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Stargirl Pilot Review – Is It Stream-Worthy?

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

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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.


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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

Best Tweets About Victoria from Tonight’s Episode of ‘The Bachelor’

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Best Tweets About Victoria from Tonight's Episode of 'The Bachelor'

Week 2 brings tension to the house as the ladies fight for Matt James’ love on The Bachelor Season 25 Episode 2. 

Two lucky women snagged a one-on-one date and being vulnerable and open with Matt secured them a rose. 

And the group date was a full on “paint war.” Plus, Victoria proved that she’s determined to be the villain that makes us go “ugh” all season long.

Here are the best tweets from tonight’s episode of The Bachelor.


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15 Exciting TV Show Reboots & Spinoffs Coming in 2021

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15 Exciting TV Show Reboots & Spinoffs Coming in 2021

Spinoffs and reboots are the gift that keeps on giving. 

The streaming landscape is embracing the idea of “what’s old is new again” in 2021 and well, it’s not surprising. Reboots and spinoffs thrive on nostalgia, and in a time with so much uncertainty, the notion of “good old days” is really all we have to cling to.

Not to mention that many reboots and spinoffs have seen an unprecedented amount of success, which convinces networks and streaming giants that this is what the people want! 

Here are all the reboots and spinoffs in the works in 2021:

 

True Blood

In early December, Variety reported that a True Blood reboot was in early stages of development at HBO. Riverdale/Chilling Adventures of Sabrina creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is attached to the script and set to producer with original series creator and showrunner Alan Ball also joining the project. It’s unclear if the original cast is set to return or make any guest appearances, but based on Anna Paquin’s tweet, which claims she knew nothing of the reboot, it’s not in the cards for now. 

 

Little House on the Prairie

Back to the farm! Entertainment Weekly noted that Paramount TV Studies and Anonymous Content were developing the long-awaited reboot as an hour-long drama series. 

 

iCarly

The queen of the Internet is making a comeback! A revival of the Miranda Cosgrove-led comedy has been ordered at Paramount+, the streaming service currently known as CBS All Access, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cosgrove will reportedly reprise her character, Carly. She’ll be joined by original cast members Jerry Trainor (Spencer) and Nathan Kress (Freddie).

 

Gossip Girl

This one is tough because can you really replace iconic characters like Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, and Chuck Bass? HBO Max sure hopes so. The reboot, set to premiere in 2021, is introducing a slew of new faces to the Upper East Side. The Joshua Safran created spinoff will be a “a continuation of the original show” and follow a new generation of upper-class Manhattan teens who fall prey to the infamous gossip site. And word is, there will be some familiar faces making appearances. Kristen Bell is also returning as the voice of Gossip Girl. XoXo. 

 

Dexter

Dexter is returning to Showtime! The cable network ordered 10 episodes of the limited series which brings back Michael C. Hall as the titular character. The Hollywood Reporter notes it’s a continuation of the original series and plans to air in the fall of 2021.

Dexter is such a special series, both for its millions of fans and for Showtime, as this breakthrough show helped put our network on the map many years ago,” said Showtime Entertainment president Gary Levine. “We would only revisit this unique character if we could find a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series. Well, I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found it, and we can’t wait to shoot it and show it to the world.”

 

Rugrats

The hit Nickelodeon animated series which ran for 9 season starting in 1991 is returning a decade later with new baby adventures for Tommy, Chucky, Phil and Lil, and Angelica. Many of the actors who voiced the characters are set to return along with the original show creators. 

Both the 26-episode season and the live-action film with CGI characters, which was delayed from a 2020 release to 2021, are set to premiere. 

 

Punky Brewster

Soleil Moon Frye returns as spit-fire Punky Brewster, now a single mom-of-three in the 10-episode series rebooted at Peacock.  As she attempts to get it together, she meets Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a young girl in foster care who she immediately forms a connection with. Freddie Prinze Jr. will also appear in the pilot episode as Punky’s ex-husband.

 

Clueless

As if! A reboot based on the iconic 1995 film is in development at Peacock, per Deadline. The series focuses on Stacey Dash’s character, Dionne, from the the movie and the 1996 series adaptation. It’s unclear if Dash is set to appear. 

Here’s a synopsis for the series: A baby pink and bisexual blue-tinted, tiny sunglasses-wearing, oat milk latté and Adderall-fueled look at what happens when the high school queen bee Cher disappears and her lifelong No. 2 Dionne steps into Cher’s vacant Air Jordans. How does Dionne deal with the pressures of being the new most popular girl in school, while also unraveling the mystery of what happened to her best friend?

 

Walker

The reimagining of the long-running 1990s action/crime series Walker, Texas Ranger is probably the most promising as it is set to premiere on The CW on January 21. Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki will star as the titular character, a widower and father of two who runs on his own moral code. 

Per the synopsis, Walker will attempt to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son (Kale Culley) and his headstrong, somewhat rebellious teenaged daughter (Violet Brinson) and navigate clashes with his family – an ADA brother (Keegan Allen) who stepped in during Walker’s absence, his perceptive mother (Molly Hagen) and his traditional rancher father (Mitch Pileggi). Walker’s former colleague is now his Ranger Captain, (Coby Bell). Walker finds unexpected common ground with his new partner (one of the first women in Texas Rangers’ history) played by Lindsey Morgan, while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death.

Check out the trailer below:

 

Sex and the City

HBO Max is looking to return to its roots with a reboot of its mega-successful dramedy Sex and the City. Deadline confirmed it would be a limited series. However, not all the ladies have signed on for the project. The New York Post notes that while Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon are interested in reprising their characters, Kim Cattrall is not. Will that sway audiences?

 

A League of Their Own

Amazon gave a series order to the reboot hailing from Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham, per The Hollywood Reporter. It will be a reinterpretation of the original film based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League while exploring themes of race and sexuality amid the women carving their own path. Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Roberta Colindrez and Priscilla Delgado will star. 

 

Old-ish

The “ish” franchise continues to grow. First there was Black-ish, then there was Grown-ish, followed by Mixed-ish, and now, there’s Old-ish. ABC is developing the spinoff with Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis reprising their roles as Earl “Pops” Johnson and Ruby Johnson, the parents of Anthony Anderson’s Dre. 

 

The Book of Boba Fett

Riding on the success of The Mandalorian, Disney+ announced the spinoff centered on Bounty Hunter Boba Fett during the series’ second season finale. The Book of Boba Fett is set to debut in December 2021. Temuera Morrison will return from the prequel trilogy, with Ming-Na Wen joining him as Fennec Shand.

 

Law & Order: Organized Crime

Law & Order: SVU is one of NBC’s most-successful and longest-running scripted dramas. Dick Wolf, responsible for a handful of TV shows including #OneChicago, hopes the Christopher Meloni spinoff, which has been delayed due to the COVID pandemic, will also bring in the eyeballs. Meloni is set to reprise his role of Elliot Stabler. Expect plenty of crossovers – that’s NBC’s thing! 

 

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

A… is that you? HBO Max has ordered a reimagined version of the ABC Family/ Freeform hit, Pretty Little Liars from Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Original creator Marlene King is not involved. 

Per the synopsis: “Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago … as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-RAGE, horror-tinged drama Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand-new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.”

We Don’t Need a ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Reboot


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9 Biggest Moments from ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Season 4

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 4 Review

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina wrapped up its run with the fourth and final season on Netflix.

Sabrina and friends faced their biggest threat to date – the eldrtich terrors. 

You can read recaps of each episode and a full season review right here!

Here are the biggest moments from the eight-episode season.

 

The Eldritch Terrors… obviously

The whole season revolved around the ancient entities that culminated with the arrival of the Void – the end of all things. Fitting for a final season, right? Sabrina, the coven, and her mortal friends teamed up to defeat each other terrors – The Dark, The Uninvited, The Weird, The Perverse, The Cosmic, The Returned, The Endless, and finally, The Void. 

 

Hilda and Mr. C Get Married

Nothing was going to stand in the way of Hilda and Mr. C’s big day, not even a terror threatening humankind. The odd couple agreed to have a wedding reception and ceremony as dictated by Zelda and the Academy, which ended up being kind of downer when The Uninvited crashed the party, killed Dorian, and then threatened everyone else because they refused to extend him an invite to the party. Sabrina served as mediator by swooping herself and The Uninvited to Hell for another wedding, where she then married him and trapped him in a prison existing outside of time and space on their wedding night. And she made it home just in time for the private ceremony at the Spellman house in which Hilda and Dr. C exchanged vows dressed up as their favorite movie monsters. 

 

Sabrina Gets Married to Caliban 

That other wedding I mentioned? It was Sabrina Morningstar’s! The 16-year-old wed Caliban, yeah, the same one that tried to kill her and Sabrina Spellman. She promised her was reformed and loved her and all that, but Caliban will always be Caliban… and he had his eye on that throne. Of course, this didn’t take away from Sabrina’s stunning red lace dress. Though, she did have to share the spotlight with Sabrina Spellman, who used the wedding as an opportunity to marry The Uninvited and trick him into captivity. All in a day’s work for these witches!

 

Roz is a Witch 

Roz always had powers, better known as “the cunning,” which essentially gave her psychic abilities, but this season, she learned that she’s a full-blown witch. Her ancestors, who were proud Christian women, didn’t want to be persecuted for witchcraft so they simply didn’t call themselves the W-word. However, once Mambo Marie proved that Roz had powers, she was welcomed into the Academy to join Mambo Marie and Prudence – and later Agatha – as the newest Weird Sister.

 

Sabrina Morningstar Perishes

With the realms in peril because of the existence of two Sabrinas, one of them had to go to the parallel realm to restore balance. Sabrina and Sabrina Morningstar played rock, paper, scissors to decide, and Morningstar lost. She walked through the mirror (wish it was a closet like on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, to be honest) in hopes of restoring balance in the cosmos and found herself in an eldritch terror known as the Endless. Basically, she was stuck in a diabolical sitcom and Salem is the eldritch terror. When the Void arrived, she managed to convince Salem that they had to escape and they ran back through the mirror. While she made it back to Sabrina’s realm, she died shortly after without telling Sabrina how to defeat it. 

 

Easter Eggs Galore 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is known for throwing in little Easter eggs to sister show Riverdale, but they had a ton of fun with it in the final season. There were a few mentions of Riverdale High School and a cameo by Bret, Donna, and Joan, who played characters in a punk band. Riker Lynch, the brother of Ross Lynch (Harvey), also had a role as an undead leader of a rock band. 

And lastly, one episode replaced Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda and Zelda with Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick, who played the original roles in the WB sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch

See all the Easter eggs here

 

Lilith Destroys Lucifer

Lilith has been wanting to reign in Hell for years. After killing her newborn son, Adam, to protect him from his father, Lucifer, she negotiated to get her powers back. She then turned on Lucifer and stabbed him with the sword she used to kill Lazarus, drank his blood, embraced his powers, and banished him to the Mortal Realm. Payback’s a b….

 

Agatha Returns to Normal

Crazy Agatha is crazy no more! After Dorcas returned to the land of the living due to an eldritch terror, she forgave her sister for murdering her. When that happened, Agatha snapped back to reality and clearly, had no recollection of what happened in the months prior. As Prudence said, it’s good to have her back, but she needs to be clued in on a lot. 

 

Sabrina and Nick Are Endgame… Literally

When Nick took responsibility for the demise of  his relationship with Sabrina on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 3, it was a big step. He promised to wait until she was ready because they were “endgame.” Sabrina likely didn’t think she would be ready as soon as she was, but when there’s a chance you might die, you kind of have to follow your heart. And her heart said that she loved Nick. From then on, they were inseparable as they fought side-by-side to defeat the eldritch terrors. 

When Sabrina embodied a piece of the Void and sacrificed herself to save everyone, it was heartbreaking to watch Nick mourn his girlfriend and the life they would have had together. But two people who are destined to be together will always find their way back to each other. As Sabrina chilled out in heaven, she was surprised to see Nick, who explained he went swimming and there was a “wicked undertow.”

The two kissed as he declared that they had forever and ever together. 


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