), who Pat knows from his past. In order to take down the ISA, Courtney must suit up as the hero Stargirl. Along the way, she recruits friends Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), Rick (Cameron Gellman), and Beth (Anjelika Washington) to become the heroes Wildcat, Hourman, and Dr. Mid-Nite. As they work to form a new Justice Society, the ISA grows stronger and stronger – pushing the kids to their limits and forcing Pat to mentor them the best he can.

Yvette Monreal and Cameron Gellman in ‘Stargirl’ courtesy of Warner Bros.

Stargirl excels in many aspects, particularly its characters. The heroes, Courtney and her friends, as well as the villains, the ISA, are all intriguing characters to follow. Their arcs so far have been engaging to the fullest. Seeing these heroes step into their new identities while the villains meticulously plot makes for prime television. Surprising additions, such as of the ISA’s children slowly coming to terms with their own powers, all serve to expand the universe and work extremely well to keep you consistently invested. You’ll grow to love or hate these characters for the better as you keep watching.

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The show’s pacing has proven to be effective, revealing details and progressing without moving too fast to make things confusing and rushed. All the while not going slow enough to harbor boredom. Stargirl maintains a steady rise in quality and for a new show, you can feel it giving its all. The arcs of the ISA’s children have been slowly progressed, being rightfully saved for the season’s second half. The heroes are slowly learning how to be good vigilantes, rather than being immediately amazing and overpowered. Stargirl has essentially displayed a more natural flow than some of its DCTV predecessors.

Luke Wilson in ‘Stargirl’ courtesy of Warner Bros.

Another positive for the series, and its characters, is the fully rounded cast. Stargirl‘s young leads do a great job with what they are given, particularly Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, and Cameron Gellman. These three are tasked with notable emotion to carry, and they gracefully deliver. Luke Wilson kills it as the overprotective mentor – his chemistry with Bassinger is a huge driving force for the show. The villains are brought to life menacingly, with the standout being Neil Hopkins as Sportsmaster, who delivers as both a threatening foe and a humorous workout obsessed father.

As far as the Stargirl‘s technical aspects, it continues to impress with visual effects – never looking too “cheap” or “bad” for television. The fight choreography is top-notch, and these combinations of technicality lead to Stargirl having the best action DC Universe has produced in one of its shows yet. The original score by Pinar Toprak also demands recognition for it fits into and builds upon the tone of the series perfectly.

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Stargirl’s first season has managed to deliver a more than satisfying first half, telling a resonating story of a young girl as she works to prove herself alongside her friends. The series manages to get you successfully hooked, and with the second half promising a deeper dive into the children of the Injustice Society (particularly Henry King Jr. and Cindy Burman), an epic face-off between the new JSA and their old adversaries, and resolution on multiple dwelling secrets – it’s sure to be a worthwhile conclusion to an already spectacular season of television.

★★★★1/2

Catch new episodes of Stargirl every Monday on DC Universe and Tuesdays on The CW.

Follow writer Jeremiah Monaghan on Twitter: @thespeedforces

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