Its no secret that this show gets a lot of hate (mainly from purists of the 2003 incarnation). And when I finally managed to binge the series (after hearing the announcement of a theatrical movie); I’d say I’m a little more on the mixed side. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to dislike about the series; but there are also times it can be interesting, enjoyable and sometimes funny. With that being said I decided to narrow down the three things I hate and like about the infamous DC animated series!
- HATE: THE JUVENILE HUMOR
The original Teen Titans did a great job in balancing its mature storytelling with the anime inspired jokes thrown in for good measure. This show clearly gives us a more comedic and less taken seriously take on the characters. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes the jokes can be funny. But when they do fart jokes, burp jokes, grotesque sight-gags or even mean-spirited humor; that’s when I get mad. I get that the show is aimed towards children; but come on children are smarter then this.
- LIKE: FOURTH WALL JOKES (MAINLY ABOUT THE SHOW’S INFAMY)
What makes the show truly unique is that its largely aware the old-school Teen Titans fans hate their show. I consider these to be the best jokes in the show and have laughed out loud on many occasions. I wish I can count the many praise jokes on the 2003 show. At one point they had an episode where they were molded after their 1982 comic book counterparts poking fun at animation errors or recycled footage. And this four-part special that features a popular song called “The Night Begins to Shine” is a must watch.
- HATE: ROBIN & STARFIRE’S PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP
This makes me angry more then anything else! Every comic book purist or even fans of the 2003 show knows Robin and Starfire are a romantic couple. The 2003 show does a wonderful job at it (albeit in a slow pace), heck the two DC Animated Movies (“Justice League vs. Teen Titans” and “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract”) are also noteworthy. But this show does to take a drastically different direction. Robin is madly in love with Starfire, but she sees him only as a friend (or brother!). They poke fun at this in so many episodes (kiss-fake out, abuse or making fun of) its more sick then funny to me. But I am happy with the rare occasions they’re somewhat an item (even if its few or far between), wonder what the new movie will do? But hey what’s next Superman and Lois Lane are now step-siblings (ugh)?
- LIKE: MORE EMPHASIS ON SLIGHTLY HINTED AT RELATIONSHIPS (BEAST BOY & RAVEN; CYBORG & JINX)
Robin and Starfire may be an afterthought in this show, but I was more then happy that they took advantage of other couples on the show. Beast Boy and Raven would the biggest one. In the 2003 show, it was pretty clear they’re just friends with Raven usually being annoyed with Beast Boys antics and perhaps something might go on between them. In this show however, they have the occasional on again, off again relationship (with humorous results); but of course the love-hate relationship aspect is still present. But the most unexpected is the romantic pairing of Cyborg and Jinx. In the 2003, they went out at least once (in an episode where Cyborg snuck into a supervillain liar posing as one of them, they went to the prom, etc.) and that was pretty much it. This series decided to make them a romantic couple immediately and to this day they are still together. Now that’s what I call progress.
- HATE: CHANGES MADE TO SOME CHARACTERS PERSONALITIES
Look I get that they did this on purpose to appeal to the younger viewers, but it was still nevertheless insulting to me. I mean making the terrifying Tirgon, demon father of Raven into an embarrassing sweater-vest wearing father? Or even more insulting turning the morally complex ani-heroine Terra whom Beast Boy has a crush on into a flow-blown supervillain who hardly harbors affections for Beast Boy. Only one thing to say about this, Nuff Said.
- LIKE: EXPANDING ITS DC LIBRARY
Well lets face it, the original 2003 show mainly focused on “Titan Titan” characters and hardly shown or referenced other DC properties. Robin’s mentor Batman does get the occasional wink. But this show managed to incorporate a vast array of DC Characters which in my book is very welcoming. Also they have crossovers of other comic book/cartoon properties such as “The Powerpuff Girls”, “Young Justice” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. The Teen Titans also meet their voice actors in one meta-episode (OMG!). Oh yah, they also have Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny; but who cares about them.