DC Universe’s Titans seemed plagued with problems from the start. After sitting in preproduction before ultimately being nixed by TNT, Warner Bros. announced in April 2017 that it would be producing the show for a yet to be released DC streaming app. If this announcement didn’t leave fans skeptical, the casting choice of Anna Diop as Starfire left many shaking their heads, so much so that the actress had to take a step back on social media due to the racist backlash to her casting. The release of the trailer didn’t fare much better, with many critics saying the show was doomed before it had even begun.
The show premiered on October 12, 2018, a month after the launch of the DC Universe app. It premiered to mixed reception, with many feeling Dick Grayson’s stand out line, “F*ck Batman,” to be vastly out of character for our beloved sidekick and a poor attempt at edginess. The first couple of episodes struggle to get their footing, seeming unable to decide on its target demographic. It feels like it’s trying to be an adult show with its dark tone and violence; at the same time it feels like a show intended for a younger demographic, especially with its mysterious girl storyline centered around Rachel Roth, played by Australian newcomer Teagan Croft. While the writing is mostly decent, it sometimes feels like it was written by a teenager who was told they had carte blanche to swear as much as they want.
Slowly but surely however, this show hits its stride. As the team forms, the story telling becomes more cohesive and our characters truly begin to develop. As we watch them grow together and bond with each other, the viewer bonds with them. While the story surrounding Rachel still drives the plot, there are plenty of other mysteries to unravel that breaks up the “mysterious girl that no one understands” troupe. While this is definitely not the Teen Titans many of us grew up with, it still pays homage to its roots.Titans is the first live action incarnation of Jason Todd, who takes over for Dick Grayson as Robin, allowing us to see both Robins on screen. Titans” also included several of the classic characters from New Titans, such as Hawk, Dove, and Wonder Girl, as well as the inclusion of Garfield’s backstory with the Doom Patrol.
The show’s biggest problem however lies with its network. While it was renewed for a second season prior to its series premiere, the shows lack of accessibility brings its longevity into question. Currently the show’s only available in the US on the DC Universe app, DC’s own streaming service. While there are plans to bring more original content to the app, as of now there isn’t much that the app has to offer. At time the time writing, the app has only a handful of digital comics and a handful of DC shows and movies. The only current media is “Titans” and a new season of the animated series “Young Justice”, and aside from the announcement of the new original content coming this year, there have been no other announcements as to whether the app will include the current Arrowverse or the DCU. Even at only $7.99 a month (or $74.99 for a full year), there just isn’t enough content for even the most diehard of DC fans to warrant another streaming service to most budgets. While the show is available outside the US on Netflix, if the DC Universe app fails, it may drag Titans” down with it. Also, as of now there is no news as to when the second season of Titans” is slated to premiere or if production has even started. All that is known is that it is supposed to premiere sometime this year and will be a twelve episode season.
There is some good news however. Set to premiere on February 15 is the Titans spin off, Doom Patrol.
We first met the Doom Patrol as part of Garfield’s back story in episode four. Fans quickly fell in love with their characters, so it is wonderful to know we won’t be without them for long. Doom Patrol also boasts a fantastic cast, staring Matt Bomer, Alan Tudyk, Timothy Dalton, and the much beloved Brendan Fraiser. Doom Patrol will also be bringing Cyborg on board, so many hope that this means Cyborg will eventually join the team over in Titans.
Titans is available to stream on the DC Universe app. “Doom Patrol is set to premiere February 15, also on the DC Universe app.