Tooncrap #40 - Teen Titans GO!: Let's Get
Cartoon Network: 2013
Written by: Raymond Gallant
It happened again.
You may have noticed a bit
of a trend here on Tooncrap over the years that when a cartoon I'm
really excited for comes to television, it turns out to be one of the
worst experiences of my tv viewing life. It happened with Sonic
Underground. It happened with Donkey Kong Country. It happened with the
Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon. And while not as devastating as the
other three, it sure the heck happened with Teen Titans Go!
answer why exactly would require going way back to the glory days of
2004. For a good few years I was getting out of watching cartoons. Or to
be more precise the ones targeted more towards children. I was watching
more adult cartoons and shows and trying to move forward from the kinds
of shows I watched as a kid. Then I watched an episode of Teen Titans.
Then another. Then another. And wouldn't you know it? It led me back
into enjoying cartoons often targeted for a younger audience.
The reason being how the cartoon was structured overall. A superhero
cartoon show that could be serious, dark, and action packed in one
episode, then suddenly wacky and off the wall in another. Mix it with a
great pseudo anime style, great characters, and great storytelling, and
you have yourself a spicy meatball of an awesome cartoon. Robin, Cyborg,
Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire became beloved characters of mine, and I
knew I was going to love this cartoon and it's guaranteed long run.
And of course it gets cancelled after five brief seasons. Because I
can't have nice things.
Lo, like all DC superhero cartoons that
start to gain an audience, Cartoon Network would can the series. But you
could never silence the fans of the series, who clamored, petitioned,
and like fans usually do, bitched and moaned to get their show back. And
after about seven years of begging, they would get their wish sorta...
kinda... not exactly.
Teen Titans was brought back as a series of
shorts for the DC Nation block. A block of superhero cartoons that, to
no surprise, was poorly promoted, and dumped at a horrible time slot.
The cartoons were only a couple minutes long, and focused more on
comedic bits. They were for the most part pretty entertaining. But it
wasn't enough to appease the hungry Titans fans as they wanted their
show back. Cartoon Network finally obliged, and announced a new Teen
Titans Cartoon series for 2013 complete with the original voice cast. To
say people were excited was an understatement. Hell, I was once again
sucked into the void of overblowing my expectations.
none of use realized that this would be a comedy series. A comedy series
done by people who admittedly never watched the original Teen Titans
cartoon. A comedy series done by really bad writers who usually pull
annoying plots out of their ass and who admittedly never watched the
original Teen Titans cartoon. To say the fans were not happy with seeing
the new portrayal of the characters was an understatement. And to say
the writers of the show have this annoying habit of openly mocking the
angry old school fans is an even bigger understatement.
look at one known episode to judge the easily projected contempt these
guys have for the fans of the old series. Let's review the episode
"Let's Get Serious".
We open the episode at a secret military base, as the villains from
H.I.V.E are committing some acts of theft. However, the Teen Titans are
here to stop them. Robin gives off a dramatic monologue, only for Beast
Boy to let out a constant barrage of fart noises, ruining the moment,
and for some ruining their childhoods.
Robin is understandably
upset at the lack of caring the other Titans have over, you know,
stopping crime, as they ask why Robin is taking things so seriously, and
not having fun. You know, DURING A CRIME! While Robin posits on who else
can stop evil...
When all of a sudden the cast of Young Justice arrive to quickly
bring H.I.V.E to justice
Robin tries to prove to Aqualad that he and his team can be serious
(while Cyborg and Beast Boy sing like the pair of brainless dolts that
they've become). Aqualad lays the harsh truth to Robin that the titans
don't take things seriously, don't teach life lessons, and are, for the
most part, complete and utter clownshoes. Essentially, Aqualad is
speaking for the fans of the original series who bemoan the comedy of
Teen Titans Go.
And this also feels like a shot at Young Justice
being cancelled, blaming its more serious take as a factor, and in turn
taking a shot at that show's fans too. Wowsers.
Robin broods over the shots by Aqualad, bringing up his dead parents and
tragic past. Even though the original Teen Titans never made that an
issue. He gets mad at the rest of the group becoming jokesters,
especially Raven. Which takes us to a cutaway gag of Raven telling stand
up for way too long.
Hey, I remember another cartoon that used to be really good, but
when it came back after cancellation it became poor, and used bad meta
humor and unfunny overly long cutaway gags. I wonder what that cartoon
Robin tries his best to bring to light the foolishness of his team,
but being as they have the combined mental capacity of a dust mite's
rectum, they of course brush it off. Robin tells the Titans that their
character traits should be taken more seriously, like Cyborg being half
man and machine. They eventually get that they should be more serious.
And then this stuff of pure nightmare happens. They literally become
more serious by having more realistic features and being brooding and
angsty. See, because they're serious now. Because, you know, that's how
Teen Titans always was right? And this is the problem with this episode,
and why I feel it comes off more insulting and intentionally trying to
create an issue with fans of the old series.
Yes, Teen Titans
had serious moments and episodes. But what also made the show work was
the fact that it could balance serious and dark stories with off the
wall comedy, and zany, anime inspired adventures. It was a show that
balanced a myriad of ideas and genres instead of just being one kind of
superhero cartoon. And even its serious episodes still knew how to be
lighthearted, or smartly written. It wasn't just about brooding, or
angst. It was about the importance of the characters and their growth
throughout the series.
And what do the great writers of this
cartoon do? Not get the point, and instead just poop out something that
feels like a middle finger to the fans of old, because maybe, just
maybe, some people look at this show, and see that it's kind of an
insult to one of the most beloved cartoons of its time. I don't condone
attacking writers and creators for bad content, but when the people
behind this do so with the intent to piss people off, I have no sympathy
After about a minute or so of rubbing in about how super serious
they've become (Seriously for a cartoon that lasts eleven minutes, it
may be the one with the most filler and lack of anything of substance
happening that I've ever seen), They go to deal with H.I.V.E now that
they're super duper serious. They beat the crap out of them, and the
missile they launch with the use of "serious" firepower.
Even Aqualad and the rest of Young Justice are impressed by the
newly serious Titans. But now they might be too serious. Well duhh. And
of course, now Robin broods over Aqualad calling him too serious
because, reasons. Turns out he was right, as the now super serious
Titans fight with one another and go their separate ways.
Until next week when they're just idiotic assholes again.
that's "Let's Get Serious". This one was just a pain to sit through. It
missed the point of what made Teen Titans work, or any cartoon that
takes a serious focus to be entertaining. If anything it made the people
behind the show come off as far more petty for how they handled the
rather harsh criticism from former fans. It never gets funny, is loaded
with just disturbing imagery with how defined the characters look, and
goes out of its way to kick not one, but two fanbases while they're
down. It's crap. Serious crap.