Stargirl Summer School Season 2 Premiere Shows A Hero Interrupted
The first season of Stargirl was something special. It was a new superhero series with some familiar names, but most of the characters made their live-action debuts in this series. It’s a familiar story, even if you never read the Stargirl comics. A group of outcast teenagers end up with powers and abilities who then have to save their town. Unlike most stories, however, the new kids on the superhero block were picking up the legacies of heroes and villains that came before. The hook for the season 2 premiere is that Stargirl is heading to summer school. After taking out the Injustice Society of America in the Stargirl season 1 finale, the new Justice Society of America spent the end of their school year patrolling a small, Nebraska town for supervillains. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t find any.
What’s surprising about the season 2 premiere of Stargirl, despite the summer school hook, is that it’s mostly a powers-free affair. Other than a brief, in-the-dark appearance by Ysa Penarejo as Jade AKA Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, this episode is mostly about how Brec Bassinger’s Courtney Whitmore is adjusting (or not) to being a superhero. Where she was a confident leader in the finale, she’s now an almost-paranoid obsessive in searching for villains. She unwittingly fails two classes. Thus, she’s headed to the eponymous summer school.
Frankly, it’s a risky move for Stargirl to have had such a low-action season 2 premiere. It’s unconnected from the larger DC Universe of shows on the CW, though a connection is coming. John Wesley Shipp, the original Flash in more ways than one, is going to guest star on the series this year. This is the first connection we’ve seen to the larger DC Multiverse.
How the Summer School Angle Will Hamper Stargirl and Her Friends
Image by Bob Mahoney via The CW
Essentially, I suspect that the “summer school” angle is a way to put more obstacles in front of Courtney and her friends when it comes to being a superhero. While that is great for building tension and suspense, I am wondering if it will still hook viewers who have a lot of comic book content to choose from. This series is very heavy on visual effects. On one hand, then, it makes sense to keep the powers usage to a minimum. On the other, episodes without much action might cause the fans who care less about the teenage emotions of it all to tune out. The CW seems to be starting to trim their superhero content.
Since Arrow first debuted, a DC Comics-based series was almost guaranteed a season renewal. With HBO Max, Warner Bros. Television may be less interested in the CW as an outlet for their properties. If CW drops the show, it’s possible that HBO Max could pick it up like they did with Titans and Doom Patrol. Either way, Stargirl is a heartwarming series that younger CW viewers should connect with, so I hope this season does well in the ratings. Nonetheless, the Summer School season of Stargirl is the next step in bringing the Justice Society to life for a new generation.
A slow start for season 2, but Stargirl is a great show and one that will likely deliver as further episodes are released.
Stargirl debuts new episodes Tuesdays on the CW.
What did you think of the season 2 premiere of Stargirl, and are you excited for or wary of the whole “summer school” hook? Share your thoughts, theories, and predictions for what’s to come in the comments below.
Featured image via the CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.