It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a TV show, partly because it’s difficult to do without spoilers but mostly because I haven’t found a show good or bad enough to warrant commentary. So thank you Titans, for being so monumentally abhorrent, so stupendously fucking awful that you have forced me out of bed at 2am to write this review, it’s good to know you excel in one thing at least.(You also make it seem like everyone is in desperate need of a wash!)
Titan’s plot (such as it is) is similar to its comic book origins, Dick Grayson a.k.a Robin has left Gotham and with it his partnership with Batman, all because he is tired of living in the shadow of The Batman. It’s an intriguing premise, a young man lost; unable to grow and change; uncertain of who he is outside of “Batman & Robin”. Except rather than capitalise on that, the unimaginative fucks who write this drivel thought it would be more interesting to have him worry about becoming too dark and violent. Of course, he blames Batman for his use of extreme force; unfortunately the show writers don’t “show” us that Batman is too violent. All we know is Dick is a violent wanker that loses control and blames Bruce, but whatever, who needs context, am I right?(“My skin is breaking out…..FUCK BATMAN!!”)
But what would a superhero TV show be without a good story? Well it would be this dreck, but I’m getting ahead of myself. It turns out that there is a looming danger that threatens the world, and Rachel Roth / Raven (Teagan Croft) is at the centre of it. Dick decides to help her, to protect her, taking on a mentoring role, mirroring the relationship between Bruce and a younger Dick. This was one of the few (and I mean few) things about Titans that I felt was done well, it felt real, two young people who felt alone, abandoned by those they trusted. They join forces with Starfire (Anna Diop) who has lost her memory because of course she fucking has and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) an animorph smart mouth who I will admit nails the character to a T. Now, usually around this point of the review I stop discussing the plot because of spoilers, but this time I’m stopping because I just don’t remember any specifics. That’s how little Titans impacted me.(“Me too guys, me too..”)
But forgetting the plot for now (done) let’s move on to the writing, simply put, it’s lazy. The writers have ditched the light-heartedness that the characters are known for and turned them into a bunch of miserably dark and moody assholes. Now, I’m not saying don’t try a new spin on characters, but that isn’t what this feels like, it feels like DC is once again obliviously trying to appeal to a trend that hasn’t been fashionable for around a decade. They are trying desperately to force these characters into roles that don’t suit them, completely ignorant to the traits that made them so compelling to begin with.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the show spends a ridiculous amount of time introducing irrelevant characters and setting up opportunities for spin offs. Don’t get me wrong, I love spin offs and connected shows/movies, but how about, for the first season at least… YOU FUCKING CONCENTRATE ON MAKING THIS SHOW COMPELLING BEFORE BLOWING YOUR LOAD AND WRITING SOMETHING ELSE? This is indicative of what is wrong with DC movies /TV shows in general, they’re so desperate to emulate Marvel by creating an interconnected universe, but fail to grasp how Marvel makes it work. They tell self-contained stories first and foremost and then, if it works for the story, connects them to a larger world.(Four episodes, this show got four episodes in before it unveiled a third superhero team!)
Then we have the acting, which credit to the cast, is decent, they do the best with the writing they have, which as we discussed was written by tossers. In the brief moments they’re given to play the characters as they were meant to be played they really do come alive. The entire cast has a great chemistry, particularly that of Dick and Raven.
But I think my biggest problem with this train wreck of a show is that there is so much potential here. The writers have good actors and a great set of characters at their disposal and they’re being utterly wasted on bad writing, written by people who honestly don’t seem to care about the subject matter. DC I’m speaking to you directly now, hire back everyone who wrote for Batman: The animated series, Young Justice and the animated Justice League and sack everyone who writes for you now.(Except the Wonder Woman and Aquaman writers obviously.)
A shockingly bad show, ruined by bad writing and terrible ideas, interspersed with moments of brilliance that only serve to make the flaws all the more glaring, avoid.