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12 Best Shows Like Stargirl That Fans Should Check Out

In the great, sprawling tapestry that is the DC Arrowverse, "Stargirl" is a bit of an anomaly. The teen superhero series eschews the edgier tone of sister shows like "Arrow," "The Flash," and "Batwoman" in favor of a more family-friendly vibe — something that star Brec Bassinger and showrunner Geoff Johns have said was an intentional choice from the start.

Lead protagonist Courtney Whitmore is an ordinary teenager before she discovers Starman's Cosmic Staff and becomes a superhero, quickly gathering other likeminded youths to her cause. Together they form a new version of the Justice Society of America and set out to bring peace and balance to the world, fighting for what's right while also navigating the regular problems of adolescence. It's a familiar format, but in a franchise that's historically been filled with time-traveling murderers and secret terrorist factions, the joyous energy of "Stargirl" is a breath of fresh air.

If you're a fan of the show, there's a good chance that you've already checked out some of the Arrowverse's other offerings. While no show is quite like "Stargirl," there are plenty of exciting comic book adventures and life lessons to be found in series like "Legends of Tomorrow," "Black Lightning," and "Superman & Lois." But if you've exhausted those options, or if the rest of the DC franchise simply doesn't scratch the "Stargirl" itch, you're still in luck. There are a bunch of other great shows like "Stargirl" that are worth checking out, and these are some of the best.

Stranger Things

Let's be real — you've probably already watched "Stranger Things." By this point, most people on the planet with a Netflix subscription have probably watched "Stranger Things." But if you've managed to get to this point and still haven't watched "Stranger Things," all while being a fan of "Stargirl," then it's definitely time to cross it off the list.

One of the best genre shows of the streaming era, the Duffer brothers' sci-fi saga is a massive homage to Dungeons & Dragons, John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, and a hundred other things. Taken together as a whole, though, it's a show that feels entirely unique. While it's certainly a bit more intense than "Stargirl" (there's some truly grotesque stuff here), the horror elements of "Stranger Things" generally take a backseat to the cast, which includes characters of all different ages. It's not a teen sci-fi series in the same way that "Stargirl" is, but it is a show where kids and adults alike have to grow up while fighting the forces of evil.

From the strength of the performances and the stellar character writing to the flawless '80s aesthetic and soundtrack, "Stranger Things" is a show that knows exactly what it wants to be and nails it. The monster movie parts are definitely meant for more mature audiences, but the themes of family, friendship, and growth are ones that viewers of all ages can relate to.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

If you're familiar with the "She-Ra" brand, it's likely because of the original 1980s cartoon, or the line of He-Man-adjacent toys it was produced to sell. But in 2018, animator ND Stevenson helmed a reboot of the franchise on Netflix entitled "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power," which ran for five seasons. Far from the glorified commercials of its predecessor, Stevenson's series is an impeccably produced animated saga about grief, trauma, rebellion, and love. Anchored by a groundbreaking queer romance and brought to life by an exceptional voice cast, it's easily one of the best animated series in recent years.

"She-Ra" is shockingly similar to "Stargirl" when you put the two series side by side. They both follow a young woman who discovers a mystical weapon, becomes a powerful superhero, and rebuilds a dormant alliance to stand against the forces of evil. In "She-Ra," that's the tale of Adora (Aimee Carrero), who abandons her role in the evil Horde and her best friend Catra (AJ Michalka) to defend the world of Etheria as the legendary hero She-Ra.

While the show is a cartoon, that doesn't stop it from tackling heavy topics or weaving powerful long-term storylines. The characters in "She-Ra" are all vivid and nuanced, and they each grow in meaningful ways over the course of the show. Like "Stargirl," this is truly a show for all ages, brought to life through a refreshingly diverse world and cast of core characters.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

You have to respect the classics, and "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" is undoubtedly one. Perhaps more responsible than any other show for creating the modern teen genre drama, which has since become a mainstay of networks like the CW and streamers like Netflix, "Buffy" still holds up decently well today. At its core is the same struggle between superhero responsibilities and regular teen drama that drives "Stargirl," but with a gothic horror twist.

"Buffy" has become so ubiquitous in pop culture that you likely already know the basics. Protagonist Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the Slayer, a chosen one imbued with mystical powers of superhuman strength and stamina whose purpose is to fight the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. She navigates this responsibility while also dealing with school, friends, and romantic relationships (most of which also involve vampires). Throughout the series, Buffy and the story both grow in maturity, leading to some powerful moments amidst all the campy genre fluff.

Like "Stargirl," "Buffy" parallels the regular problems faced by teens with its supernatural plotlines. The demonic storylines make it a bit harder to recommend to particularly young viewers, but the effects are so cheesy that the show never gets that grotesque. There's definitely some more adult-ish content later on, but the first few seasons in particular are classic teen drama fun.


"Stargirl" shows a pretty kid-friendly version of the DC universe — one populated mostly by lesser-known characters, and where things never get too brutal or graphic. But maybe you're looking for something with a bit more edge. Maybe you want to see some DC heroes and villains snapping necks and having sex. Maybe you should watch "Titans."

Despite the controversial trailer that first announced its existence in 2018, "Titans" is a surprisingly grounded and nuanced show. Sure, it flaunts its TV-MA rating from time to time, but it does so knowingly. More importantly, it treats its characters with respect, crafting an emotionally driven narrative that gets better every season. The original core cast of Brenton Thwaites (Nightwing), Anna Diop (Starfire), Teagan Croft (Raven), and Ryan Potter (Beast Boy) is great together, and the show continuously adds more compelling characters to the mix as it goes. As gritty DC stories go, "Titans" is pretty stellar, especially for the live-action space. It has a distinctly different look and feel than the Arrowverse shows, and it effectively balances its dark tone with moments of levity and genuine humanity.

It can't be overstated, however, that this is not the family-friendly superhero romp that "Stargirl" is. But if you want to try something with a little more blood and guts, "Titans" is a great next step.

Gravity Falls

"Stargirl" has been a hit in large part because it embraces viewers of all ages. Balancing kid-appropriate storylines with more serious themes and complex craftsmanship is a difficult task in the realm of live action, to the point that most shows choose to favor one demographic over another. The world of animation is typically a bit more all-age-friendly, however. So if you're looking for a great family adventure show and one of the best cartoons of the modern era, look no further than "Gravity Falls."

Praised during its run both for its genre homages and its mature writing, "Gravity Falls" is pure entertainment, plain and simple. The story follows twin 12-year-olds Mabel and Dipper Pines, who travel to the small Oregon town of Gravity Falls to spend the summer with their great uncle Stan. The "Twin Peaks" and "X-Files" influence kicks in immediately, with each episode delivering some new kind of mythical creature or sci-fi conundrum for the kids to deal with. There's time travel, haunted houses, alternate dimensions, living video games, and all kinds of other oddities to keep things entertaining, all presented with an exceptional level of polish on the scripts, performances, and animation.

That may all just sound like a regular cartoon, and to be fair, that's what "Gravity Falls" is. But it's such a well-crafted cartoon that it also transcends its genre. A hilarious and touching tale about growing up, "Gravity Falls" is a show that everyone should watch.

The Owl House

Like "Gravity Falls," "The Owl House" is a Disney Channel cartoon that far exceeds the expectations connected to that label. The two shows even share a lot of pedigree, as "Owl House" creator and showrunner Dana Terrace first worked as a storyboard artist on "Gravity Falls." While there are a lot of similarities between the two, though, "The Owl House" is a very much its own thing.

The show begins when 14-year-old lead protagonist Luz Nuceda (Sarah-Nicole Robles) gets sucked through a portal out of her regular human life and onto the Boiling Isles, a cartoonishly demonic realm inhabited by witches and other fantasy creatures. Luz is quickly taken in by rogue witch Eda (Wendie Malick) and trained in the ways of magic, ultimately uncovering the secrets of the realm and coming to stand against an oppressive regime.

While Luz and her new witch friends fall on the younger side of teendom, "The Owl House" still employs many of the same narrative touchstones as shows like "Stargirl." There's a magic school, an adorable young love storyline, and a continuous sense of momentum that makes every episode matter. "The Owl House" is also notable for its dedication to diversity and inclusiveness, with an ever-present emphasis on queerness, neurodiversity, and body positivity. It's ultimately a story about accepting yourself and embracing what makes you unique, and it's a show that viewers of any age can enjoy.


Tired of family-friendly DC superhero fun? How about some family-friendly Marvel superhero fun? The MCU's slew of Disney+ shows has included some definite hits like "WandaVision" and "Loki," but while every entry in the franchise is definitely appropriate for most ages, "Hawkeye" has a particularly wholesome energy that makes it especially similar to "Stargirl."

Positioned as a sort of holiday miniseries, "Hawkeye" follows the eponymous MCU archer (Jeremy Renner) on a quest to settle some demons from his past and rebuild a sense of peace in his family life. He's joined by young aspiring hero Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) — a fan favorite from the Marvel comics who shares Clint's love of bows and arrows. Together, the two embark on a snowy Christmastime adventure, battling foes and narrowly escaping death while learning some lessons along the way. The series also features the likes of Alaqua Cox and Vera Farmiga, as well as Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova.

Jaunty, jolly, and firmly focused on family, "Hawkeye" is an especially light entry in the MCU's streaming library, but one that has a lot of charm. Fans and critics alike praised the series for changing up the franchise's typical approach, and for Steinfeld's performance in particular. If you enjoy "Stargirl," you'll probably find a lot to like here, but maybe wait until the holidays roll back around to get the full effect.

Shadow and Bone

If teenage fantasy adventure is what you're looking for, Netflix's "Shadow and Bone" might be your best option. Based on the bestselling "Grishaverse" novels from author Leigh Bardugo, the Netflix series follows Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) — a young woman living in a Tsarist Russia-inspired fantasy world who discovers that she possesses strange and rare powers.

In the world of "Shadow and Bone," many people are Grisha: Humans who can control certain elements of the natural world, like fire, water, or wind. Alina is the Sun Summoner — a fabled Grisha able to manipulate the powers of light. This role places her at the center of an international conflict, with agents from many different factions all wanting a piece of her.

While "Shadow and Bone" may be very different from "Stargirl" in its setting, structure, and tone, it's simply one of the best young adult fantasy series out there. Li is captivating in the lead role of Alina, and they're surrounded by an equally talented supporting cast that includes Ben Barnes, Amita Suman, Freddy Carter, and Kit Young. The characters are written with complex motivations and interesting arcs, and the world around them is brought to life with stunning vibrancy and creativity. It's the kind of show that's easy to get lost in, which makes it an easy recommendation for any fan of the genre.


Loosely based on the massively popular video game "League of Legends," Netflix's "Arcane" is a gorgeously animated YA steampunk saga that's earned widespread praise. Set in the fantasy metropolis of Piltover and the slum-like undercity that lives beneath it, the show tells a tale of political corruption, revolution, family, and grief. It's kitschy at times, and it does tend to take itself extremely seriously, but the characters are so well realized and the action is so visually stunning that you likely won't even notice.

The main story of "Arcane" follows two sisters — Violet (Hailee Steinfeld), a hard-knuckled bruiser, and Powder (Ella Purnell), a troubled girl who falls down a dark hole after a series of traumatic events. The show's story is much larger than just these two, however, as it also features storylines about Piltover's expanding dominion, the development of secret and strange new technology, and the efforts of crime lord Silco (Jason Spisak) to be recognized as a proper ruler by the city's elite.

While it is animated, "Arcane" shouldn't be confused with other series on this list like "Gravity Falls" and "The Owl House." Although it's squarely targeted at teenage viewers, it's a bit intense for young kids. That extra layer of emotional intensity is part of what makes the show great, though. "Arcane" knows that dramatic circumstances, monologues, and climactic battles are fun, so why not dump a bunch of them into every episode?


Is "Riverdale" a good show? That's up for some debate. The Archie Comics-inspired CW teen drama is one of the strangest and most absurd shows of the 21st century, but it can also be one of the most wildly entertaining. As long as you don't take anything it throws at you too seriously, you'll likely have a great time, albeit one that strays into much edgier territory than "Stargirl."

You might think that "Riverdale" doesn't have much to offer superhero fans, but that just means you haven't watched enough of it. Each season of the show plunges it deeper into its own bizarre pit of mish-mashed genres and self-serious drama, guaranteeing that at minimum, you'll never be able to predict what the show will throw at you next. Murder mysteries? Far too simple. How about genetic mutations? Demonic rituals? Parallel universes? Gang wars? Alien abductions? Witchcraft? All this and more can be found in "Riverdale," for better and for worse.

The tone here is quite different than that of "Stargirl," but if you enjoy stories about high school students going off on wild adventures, it doesn't get any wilder than "Riverdale." There's entertainment value in the show's mere willingness to continuously change its own rules, making sure that you won't have a single dull moment.

Cobra Kai

Unlike some of the other teen-centric dramas on this list, "Cobra Kai" truly is appropriate for nearly all ages. Because its special sauce is karate, rather than some sci-fi or fantasy variant, you don't have to worry about otherworldly monsters or world-ending plots making things too intense. Instead, "Cobra Kai" delivers a healthy helping of '80s nostalgia, frenetic (but nonlethal) action, and campy drama, bringing the "Karate Kid" franchise into the streaming age with style and force.

Make no mistake — "Cobra Kai" is a supremely silly show. But that's by design. Putting original "Karate Kid" bully and villain Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) in the protagonist's chair is a bold move, and lays a strong foundation for the show's specific brand of silliness. You'll find yourself laughing at the seriousness with which dojo rivalries and teenage martial arts tournaments are treated, but "Cobra Kai" offers more than schlocky fun and consistent laughs.

The intergenerational nature of the show's cast is the source of its best moments, most of which come about when teens and adults are learning from each other and striving to become better people. There's a simple but compelling philosophy at the center of "Cobra Kai" — a message that you can't change the past, but you can change yourself for the better in the future. This thematic core and a spectacular lead performance from young star Xolo Maridueña help the show to shine, and it helps that all the karate is legitimately thrilling (and ridiculous) to watch.

The Legend of Korra

With its modern resurgence and massive fanbase, there's a good chance that you've already seen the animated masterpiece that is "Avatar: The Last Airbender." if you haven't, go tend to that immediately. Then go and watch the less popular but similarly spectacular sequel series, "The Legend of Korra."

Set about 70 years later in the "Avatar" timeline, "The Legend of Korra" follows the Avatar after Aang, who learns to control the four elements during a period of intense political upheaval and technological innovation. As the Avatar — a reincarnating spiritual peacekeeper who can "bend" water, earth, fire, and air — Korra has a ton of responsibility placed on her shoulders at a pretty young age. Her battles against terrorists, political extremists, conquering dictators, and corrupt spiritual leaders take her and her friends to some pretty dark places, but that's often where "Korra" actually shines brightest.

Like "Stargirl," this is a show about a young woman taking on the mantle of past heroes during a time of turmoil. It's a story about grappling with the legacy of your predecessors while also trying to shape your own. The long-term storylines in "Korra" deal with heavy ideas like stepping out of your parents' shadow, choosing to heal when it's the hard thing to do, and knowing when to give second chances. And of course, it's all brought to life brilliantly by Studio Mir, with some of the most striking martial arts action ever animated.