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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Straight Up Reviews #1: Teen Titans Go!

I figured after 75 posts of defictionalization topics and crappy comic storylines I would like to start a new segment on CIER.  As many who read my FAQ would know I love Channel Awesome, they are pretty much what got me into doing deficitionalization in the first place. That being said I also like media and media reviews in general. So I thought I would take a crack at it myself.  This was something I wanted to do for a while, but never worked up the courage to do so.....until now.  However upon thinking of an idea of what to review first something struck me and this is a lesson to future reviewers too.  If you want to do a review, be it as a hobby, a job or simply for the lulz, the best way to debut is often either: The most recent, what you like or what you despise. I myself am gonna start with the first two today.  Something recent and something I like.  Teen Titans Go!

First a little personal history:

As a kid I got my start on the Titans with the game Teen Titans Battle Blitz.  At the time I didn't know any of the Titans, save for Robin and often tried to beat the game with him.  Robin was a favorite character of mine and even the god awful Batman and Robin movie didn't shake off his awesomeness for me.  However while playing the game I was confused about the other characters. To me they were that green guy, that orange girl that hooded guy (before I found out that was a girl too.) and that robot guy.  However upon watching the show a couple of years later I have come to love and respect Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven and Cyborg.  However despite that I never even know of the team's existence prior to the cartoon.  Flash forward to a couple years after watching said cartoon. I was in highschool at the library.  To my surprise there was comic books in there as well as two items of interest.  The first was the DC encyclopedia which helped bring me up to speed on the Titans both old, new and current.  The second was the first Teen Titans Comic I ever read in my life: Judas Contract.  It was then and there that it answered more questions than I bargained for.  All I wanted to know was who the Titans were. Instead not only have I gotten that, but also the Origin of Nightwing, whom I was aware of since I was one of the few here that actually grew up watching the DCAU. While I like Justice League, I respect the Titans more because they done feats that make JLA look like Janitors League.

Now for a little real history for those who don't know what I am talking about:

The Titans themselves were first written in 1964 in the comic Brave and The Bold #54. The original conception being that many of the original Titans are comprised of sidekicks of the mainstream superheroes.  There was Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad and Speedy.  Eventually the team broke up and new teams were created.  If you would like to know more about the history check out the following sources:

DC Universe Encyclopedia.
Atop The Fourth Wall: March of The Titans by Linkara
RebelTaxi99 (Note: Beware of his stalker crush on Raven.)
The damn comics themselves.

The comics sprouted many adaptations such as a mini spin-off of Superfriends along with the well known Cartoon Series that ran from 2003 - 2006 and Young Justice.  You may have fooled millions of other DC fans, YJ but you're not fooling me all you did was use a title of a different superhero team.   God I hate that show.

The Cartoon adaptation as well as the Go series I am reviewing was adapted from what fans call the "Wolfman Perez Era" of the Teen Titans. Which first introduced Raven, Starfire and Cyborg, as well as intergrated Beast Boy into the group after the annihilation of his former team Doom Patrol. The name itself derived from creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Who's specific works of "Judas Contract." and "Terror of Trigon." Pretty much made the 2nd and 4th season milestones.  However as good as that show was despite it's criticism from comic and DCAU fan alike, it didn't last after the fifth season and was canceled.

6 years later a series of shorts starring the cast of the series began to surface and were well liked for their self parody and comedic approach to the series.  This gave Cartoon Network an idea which many fans perceived as "The day Young Justice died." However in my humble opinion that show was dead before the shorts were conceived.  One Year Later, that idea became Teen Titans Go! A sitcom style cartoon series, that show our respective heroes when they aren't out saving the world.  And the majority fandom of the old series hated it with a passion.   I myself didn't know what to make of it upon watching the first 2 episodes.  However I come to love the show because it gives me my favorite type of comedy: Characters on Downtime.  A concept in which it shows famous characters day to day lives outside of their respective duties. Something they should have done a lot now a days because it shows us a side of our heroes that we never usually see.

First let's start with the animation.  That was the weakest link of the series for it was obvious adobe flash.  The same product that produced Atomic Betty or the even more memetically known Friendship is Magic.  However it was still watchable which is normally a challenge for flash animators.

Second the characters. Since the focus is more on the team and less on the evils they fight we get to know them better.

Robin goes from a charismatic leader that thinks of others before himself to a sadistic workaholic jerkass that is willing to tear gas the rest of the team just to get a ride to the dollar store.....wait why is that a good thing? Eh screw it it's funny.

Starfire in this portrayal makes the one in the original show look smarter.  She is also quite vain with the added role reversal.  Rather than her being obsessively in love with Robin and him barely noticing. It's the other way around.  To make matters even worse she compares her hair being messed with as bad as, someone losing an arm.   She is also very gullible which leads us to our next character.

Raven suffice to say hasn't really changed much from her last portrayal. She is still the only sane Titan on the team.  However she is also very manipulative and sneaky.  She is a closet pegasister who was willing to put her friends in mortal danger, just so she can watch Fr--- I mean Pretty Pretty Pegasus in peace.  Not to mention using Starfire's gullibility to have a goose attack Robin.  Speaking of which, I have been noticing the writers of the show trying to ship Robin and Raven together. Don't believe me? Watch the show and see some clues.

Beast Boy let's face it WB, he's a Stoner.  He's completely lazy, raids the fridge and even goes as far as painting random animals green in order to slack his chores as a superhero.  And he may or may not be a vegetarian in this one. The cartoonist is really F***ING with the fandom on that one.

Then there's Cyborg: No indoor voice whatsoever. Has moodswings and is obsessed with minor things, like having a dog for a hand. What can you expect with someone who's dad is a toaster.

Despite faults that I can complain about, it's these said faults I can't help but learn to laugh at and love.  Still something about it seems vaguely familiar.

Last but not least is the story. Not really a linear one like most sitcom shows, the humor is classic at best and I love every minute of it so far.  My favorite episode being Driver's Ed, mainly because Robin goes through damaging lengths just to get a ride and the reason why you have to see to believe.  Also there's a leprechaun with a golden gun. Wow I always heard leprechauns were IRA but I never thought I'd see one.  All and all, it was nice to hear from the cast. There is also the added bonus of, many mythology gags for old comic fans as well fans of other forms of superhero mediums would enjoy.  I would say which ones but I leave it to you, the reader to find out.

I been noticing a pattern lately on the characters' behavior and story throughout the show and it finally clicked to me.  This was not just some comedy parody of the old cartoon show.  Wait a minute: Characters acting the opposite or exaggerated versions of themselves, story having little to nothing to do with the Titans heroism for the sake of comedy, leprechauns packing heat!?  OH MY GOD IT'S AN ABRIDGED SERIES!!!! CARTOON NETWORK HAS CREATED AN ABRIDGED SERIES!!!!   Wow I never thought I would live to see the day that happened. Ladies and Gentlemen for the first time on network television, there has been an abridged series.  I only hope that one day that Team Four Star will have a welcome spot to it. 

That being said the show has it's faults but give it a chance. I have a feeling that this is gonna get better by time.

As usual debate, argue, and let me know what I missed. Stay Tuned For More, and when there's trouble, you'll know who to call.

Update: I just watched their recent episode.....Beast slammed Twilight......excuse me for a moment......................................................................HAAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA OH MY GOD NOW I LOVE THIS SHOW MORE!!!!!!!!

My inner fanboy aside I been noticing WB did that twice.  Lost Boys 3 slammed them two years prior.  It seems the Warners hate it as much as I do.

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