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Stargirl: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

One of the now defunct DC Universe streaming service’s original programming menu included Stargirl, the adaptation of Geoff John’s original creation. Thanks to things like pandemics, Stargirl wound up getting time in the spotlight in the summer on the network that is the home for DC Comics television shows, The CW. No, she’s not multi-versing into the now former Arrowverse at this time, they just needed some content. Now that the run on CW has ended, the show is getting itself a fancy Blu-ray release. And that’s about where that effort stops as this thing comes with the episodes and that’s it. No bonus material available here. However, if you want to truly own the show, then this is it. Stargirl: The Complete First Season arrives on Blu-ray September 29th, which means, you can already order it now and have the set on its way to you.

Season

Focusing on the character that started creator Geoff Johns’ career in comic books, when he created her, lovingly inspired by his late sister who was killed in a plane explosion, new DC drama series, DC’s Stargirl follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to take up the legacy of a long-lost Super Hero team – The Justice Society of America – and stop the Super-Villains of the past.

Stargirl isn’t worried about fitting in, being taken a certain way or striving for some sort of prestige. It excels because its only worried about being itself. In a world on the CW where there are multi-verses, dark vigilantes and whatnot, and when shows like Titans are like a 8 year that just discovered the “F” word or when you had a show like Gotham that was so “grimdark” that it was pretty campy and comical, Stargirl feels relaxing and fresh. It finds itself sharing company more with Smallville than it does any of the modern things that the DC Comics on TV camp have going for it.

There’s a real “watch together with the family” vibe with Stargirl. Much of it takes place with high school kids and deals with familial relations and challenges. It features a hell of a step-father/step-daughter relationship that feels one of the most special parental type bonds in DC stuff since Jesse L. Martin and Grant Gustin’s in the early seasons of The Flash. Much of Courtney’s new friendships at school feel quite genuine and flushed out decently as well. Except…oh boy…if I have to hear the same lines of dialogue Hourman’s about his parents one more time…

The show features some pretty decent and fun supernatural hero action to it as well. Its a very smaller stakes kind of show (Though the villain has very national ambitions), making a lot of the character work feel more important than that of the action. It is kind of humorous though that all this “big deal” stuff is happening in Nebraska, but oh well. And the show does play with an subvert expectations decently from time to time, aside from the season finale cliffhanger which you can see coming from a mile away in the first episode.

Stargirl is a nice “all ages” affair in a time where superhero stuff tends to want to be that but slant as adult as they can. And this one is serious, but its vibe fits the age of its protagonist and her surroundings. There are lot of deep dive DC characters to have fun with here, as well as some Easter eggs and other familiar goodies. No, the show is not sheer greatness you need to immediately seek out, but its still pretty darn charming.

Episodes

Stargirl
S.T.R.I.P.E.
Icicle
Wildcat
Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite
The Justice Society
Shiv Part One
Shiv Part Two
Brainwave
Brainwave Jr.
Shining Knight
Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One
Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/DetailStargirl‘s first season comes with a pretty strong image that looks like its even a slight tick above the CW shows I typically review. The show has a natural sharp and polished look to it, but its very well rounded and three dimensional in its nature. Textures on costumes, monsters and surfaces is all quite clear and full of flavor and patterns. It features a nice color palette, saturated quite well here with some good, deep blacks. Overall, its about the best you’re going to get from one of these shows on the standard Blu-ray format.

Depth:  Pretty solid depth of field on display and a nice pushback between actors and background, especially in some of the interior sequences. Exteriors impress on given occasions. Motion is quite fluid and smooth with characters and camera movements and no distortions ever are notably apparent.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep, and impressively closer to natural than any sort of graying. Details hold strong and never suffer from disappearing into any shadows, nighttime darkness, dark fabrics or surfaces or the like. Patterns and textures hold visible. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are quite bold and pretty gorgeous here in this image. The super hero stuff, while a given, pops really strong with the outfits as well as the supernatural beams and mists and whatnot. The natural town has a polished, fresh and welcoming look to its natural greens, browns and greys.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent through the episodes and within in any given one for the duration of its runtime. Facial features and textures like make-up, freckles, blemishes, dried blood, stubble and such all hold strong and are clearly discernible in medium and close up shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Stargirl takes flight with a pretty fun and engaging 5.1 track. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or make a case to be an in-store demo disc, but it does all the things you’d expect it to very well. The mix is well balanced, with no egos among the vocals, score, songs or sound effects and they play well letting one take centerstage where need be. With it fully running at your preferred volume setting, you should be pleased in engaging it.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer pounces nobly with explosions, fire, energy bursts, crashes, punches and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a solid mix that does good by the rear channels whenever they are really needed. They also help to bolster environments with good ambiance. Sound travel matches and feels good with the onscreen behavior.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, plenty audible no matter how big the action on screen is.

Extras

Stargirl: The Complete First Season is a 3-Disc set that comes with an episode guide insert sheet and a digital copy of every episode in the season

And that’s it!

Summary

Stargirl oozes with a  lot of charm and wholesomeness that carries it over through 13 episodes that is fun for the whole family. Warner Bros Blu-ray provides a terrific presentation, but doesn’t do anything in the way of extras. Luckily they aren’t demanding too many dollars for it. If you’re wanting something superhero for the whole family, Stargirl: The Complete First Season is very good option.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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