Sushi for Twelve, $482 plus delivery f Stargirl- Season 2 - Review : Horror and Summer Collides

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Stargirl- Season 2 - Review : Horror and Summer Collides

Beware of spoilers for the show in the article. Please do not continue reading if you havent watched the show and you are not okay with being spoiled.

Season 2 of Stargirl concluded on the CW on the 2nd of November 2021 as fans were left grappling with perhaps the show's most distinctive visual change. The loss of the first season's bright and sunny cinematography which took on a slightly smoky and cold horror influenced tone for most of the show's 2nd season , a drastic change that was justified by the writers from the very first scene of the season as viewers were introduced to the season’s big bad “Eclipso".

Whilst the tv shows cinematography is still colorful, it’s pretty easy to tell visually that a different kind of “evil” is looming over Blue Valley this season. Stargirl as a series excels at visual storytelling and foreshadowing. Certain seemingly throwaway visual moments from season 1 come back in a big way this season as we delve deeper into the story of the original Doctor Midnight.

Geoff Johns has taken a great deal of care crafting Stargirl as a tv series and that care which was very much present in season 1 continues with season 2.

This season the show also continues to focus quite a lot on the theme of broken and chosen families from Doctor Midnight's family being broken by his daughter's death, Beth's parents potentially divorcing, Yolanda and Rick’s "trash" families and the Justice Society of America being broken by Eclipso both in the past and present day. This theme of family is used effectively by the writers to show just how dangerous Eclipso is as a villain , he breaks his opponents through out the season by taking away the things they value the most on his mission to isolate his final target Courtney.

Why should you watch it?

The good :

1. The show’s 2nd season maintains most of what made the show so good in season 1 with its great cast , well developed characters, great soundtrack, interesting plot and great action sequences whilst giving us a darker more psychological horror influenced season. If you loved season 1 of the show I'm sure you will enjoy season 2.

2. Season 2's highs are just as good as those in the first season. Episode 6 and 13 are top tier superhero action episodes that show exactly why Stargirl is probably one of the best CW superhero shows the network has ever made. Episode 6 and 13 also show that the shows production team are still as hands on with the show as they were in season 1 and they are constantly looking for ways to suprise the audience, I can't wait to see what the writers and production team cooks up for season 3.

3. The villains , whilst Eclipso is pretty much an embodiment of evil as a character and on paper a somewhat one dimensional villain compared to the villains of season 1. In the context of the show's 2nd season it works because it's an intentional writing choice. Eclipso is a reference to classic horror movie villains who most of the time are pure evil killing machines if we take characters like the It franchises "Pennywise the clown" for example in mind. Stargirl’s writers expertly focus on how Eclipso affects the characters the audience already cares about on the show. The audience as a result easily roots for Eclipso’s demise. Shout-out to Eclipso’s two actors , Nick Tarabay terrifies in the monster hobgoblin makeup and Milo Stein gives an equally unnerving performance as the child “Bruce” version of Eclipso.

4. The Shade is a great addition to the roster of supporting cast members as a former Injustice Society member you definitely won't trust but you can't help but love. Jonathan Cake portrays the character with an intriguing charm that shows exactly why the actor became a quick fan favorite. The show’s casting for its villains is great across the board, I think Stargirl as a tv series probably has some of the best villains in the CWverse. Part of the reason why Stargirl's villains work so well is because the villains particularly the Injustice Society have stories and relationships beyond whatever villainy they may be up to for the season (they feel like fully realized human beings). The Shade contrasts Eclipso quite well because its hard to completely read his intentions , is he good ?, is he bad ? or is he somewhere in between. Human beings are complex creatures , Cake's performance echoes this view in his potrayal of his grey character. Eclipso isnt human so the audience knows where they stand with him but the Shade isnt quite as easy to read.

5. The show continues to use its budget quite well in its 2nd season. Season 1 of the series was produced to be aired exclusively on the DC Universe streaming service and seemed to have the feel of a high budget streaming tv series. Swamp Thing and Stargirl first season are the best looking shows DC Universe produced. Season 2's production is handled exclusively by the CW and whilst I definitely think this affected some of the writers creative choices in the amount of fights we get this season. I'm happy to report that the overall high quality production level of the series is maintained quite well in its 2nd season.

The not so good :

1. The show’s slow burn pacing this season was much better for a binge release tv show rather than a weekly release schedule. The pacing seemed considerably slower than season 1 in comparison. This shouldn’t be a problem at this point since the season is done. Hopefully season 3 fixes this pacing problem and plays as well weekly as season 1 did. With the CW's recent tv show mass cancellations, I want this show to survive for many more seasons.

2. Stargirl has a very large cast and as a drawback to that some characters don't get as much to do sometimes. Jade's character (Green Lantern’s daughter) is wasted a bit this season after a terrific introduction in the season premiere but the show does set up Jade taking center stage in season 3 really well with Mr Bones , the Helix Institute and her brother Obsidian's introductions to the series. Artemis’s character doesn't quite get enough to do after episode 6 of this season either, being a huge fan of Young Justice, I don't think the actress has been given much of a chance to shine yet. Season 3 does potentially feel like it could fix that problem due to a certain end credit development that occurs at the end of season 2.

3. The show has a lot of interesting characters and a very rich world to explore but certain storylines felt like they didn't get enough time to be fully explored in depth this season. Yolanda’s religious conflict about being a hero after killing someone evil in season 1 , is a fascinating storyline that only gets focus until Yolanda quits the team. Yolanda’s character takes a brief hiatus from the show until the end of the season. We also barely get to see Rick after his arrest and get to witness his experience in jail as a teenager. The audience also doesn't get any scenes between Rick and Beth during this time even though Beth is practically his best friend in the JSA. Another minor nitpick of mine is the show’s lack of junior JSA fight training sequences in season 2. I feel that aspect of the show is very important because the team is mostly new and untrained. In order for the characters to "level up" as The Flash would say properly in a fascinating way the audience needs to see them work towards that growth. It makes it way more cooler for the audiences when those developments finally happen

4. I don’t think the show would have most of the issues I've indicated aboce if it had longer episodes to fully explore all the things it needs to ( I understand longer episodes are not logistically possible for network television shows ). The best option for Stargirl would be to give the show an extra 2 or 3 episodes but I’m also aware that increasing the episode count may be more difficult to do production wise since so much of the show is planned in advance, so I am also completely empathetic to the production team for making the best show they can make to the best of their ability within the confines of the episode count they would have been given. The love behind this show’s production is palpable on screen , no show is perfect so ultimately my enjoyment of this show overrides any minor issues I may have.

Conclusion:

Whilst the show's pacing in its second season might mean people are more likely to favor the first season more as their favorite season, Stargirl still manages to deliver one of the best superhero genre seasons of 2021 in its sophomore season.

Join me for more in-depth reviews of Stargirl season 3 , which premieres on 31 August on the CW.

"So what did you think of the second season? , let us know in the comments below."

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