In May 2020, the DC series Stargirl premiered on the CW and DC Universe streaming service. Unlike the other superhero programs on television, Stargirl’s hero is a teenager. She moves to a new town with her mother and a new stepfather and has trouble adjusting to her new surroundings. When she finds the Cosmic Staff hidden in the basement of her new house, she becomes drawn to the staff and embarks on a career as a superhero. You can find out how Stargirl became a hit show, nearing its second season premiere, in the following sections.
The core of Stargirl’s success is undoubtedly due to its talented cast. Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl) is played by Brec Bassinger. Bassinger is best known for playing Bella Dawson on Bella and the Bulldogs, and she’s stared in The Goldbergs, School of Rock and the film 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. She adds a rebellious determination to her character who never shies away from school bullies or supervillains. Her stepfather, Pat Dugan, is played by Luke Wilson. Wilson was first recognized for his work on the 1999 film Bottlerocket. Wilson portrays his uncool stepfather role with humor and slight awkwardness. He begins to bond with his stepdaughter when he admits that he was the original sidekick to the late Starman, and the duo decides to team up and fight crime together. The supporting cast includes Amy Smart, Yvette Monreal, Trae Romano and Anjelika Washington.
Stargirl first appeared in back issues comics in 1999 and was loosely based on a minor character DC created in the 1940s. DC was the first company to feature a young hero with an adult sidekick. Geoff Johns created the character for his 1999 comic, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and twenty-one years later, he’s the executive producer responsible for running the show. The critical and fan response for the show has been extraordinary, and it’s likely due to the creator’s comic book roots. Other comics brought to television or film are often criticized by their fans for being untrue to the original material, but Stargirl’s talented writers create imaginative plots that feel more like live-action comic books than a series loosely based on a superhero.
Impressive CG Effects
Unlike the superhero shows of the late 20th century and early 21st century, Stargirl has a cinematic feel balanced with high production values and incredible special effects. Zoic Studios created the special effects for the series, and the visuals are way beyond anything a television series has offered before. Stargirl’s Cosmic Staff doesn’t look like a simple magic wand, and its powerful energy and gold glow make it seem more like a living force than an inanimate object. Another highlight of the effects is Pat Dugan’s robotic suit. The massive suit is an impressive blend of physical and computer effects, and when Dugan fights relentless enemies with the armor, it resembles an action scene in a high-budget Hollywood film.
There are several superhero shows on television, and many are based on DC characters, but Stargirl stands apart as a clever series with high-caliber acting and visual effects.
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