Naturally, i expect this opinion of mine to be met with some angry reacts because we live in a world where opposing opinions are not welcome, but I can’t contain my utter frustration over what could’ve been an incredible experience from beginning to end. Of course, everyone’s mileage will very, and not everyone will have the same level of expectations, but DC’s Titans: Season Two ultimately fell short for me in all the predictable ways possible.
The season started off strong…and by start I do not mean the season opening episode. That episode actually belongs in Season One, so i’ll leave it there. I was very enthralled by the setup episode of Titans Season Two. I felt like the story beats they were setting up were finally pushing us in a direction that would get us to the Titans we all know from the comic book runs of legendary writer/artist George Perez and superstar writer Geoff Johns. Johns, who serves as Executive Producer on Titans, is one of my favorite comic writers of the last 20 years so I just knew his influence would lead us to some cool superhero action along with a tight narrative plot that would delve deeper into what makes the Titans a family.
Color me disappointed! This is not at all what I was expecting.
When the 4th episode came around, an episode delving into the team’s past, I was starting to notice a slight pattern that irked me a little. This season had a definite pacing problem that either arose from too many plot points to write for, too many characters needing attention or some combination in-between. Episodes would end on these GREAT cliffhangers (many of which oddly, had to do with Robin/Jason Todd needing to be rescued) and then the momentum would suddenly be stunted by them shifting focus to a flashback episode or focusing on a new/different character. It was jarring! Granted, binging the episodes back-to-back may help stifle some of that feeling, but Titans is a weekly streamed show, so it really hit every time it happened.
Can you call yourselves crime-fighters…if you never fight any crime?
This is probably the most irksome detail I noticed about this season. I was willing to give them a pass last season due to it being a rookie show trying to find its legs, but midway through this season I’d reached my breaking point! Titans exist in a world where it is fully established that the Titans are publicly recognized crime fighting vigilante teams. People know who they are, and supposedly what they are known for, which is fighting bad guys and saving the day. THIS SHOW HAS NONE OF THAT.
I can count 6 instances where the team gets together and fights crime or the bad guy. Starfire and Wonder Girl vs. Shimmer, Dove fighting the dudes in a garage meth lab, the old heads facing Dr. Light for the first time, another time against Dr. Light to take him down, the old Titans team defeating carjackers, and then one more time when Dick and Starfire teamed up to rescue Jason from Deathstroke. All of those instances happen within the first 4 proper episodes of the season. Perhaps I am expecting too much, but the season set up the young Titans in Titans Tower with Dick training them for “The Life”, but they never see any action in the field at all. Much of the crime-fighting takes place out of costume and/or in a flashback scene. This show is about a superhero crime-fighting team…why not show it? Probably because they’re too busy with my next gripe.
These People Are NOT Likeable. Like Not At ALL.
Run down the list of every character on the show, with the exception of probably Jericho, Starfire and Superboy since he’s mostly a blank slate, and you can find an almost irritating quality amongst all of them. Hank is an irredeemable asshole. Dick is a utterly complete idiot who seemingly learned ZERO from being with Batman for years, Donna is kind of a icy bitch, before and AFTER she slept with Aqualad, Dawn is a nice girl who puts up with the biggest asshole for some unknown reason and definitely deserves better. Tiger Boy…well he’s given nothing to do except maul people and be mostly annoying otherwise. Raven, who admittedly grew on me a little bit early on, has gone full-on brat mode as the season went on. It all starts up top though, and that’s Dick Grayson.
He does some incredibly head-scratching, mind-numbingly dumb things over the course of this season and in the revelations of his past that make him pretty hard to cheer for. His characterization wavers from mopey erstwhile leader of a part-time special individuals babysitters club to a dude who makes some questionable decisions in the idiotic attempt to serve penance for past transgressions. They spend so much time bitching about things that never should’ve come about had they practiced even a smidgen of common sense that it takes you out of the enjoyment of the show. Its Season Two and it still feels like they are trying to find their legs in exactly what this show wants to be. That’s not a great sign in my book. Similar shows like Daredevil, Watchmen, The Punisher or even sister-show Doom Patrol don’t require this long to get to the heart of what it wants to be! Either get a new show runner or hire some much better writers!
It’s Not All Bad. I expected so much better though!
Esai Morales has been so unbelievably excellent as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke this season. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when he was cast, but dude has knocked it way out of the park in this season. All the story parts involving him, were great and I had hoped the show would focus on him as the focal point, but they couldn’t help but squeeze in the god-awful Cadmus Labs story line, something that honestly could’ve waited until next season. The subplot of Starfire’s destiny as crown Princess of Tameran was also intriguing. She was one of the best parts of Season One and Anna Diop, with better costuming in tow, killed it this season too. I’m very much looking forward to her plot line developing with Blackfire next season. Jason Todd really grew on me this season. The subplot of the budding romance of he and Rose Wilson was definitely a high-point…much more believable than any of the forced attempts for Raven and Gar. Don’t know what’ll shake out for next season, but watch it for that if you haven’t yet.
So while Titans started off pretty promising for me, ahead of the season finale tomorrow on DC Universe, ultimately I’m left feeling disappointed by the heights that were teased in earlier episodes. I’m hoping that Season Three proves to be the one we’ve always hoped the show would be, but right now, its not hitting the mark in fulfilling its lofty potential.