Writing - 7/10
Production - 8.5/10
Overall - 7.5/10
User Review( votes)
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Written by: Akiva Goldsman and Geoff Johns
Network: DC Universe
Titans Premiere Review
Titans has finally premiered. DC Universe’s kicks off his original programming with an adaptation of the super teen team. And it is important to remember that it is just that, an adaptation not a recreation. Hence, characters and storylines will change/ evolve into something different. These are not the characters you know. So it’s vital that they are given a chance for you to get to know them. With that in mind, the first episode of Titans demonstrates the potential the series has but it is still not without its flaws.
What works really well in the premiere of Titans are the characters and how they play off the relationships that they are forming. So the pilot mainly focuses on Raven and Dick Grayson. Respectively a teenager living in Michigan and a detective on the Detroit police force. Teagan Croft delivers a captivating performance as Raven. The conversations she has with her mother and Brenton Thwaites’s Dick show a girl nervous about an evil growing inside of her and she just wants some help. Throughout the premiere, you can sense the internal struggle that she is going through. Specifically with the use of her soul safe playing the demon on her shoulder.
Thwaites’s Dick works best when he not brooding. As a detective transferring from Gotham, Dick wants to be a lone wolf, keeping everyone at arm’s length and wearing a permanent scowl. Where he shines are the moments he lets his guard down. When speaking to Raven in an interrogation room in a calm caring manner as he sees a scared child in need of his help. This is where charming Dick Grayson that most fans are used to comes out. As well when he opens up to his new partner about his previous partner back in Gotham. Which gives a sincere motivation for why Dick chose to make it on his own.
The B-story in this episode primarily focuses on Anna Diop’s Starfire. Which was easily my favorite part of the episode. It plays out as Jason Bourne meets superpowers. Similarly to Bourne, Star wakes up with amnesia and embarks on a quest to find out who she is and what she’s done. Her story is complete with Diop being effortlessly charming in multiple languages and her brutal style of fighting. If you were on the fence about watching Titans I recommend watching it for her performance and story alone.
It is the first episode. I recognize that. So a few kinks show up.
My biggest problem is that it feels as though some creative choices were made without any real rationale behind them. As if the conversation in the writer’s room went “Why is this character doing this?” “Because it’s cool.” “Right, it is but what is the reasoning behind it?” “Because it’s cool.” End of conversation.
Such as a teen bully yelling at Raven calling her a slut. Yes it is showing kids are unnecessarily cruel but that could have been accomplished with another insult, even the b-word. C-word to really push that TV-MA rating. But we have no context of her being “slutty” so it comes of as a jarring insult instead of a powerful one. Another weird Raven choice was to have S.O.B by Nathaniel Ratcliff & the Night Sweats playing over Raven’s running away scene. The song adds nothing to the scene and feels out of place for the tone of the show.
Moving on to the infamous “F- Batman” line, it is even more cringing in the context of the episode than the trailer. Why? Because no one is conscious to hear it. He says it to himself after taking a second to think about what to say. Again it might be that Thwaites’s brooding is just that not strong. Now these choices don’t ruin the episode but these moments could have been improved if more consideration had gone into the reasoning of why.
Overall Titans season one episode one is entertaining. Deserving of a chance to take these characters to places we haven’t seen before. And below are just a few extra notes I took while watching the episode.
- Raven’s hoodie is made to look like her original costume, which is pretty sweet.
- Starfire “helps” a man in pain by snapping his neck. But I guess ya he isn’t feeling pain anymore.
- A character says to Dick “So you’re not really an asshole”. Which is why the terrible brooding should get a pass.
- Starfire attends a party that could have been pulled from any party scene in a Vin Diesel movie from the early 2000’s
- An entire room is set on fire and the only part of a picture that was burned was a nice clean line on the bottom.
- Ryan Potter’s Beast Boy shows up for about two minutes and his only line is “Rad.” Which literally caused me to shake my head.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!