‘Stargirl’ Season 1 Discussion: The Future of DCTV

It’s safe to say our Tuesdays nights aren’t as bright without Stargirl. Even though Season 1 has come to an end, we are lucky to have a second season to anticipate. Plus, the second part of DC FanDome is right around the corner, and Stargirl has its very own panel. Before that special event, Lizzie and I look back at Stargirl‘s outstanding first season.

We discuss where the show succeeds, what we want to see more of and so much more. We even chat about how the series could fold into the Arrowverse one day.

Don’t forget to join the 24-hour event DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse on September 12th.

Spoiler alert!

Did you have any expectations heading into the Stargirl series premiere? Were you a fan of the comics or any other representation of that character? If so, what was your favorite comics reference?

Shelby: It’s hard not to have expectations with a superhero adaptation, because the media is saturated with these stories right now. It’s basically impossible to avoid a superhero show or movie anymore. I don’t see that as a bad thing. It did make me wonder what Stargirl would do to stand out amongst all the others. 

While I am a massive comics fan, I never read the Stargirl runs. I will now, though! Lizzie, you always clued me in where there was a cool comics reference on the show. The only real representation of Courtney I was familiar with was Sarah Grey’s take of the character on Legends of Tomorrow

Lizzie: I had expectations, yes, because it was female led, because it had a very diverse cast. I just wanted it to be so much. Especially as, since I host the Stargirl Podcast, we’d done a deep dive into the comics history of Stargirl before the show came out, so I had all these expectations based on what I knew she could be. I’m not sure I expected what we actually got, though, it was better than even my high expectations!

My favorite comics reference was Hooty, the owl. I’m so sad that Beth didn’t need Dr. Midnite’s animal ally, but I’m super glad we got to see Hooty at least once, because Hooty is the best. Can we bring back Hooty now that she doesn’t have the goggles? Please? 

DC’s Stargirl — “Brainwave Jr.” — Image Number: STG110a_0391r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Montez, Jake Austin Walker as Henry King and Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore — Photo: Mark Hill/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What was your favorite episode of the season? 

Shelby: Ugh, it’s so hard to pick! As far as first seasons go, Stargirl has one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I’m going to have to say Stargirl Season 1 Episode 10, “Brainwave Jr.” is my favorite right now. That episode took my breath away. It shifted the tone of the season perfectly. I also think the events of the episode, most importantly Henry Jr.’s death, are going to stick with the characters forever. 

Lizzie: The season finale, “Stars and STRIPE Part 2” was my favorite. It just paid off on so much, particularly when it came to Pat and Courtney’s relationship, and the whole family dynamic in general, which is my favorite part of the show so far. I also really liked Yolanda in this episode, and *gasp* Rick, which is surprising because I had a hard time with him at times. Everything just clicked here, though, and that we got that Christmas coda was just …the icing on the cake. 

Who is your favorite character?

Shelby: Obviously I adore Courtney. How could you not? Brec Bassinger plays Courtney with such compassion and bravery.  She’s such a great lead for the show. Her optimism is just as contagious as her belief in the goodness of others. She is a superhero even when she’s not suited up. I love her. I also love that she’s not afraid to make mistakes. It’s easy to ignore the fact that superheroes still struggle and the first season of Stargirl didn’t shy away from that. That being said, I can talk about my love for Pat Dugan forever. He’s like the best guy ever. I didn’t even know those existed. 

Lizzie: Pat Dugan, and there’s not even a close second. I mean, I like all the characters on this show, but I love Pat Dugan with my whole heart. He’s the kind of fatherly figure we don’t get on TV, and he reminds me so much of my dad – who passed away – that I just cannot help it. There’s always something so kind about him, so understanding and so wholesome. Pat’s just a good guy, you know? No gimmick to it. And that’s so rare and good to see. 

Stargirl — “The Justice Society” — Image Number: STG106c_0074r2.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Neil Hopkins as Sportsmaster and Joy Osmanski as Tigress — Photo: Jace Downs/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Who’s your favorite member of the ISA? 

Shelby: I think that Icicle is my favorite member of the ISA. I think there is a lot to unpack with Jordan Mahkent. Not that he’s redeemable, but Henry Sr. was too far gone to even get invested in. Jordan’s motives at least made more sense to me. Brainwave felt like he was evil just to be so and get as much from it as he can. Of course Jordan had similar motives, but the way he convinced himself that he was doing it all to avenge his wife and make the world safer is a compelling angle. But if I’m being entirely honest, it’s Shiv. It’s always going to be Shiv. The season finale set her reign up in such a genius way. I can’t wait to see what Stargirl takes her next. 

Lizzie: Sportsmaster, by a fair margin as well. I had some not-so-great expectations about Sportsmaster, because he didn’t sound to me like an easy character to translate, but boy, they just didn’t nail the taking him from the comics to live action. They also nailed the way he moves, the way he behaves, whether it’s taunting an opponent or “supporting” a friend. Plus, super villain or not, I kinda enjoy his dynamic with Tigress and their daughter, Artemis. Blue Valley isn’t exactly home to the best parents in the world, and if we’re being honest, these two come out ahead of so many of the others just by virtue of being there, and you know, caring. I would say sometimes they care too much, but that’s another matter.

Stargirl — “Brainwave” — Image Number: STG109b_0097r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore and Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan — Photo: Mark Hill/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What is your favorite dynamic on the show?

Shelby: Courtney and Pat, hands down. I know we could both write books about Pat and Courtney. There’s so much to unpack and appreciate with those two. I think they bring out the best in each other, which any good team does. Watching Pat and Courtney find their footing with each other was one of my favorite things about the season. It made Courtney telling Pat she’s his daughter, Pat affirming that, and Courtney giving Pat that mug so earned. 

Lizzie: I agree, I think the show rests on the Pat and Courtney dynamic. If there was one dynamic that needed to work for the entire show to work, it was this one, and they nail not just the chemistry, but the progression. You can actually feel them go from virtual strangers who were forced together, to a reluctant team, to partners to …family. I get emotional just thinking about it, but it’s so true and it was not just supremely well-acted by Luke and Brec, it was also very well written, to the point that everything else that emanated from their dynamic worked because they worked. 

Stargirl — “Shiv Part One” — Image Number: STG107a_0544r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman and Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore — Photo: Quantrell Colbert/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What’s your favorite breakout performance from the season? 

Shelby: Easily Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman. She stole every scene she was. She even stole the ones she wasn’t really on screen for, like when she shouted from her cell in the dungeon during one of the biggest showdowns of the season. DeLacy plays Cindy so beautifully that every moment after the Shiv two-parter carries such weight, because you really don’t know what Cindy will do next. That sentiment still stands as we wait for Season 2. 

Lizzie: Jake Austin Walker as Henry Jr. He was so nondescript to me at first, like he literally blended into the background and I couldn’t tell him apart from Rick, and then suddenly the character shifted into so much more, and yes, he had a good arc, but he needed to sell it and he absolutely did. It was a combination of awkward, earnest and the way his eyes just said that he wanted to be better, he just didn’t know how. Great, great performance.

Let’s talk about ships. Do you have a favorite ship or a ship you hope sails? 

Shelby: What’s interesting about Stargirl is it doesn’t sexualize its characters. There are romantic relationships but nothing is salacious or exploitive. That’s really refreshing to see on TV. I’m not really sure that I’m rooting for any romantic relationships at this point. Though, the internet has convinced me that Rick and Beth could be a cute couple eventually. 

The only couple I care about on Stargirl is Barbara and Pat. I want to see more of them, and I want to know all the things. The tension of Season 1 didn’t leave much room for relaxing. Pat and Barbara deserve to live their best lives.

Lizzie: I ship absolutely nothing. I guess I ship Pat and Barbara, who are about the only established couple and the only ones with any romantic spark at all, but I don’t think we’re meant to worry about Pat and Barbara as much, even though they had their rocky moments in season 1. It’s actually amazing to me that they managed to go a whole season, make the show this good, and not go for any romance, but I will absolutely take it. 

I know some romance is probably coming, but I don’t actually need it if a show is this well written and I get to feel things for the characters anyway. My feeling is there is some vague setup there for Rick and Beth, but I think they’ve left things open enough that it could go anywhere, and I wouldn’t mind, as long as the writing backed it up.

Stargirl — “Wildcat” — Image Number: STG104b_0083b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Yolanda Montez as Wildcat and Brec Bassinger as Stargirl — Photo: Jace Downs/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Would you want to see a crossover with another DCTV show? If so, which one and why?

Shelby: Of course I would love a crossover! I’m a sucker for a crossover. I don’t care how confusing they get, they’re all epic and wonderful to me. The Flash makes the most sense since there’s direct proof of The Flash being a part of the JSA featured on Stargirl. The tones of the shows could match well, too.

Selfishly, I want a Supergirl crossover. There are so many similarities between Kara Danvers and Courtney Whitmore. I could see Kara taking Courtney under wing in the same way that Oliver did Barry. It’d be so cool to watch them fly over Blue Valley or National City together, saving the day. I’m here for all of it! Although, all of this may be easier said than done. Let’s remember that the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” saw the birth of a new multiverse that placed Stargirl on Earth-2. We’d need some serious Earth breaching powers to make any of this happen, but it’s been done before. 

Lizzie: I don’t trust the writing on the other DCTV shows as much as I trust the writing on Stargirl, so this is an iffy one for me. Like, I want it, but do I want it? I mean, I guess I’d take it, but I’m not sure I’m as excited as I could be if I trusted the other shows more. Supergirl would be the perfect crossover too, if there was to be one. Kara feels like she could be Courtney’s big sister, and I imagine the two of them would be as fun as Kara and Barry were, in that first crossover, when we were young and innocent. Ah, those were the days.

What do you want to see next season?

Shelby: Everything. That’s sort of a cop out answer, but it’s true. I was so thoroughly impressed with Stargirl’s first season that I’m ready for whatever they want to throw at me next season. I am so intrigued by Sylvester’s reappearance, assuming he’s the real Sylvester Pemberton, at the very end of the finale. I’m curious to see how far Yolanda will go down the dark path after killing Henry Sr.

I’m also interested to see how the show will evolve with its second season. It looks like Shiv is bringing in a new ISA. Are they going to be the show’s main antagonists again or will Stargirl and the JSA take on a villain of the week? Will I ever get my superhero family like I’ve been begging for all season long? I need to see Barbara, Pat, Courtney, Mike, and the pup suit up together. They’d be unstoppable. 

Lizzie: I especially want more of the JSA team dynamics. We got some of it, but I want more of the kids spending time together, working together. I want them to bond even more. I want to see their friendships. Those are the kinds of things that make a team stronger, so I really hope we get them before we go adding more people to the dynamic. Which is also something I want to see – Thunderbolt, and the Green Lantern and whatever else the show is throwing out way, I want it. Give it to me.

I’m not sure I want the mess Sylvester is bringing. I’m not even sure he is the real Sylvester, but if he is and he tries to take the staff from my baby Courtney, we’re gonna have issues.

Back to what I do want ….Shiv being the new leader of the new ISA. Yolanda having some more nuance. The entire family fighting together to stop crime. The HQ, again, because they can’t keep doing this from Pat’s shop. And, oh, yes, more of what we already got from Pat and Courtney. Just more of that dynamic, please and thank you.

Why do you think people should watch Stargirl

Shelby: Times are tough right now, and people are looking for something comforting to watch. Stargirl is that. It’s a breath of fresh air. It deepened my love of superheroes and brought levity to a difficult time. Stargirl made me root for people, and 2020 hasn’t made that the easiest thing to do. People should watch Stargirl because it’s fun and full of heart and optimism. We could all use a little (or a lot) of that right now. 

Lizzie: I think Stargirl is a show about hope, and a show about how family and friends can be your saving grace, even when things get rough. And that’s always an important message, but it feels especially poignant in this day and age, and in the middle of a pandemic that seemingly has no end in sight. We all need to root for something good, and this version of the JSA is exactly the type you root for. Plus, Pat. Pat Dugan. Watch for Pat Dugan. Let him be the father figure you need. He won’t let you down.

What are you thoughts about the first season of Stargirl? What do you want to see next season? Let us know in the comments below!

Stargirl Season 1 is available to stream on The CW app.

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