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Stargirl Gets a Second Season Moving from DC Universe to The CW

Stargirl

Stargirl is being renewed for a second season, with a twist! The series will be showing exclusively “in-season” at The CW and on The CW’s digital platforms. The series had been debuting on DC Universe then airing the next day on The CW.

While DC Universe doesn’t release viewership numbers, the show has done well on The CW for a summer series. It has averaged a 0.2 rating in adults 18-49 and a little over 1 million viewers per episode. That’s about what other DC shows on The CW does. With Live+3, the show goes to 0.4 and 1.5 million viewers.

The move again raises questions as to the future of the DC Universe app. Doom Patrol has moved from DC Universe to also be available on HBO Max. Swamp Thing which aired on DC Universe will eventually come to The CW. The Harley Quinn animated series also will be available on HBO Max soon as well. HBO Max has its own slate of DC-based shows coming to its platform passing the DC Universe platform entirely.

(via Variety)

TV Review: Stargirl E108 Shiv Part Two

Stargirl

Courtney is injured after her encounter with Cindy, aka Shiv. So what’s a father to do? Lie through his teeth to keep her identity a secret. It’s a loving moment, if not a bit twisted, and really shows that Pat and Courtney’s relationship has come a long way. It has him not just lying to authorities but also to his wife, Courtney’s mother. It’s a hell of a start to Stargirl‘s eighth episode, “Shiv, Part Two.”

Further scenes are really interesting concerning Pat and his relationship with Stargirl/Courtney. There’s a really touching scene as he talks to the staff laying out where he stands with things and where his head’s at. It’s a dual role in many ways not just a sidekick/mentor watching out for his ward but that of a father watching out for his daughter.

Cindy also now knows the identity of Stargirl, upping the danger for her and her family. It also leaves her dad pissed because she didn’t finish the job and Stargirl is still alive. That’s a factor and direction I didn’t expect the series to go in this year and I thought it’d be something we’d see in a second season.

The episode is an interesting one with Pat teaming up with Beth to try to find out more about Cindy and a completely unexpected confrontation between Cindy and Courtney. The latter half of the episode is where things really pick up adding some interesting and delivering action. It’s an episode that’s hard to describe without spoiling it. What happens feels like something we shouldn’t be seeing yet and the reveals and twists and turns are the things of really solid cliffhangers.

Stargirl continues to be a series that mixes humor, action, heart, and drama. It also defies expectations each and every episode. This is a show that feels like it’s breaking the established rules of superhero television and it’s a series that’s a must-watch each and every week.

Overall Rating: 8.15

Around the Tubes

Sleeping Beauties #1

The weekend is almost here and we’ll be celebrating the 4th at GP HQ by relaxing and social distancing. What will you all be doing? Anything geeky related? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for the weekday to end an weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and a review from around the web.

The Hollywood Reporter – Comic Stores and Diamond Distributors Clash as Industry Reopens – This has been an intriguing thing to see.

The Beat – Who The F*ck is Jim Killen? – Find out about this important person.

Kotaku – Iron Man VR: The Kotaku Review – We’ve played the demo and can’t wait to play the full game.

Comicbook – Katy Keene Canceled at The CW – This isn’t surprising. We got no push for the show at our site.

Review

Talking Comics – Sleeping Beauties #1

TV Review: Stargirl E107 Shiv Part One

Stargirl

The episode kicks off with hints as to what being the JSA means to its members. You can see the changes in each person as they begin to fall into their new life.

What immediately stands out is Beth not making her parents lunch and being distracted by her now powers and role. Her parents seem lost due to it. Out of all of the characters so far, Beth seems to be the one that really has changed the most as opposed to their powers just enhancing who they are.

The episode is an interesting one revolving more around the high school and not just the new JSA but their future rivals. The children of the villains take the spotlight such as Cindy and Henry.

We get a bit more about Cindy as Courtney parnters up with her for chemistry class and a school dance looms. Cindy is an interesting character as she begins to have a rough go of school. Her Queen Bee routine begins to falter as she’s rejected by those around her. We also get to see more of her home life and some of what her growing up was like.

Cindy when she gets home, the relationship between her and her stepmother is one that’s beyond abusive and shows a home that’s broken. Any ounce of sympathy for Cindy should quickly go away after the segment with her mother.

But, what’s interesting is that out of all of the future villains, Cindy is the one that’s aware of her father’s role. She goes into his lair in defiance of her stepmother and when confronted by… something (Grundy?) it doesn’t phase her at all. What we learn is very intriguing not just with her mother but her in general. She’s very different from the rest of the future villains as she’s fully in on the situation and wants to join the Injustice Society. It’s a bit different than where I was expecting the show to go.

While the villains get organized, the Justice Society of America needs to get organized as well. We get something of a training montage as Pat runs down the villains we’ve met so far. The team isn’t one quite yet and the series gives us some interesting interactions. Courtney, who is a vet compared to the rest, is a bit headstrong.

But the point of it is to compare Courtney and Cindy. Their pairing during chemistry is for a reason. How Pat treats Courtney is being mirrored by that of Dragon King and Cindy.

There’s a bit of some eye-rolling in the episode. While a lot of it feels fresh and interesting some of it to is predictable like the “future villain” liking the person he doesn’t know is a hero. Cameron asks Courtney to the dance and it feels a bit cliche but even with that, the episode still surprises.

It ends with a fight between Stargirl and… we’ll leave that one to the viewers. It’s a bit surprising as it’s something that’s expected but it’s something that’s expected for a future season, not the first. The show does a solid job of keeping viewers on their toes, just like it does with Janitor Justin who fans of the comic will know about. The episode delivers just enough excitement as far as this mysterious character to get viewers excited to come back for more.

Another solid episode that plays with tropes and expectations and delivers a hell of a lot of fun.

Overall Rating: 8.15

TV Review: Stargirl E106 The Justice Society

Stargirl

Again, Stargirl kicks off an episode delving into more of the history of the characters and world. In this case it’s Artemis, who was mentioned as a potential member of the new Justice Society in the previous episode. It’s an interesting opening as it’s clear where her parents stand but not so much with her (there’s a lot of kids who are clearly going to take over as villains though the comics give a hint). The opening also keeps up the show’s willingness to keep things adult at times with yet another death. Seriously, how many people have died on this show?

This episode is pretty key as there wasn’t a screener available which usually is a sign that there’s big moments they don’t want to come out. That seems to be hinted really early as Pat and Courtney debate the need for a new Justice Society and who Courtney has recruited.

It’s an interesting discussion between the two as you can see where each are coming from in their arguments. Pat is haunted by the death of the previous team. He’s afraid history will repeat itself with a bunch of kids dying instead. It’s understandable the motivations. Then there’s Courtney who is finding purpose and in some ways closure of her past by channeling her idealism through this route. It too gives us character motivations that make sense and are clear.

The episode definitely delivers heart as Courtney sees Beth and Yolanda with their new powers/abilities and we can see how important it is for them in such a short period of time. This is more than just stopping evil to them but it’s an opportunity to redefine who they are, take back their control, and even just find friendship.

The episode also gives some solid time between Barbara Whitmore, played by Amy Smart, and Trae Romano‘s Mike Dugan, her step-son. The two characters haven’t had the screen time that Courtney or Pat’s relationship has and thought it’s maybe a few minutes, it adds a lot to the two’s relationship.

Continuing the series’ pattern, the team gets to fight yet another villain, this time the Gambler as he continues the Injustice Society’s plan, whatever that might be. Enough has been teased about their plot to keep viewers guessing and makes the show a bit more entertaining. What’s going on is both clear and not and allows the viewer to run with their imagination. But one confrontation leads to another. We also get Sportsmasters and Tigress as the Justice Society features their first battle as a team. It goes about as well as you’d expect with not so much teamwork as individual battles. We get to see powers used and some entertaining moments for the team. They’re definitely green and don’t automatically gain lots of experience with their powers. You can see them learn, and fail, as the battle goes on. They make mistakes and fail hard at times but they also progress.

The episode is another solid win for the series expanding on characters, the mythology, and adding some solid depth to some of the secondary characters. You also can’t help but enjoy those final minutes as the team comes together. It’s the “hell yeah” moment we’ve expected and brings the team together. It’s that moment where the series begins to get really rolling from the setup and heads into the direction we’ve been expecting. This is a pretty key episode in that it takes everything that’s been building and sets the series up for the rest of the season and the eventual clash between the JSA and Injustice Society.

Overall Rating: 8.5

TV Review: Stargirl E105 Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite

Stargirl

Again, Stargirl kicks off an episode delving into more of the history of the characters and world. In this case, it’s the history of Hourman, and his son Rick Harris. The details are danced around teasing what’s to come and a new character we know will be key down the road.

In “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite,” we get dual origins as a new Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite are the focus. The episode does a great job in balancing the seriousness of the show and the humor. What it does really well is bringing these two new heroes together and does it in an intelligent way.

The show has done an excellent job of bringing together varied personalities and the actors really play off of each other well. Beth, Yolanda, and Courtney all are very unique in character and background. Each bring something different and interesting to the show and add things in their own way.

And we get a double dose in the episode with Rick. He’s the least like the rest without the enthusiasm and want to do what’s right. You get extremes in the episode with Beth’s positive enthusiasim to the point of anoyance and Rick’s less than altruistic viewpoint. Either could easily have been the focus of their own episode but the two together creates an interestying dynamic and juxtaposition.

And what it does really well is giving us more about the two. Though Rick and Beth are different, they both have issues regarding their parents and are abandoned in their own way. One whose parents have died and the other whose parents are too busy. Their motivations are both understandable and relatable to different viewers in different ways.

The episode also keeps hinting at things to come with another kid of a villain, connecting the dots. If there’s a second season, there’s absolutely going to be a clash of generations. That’s pretty clear and the the show doesn’t do a good job at hiding this direction but that’s not a bad thing at all. It works and works well. Predictable but also done in a way that feels natural.

Where the show really shines is being able to take the viewer deep into DC Comic history but educate. It’s not a name drop where the viewers in the know can be excited, things are explained and play into the plot of the show. Here we get one name drop which isn’t explained, and harkens back to the first episode, but beyond that we get deep explanations of Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite in natural ways that keep the flow of the show.

It’s an interesting episode as it focuses more on the heroes as opposed to balancing things. We get a little bit of whatever the Injustice Society is up to but that’s just a few scenes in the episode. Instead it really sets up the dynamic of our new heroic team and the good and bad that brings.

It’s not the best episode of the series but it’s the most intriguing so far in what it sets up and who it introduces.

Overall Rating: 8.0

Hartley Sawyer Has Been Fired From the Flash Over Misogynist and Racist Tweets

Hartley Sawyer as Elongated Man

Hartley Sawyer won’t be returning to the next season of The Flash. The actor has been fired due to misogynist and racist tweets that were discovered this past week. The tweets were from before he joined The CW series and make reference to sexual assault, as well as being racist and homophobic. Sawyer has since deleted his Twitter account.

A statement released by The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace said:

Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Such remarks are antithetical to our values and polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.

Showrunner Wallace tweeted:

This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country.

The tweets referenced spousal abuse, rape, and not making racist tweets in fear of Al Sharpton.

Sawyer apologized on Instagram:

My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humor, were hurtful, and unacceptable. I am ashamed I was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time. I regret them deeply. This was not acceptable behavior. These were words I threw out at the time with no thought or recognition of the harm my words could do, and now have done today.

Sawyer joined The Flash in 2017 as Ralph Dibny, the superhero known as Elongated Man. He became a series regular in 2018.

TV Review: Stargirl E104 Wildcat

Stargirl

The fourth episode of Stargirl delivers more in the first four minutes of the episode than many series do the entire season. In the episode, Courtney sets out to recruit new members to the Justice Society of America. Pat’s suspicion is piqued following a bizarre conversation with one of the town’s residents.

Stargirl‘s first three episodes have really focused on setting up the world and characters. Courtney, played by Brec Bassinger, has been the clear focus with her gaining her new role and her relationship with her stepfather Pat played by Luke Wilson. The series has teased other characters in Courtney’s life with a table of misfits. We’ve gotten hints about them but not much as far as details.

That changes this episode. The opening focuses on Yolanda Montez played by Yvette Monreal. We know very little about her beyond some of how she’s gotten bullied, we don’t know the “why.” Now we do as we get a runup to school President election and a revealing picture. It’s a real-world issue that many kids will face and shows the series willingness to deliver some reality to its fantastical elements.

And the episode has no problem diving into those fantastical elements like the hints we get about the items Courtney grabbed from the Justice Society of America’s base. But, there’s also Dragon King played by Nelson Lee who makes an intimidating appearance. The way that introduction ends… well, it’s pretty dark for this show.

But, the episode really comes down to its heart and how grounded it is. A scene between Courtney and Yolanda is heartbreaking. It draws a line in the sand with Courtney making a hell of a definitive statement and showing she’s clearly on the sign of right. It also delivers some solid emotion and Yvette’s acting is fantastic. The scene is something that should really connect with teens watching the series and hopefully will get parents to rethink their position on what happens in the episode.

The interaction between Courtney and Yolanda is great as the episode continues and Courtney reveals her secret identity and attempts to recruit Yolanda. The interaction is great and where the two go from there is fantastic. It’s a great segment of learning powers in the modern age that feels like it was inspired by the film Shazam!. The humor is great and in the end there’s a solid lesson in the episode.

Yolanda gets the spotlight and a voice discovering herself in a way and standing up. The episode is full of moments of strength and one that kids will see differently from their parents. Hopefully, parents may see things differently by the end as well.

And then there’s that ending. It’s rather messed up and leaves a lot to the imagination which is often more scary and twisted than anything that can be written. It’s a great ending and one that’s again unexpected showing Stargirl is willing to go that extra step and deliver moments that it’s generally happy exterior hides. The series continues to impress with an episode that expands the cast, delivers some solid emotion, and builds upon the mystery.

Overall Rating: 8.25

TV Review: Stargirl E103 Icicle

Stargirl

The third episode of Stargirl shifts a bit with an opening that feels more in tone of the original X-Men film. It focuses on Icicle and the loss of a loved one. It also gives some motivation to the character which should be interesting to see how it’s used. The focus is on fighting “injustice,” so to see how that’s warped should be interesting.

And from that, we get to Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E., Pat and Courtney, and their balancing their regular and superhero lives. Compared to the opening, it’s night and day in tone and emphasizes Stargirls’ saccharine nature. The relationship between the two is interesting two and as a duo, it’s a solid paring, especially how they play off of each other.

The episode too focuses a bit more on Courtney at school expanding on plotlines and characters that have only been teased a little in the first two episodes.

What Jordan Mahkent/Icicle’s plan for the town is an interesting one that I can’t quite put my finger on. It feels like Cobra plan and something we’ve seen on G.I. Joe.

We also get a confrontation between Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., and Icicle which feels a bit sooner than expected. The segment is surprisingly good with an ending that’s shocking an unexpected. It really makes the show stand out even further delivering real emotion not just with what happens but also the moments the follow.

It impacts William Zarick/The Wizard and leads to an amazing segment between Pat and Courtney. We learn more about the Justice Society and Luke Wilson really shines. He goes to the next level from the actor we’ve seen so many times before in other roles. It feels like Wilson really becomes his character in this moment and episode and breaks from what we expect of him.

But, even with the episode taking a dour turn, it still delivers hope. The episode still delivers a sense of wonder and a positive outlook. It hints as to what’s to come. And then delivers another surprise showing the series has no issue delivering twists and turns.

But, the episode doesn’t really just stand on those surprises, it’s the small details and character interactions. An empty chair at a table for dinner says so much. A hug and a picture tell a story. There’s so much in this series that’s clearly been thought through creating a full package.

Overall Rating: 8.5

TV Review: Stargirl E102 S.T.R.I.P.E.

Stargirl

Stargirl featured a solid debut that dripped with nostalgia and saccharine sweetness. The second episode picks things up quickly as Pat explains to Courtney about the Injustice Society of America and we get hints as to why the Injustice Society is all in one small town.

What’s briefly mentioned feels like something we’ve seen so many times before but it works and explains a Pollyanna-ish town.

What the episode does right, and right away, is to continue the dynamic between Pat and Courtney. There’s something that really clicks and works between Luke Wilson’s Pat and Brec Bassinger’s Courtney. They’ve got a timing that plays off each other and moments, like when they both say they hurt themselves on the stairs, really plays off their dynamic which relies heavily on humor.

And that goes into the humor of the show. Much like the debut episode, the second has a lighthearted sense about it. That’s best shown in Pat getting S.T.R.I.P.E. to work in a sequence full of fantastic moments. We also get the segment of Courtney creating her costume which breaks the mold of the sequence going smoothly, takes on stereotypes of women, and also is just funny. Both segments really set up the tone of the show which tends to be a bit less serious than other DC live-action shows.

That sequence, like so much else of the show, really highlights the production value of the show. S.T.R.I.P.E. looks really great, so much so I’d love to see segments in how they put it together. There’s also something very “Iron Giant” about it, again tapping into nostalgia.

What the episode also does it set up the future. There are moments that feel like they foreshadow future threats once the Injustice Society is defeated. It’ll be a while before we see how that plays out and most likely won’t happen until a second season.

The episode continues the solid start of the pilot delivering humor and entertaining moments. There’s a good blending of the superhero genre with that of a small town setting. And, while it hints as to why everything has come to this one point, what is teased works and makes sense.

In the end though, what the episode really does is surprise. While there’s so much nostalgia, Stargirl flying by the moon is very ET, what’s said and where the episode goes is unexpected. The finale of the episode isn’t the direction that one would think the series would go. It ends on an interesting moment, not just for Brainwave, but also for the relationship between Courtney and Pat.

Stargirl isn’t the best comic adaptation that has been done for live-action but there’s an enthusiasm and innocence about it that’s unmatched. It’s hard to not just smile and enjoy the series.

Overall Rating: 8.5

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