Only one or two episodes in, and I'm already sick of Stargirl.
Perhaps that's not entirely fair, since I was sick of Stargirl the character LONG before the show started. Nevertheless, it is true, and watching the pilot certainly didn't help.
First, she's the most painful and obvious Mary Sue in comics. Well... in DC comics, any way. I'm sure Marvel has someone worse, simply as a matter of principle. And, yes, I know why she is, and, frankly, I do not care. It's not an excuse for continuing to INSIST that we love her and that she's the Sensational Character Find of 1999. DC editorial -- some people more than others, mind you -- have been forcing her down our throats for 21 years now.
|Since Jack Knight Starman. THAT's how long this has been going on.|
And, as far as I can tell, to no avail. I have never hear anyone call themselves a Stargirl fan; I've never even heard of the existence of any Stargirl fans. I mean, STEPHANIE BROWN has fans. But not Stargirl; what does that say?
No one was crying out for Justice For Stargirl, let alone for her to have a show, and yet, here it is. And it's painfully trite in ways I couldn't have even imagined. Some of it is intrinsic to the characters. Goofy "Frankenstein Junior" robot-suit god-awfully named "S.T.R.I.P.E." (do NOT look up what the acronym stands for, it will not help, I guarantee it). The 'step-parent' conflict dynamic. Courtney's "born heroism" and her 90's-era midriff and biker shorts.
|How is this ALREADY more dated than a 1940s boy circus aerialist?|
But some of it is NOT intrinsic to the characters: it's special sitcom hackery brought to us just by the showrunners.
A high school with preposterously stereotypical jocks, and Movie Bullying, and The Losers Table. Oh, and the Chief Bully is the Chief Villain's son; how terribly convenient it all is. Note that that is in the same town the show goes out its way to show is So Much Nicer and Friendlier Than The Big City.
|Nickelodeon called and wants its show back.|
Oh, naturally, the Cosmic Staff is kept in a crate in the basement (where Courtney can literally stumble upon it) rather than somewhere safe and secure (heck, Pat's SUIT is under lock and key). A basement where, by the way, Lily Munster must go down EVERY DAY to refresh the cobwebs.
How is removing cobwebs not THE FIRST THING YOU DO in every part of your house once you move in? Who sold them this house FULL OF COBWEBS?! It's more cheap cinematic short-hand. Cobwebs = disused area for old things, logic be darned.
That terrifying homunculus who plays Courtney's off-the-rack precocious annoying stepbrother? I fear staring at him for too long, lest he steal my soul.
|The Boy III: Brahms' Revenge|
Pat "couldn't find any trace of the Injustice Society" in Blue Valley, population 42? How about the local brain surgeon who is obviously Brainwave or the total jerk-wad who runs the local gym and is clearly the Sportsmaster? The one who's training you? I see why Pat was just a sidekick, he's as dumb as a rock. A rock who can build a flying mecha-suit out of old car parts, of course. And who, as his stepdaughter is facing off against Brainwave (who killed his previous and much more experienced partner), has the sang-frois to laugh about being called her sidekick? Will that be funny once Brainwave has crushed HER with a schoolbus, Pat?
Speaking of Brainwave; he has a son who is Courtney's age (or a year or two older). Meaning Brainwave had a wife and a sevenish year-old when he killed the Justice Society. How did THAT work? "I'll be late for dinner, honey; gotta kill the JSA after work!" And having accomplished this masterwork of villain decides to... hang in Blue Effing Valley for ten years?
|Guess they never got around to carving up the U.S.; "Eh; Blue Valley's nice enough."|
Also, why is the son of one of the DCU's brainiest villains (it's... in the name) a meathead jock? Not because it makes any sense, but simply because it's Hollywood rules: high-school bad guys are meathead jocks. Never smart guys. Why? Because nerdy kids who resent meathead jocks are the ones who write this stuff. Where I went to school, all the meathead jocks were danged nice, in fact. Big sweet quiet guys; the intellectuals in AP classes were the vicious domineering ones.
|And they dressed just like that. |
Drama Club, you know.
And the cosmic staff. Well, it LOOKS perfect, I'll give them that. But now it's a feisty anthropomorphic sidekick. It's the Magic Carpet from "Aladdin"; I can't tell you how annoying I find that. All the reviews keep calling it her 'magic staff' and, although the inaccuracy of that bothered me at first, I can't blame them. Because there is zero about it that says 'science' (not even COMIC BOOK science); even if you treat it as MAGIC it's hard to swallow.
Oh, yes; the Tire Factory. The 'backbone of this community'. And Pat's auto-shop. And the mecha-suit built from car parts. And the classic car visual motif to all the promos. Oh, that's right; Geoff Johns is from Detroit, so "Stargirl" is also a memorial to a bygone city and era, not merely a tragically killed relative.
Look, I'm all for revivifying public awareness of and interest in the Justice Society. I'm just saying: Stargirl seems like a high price to pay.