STARGIRL: The Complete First Season... Reviewed!

It's that time again, review... time! This time around I'm reviewing the first season of... Stargirl, a hero I had absolutely zero knowledge about... and so I'm going in with zero expectations about anything. Before I jump in, I have to give a shout out to Warner Bros for sending a copy of the Blu-ray our way for review, and the opinions I share are my own.

The first season of... Stargirl, started out action-packed with the heroes of the Justice Society of America taking on the villains of the Injustice Society of America. The heroes were killed off in that battle, including Starman (played by Joel McHale) who left behind a sidekick by the name of Stripe (played by Luke Wilson). The action came to a close with Starman telling Stripe to find someone to fill his shoes.

Story: This was the segue into Stargirl's story, which was created by Geoff John's (launching his career in comic books). Stargirl was actually created by Geoff in memory of his late sister who lost her life, which is cool... and allows her to live on through fans of the hero.

Stargirl started off great, and didn't lose steam... which I was impressed by. They gave us a taste of Courtney Whitmore's backstory by way of awards and pictures as she packed up to make her way from normalcy to... Holy crap!

Courtney's blended family relocated to Blue Valley, Nebraska for her mom's new job... and her stepdad (Pat Dugan) was totally on-board, unlike the pending hero... until she found something that took her focus off of relocating from the life she once knew in California. You can thank the Cosmic Staff for that.

The story is good, and definitely engaging. It's just going after a throw away villain episode after episode, they're woven into story and it really makes the show interesting. You're seeing the Injustice Society of America and how they operate, not only as villains in costumes... but in their day to day lives and it shows a layer of realism when it comes to corruption in society and how it's wield in positions of power. Since Courtney's in highschool, the story is presented through the lens of a highschooler... and that also includes the other heroes recruited to fill the roles of Starman's comrades.

Speaking of Stargirl being in highschool, she also has the everyday highschool problems... like the mean girls and all the crap comes with their sinister ways (in more ways than one). It's a good mix and I don't know... I get a movie-like vibe from the show (it almost feels like they broke a movie up into episodes). If you've seen the show, i'm sure you know... exactly what I mean.

This season showcases the team basically getting over themselves, and coming into their own. Working as a team... was one of the biggest challenges.

I was able to get engaged in the show easily (even when the action wasn't at it's peak because it flowed well), and I was waiting for the moment where that would change but... it didn't. I don't want to give away too much, but it's a solid show... and it set up season 2 well. By the way, the last two episodes are named after the "STARS and S.T.R.I.P.E." comic. This is the perfect name for these episodes as the Justice Society of America (JSA) tightens up and showcases their synergy against the ISA.

I'll point out a few criticism later, but in the mean time... let's jump into the visuals.

Visuals: The show looks great, and... like I said... it totally has a movie vibe with the visual quality and the angles. Stargirl has plenty of day and nighttime scenes to represent the work/school days, and the dangers lurking in the night.

When it comes to the action, it was actually really good... and reminded me of Sarah Michelle Gellar's days as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were really brawling in the show, especially Sportsmaster + Tigress... they have teamwork down pat with their fighting abilities. It's not cheesy either, it's actually some damn good fighting ability.

There are some parts that were off that were off to me.

I feel like the initial introduction to the Cosmic Staff was slightly off. Courtney finds this staff, she's still... feeling it out but she knows that she's able to jump on it and flip while it's suspended in mid-air?

That may seem like a shrug (and it is) but I was like... how did she know the thing could and would hold her up? If she said something like... "hold still" or... "hey, stop" and found out that it could hold it's position... that would've been a cool discovery that led up to that. It wouldn't have been a drawn out discovery, but it would've connected the dots on potential moves. Just saying.

Visually, looking at the costume of Stargirl... a certain hero from an alternate company came to mind, but I didn't let that get in my way of appreciating the show. I did scratch my head as to how she was able to alter Starman's costume without knowing the specific measurements of everything to make it fit her, but at the same time I thought it was cool that she did it on her own and there wasn't the typical sidekick waiting on standby to deliver one to her.

One costume related item i'm not crazy about in the show is... Wildcat's mask. The puffy cheeks on wildcat's mask... look cheesy, which is the only cheesiness I got from the show.

By the way, I watched the show in HDX... which is a term used by Vudu to represent a higher bitrate than standard HD video. Higher bitrate delivering better quality while maintaining 1080p resolution.

Audio + Extras: The audio is clear, and Stargirl doesn't have that unbalanced audio that some shows and movies have... so I didn't have to turn the volume up and down. Sound effects were accurate too. They did a great job with the music selection for the show too, they didn't deliver a cheesy theme song... it was a sound upbeat playlist.

Unlike other show's i've reviewed thus far, there aren't any extras in this first season of Stargirl. I think they should've interviewed the cast or something... or gave some sort of history into the world of Starman + STARS and S.T.R.I.P.E.

Like other DC Comic related box sets, I think that Warner Bros missed an opportunity by not doing a collector's edition bundle to include a figuring and/or a special edition of the STARS and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic.

Price: Pricewise... the DVD comes in at $24.98 SRP, while the Blu-ray comes in at $29.98 SRP. Not bad at all for 13 episodes that deliver a total of 572 minutes of awesome.

Now for the not so awesome. The con I have about the show... is actually beneath the surface (but when I found out I was like... damn). On the surface, great show, and if season 2 is anything like season 1... it should prove to be badass. Beneath the surface is something offensive on a racially insensitive level that should not have been done with Stargirl's Anjelika Washington, who plays Beth Chapel (aka Dr. Mid-Nite II).

Black stuntmen exist, but Beth Chapel's double was a woman in Blackface. WTF?! 

The actress said that she pushed back against it, but one of the producers said that she should just be thankful to be working. That's a major con, major. The producer (whoever they are) is adding to an existing problem that has stood in the way of many Black professionals, which are these offensive things that they're expected to accept in order to quality for the few opportunities available to them. This one in particular robbed a Black stuntwoman of an opportunity by way of something that's offensive and jeopardizes the show.

Should Black viewers protest the show as a way to remind them that... they should be thankful we're supporting the show as well? Anjelika needs a Black stuntwoman to represent Beth Chapel, no matter the excuse and... an apology needs to be issued. I know comicbook fans who buy comicbooks faithfully to this day, including DVD box sets or Blu-ray to support their favorite shows. This has been done from childhood, and some kept their support going strong while deployed in the military and after completing their service. Acknowledge that, show respect for the actress, your audience and... cut the crap.

Overall, it's a really good show (on the surface) and... I wish that the ISA-style crap beneath the surface didn't occur, but it can be changed if the producers are willing to make that change. Anjelika reported that she did her best to ensure that the double wasn't even used, which could open the door to her being one of those actresses able to do her own stunts... which is cool... so who knows what it may motivate. Nevertheless, I look forward to a positive update on this.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points