#CurrentlyWatching: Stargirl

It’s finally here – the post I have been talking about for weeks now! Stargirl has, more or less, taken over my life in the past months and I mean that in the absolutely best way. I did fanart and met some fun people through it, never mind the absolutely lovely cast. That show was a godsend during lockdown but while I have mentioned it regularly, I still wanted to wait until the season was out in its entirety before I reviewed it properly. So, after FNL, this is definitely the show that deserves a full on #CurrentlyWatching post!

Stargirl is a DC comic book adaptation that was released on the DC streaming platform as well as the CW and currently consists of one season of 13 episodes, but has already been renewed for a second season (which will air only on the CW). Thanks to one of the best people I know, Lois, I have actually been able to read the definite collection of Stargirl comics created by Geoff Johns, who is also in charge of the show! It’s probably due to that fact that it isn’t a 100% faithful adaptation, but one that rings very true.

After discovering that her step dad was a superhero’s sidekick and having been chosen by a powerful weapon to carry on the legacy, teenager Courtney Whitmore has to become a superhero of her own.

There’s something about Stargirl that is really special. I want to preface this for anyone who didn’t know this, but Geoff Johns, the creator of the comic book character Stargirl and the show, shaped Courtney Whitmore after his late sister. She passed away at a young age and he wanted to immortalize her in a way. Through that alone, the character has so many more layers and it was the loveliest way to honor her.

If you look closely, this photo of the real Courtney and Brec (who plays Courtney on the show) is featured in the pilot episode. Credit: CW

When I first started watching Stargirl, it didn’t feel like any of the other currently airing superhero shows out there. It had a cinematic look to it and was visually pleasing, but also included bursts of humour that made everything immediately more endearing, while maintaining a cast of relatable characters. A lot of the times people complain that the heroes are either all kids or all adults, but here there is a great mix of both. Whether you prefer a bit of high school drama or more grown up issues, there’s likely something in there for you.

Something I massively appreciated about the show was that everything felt incredibly intentional. No episode, and that is really rare, felt like a filler episode, as it was all leading up to something. While I will say that I sometimes wished that a couple characters got more screen time, everything we saw made sense and led towards the progression of the story and development of the heroes.

This season very much focused on Courtney and her journey, which is funny, because a lot of the time people were just really annoyed with her. But that’s the beauty of a show that isn’t afraid to show a flawed character growing. Courtney was so stubborn and sometimes even entitled, that her behaviour could be frustrating, but you really see how much she grows and where here insecurities and beliefs come from through the episodes. Her relationship with Pat (played by Luke Wilson) was one of the most precious things and an absolute joy to watch. In the end, the main theme of the show is found family (one of my absolute favourite themes ever) though and that affects so many more characters than just Courtney.

Another thing that I enjoyed about Stargirl was that it often threw you a curveball. The heroes don’t always win or succeed at the first try. It is stated clearly that they aren’t natural talents without any sort of training and that no one can really do it alone. There are consequences to actions and no one is really save. Oh, how I wished I could get some characters back, because they trick you and peel off layers to make you like someone you never thought you would just to rip them away from you.

Where do I even start? I fell in love with so many characters, whether their roles were small or big, I have no clue what to say! The cast of villains was some of the best I have ever encountered. The Injustice Society of America, while ruthless, made sense and you even found the occasional scene where you rooted for them. Not to mention that they were just highly entertaining and I would watch a spin-off show of Icicle, Brainwave and/or Tigrees & Sportsmaster without so much as a second of hesitation.

Every character had their own journey to undertake and many still have so much more story to tell, but I guess if I had to pick a major draw for me, I would say HourNite! It has the grumpy angry guy and smart cheery girl dynamic that I love and while there were hints and crumbs, I just knew I’d ship them unconditionally when episode 8 happened.

Rick (Hourman) and Beth (Dr. Midnite), who make up the ship that is Hournite, are both such great characters on their own. I would legit do anything to protect Beth, who is bold and so smart and always positive. People were giving her a hard time, because she didn’t know how to fight on the show, but honestly, we need people who do the intel stuff and despite not having combat skills, she still went into dangerous situations to help her friends. I wanna see those critics do that!

And Rick, my angry angry boy, he came such a long way this season. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was just so proud of him in the finale. That’s what I call growth!

Putting those two together would be such a smart move, and not just because they are canonically married in the comics, but because Beth can logically argue and calm Rick when his temper gets the better of him and he is there to make sure nothing harms her when she puts her life on the line for the people she cares about it. It just works!

I KNOW that I could go on and on about so many more characters, but this post is already over 1K long and I know that it’s the breaking point for a lot of my readers. I hope this enticed you to check out he show if you haven’t yet! Season 1 ends beautifully with a tease of what’s to come, but no brutal cliffhanger at all.


Did you watch Stargirl? If so, who is your favourite character? Who do you want to see more of in S2?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #31

I cannot stress this enough, but I really haven’t been watching all that much ever since we all got stuck at home. I know that everyone thinks I spend all my time in front of screens, but that’s really not all that true. I try to keep myself entertained elsewhere too, because otherwise my sleep cycle is just a mess and I don’t think it helps my mood much either. So, I have started watching a couple things, but binged very little. I will mention a couple shows today that I haven’t finished yet, but you can still totally get in on those.

In the Dark (Season 1)

I am utter trash for all CW content. I may not always watch everything right away, but their shows speak to my soul like few other networks do. Of course, very few of those series are high-brow, but they sure are entertaining and that’s what I value them for. As you probably also know, I am always a little “meh”-feeling about thriller and murder mystery content, but the cast for In the Dark was just too appealing. (Casey Deidrick has been a favourite of mine ever since the painful cancellation of Eye Candy) Add to that the fact that the main character is blind and you have my attention.

The thing about this show that impressed me the most is that a certain character really shocked me. Like, I thought I knew people, I thought I knew writers, but that betrayal stung hard and was for me entirely unexpected. I think my radar for love interests is off or something … I also enjoyed that they let Murphy remain a very selfish character (despite doing something for someone else the entire season) and making it hard to side with her sometimes. They sure didn’t go on her easy just because …  Lastly, the season also ended with the perfect set up for Season 2 (which will start on April 16 and I am READY!!!).

For fans of: CW hot people being unlikable but still getting 823509 love interests

Council of Dads (Season 1)

I don’t even have that much to say yet, because there’s only one episode out so far. Episode 2 won’t air until April 30th, so you have plenty of time to decide whether you want to start this show or not. However, this was SO emotional. Basically, the first episode was the entire set up for the season (as pilots so often are, duh!), even though it had material to be a season of its own. But they weren’t messing around with getting into the nitty-gritty of things and started with a rapid pace, yet managed to still convey all the important information and (even more importantly) emotion.

Is it to the point of chessy sometimes? Yes, absolutely. But you can always get me with a great patchwork family drama. That’s simply my jam.

For fans of: crying every single episode

Motherland: Fort Salem (Season 1)

Witches are one of my favourite topics in TV or movies or books. I sometimes have trouble when their story is set during the Salem witch trials or a similar century, but my interest was peaked when this show had all the historical elements but a contemporary setting.

In easy terms, this show focuses on how witches weren’t prosecuted, but rather made allies by recruiting them as the military in certain countries. They have been the executing hand for the longest time now, but trust in them wanes as a terrorist group with magical abilities wreaks havoc. This show is no light entertainment, from the first episode on there are clear trigger warnings for suicide and self-harm, often accompanied with helplines after the credits!

There are currently three episodes available, all of which have shown a great build up of character dynamics so far. I enjoy how heavily their magical system relies on sound and find that to be a more unique perspective on spells etc. as it can be conveyed to the viewer in fascinating ways. I haven’t really found that one character to truly connect to, but the groundwork has been done and there are certainly a lot of mysteries that I’d like to uncover and understand.

For fans of: witches, alternate history

Jojo Rabbit

What’s there to say? Taika won his Oscar for this movie fair and square (not that there was ever any doubt, no matter how much I would have also liked to see it go to Greta). For such a heavy topic, Taika Waititi made it accessible and even gave it that dose of humour that seems like his signature in any movie or show he does. The actors were all chosen perfectly and I laughed and cried and laughed and cried all over again. I was, like so many others, especially impressed and delighted by the kids in this movie. Not a lot of such young talents could have carried the film (or even stolen scenes) the way they did.

The fact that the movie ended with a quote by Rilke (which I much prefer in English for some strange reason) that breaks your heart all over again was just the cherry on top.

For fans of: political satire, Taika Waititi projects, strange humour but deep cutting feels

Late Night

Mindy Kaling is honestly one of my biggest idols. I adore almost everything she does and I find her funny and have her books and … yeah, it’s really difficult for me to say anything other than “I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!” about the movie. I loved the different female perspectives here (because Katherine and Molly couldn’t be more opposite), but also enjoyed the romance vibes at the workplace. It has funny moments, but also some really relatable and truthful ones. They didn’t make excuse after excuse when people messed up, they let things be messy. I know a lot of people think this movie was just okay and that’s valid, but I truly adored it. (See, can’t stop with the gushing)

For fans of: behind the scenes look into the industry, Mindy Kaling projects


Other than that, I have started watching The Morning Show, Series 5 of Our Girl and HSMTMTS … but more on those another time! What have you been watching? Have you seen any of the things I have mentioned here? Let’s chat!

Fall Review: Casual & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Usually I review shows that air on the same day, but what can you do, I totally forgot to write the post when the show actually aired.

Casual

Network: Hulu
CastMichaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, Tara Lynne Barr, Patrick Heusinger, Nyasha Hatendi, …

A recently divorced woman moves in with her bachelor brother and her daughter. They all try to maneuver the crazy world of dating and staying sane in general.

I did not expect to love this show as much as I did! It’s like a weird Indie movie in TV show format and that’s totally my thing. The awkwardness was palpable, it was hilarious, had smart dialogue and was just generally great. I loved the dynamic between the main cast, especially Alex (Tommy Dewey) and Valerie (Michaela Watkins) as siblings. In my mix it’s not just a comedy but also has a bit of drama mixed in.

I could see this not being everyone’s type of humour, however the show is on my TV Fall list and for now it will most definitely stay there!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Network: The CW
CastRachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Santino Fontana, Pete Gardner, Vella Lovell, Donna Lynne Champlin, …

Young and successful lawyer Rebecca is unhappy with her life, that is until she randomly meets her ex Josh. Even though their meeting only takes minutes, she discovers that she still has feelings for him and he gives her the idea to move across the country to his home town. 

I am so conflicted about this show. On the one hand I am not in love with the musical-aspect of the show, but I did laugh a lot! The title already hints at Rebecca’s behaviour being a little … irrational, but I don’t think she’s actually a nutjob – maybe a little crazy, but aren’t we all? In my mind she didn’t follow Josh across the country for love, but rather to find a way to finally be happy. She chose finding her own way and doing what she wants over guaranteed success and that’s actually kind of brave. But don’t worry, the show’s theme is definitely a light-hearted, uplifting and bubbly one – not all that serious.

My favourite character so far is Greg (Santino Fontana), the barman and a friend of Josh. Also, I think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend works quite well in combination with Jane the Virgin, which is why I will watch a couple more episodes before committing to it for good.

Did you watch either one or both shows? Did you like them or not?

The Notebook TV Show!

Yes, my friend, you read that right! They are planning to turn the 2004 movie The Notebook starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (based on Nicholas Sparks novel of the same title) into a TV show!

notebook_a_h

 

The CW has teamed up with Nicholas Sparks himself, who’s been very involved with the movie adaptations of his books, to create a TV show out of the story. The project is purely in development right now, so there is no specific information available at the moment. Still, it makes you wonder if it could actually work.

It seems that TV shows based on movies are very much in demand right now. Just think about Dominion (based on Legion/on Syfy) as well as upcoming shows Minority Report (Fox), Limitless and Rush Hour (CBS). Yet, the Notebook is a pretty iconic movie by now and many people automatically associate it with Gosling and McAdams in the lead roles.  It is going to be extremely difficult to pick the right actor/actress to replace them and with the CW being the network to take on the project, I hope they’ll go with some fresh faces instead of some of their repertoire-actors and -actresses. Come on, they do tend to use the same people over and over just in different shows.

However, I am also sort of glad that this is done by the CW. Some people don’t like the network very much, but I actually really appreciate their content. Also, I think that, due to its very romantic tone, the Notebook will fit in nicely with the other shows. They have proven to be able to pull of a costume drama (Reign) as well, so I am not even that worried about the show being set after World War II. (As of now, the Notebook TV show will only feature Noah and Allie in their youth and not when they’re older, but that could still change.)

What do you think? Could this be the real deal or should they just leave it alone?

P.S.: Because I couldn’t resist, here’s a BuzzFeed video of guys watching the Notebook for the first time. See, it’s not only for girls!