TV Review: ‘Stargirl’ Season 2, Part 1

by Frank Martin

STG_S2_8x12_300dpi.jpg Pictured (L-R):Trae Romano as Mike Dugan, Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman, Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Montez/Wildcat, Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl, Anjelika Washington as Beth Chapel/ Dr. Mid - Nite, Cameron Gellman as Rick Tyler/Hourman, Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan, Amy Smart as Barbara Whitmore and Hunter Sansone as Cameron Mahkent -- Photo: Matt Sayles/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Out of all the genres, superhero tropes are probably the strongest. It’s just a simple mathematical equation. There are hundreds if not thousands of superhero stories published every year and they’ve been published for over 80 years. In fact, if mythology and their fantasy heroes are considered super-powered beings, then there are some tropes that have been around for ages. So obviously, when creating a superhero show, there are certain tropes that need to be checked in order to touch a certain familiarity. Stargirl has a lot of these tropes. It is definitely a superhero show from beginning to end, but it does put a unique spin on the hero/mentor relationship that has not been explored as much as it should.

Pat (Luke Wilson) is definitely an interesting character. He isn’t the typical sidekick like Robin or Bucky. He’s a sidekick that serves the role of a concierge, and he takes it with pride. So much so, that when Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) begins her heroics, he resumes the job and essentially becomes her sidekick. But in this scenario, Pat is the one with experience and knowledge. Stargirl is new, inexperienced, and rash. In this regard, the hero/sidekick relationship is flipped. The grown-up is both sidekick and mentor while Stargirl, the hero, has to defer to her sidekick in many instances.

The second season of Stargirl definitely moves faster than the first. All of the players are already on the board, so it does not need to waste as much time introducing elements from scratch. It can jump right in to new storylines without the burden of explanation. Of course, it lacks that sense of discovery that was so crucial to the first season. But with new villains and storylines, that doesn’t mean the season is completely lacking it. Stargirl continues to evolve and grow as both a hero and a person, and she’s quickly learning just how serious and deadly the job she wants can be.

Stargirl is streaming on HBOMax (for now).

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