Reviews: Teen Titans Go
The Jersey Shore of animated TV
And I don't mean that title as a compliment. I mean it as a way of saying that this is a ridiculous, overexposed, overplayed piece of televised garbage that, for one reason or another, has come to be the most popular series on its network. The entire cast consists of obnoxious jerks, with few redeeming aspects. That there are a handful of episodes that display self-awareness of the series's poor quality doesn't matter; a show whose creators acknowledge that it is bad is still a bad show. Neither does the fact that the writers have said they just want to make a comedy. There is a fine line between deliberate campiness for the sake of humor and simple trashiness, and "Teen Titans Go" crosses it early and often. Even if the series were viewed in a vacuum—that is, without comparing it to the pre-existing "Teen Titans" animated series—it would still come across as a very poor effort by any standard. The plots are predictable, the animation substandard. The characters' actions make it unclear who, if anyone, is the "protagonist" of this series. The implications of the episodes range from absurd ("girls are objectively better than boys") to downright disturbing ("hoarding is a good thing to do"). The show does not even seem to be fully aware of its own target audience; it is rated TV-PG and routinely mentions some very adult concepts, yet it also indulges in scatological humor that only a child would find funny. Like so many things thoroughly tasteless, "Teen Titans Go" has enjoyed a period of intense popularity, and in spite of its many, many problems its time, unfortunately, is now.
Being silly is OK. Condemning an entire medium is not.
The writers of Teen Titans Go have been remarkably defensive of their right to make a silly cartoon using characters people liked. This is not a bad thing in and of itself. While I don't care for the show, the Young Justice crossover pretty much said their piece, namely, that the show is supposed to be silly, it doesn't want to be serious, it shouldn't be serious, and to compare it to Young Justice is comparing apples to oranges. Perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, in their zealous defense of their right to be silly, "The Return of Slade" goes one step too far. After trolling people with the hint of Slade and essentially saying "You want Slade? Go watch Season 2 of Arrow because he won't be here," the show delves into its main argument. A clown, (an obvious, and emphasized, metaphor for animation) is derided as being just for kids, and should be ignored by anyone older than 12. But the attempts to make the clown more adult are seen as "corruption" and inherently wrong. Long story short, the cartoon is arguing cartoons are only for kids, and you should grow up and stop watching them. Furthermore, the idea of making shows more adult or darker is considering to be 'corrupting' the medium and characters. Nevermind these aren't your characters, I guess this means everyone from Hayao Miyazaki to the creator of Rick and Morty are now inherently corrupting animation because it's only supposed to be for kids. I also guess we can ignore the clearly not made for kids Justice League: Gods And Monsters that was released two weeks prior by DC ITSELF. Look, writers, you want to make a wacky comedy for ages 6-11, fine. You feel defensive that people dislike the characters that you're using when odds are if you have used anyone BUT the Titans there would have been a far lesser backlash? Sure. But to condemn how people handle a medium and to insult anyone who wants to do something with animation besides wacky crap for 6-11 year olds as being manchildren or corrupting a medium meant only for kids? That's when you officially go one step too far. The worst part is if you had stopped at the YJ crossover, I would have been happy to ignore you and let you do your thing. But you have no right to say what people can watch and what medium and characters creators can use.
TTG/PPG Crossover Review
Well, the TTG/PPG Crossover has finally aired. When I first read about it on the 2016 Powerpuff Girls YMMV page, I dreaded it. Much like "Let's Get Serious", I thought that the writers were gonna use this episode to attack the critics of both shows. While I'm glad that didn't happen, the episode itself is a mixed bag. It has some fun moments, but it also had some cringeworthy moments too. Pros:
- Mojo's portrayal in this episode more closely resembles the original series with Mojo speaking in the third person more often and him going on long rants.
- For critics of the show, watching the girls call out the Titans on them not being heroes is a great Take That, Scrappy!.
- The narrator gets more use in this episode than in the PPG Reboot.
- The Teen Titans, particularly Robin, Starfire, and Raven, are at their worst in this episode. They are complete and utter assholes who don't care about anything but themselves. You know you've messed up when Beast Boy and Cyborg are more likable.
- The fight scenes are anticlimactic as always, but that's par the course for this show.
The biggest problem, I find, is that this show probably has no staying power
Don't get me wrong - this show has its moments and I was an early defender of it. But I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure if I want to keep following it and in fact am hoping that it will get canned right after Season 4. The show's all over the place. It seems like it can't really decide what it wants to be - a comedy with greater reference to the original series, or just an In-Name-Only wacked-out sitcom? Think about this for a moment. Is the show doing anything particularly groundbreaking? Is it using the characters in new, inventive ways? Will anyone look back on it in ten years and say, "Wow, TTG! was really creative for its time, wasn't it?" In fact, I think this is a candidate for occupying a deeper grave than disco. As soon as the show's fanbase has grown up and moved on, people will look back on it with shame, the kind of shame where not only is the show reviled in the present but most everyone will be embarrassed to admit they were ever into it in the first place. The way things are going, this is just the next Johnny Test. There's nothing this show does that other shows don't do better... especially the 2003 series it's supposed to be based on. I was totally open to the idea of this show, but it's so all over the place that I can't decide if I like it or not. Is it about superheroes in between gigs, or just a bunch of kids with powers and gadgets? What are the main jokes supposed to be about? Take Raven, for example. Granted, there's "Colors of Raven", but what about "Wally T"? For the purposes of satire, she ends up acting exactly the way Spock does in A Trekkie's Tale. It's barely Raven even in the form established for her in this series. Early on, I accepted her as struggling to decide whether to be more emotional or always keep her cool, but it seems the writers just do whatever they want with her with no consistency. She has no exact "character" here. I can't figure out what motivates her, and the Negative Continuity only makes matters worse. I mean, why not make her act the way she did around Aqualad in the original series? Of course, she has her moments, especially earlier on that I can recall. I appreciate moments when she gets so pissed that she becomes four-eyed and bitch-slaps someone across the room. If she behaved more like you'd expect based on that the rest of the time, this show would improve quite a lot. It's one of the most useless shows around. It's occupying kids' time, but that's literally all it does. It fills a time slot, or several dozen considering how Cartoon Network loves the show. Obviously, the overexposure is not a problem with the show itself, just how the network handles it... but all that extra exposure is going to do is provide more opportunities for someone to take notice of its many flaws. It could only be worse by not having any of the original cast. It's destined to be forgotten if not reviled.
Okay, I'm just going to be honest here: I like this show. I used to be embarrassed to say that, but there was nothing else on, I left my TV on CN..and ended up watching it...and laughing?! What's wrong with me? The show itself would be better received if people would just accept it as a parody of Teen Titans. It is actually pretty funny, and it does things shows like Sonic Boom doesn't do: make jokes that don't try too hard. Sure, all the jokes aren't funny, but most of them are, and that's what makes it successful as a comedy. For a parody about the titans slouching around with nothing really to do, it sure has some good writing, for writers that barely saw any episodes of the original show. In my opinion, I would love to see Teen Titans come back, but I'm satisfied enough with what we got.
Used to like it, but now - not so much
A while ago, I wrote a review claiming that this show isn't as bad as people make it out to be. But now, I'm starting to see their point. The characters' personalities fluctuate constantly, so that a character who acts Adorkable in one episode is a downright Jerkass in another. It's especially bad how the villains are treated. Although the writers are clearly going for Affably Evil, the Titans are so cruel that the villains come across as Unintentionally Sympathetic. Also, although I'm not a fan of anime and its art style, I have to admit that the original show, despite using said art style, had much better animation. In short, this is far from Cartoon Network's best show. BUT... There are still a few good things about it. The voice acting is great, and it really helps that the original VAs reprise their roles, and they're clearly having fun with it. As for the humor - although the constant food jokes get annoying - when the humor isn't mean-spirited, I really do think some parts are funny. Sometimes, the actors' hamminess alone is enough to make me chuckle. It just depends on your personal taste. Admittedly, I find more humor in everything than most people do. However, it's clear that the creators are only focusing on getting cheap laughs, unlike older cartoons, which weren't afraid to present kids with more complex, emotional stories. (On a side note - because I have plenty of room left - Courage the Cowardly Dog has been my favorite CN show for a while because of all the emotions it evokes.) So, yeah, this show is far from the best, but I at least find it a little funny. But that's just me. Sorry for my hotheadedness in the original review. I'm so glad it's been deleted!
Does not belong in the current Cartoon Network lineup
The show's not purely horrible. Silly cartoons have been a part of television since there was television. And there are some pretty funny moments (though there are some cringe-worthy moments as well) But there are a few things about it that irritate me. First of all, they took a show where the best part was the character depth, and took away all the character depth. One of the main reasons the original Teen Titans was so loved was because of the well-done and impactful character depth and development. For many of us who were young when the show first aired, these are the first characters we've ever cried over. There were many moments of humor that we liked, but the tear-jerking character-driven plots are what had the most impact on the majority of us. The second thing: Cartoon Network's defense of the show. When a critic points out that TTG is too "silly and shallow" to have a place in the lineup, the network responds, "But it's for kids!" As someone who's had jobs working with kids, that excuse doesn't work for me. Adults seem to think that kids want saccharine shows with flat characters and no real problems. Kids would disagree. There was a reason the original Teen Titans was so popular with the younger crowd. And why CN's other popular shows are liked by both adults and the children the network is targeted at. And as for the humor, there are shows that do it better It's not a completely awful show. There were a few moments that made me genuinely laugh. But it really has no reason to be favored by the network, since the rest of their lineup is much, much better.
Never tries to be anything but funny
I have strongly mixed feelings about Teen Titans Go!. On the one hand, I can't call it anything but a success, because it does what it was made to do; it's obviously a much more comedy-oriented show than the original, and for all the criticism in the world, I cannot deny that it's very funny on every level. There's wacky humour, dark humour, continuity humour, and overall just consistently well-written dialogue and hilarious animation. It's a comedy, and it's funny. I can't fault that. On the other hand, I would be lying if I didn't say that I thought it was a shame to gather all the original voice actors, get a new timeslot on DC Nation, try a new style of animation, and stick solely to comedy. The original Teen Titans cartoon isn't a Sacred Cow to me, but it had moments that were funny, heartwarming, awesome, or sad. The new cartoon sticks to humour and never ventures into any other category. Ever. Moments listed as heartwarming or awesome on This Very Wiki have no impact on me because the situations are never serious enough to cause any impact. The only other thing that sometimes annoys me is that unavoidably, the topic of most of the jokes is the Titans, who all play exaggerated parody versions of themselves. It seems like a lot of the people who don't like the show were fans of the original as kids, and seeing their childhood heroes portrayed as idiots has really stopped them from enjoying it. It's great that the show is finding new fans, but it's a little sad that they had to remove - and then mock - a lot of the elements that older fans enjoyed in order to do this. All in all, the greatest weakness and greatest strength of this show are the same thing; it never tries to do anything but make the audience laugh, and while it definitely succeeds in doing this, it rules out a lot of possibilities the show had to be entertaining in many more ways. I'll definitely keep watching, but it does sometimes feel like a Teen Titans show made by people who couldn't care less about Teen Titans.
It's just flat out annoying
As much as I love the original series of teen titans and that Teen Titans GO shouldn't be compared to it because it's not related to the original. I should say that Teen Titans is just annoying as hell. At first I thought it was going to be a funny, cutesy kind of show, but after watching later episodes it was flat out embarrassing and annoying. My sister sometimes would quote things from the show. For example, starfire's repetitive use of putting the word "the" in front of everything is just annoying. My sister herself would say things like "that is the cool" or "that is not the O or the K" and I'm sitting their cringing about the fact that I have to hear that over and over. The characters are annoying as hell as well as inconsistent. Is Raven a dark, troubled goth girl or a perky goth with silly behaviors and attitudes. It's just so horrible seeing that kind of inconsistency in the show. The morals of the episodes, even though the show itself isn't teaching anything, are awful. I just find it disturbing that those kinds of things are allowed to be put on kids show. The animation can get disturbing and disgusting, Let's get serious for example, that I have to turn off the TV cause it's that creepy. It's a TV show and shouldn't be a big deal, but the fact that it shows up majority of the time in CN is stupid.
A true kids show in every sense of the word
I only heard from other people such as Mr. Enter and This Very Wiki regarding this series's quality that its bad. So I decided to watch a couple of the episodes myself and after reviewing them, I began to consider Teen Titans Go! to be a comedy that caters to children and only to children. Why is that? Well the biggest and the most obvious reason to me is that it greatly disrespects both the DC lore along with their cartoon counterparts in favor of turning them into shallow one-dimensional slapsticks. It's not just the Toddler Titans that suffers but Batman, Gordon, Superman, Slade, the other Robin, or hell any DC characters that is going to appear in this story. When you find other comedy cartoons what do most good ones have in common? Genuinely serious moments and humors that can make even the older demographics laugh. Here, comedy is their sole focus in this series and their jokes are so amateurish that when I laugh, it's not because I am suppose to laugh at them but because of how ridiculous the entire plot is. And speaking of plots, it's incredibly shallow with the feature episode pretty much defines the entire plot and nothing more. There's not even any lore or backstories for us to explore. It's just a Titan dealing with the featured problem and once its over, are never mentioned again. If Teen Titans Go! focuses on comedy with some serious moments, respects their comicbook counterparts, or even make the Titans likeable, it would have had an older fanbase. But as it stands now, my final verdict for this cartoon is a garbage 2/10 because it's basically just another slapstick comedy for children without any Parental Bonuses that is completely overshadowed by every other series of the same genre such Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, and Oggy and the Cockroaches.
Johnny Test's New Replacement
When I thought there was going to be a new Teen Titans show, I was thrilled. Even if the premise was purely comedy, I was happy to see one of my favorite shows as a kid being reinterpreted to a new audience. Then I watched a few episodes and got more depressed with each subsequent viewing. I feel the best comparison for the show is the scene in Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal peels a man's face off and wears it as a mask. From afar it may seem secure and convincing but up close you can see the gristly details. The show is ugly as sin. Many of the backgrounds lack detail and other parts are clearly penciled in. When action or emotion scenes are conveyed the background shifts to one of several pure colors for no reason. I advise you never to watch this show in the early morning AS PRACTICALLY EVERY CONVERSATION INVOLVES YELLING, BECAUSE THE WRITERS THINK LOUD IS FUNNY! As if to reinforce its connection to Johnny Test the music consists of generic repetitive guitar riffs. The action scenes are surprisingly few considering this is superhero show, but what few there are seem to consist of rapid fire jump cuts that even me with my ADD fueled brain would wish they slow down. Writing comedy isn't very hard when you aren't trying for quality. I'm not a paid writer and I could easily write a whole season for this show. Beast Boy says his senses including eye sight are superior to Starfire's. Starfire gets angry, shooting eye beams at Beast Boy, hitting a mirror and blinding her. Beast Boy guides her around causing her to crash into every obstacle she comes across. Starfire gets a rocket planning to go to Tamaran because her blindness impairs her duties as a Titan. Beast Boy stops her but inadvertently causes the rocket to launch into the sun blowing it up and enshrouding everything in darkness. Everyone gets hit by traffic but Starfire because of her superior senses. It took me two minutes to think and write that outline and with another two thousand words I could write the plot and dialogue. Any person can take five characters, exaggerate their personalities, and put them in random situations and its even easier here since they were already created and drawn by a much better studio. Cartoon Network loves this show because its cheap and easy. They can churn out a new episode every week with little effort. Its basically McDonald's, stale and repetitive
A disgrace with few good qualities.
In my opinion, Teen Titans Go! is an awful show with very little redeeming qualities. The only good things I can find in it are the animation and the voice acting. The comedy, which is supposed to be the main purpose, is either lackluster or mean spirited. The characters have had all of their negative traits exaggerated in the name of "comedy". The plots of the episode are stupid and can really only be appreciated by toddlers. This show becomes even worse if you were a fan of the previous series. Seeing all of your favorite characters acting like this is simply awful. With that, I give Teen Titans Go! a rating of .5 stars out of 5.
"Let's Get Serious" Analysis. May contain spoilers.
Well, I made a review of the series as a whole, so I might as well do a specific episode. And what better episode than the crossover with Young Justice? When I first saw the preview clips for this episode, I dreaded it. My immediate reaction was, "Oh Lord. The writers are going to find yet another way to antagonize fans who hate the show." Now that I've seen the full episode, I don't have the same feeling now. The episode basically goes like this: After being called out for their silliness by Young Justice, the Titans decide to get serious. While it makes them more effective heroes, the drama between the team causes them to disband. Essentially, the episode openly mocks he idea of superheroes being too serious or too silly. Here are the episode's Pros:
- While I'm not a big fan of Young Justice, it's quite nice to see them make an appearance. And for the show's detractors, seeing them call out the Titans on their actions is a delightful Take That, Scrappy!.
- Both fights scenes with the HIVE are quite awesome and it is quite refreshing to see the Titans do some actual heroism for once.
- The humor is Actually Pretty Funny for once and has no offensive jokes, gross-out gags, and whatnot.
- The Young Justice gang was severely underused in this episode and there was potential for an awesome team up with them and the Titans.
- The art style when the Titans "Get serious" is Uncanny Valley at best, just plain ugly at worst. It would have been better, and more nostalgic for fans of the original series, if they used the animation from the old show.
- The drama between the Titans, though Played for Laughs, is overblown, annoyingly forced, and slightly cringeworthy.
A Show Most Definitely Not For Everyone...
... And after seeing a few episodes from both seasons, I can definitely see why. I fully understand that this is a comedic spin off on the original series and some of the episodes did make me laugh. But others either made me cringe or made me think that the writers were tripping out on LSD. And since 400 words is not enough to fully explain, I'll keep this short and sweet. Pros: The voice actors do a great job reprising their roles Cyborg in particular, I find quite amusing. Going hand-in-hand with that, they prove to be quite talented singers. Most of the songs in this show are admittedly catchy. And though I'm not big on art style, it does kinda fit with the kid friendly nature of the show. Cons: I just have two big ones. The Titans's Flanderization. I understand that this is a comedy show, and there's nothing wrong with having an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, but the Titans in here go beyond unsympathetic and are flat out unlikable Robin, Cyborg, and Beast Boy are the standout examples. I won't go into details as that will be too long. I already wrote about that on the Wall Banger page for the show. Put simply, when the most heroic teenagers in Western Animation are on the villains wiki, you know something's wrong. The seeming potshots the show takes at fans of the original show. I don't believe they're intentional, but it can be pretty mean spirited to some people. Taking a swipe at the Fan Dumb is one thing, but attacking fans of the original show who have legitimate criticisms is just wrong. The show is already polarizing on its own and this just makes it worse. Overall, like I said, this show is definitely not for everyone. As for me, I give it a So Okay, It's Average. It has its good episodes and its bad episodes. But then again, so do most cartoon shows. In short, If you're a fan of the original show, you probably won't like it. But if you're curious, just want a quick laugh, or you're bored and looking for a way to kill some time, go nuts.
Pretty Good, but some does make me cringe
The series overall can be pretty entertaining and enjoyable. I found the slap-stick humor pretty decent. Its nice to see other characters from the old series as well (H.I.V.E, Trigon, Terra, etc.)and references to other heroes or villains (Superman,Batman,etc.) While I do find this show interesting and fun, some of the actions the Titans do can make me cringe, especially when it can be unforgivable (like in "Ghost Boy"). It also seems that the Titans forgot about "True Companions" like how it was demonstrated in the original series. In the original series, the Titans may had issues with each other, but they do work it all out at the end, and remind each other that they're there for each other no matter what. Well in GO!, the Titans use selfishness and greed to motivate them, also they can be quite abusive both emotionally and physically, making them into Jerkasses, and yet, they fogive each other easily and on to the next problem full of abuse? Stuff like that, makes me angry. Although stuff like Raven's sarcastic humor, Starfire trying to get Earth custom's, the fact that the voice actors are back, etc do please me about this series. I will continue watching this series, and I do hope the continue.
I want to dislike it, but...
Well to be honest, when I heard Go was going to start airing over here I was already set to tear it a new one. I was fill of piss and vinegar after hearing horror stories of this apparently childhood-raping abomination set to ruin everything good about the original Teen Titans series. But I decided to at least watch some of it first. So I watched the first episode, and much to my own annoyance I found myself laughing. Yeah the plot was absurd, but the fact that they had the same voice actors from the original series saying such absurd lines just made it funny for me. Just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I watched another episode, and then I went online to watch more episodes of the series. To me, I actually found the series hilarious. As I said above, the simple usage of the original series voice cast adds so much to the humor for me, having the Titans wildly out of nature being reinforced. It's funny to imagine Raven being into a My Little Pony expy (doubled by Tara Strong's other well known roles) as well as Trigon being both a sitcom dorky dad and a demonic overlord. Yes, the Titans are all out of their minds and completely insane, but the fact that the show points that out at least makes it fine by me. I recommend at least trying it out before passing judgement on it. You might find yourself pleasantly surrised by the show
Really funny sometimes, but repetitive and boring at other times.
I loved the original Teen titans, when I saw that there was going to be a new TT series, I was really happy. Judging from the commercials, you would probably think that TTG is boring and unfunny. If you were one of those people, then you were only half right, TTG is hilarious but also really repetitive and just kinda boring. Most episodes are a hit or a miss but there are a few that really stand out. The reason the show is repetitive is because the same jokes are used in almost every episode and it gets very obvious if you watch more than one episode at a time. I would only recommend TTG if you really like the original TT because a lot of it won't make sense if you have never seen it. over all, TTG gets a 6/10. Pros: -tons of fanservice for fans of the original TT. -Childish and immature, but in a funny way. -Almost everything beast boy says! He is a walking comedy gold mine. Cons: -May alienate fans of the original TT because it isn't focused on action and the art style can be off putting to people who hate chibis. -Way too repetitive at times. -With this show being aimed at kids, don't go into it expecting anything mature out of the jokes if you like dirty humor, it's surprisingly somewhat more tame than Adventure Time and Regular Show.
I admit, as a fan of the original Teen Titans cartoon, I was giving Go! a lot of undue hate when I first saw it, as many people did. I originally saw it as a terrible satire of the original cartoon that had done everything a reboot can go wrong. Granted, I somewhat liked the artstyle (I'm a sucker for chibi), but for everything else was summed up by one word: NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Then I actually watched a couple of episodes and it turns out, it's actually pretty good. The characters are exaggerated from their original selves yes, but in the quirky world that Go! sets up (which isn't that different from the original cartoon really) it works surprisingly well, and each of the characters have a kink to them that make their humor funny (i.e. Robin's friendship with his staff, Raven's closet love for the cute, etc.) It's overall humor is hit and miss, but for me, it's mostly hits with some misses here and there. Is it as good as the original cartoon? I wouldn't go that far, seeing as though the main 5 is really the only characters that do have focus, and the villains are there, but they only appear as cameos at the most. Also, where's Terra? I'd like to see what they could do with her. But on the whole, Teen Titans Go is a decent cartoon with good comedy and a fun colorful artstyle.
Personally, I was never a fan of the original Teen Titans series so naturally I wasn't very excited for this series. But since I had to watch this show in order to get my new episode of The Looney Tunes Show, I had no choice. So, I watched it and well, it was surprisingly good. This along with The Looney Tunes Show is the only good series Cartoon Network currently airs. I love the fact that such a dark character like Raven likes such a girly show like Pretty Pretty Pegaus. Not go mention how cool Raven looks in that cloak especially with the hood over her head. I just wish that Raven would appear unhooded more often. Overall, this is a great series but personally, I think the best episodes are "Laundry Day" and "Meatball Party", currently the only episodes where Raven is shown without her hood.