The Couch Boys: Not quite the ‘Titans’ you remember

By Brennan Atkins 

Arts & Features Editor

By Noah Barnes

Entertainment Correspondent

“Titans” is the gritty reimagining of the beloved comic and television series, “Teen Titans,” and stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson (Robin), Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Anna Diop as Starfire, Minka Kelly as Dove, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, Conor Leslie as Wonder Girl, and Curran Walters as Jason Todd (also Robin).

Season one of “Titans” was met with mixed reactions from both fans and critics – a lot of promises that were made were never fulfilled, the production was a mess, and the original season finale was completely scrapped.

Some fans found enjoyment in seeing their favorite heroes on screen for the first time in live action, and others loved seeing writers taking a more “realistic” approach to these characters.

For us, it represented the “rock bottom” for superhero content.

An uninspired story, unmotivated acting, and no focus on a single character are only some of the things  season one did wrong.

The list could go on for days.

Due to these complaints, “Titans” season two strived to be different and alienate itself from season one.

It is indeed different, but in all the wrong ways.

This season’s all about Dick, his abandonment of his “Robin” alter-ego, and his journey toward redemption. This path leads him to becoming a new hero outside of Batman’s shadow.

But he never redeems himself, so why should we care?

The writers behind “Titans” have no clue what to do with their characters – a plotline will seemingly disappear into nowhere, or they’ll flip their personality for the sake of a scene. Starfire, one of the prominent members of the “Teen Titans” has yet to do anything except occasionally attack people – not even bad guys most of the time.

Yes, “Titans” has an extremely odd fascination with violence against police – most episodes seem to include some sort of violence against them – but it’s never met with consequences, almost as if they just skipped over it.

Not only does this have nothing to do with the show’s themes, but it also devalues them. How can we see any of these people as heroes when they blew up multiple cop cars a few episodes ago?

The show’s visuals are appalling – the lighting stays consistent between scenes, usually a gray or blue filter, even when the two scenes are completely different in mood.

There’s one instance in which Superboy is seeing the world for the very first time. It should be a scene of warmth and happiness, especially with the inclusion of the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.

Instead, the infamous gray filter is implemented, and the scene ultimately comes off as awkward, as the visuals are not matching the sounds whatsoever.

It feels like an editing mistake.

The whole show is an editing mistake.

Action has been a staple of comic books in both literature and film, and when done well, can make for some of the most memorable moments in the genre.

Yet, “Titans” makes watching each action scene a chore. The audience has to keep track of what’s happening between what feels like 30 cuts in 10 seconds. The choreography is slow and awkward, which only worsens the look.

Some character representations are heavily reliant on CGI in order to showcase their powers. Television CGI isn’t always on the level of “Game of Thrones,” but “Titans” has no idea when to use it. “Doom Patrol,” another series on the DC streaming service, also has lackluster CGI at times, but the writers are aware it doesn’t look amazing, and plan accordingly.

We haven’t even mentioned the season’s antagonist, Deathstroke (played by Esai Morales), or newcomers to the series, such as Rose Wilson (played by Chelsea Zhang), Bruce Wayne (played by Ian Glenn), and Jericho (played by Chella Man). But how can we, when the show treats them as afterthoughts?

The show seems to boil down to a couple of interesting concepts that never get elaborated upon. The writers will plant a seed of an interesting narrative or a compelling character change, but when you go to the next episode, it never gets brought back up.

“Titans” season two somehow found a way to dig even further below “rock bottom.”

Grade: F