Connect with us

Editorials

Stargirl Pilot Review – Is It Stream-Worthy?

Promo poster for STARGIRL starring Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson courtesy of DC Universe / The CW.

Published

on


When the Golden Age superhero group the Justice Society of America (JSA) falls, their leader Starman (Joel McHale) passes his Cosmic Staff to his sidekick Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) to find a rightful successor.

Ten years later, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), Dugan’s stepdaughter accidentally discovers the staff and activates its dormant powers.

Will she be able to take up the mantle of Stargirl?

 

Executive producer Geoff Johns, the highly esteemed DC comic book writer responsible for renowned storylines such as the Flashpoint crossover event, created the character Stargirl to honor his late sister Courtney.

Stargirl who debuted in the first issue of Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. in 1999 has been a relative fixture in DC Comics, and boasts membership in several superhero teams including the JSA, Young Justice, Suicide Squad and the Justice League itself.

Johns’ treatment of the character has always had a personal skew for him, but he has always done it with respect to the integrity of DC lore, and this is what makes Stargirl as a show most intriguing – Johns knows the source material by heart.

Therefore, he will likely pour his heart into this project.

 

Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. had a cameo on the hit series Justice League Unlimited.

 

During the pilot episode, nods to the comic book were littered from the beginning with the Golden Age JSA battling to the death with the Injustice Society, and it ends with a teaser for Dugan’s superhero persona/robot armor S.T.R.I.P.E. (Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer).

McHale’s brief performance as Starman was particularly notable as he reluctantly hands Wilson’s character his staff.

As Starman falls in battle in the arms of Dugan, he asks him to find a worthy successor while comically reiterating “Definitely not you.”

For over ten years, Dugan was either unsuccessful or unwilling to impart the powerful relic from his dead friend to another, and this begins the story of Stargirl.

 

The show is set in the fictional Blue Valley, Nebraska where Dugan along with his son Mike (Trae Romano), wife Barbara Whitemore (Amy Smart), and stepdaughter Courtney move from California to look for a fresh start as a family.

The cinematography and soundtrack of the show elicit an old-timey vibe when the scene shifts to Nebraska, and it’s reminiscent of Marty McFly going back in time on Back to the Future.

There’s even a great scene highlighting the difference in culture between California and Nebraska when the Whitemore-Dugans walk around town, and people greet them with a smile.

As Mike and Courtney are bewildered by what they see as odd behavior from strangers, Dugan and Barbara reply plainly, “They’re just being friendly.”

 

When the step-siblings have their first-days at school, Mike integrates among the nerdy click fairly well, and claims they have more time for video games because there’s nothing to do in Nebraska.

Meanwhile, Courtney struggles as she finds out there is no gymnastics team, and she quickly finds herself on the “loser” table with a bully immediately picking on her.

The new high school scenes are as cliche’ as they come, and is a far too familiar a trope as any, but it’s the pilot so it’s a forgivable bit for now.

As it turns out, the bully Henry (Jake Austin Walker) is the son of Dr. Henry King, Sr. / Brainwave (Christopher James Baker), and Courtney encounters both after inadvertently awakening the Cosmic Staff.

Moreover, this version of the Cosmic Staff has limited sentience, similar to Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation in the 2016 film, and is a unique trait that’s never been used in past incarnations.

Courtney Whitemore (Brec Bassinger) holds the Cosmic Staff for the first time. STARGIRL / The CW.

Where will the show go moving forward?

The main drive of the Stargirl character has always been to bring the glory of the JSA back to contemporary times, and during the pilot, the pieces of the story were put into place with an enjoyable tone.

Luke Wilson brings his comedic chops to support the fresh face of Brec Bassinger as a teenage female superhero lead, which is uncharted territory for the most part.

The chemistry between Wilson and Bassinger is already filled with humor and heart, and it’s a stepfather-daughter relationship that could be interesting to watch as it evolves.

However, the teenage demographic might be a tough audience to crack since there is a myriad of shows available on several streaming services already, and though there is a place for teenage superheroes, based on the recent successes of Young Justice, Titans, and Cloak and Dagger, Stargirl could be lost in the shuffle.

Because unlike those aforementioned shows, Stargirl, relatively speaking is less dark, less mature, and seems a bit too old-fashioned, which is exactly the point of the character in the first place, and it could either work for or against the show’s success.

 

VERDICT: Probably not worth streaming – for now.

Stargirl seems to want to pay homage to the Golden Age of Comic Books, and in doing so has set itself apart from other contemporary teenage drama shows that seem to always want to subvert expectations and desecrate long-standing sacred source material – looking at you Riverdale and Titans.

The problem is though, it plays like a familiar movie we’ve all seen a million times, and is it worth seeing the same movie again over the course of a series-long narrative?

True, the characters are relatively new to the average viewer, but the encompassing premise is simply not.

Nevertheless, Geoff Johns’ personal pet project started off well, its cinematography is excellent, and has definitely done the source material justice (pun intended).

In the meantime, unless you’re a fan of the comic or simply want to support a likely groundbreaking female teenage superhero lead of our time, then streaming Stargirl might not be everyone’s cup of tea.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lorenz Bacani is a pop-culture enthusiast who's trying to watch as many good comic-book movies and TV shows as superhumanly possible. He received a bachelor's degree in Journalism and New Media at California Baptist University. Wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled in some photography (mostly for Instagram purposes). He is probably currently binge-watching an old TV show for nostalgia.

Editorials

Emmys 2020 Predictions: What Shows Will Win?

Published

on

Emmys 2020 Predictions: Which Show Will Win?

The 2020 Emmys are upon us, but as with everything this year, they’re looking a bit different as they go virtual. 

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be less prestigious or eventful — it’s the Emmys after all; it’s the biggest night in television. 

Each actor is going to come to your living room from their living room meaning that there’s plenty for producers to work with and the night will surely keep you on your toes. 

We decided it would be fun to throw in our predictions into the ring as ever category is highly competitive. 

Check out our Emmy predictions below and let us know who you think will win this Sunday evening:

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark  (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
The Kominsky Method  (Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

 

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (Hulu)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Late Night With Stephen Colbert (CBS) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Competition Program

The Masked Singer (Fox)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) – Predicted Winner
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Don Cheadle, Black Monday (Showtime)
Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC) 
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Issa Rae, Insecure (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC) 
Steve Carell, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Brian Cox, Succession (HBO)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)

Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Laura Linney, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen (HBO)
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Paul Mescal, Normal People (Hulu)
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Shira Haas, Unorthodox (Netflix)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Mahershala Ali, Ramy (Hulu)
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Hulu)
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) – Predicted Winner
D’Arcy Cardin, The Good Place (NBC)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Nicholas Braun, Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Kieran Culkin, Succession (HBO)
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld (HBO)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen (HBO)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (Netflix)
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen (HBO)
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood (Netflix)
Jim Parsons, Hollywood (Netflix)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America (Hulu) – Predicted Winner
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Holland Taylor, Hollywood (Netflix)
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Matt Shakman
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Marvelous Radio,” Daniel Palladino
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage,” Amy Sherman-Palladino – Predicted Winner
Modern Family, “Finale Part II,” Gail Mancuso
Ramy, “Miakhalifa.mov,” Ramy Youssef
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
Will & Grace, “We Love Lucy,” James Burrows

 

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

The Crown, “Aberfan,” Benjamin Caron
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Homeland, “Prisoners of War,” Leslie Linka Glatter
The Morning Show, “The Interview,” Mimi Leder
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Alik Sakharov – Predicted Winner
Ozark, “Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” Ben Semanoff
Succession, “Hunting,” Andrij Parekh
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Mark Mylod

 

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way,” Lynn Shelton
Normal People, Episode 5, Lenny Abrahamson
Unorthodox, “Prisoners of War,” Maria Schrader
Watchmen, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” Nicole Kassell
Watchmen, “Little Fear of Lightning,” Steph Green
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Stephen Williams – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready,” Michael Schur – Predicted Winner
The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Tony McNamara
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Daniel Levy
Schitt’s Creek, “The Presidential Suite,” David West Read
What We Do in the Shadows, “Collaboration,” Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
What We Do in the Shadows, “Ghosts,” Paul Simms
What We Do in the Shadows, “On the Run,” Stefani Robinson

 

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Better Call Saul, “Bad Choice Road,” Thomas Schnauz
Better Call Saul, “Bagman,” Gordon Smith
The Crown, “Aberfan,” Peter Morgan
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Ozark, “All In,” Chris Mundy
Ozark, “Boss Fight,” John Shiban
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Miki Johnson
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Jesse Armstrong – Predicted Winner 

 

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Mrs. America, “Shirley,” Tanya Barfield
Normal People, Episode 3, Sally Rooney and Alice Birch
Unbelievable, Episode 1, Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, and Ayelet Waldman
Unorthodox, “Part 1,” Anna Winger
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Damon Lindelof and Cord  – Predicted Winner


Continue Reading

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill: Why Haley and Lucas Were Friendship Goals

Published

on

Lucas and Haley are Friendship Goals on One Tree Hill

There are plenty of relationships fans can “ship” on One Tree Hill.

You can be #TeamBrucas, #TeamLeyton, or #TeamNaley, and they’re all great in their own way.

But there’s undoubtedly one relationship that trumps them all — Laley, aka Lucas and Haley.

As with all friendships, they’ve had a fair share of ups-and-downs.

They grew apart briefly, but despite the rocky road, they’ve always managed to come back to each other and never lose the love.

We'll Always be Friends

On One Tree Hill Season 4 Episode 3, Haley asked Lucas to promise her that “matter what happens, you and I will always be friends.” And he kept that promise.

Significant others came and went, but Lucas and Haley remained best friends throughout the entirety of the series.

Even after Lucas and Peyton drove off into the sunset (Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton exited the show on One Tree Hill Season 6), their friendship lived on off-screen.

When it comes to OTH relationships, Haley and Lucas’s was the purest one.

It was the most enduring relationship in the series, having started in childhood.

When we met them on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1, they already had an established connection that was built on a foundation of trust and memories.

Their dynamic would have allowed the writers to easily cross the line and give in to the played-out friends-to-lovers trope (and maybe that was even the plan at one point), but the best thing about Lucas and Haley is that they never crossed that line.

The fact that they remained best friends and never pursued each other romantically made them far more interesting than if they would have ever considered dating.

Never Romantic

In a small town like Tree Hill, it’s almost unheard of for a guy and girl to be “just friends.”

But Haley and Lucas proved that members of the opposite sex could love each other platonically.

These are some of our favorite things about them:

They Were Protective Over Each Other

We first begin to understand Lucas and Haley’s relationship on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1.

They’re the outcasts that always stuck together and had each other’s backs.

When Nathan starts cozying up to Haley after she offers to tutor him, Lucas gets protective and warns her against getting involved with his half-brother because he believes he’s only getting close to her to get back at him.

While Lucas isn’t entirely wrong, he also trusts Haley to make the right decision, even if he doesn’t agree with it.

In turn, Haley’s decision to tutor is fueled by wanting to protect Lucas. She offers Nathan her math tutoring services on the condition that stop bullying Lucas and leave him alone.

They Cheer Each Other Up

Though it would be easy for Lucas to point out that he warned Haley about Nathan’s self-serving intentions, he never does. Instead, he’s there for his best friend.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 7, when Haley believes that Nathan’s been making fun of their relationship, she confesses that he showed her his true colors and she fell for it because she’s “stupid,” but Luke assures her that she’s far from it.

Smart Girl is Really Stupid

Instead of saying, “I told you so,” he’s supportive and lends her a shoulder to cry on.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 18, famously known as the “Boy Toy Episode,” Haley taps into her savings from the cafe so that she can buy Lucas during the auction to spend time with him.

At the end of a fun-filled night, Lucas assures Haley that “If Nathan doesn’t see how special you really are, then he’s an idiot cause I think you’re amazing.”

He may not be fully supportive of the relationship, but he always wanted her to follow her heart and be happy. 

Read the full post at TV Fanatic!


Continue Reading

Editorials

Tiger King: Did Carole Baskin Kill Her Husband Don Lewis or Did Something Else Happen?

Published

on

Did Carole Baskin Kill Her Husband Don Lewis?

If you’ve gotten to episode 4 of Netflix’s eccentric new docu-series,Tiger King, you know all about animal rights activist Carole Baskin and the claims that Joe Exotic latched onto that she killed her husband nearly 20 years ago.

The investigation went unsolved for 20 years as there was absolutely no trace of  Jack Donald “Don” Lewis.

Despite her enemies and Don’s family pointing fingers at Carole, who has also become one of the most meme-able people from the series, Carole maintained her innocence. She denied all the wacky claims that she fed him to the lions (don’t put it past her), put him through a meat grinder (seriously, Netflix has a thing with meat grinders! Please see: YOU), or that she threw him to the bottom of the septic tank.

Look, they’re all plausible guesses and Carole did have plenty of motive considering Don wanted to leave her, he was scared of her, and he wanted to expand the sanctuary to Costa Rica, which is something she didn’t want. She also wrote multiple diary entries indicating that she wanted to escape or find a way out of this marriage, so it’s likely she resorted to extreme measures.

Then, there’s the fact that she laughs every time she’s questioned, which could be a nervous tick to cover up her lies. The evidence was enough to convince everyone on the Internet that Carole is guilty of murder.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-cLpr-lo7B/

And clearly,  Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has been watching the true-crime docu-series during this coronavirus-forced quarantine and believes someone might know something that could possibly make a break in this cold case.

Chronister announced that he was looking for new leads as he re-launches the 1997 investigation to see if maybe the police missed something.

However, upon watching this, there is a huge possibility that Don wanted to disappear and leave without a trace.

The day after he was never heard from again, police found his van at a private airport, but they said there were no flights recorded and his lawyer confirmed that none of the several planes Don could never make it to Costa Rica without stopping for gas at least four times.  But this could have been what Don wanted everyone to believe!

Think about it, how hard could it be for a millionaire to disappear?

No one knew how much Don was truly worth because they said he would “hide” his money and gold bars (GOLD BARS). Therefore, it’s plausible that he had money buried that no one knew about here or in Costa Rica where he wanted to live and allegedly had a girlfriend (or multiple).

Best and Funniest Tweets About Netflix’s True-Crime Documentary ‘Tiger King’

There were other hints that Don was planning to fake his own death and get out of town including his comment to one of his associates about “if he could pull this off” it would be the legendary and the fact that he made sure to get his will in order.

My theory, which is purely based off of me sitting on my couch and hoping to solve a longtime murder mystery, is that Don planned his escape to Costa Rica with all the money he hid, hoped his disappearance would raise questions and incriminate Carole, and leave his family with the rest of his money.

Of course, that didn’t happen because as the Netflix documentary pointed out, Carole and her father got to the will and changed it so that she got everything including the 69-acre wildlife Big Cat sanctuary they ran together.

We can only hope the recently revisited investigation can bring up new evidence and finally give Lewis’ family some peace of mind.

Do you have any working theories? Share them with us in the comments!


Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Sign up for the CraveYouTV Newsletter