As the first season of DC’s long-awaited Titans series wraps up, we take a look at what we loved, and what was…challenging, about the show.
Titans was one of the most anticipated new superhero shows of 2018, it would be the first time many of The Teen Titans comic book characters would be appearing in live action. Early pictures released from the set of the series cast some doubts as to how the show was being handled, particularly the characters of Starfire and Raven. When advanced media reviews came in, they were mixed, critics either loved it or hated it with a fiery passion. After viewing all eleven episodes, Her Cape takes a look at the good, the bad and they ugly of DC Universe’s first streaming series.
GOOD: CASTINGTitans Ep. 108 — Photo Credit: John Medland / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
While there are a couple of misses, the overall casting of the series works pretty well. Brenton Thwaites perfectly embodies the angst of living in Batman’s shadow as Robin, while Anna Diop dominates the screen every time she appears as Starfire. Teagan Croft’s Rachel and Ryan Potter’s Gar don’t get nearly as much screen time, but they make it count when they do. Even the supporting cast gets major props, particularly Minka Kelly’s Dove, Alan Ritchson’s Hawk, Curran Walters’ Jason Todd and Conor Leslie’s Donna Troy (pictured above). We’re especially looking forward to getting more Dove and Donna in season two (can these two at least be upped to series regulars, please?).
BAD: OVERALL NARRATIVETitans — Ep. 107 — Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Given that the Titans have been around for over fifty years in the DC comics, there were plenty of storylines to choose from, but it seemed the show chose too many of them to play out at the same time. Robin’s anger issues, Starfire’s amnesia issues, Rachel’s lack of control of her powers and Gar’s reluctance of embracing his inner beast, combined with multiple episodes solely devoted to spotlighting guest-stars amounted to plot overload. Even more disappointing was the season finale, which didn’t bother to tie up any of these storylines, so there was zero payoff for viewers who had spent eleven hours watching the series.
UGLY: MISOGYNISTIC TREATMENT OF CHARACTERSTitans Ep. 102–Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie / ©2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Let’s just get this out of the way: the show is extremely violent and dark. Some people have enjoyed this aspect of the series, as it ties it closely with some of DC’s feature films. However, a disproportionate amount of that violence is aimed at female characters. Dick’s partner, Amy Rohrbach, and Rachel’s adoptive mother, Melissa Roth, are both killed onscreen within the first few episodes and Dove is thrown off a roof and almost dies in the second. While there are male characters that are killed, none are tied directly to the heroes like Amy, Melissa and Dove were. If nothing else, this outdated trope needs to be dropped for season two.
Ultimately, we’re optimistic that following a first season to find it’s footing, Titans will improve creatively in the next season as long as it focuses less on fight scenes and more on paying attention to character and story details.
Titans is currently streaming on DC Universe and will be released internationally on Netflix January 11th, 2019.