Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter
Runtime: 11 episodes
That line, man. I freely admit that I was rolling my eyes when that line was spoken in the first trailer. I’m pretty sure everyone’s eyes were rolling. “Watch out guys, DC is trying to cut you with all that edge.” But you know what? I was wrong. Within the first 20 minutes of the first episode of Titans, I was proven wrong. By the end of the second episode, it became my favorite comic book TV show.
Titans follows Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) the daughter of Trigon, a being from another world who wants to destroy the Earth. Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) empathizes with Rachel and helps her escape capture by her father’s followers. Along the way, they team up with Kory Anders (Anna Diop) and Garfield Logan (Ran Potter). Kory is a woman with no memory of her past, and the only lead on her identity being a picture of Rachel. Garfield is a teenage boy that can shapeshift into a tiger.
That’s the gist of this first season. The group comes together, mainly to protect Rachel, but there’s also this theme of family and loneliness. There’s a father/daughter relationship between Robin and Rachel, both of whom are orphans. Kory fills a motherly type roll in the group and a romantic interest for Dick Grayson. From the start, Brenton Thwaites and Teagan Croft have really good chemistry together. There are also some side characters, who while not as involved, have some of the better moments of the show. Specifically, Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson) and Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly) as Hawk and Dove are my personal favorite characters of the show. The two have a chemistry together and we see what feels like a realistic and genuine relationship between the two.
Speaking of Hawk and Dove, now’s a good time to bring up how great the costume design on the show is. I mean, they really went for it with the suits. Hawk and Dove have the white costumes with the red/blue thrown in for each. They’re comic accurate, but look at least a little practical for the “realistic” world they’re in. And while it looks more like the comic book Tim Drake costume, the Dick Grayson Robin costume in the show looks amazing. And, like the comics, the Jason Todd is a slightly modified Robin suit, but with the some of the same stylings as the original. Characters not in costume at least have some influences from the comics. Starfire mainly wears a purple dress and has her classic orange hair. Beast Boy has the green hair, and constantly wears a red/white jacket that looks like his comic book costume.
This show does have some problems with it, though. The biggest one being the special effects/CGI. They’re terrible. They remind me of bad movies from the early 2000s. There’s one scene, in particular, that’s supposed to be serious. Some people die, and it’s tragic, but the CGI in the scene made laugh super hard. I had to pause the show for a minute. On top of that, while I enjoy most of the fight choreography, some of it is admittedly bad. Brenton Thwaites is pretty much my favorite Robin, but anytime you can see him behind the mask fighting it looks bad. That’s not to say all of it is bad, but some scenes have noticeably bad choreography. And some scenes combine the bad choreography with the bad CGI.
The world this show sets up is a darker version of the characters, and that’s not a bad thing. What is, though, is that this show falls into the trope of interpreting that by literally making the world darker. There’s a blue filter over everything. I like how the Robin costume is green and red with some yellow, but in the show, it’s hard to tell. Another problem with the first season of Titans is its finale. It’s not a bad episode, it’s one of my favorites, actually. But it’s not a finale. Literally. They’ve gone on record saying that they’re using the actual season one finale as the opening for season two. Why would they do that? I have no idea. So, while the final episode is great for what it is, as a finale it falls flat, hard.
Titans is one of my favorite comic book TV shows. It’s definitely got its flaws, every TV show does, whether it’s a comic book show or not. Titans has some incredibly obvious and (literally) laughable flaws to it. But I think the positives of this show outweigh the negatives. The concept of “darker” heroes isn’t anything new. But this show does actually manage to pull it off better than a lot of other “darker” live-action comic book shows. The actors and actresses deliver great performances and have good chemistry together. The score I give this show comes from me looking at it objectively. Subjectively, however, I’d recommend watching this show to anyone who’s a fan of comics, or comic book media.
Titans Season 1
The first season of Titans definitely has its flaws, from special effects to some bad editing and choreography. But the story, world building and acting mostly make up for it and make it a show worth watching.