Titans / Doom Patrol (DCUniverse streaming rambles as well)

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Titans / Doom Patrol (DCUniverse streaming rambles as well)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:36 pm UTC

Full disclosure - my wife managed to score a year subscription to DCUniverse for free, so I'm using the holy hell out of it while I have access to it.

Unless you're super in to reading a cycling collection of DC Comics made between 2003-2017 with not as much older stuff as there should be and understandably not that much new stuff as they want you to buy the current books OR are just a really, really huge Birds of Prey and Lois and Clark fan or something, it's not worth the $8 a month $75 annual they want for it right now. That may change? It may not change. Right now, the newest Live Action show they have is Constantine, the current stuff (Arrow, Supergirl, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham) understandably being absent due to streaming rights being owned elsewhere, same deal with their movies with the newest one being Batman and Robin as the Nolan films and DCEU stuff probably have their rights elsewhere.... but they do have a lot of their animation on there.. but I'm not as familiar with that, so I don't know what is and isn't there.

Near as I can tell, the only unique things to it are Young Justice Outsiders [aka Young Justice Season 3, an animated show based on the Cartoon Network series that was cancelled because it wasn't moving enough toys and, in reading some descriptions and using a little creative interpretation, because girls liked it], Titans and Doom Patrol.

Point being - unless you're super in to DC Comics, this service is probably not one you'd want to stick around for, and as they release stuff weekly, Young Justice being animated means it's being released in two separate blocks (with episodes 1-13 up now, 14-24? due in the summer), and Doom Patrol having only three episodes out, right now the only "complete" work is Season 1 of Titans.

Oh, and apparently if you're outside the US, Titans is on Netflix. If you're in the US, you have to go through DCUniverse. How the hell DCUniverse isn't working outside the US is beyond me, but that's apparently how it works. I believe Doom Patrol will be released when it's completed?


So anyway, Titans and Doom Patrol have a lot in common. Which is a fucking problem for Titans.

Both shows fucking lean heavily - too fucking heavily if you ask me - on the fucking fact that they're fucking on their own fucking service and as a fucking result, can fucking say fuck as fucking much as fucking fuck fuckity fucksticks. For Doom Patrol, this is most evident with Cliff/Robotman saying "What the fuck?" every time something weird happens, which, being the Doom Patrol and taking a heavy amount of influence from Grant Morrison's run, means about 30 times in a 45 minute episode. Though at times it does come across as a bit like the Jay bit from Dogma, where he meets God.

If you need a reminder...

Jay : Get offa me. I wanna see what's up. What the fuck is this shit? Who the fuck are you, lady? Why the fuck did you hug my head?

Metatron : Quite a little mouth on him, isn't there?

Jay : What the fuck is this, The Piano? Why ain't this broad talking?

Metatron : I believe the answers that you seek lie within my companion's eyes.

Jay : What the fuck does that mean? Has everyone gone fuckin' nuts? What the fuck happened to that guy's head? I want some...

[God kisses him on the cheek. Jay faints]

Doom Patrol also features a topless woman and Brendan Fraser's bare ass in the opening episode in a way of presenting Cliff as being a kind of terrible person as Cliff is cheating on his wife at the time. With his kid's nanny. I don't recall any blatant nudity in Titans, doesn't mean it wasn't there, just means I don't recall it. Probably because Hawk was yelling Fuck again, though it there was any, it was during one of the several "Dove fucks Hawk or Robin" bits.

That's right! Hawk and Dove are there! Aka "Who?" to most people as I don't believe they were in either Teen Titans cartoon series and they've never been core members of the Titans team. And yet Hawk and Dove are in... like, all the episodes. I think they get as much if not more screen time than Starfire. I know they do combined. Which is a problem because neither Hawk nor Dove are on promotional posters.

Both shows feature a cast of vaguely confused miscreants who feel the world has treated them unfairly and as such are a broody and morose bunch. Which, again, works just fine for the Doom Patrol as that's the point in the source material - Superheros with horrifying physical and mental issues that prevent them from interacting with the regular world in a regular way. It does not work for Titans where in the source material even the Orange Alien is still able to fit in pretty well.

Both also swap characters with each other, to an extent. Gar aka Changeling aka Beast Boy is in the Titans show though he was first part of Doom Patrol. Cyborg shows up on Doom Patrol despite not actually ever being in Doom Patrol in the comics. Cyborg works as a "Even though I'm obviously at a glance a complete weirdo, I can still interact normally so y'all don't have to be so depressive all the time goddamn" counterpoint to the Doom Patrol's inherit self-loathing, but if they were trying to do the same with Gar in Titans it failed completely... probably because he looks like a teenager with green hair and not a green imp.

The Doom Patrol features costuming that would get 3rd Place on "Group Costume" at a cosplay convention. Titans has costuming that ranges from "Good Effort" to "And you're dressed as.....?" though I will say that in Starfire's defense - and I have no idea what wizardry is doing this - her costuming looks terrible in still images, but absolutely works when watching the show. You pretty much have to see her walking around before you go "Yeah, okay, that works."

Also in it's defense, the "Fuck Batman" line Robin utters does make more sense in context as in it's original presentation in the first trailer it came across as a "Look how XTREME this show is! Makes you wanna double-hand slam some Mnt Dew and do a kickflip while telling YOUR MOM to fuck off!" and in context it's more of just frustration at not being taken seriously by criminals.

Now, both shows supposedly feature Teams. Only the Doom Patrol actually does. Titans shows us Det. Grayson working with homeless orphan Rachel (whose mother is killed early in the series and father is an absent unknown, but we the viewer probably are already aware of Trigon) who is running away from her mother's killers, Starfire an amnesiac who is investigating what the hell she was doing and figures out she's some kinda private eye something? and a teenage kid with green hair who makes a friendship with Rachel. They don't really "team up" until something like Episode 8 of the 12 episode series and even then never really form anything that could be called a "Team", remaining more of a loose association of people with technically similar goals. Which is a problem.

Meanwhile, Doom Patrol goes out of it's way to show us that Rita, Larry, and Cliff are making connections and friendships with other another, that Rita and Larry have a history and friendship with Jane (or at least some of her personalities), shows Cliff working with Jane's personalities to build relationships with some of them, has pretty much all of them hating the Chief but not knowing what to do without him around.... pretty much they're a team in all but actually going out of the house and doing team stuff by the end of Episode 1.

The basic point I'm getting at here is that Doom Patrol and Titans are very similar shows in the same way that the Man of Steel/BvS/Superfriends films had Batman and Superman as very similar characters. And it only works for one of them and utterly fails the other for similar reasons.

And both Doom Patrol and Titans lean far too heavily on the freedom to say Fuck whenever they please. It comes across as distracting and reminds me of the Ren and Stimpy guy - essentially how Ren and Stimpy on Nickelodeon, where there were massive restrictions of what could and could not be done, created a cartoon that despite not lasting that long had a heavy influence on a generation and when put on one of those "Man" networks (Spike? FX?) with far fewer restrictions was... just a bad pile of gross stuff for the sake of gross stuff.
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