If someone told you as a kid that Teen Titans would get two new series, one being overly childish and the other take being gritty and violent, you would not believe them. Yes, a dark and gritty series is coming later this year. The internet is tearing the trailer apart, but is it really that bad? It is worse than you can possibly imagine.
The official synopsis goes like this:
Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.
While TV shows have increased in quality regarding production, cinematography, writing, and overall quality, this shows that we are not at that point just yet. With the acting, cinematography, and effects all look like it was done by someone who just got into Hollywood. If you took someone, gave them a big budget, and gave them creative freedom despite their lack of experience, this is what you would think that project would look like. However, these are not inexperienced people. Greg Berlanti has directed the critically acclaimed Love Simon, produced and written shows like Arrow and The Flash. Alongside Greg, there is Akiva Goldsman who has written the latest movie in the Transformers franchise along with the awful Stephen King adaption Dark Tower. Finally out of the creators of Titans, we have Geoff Johns who is best known for his work on various video games such as writing Injustice 2, writing shows such as Arrow and The Flash, and is currently working on the upcoming Aquaman movie and Wonder Woman sequel. With Greg’s positive experience with Love Simon and various TV projects, along with Geoff’s experience with movies and tv shows, you would think that they could pull this off. I am not mentioning Alkiva because of the pathetic Dark Tower, embarrassing 1997 Batman and Robin, and writing the story for Transformers: The Last Knight.
Let’s take it from the top by looking at this trainwreck in detail. We see Raven (Teagan Croft) going into a circus tent that seems rather ominous. Cut later into her in an interrogation room claiming the man talking to her is from the circus. Then there is a black and white flashback of him and her having an accident while performing some acrobatics. The scene is attempting to show some emotion, but it is just laughable about how cheesy it looks.
The intro to Robin (Brenton Thwaites) is shockingly trying too hard to make everything gritty. We see that Robin is getting his gear ready then heads out to beat on some criminals in an alley. When they ask, “Where’s Batman?” the response Robin gives after beating the men is, “Fuck Batman.” Seriously, who would think that will fly with an audience member? Sounds like Batman needs to put Robin in a timeout. Before that poor oneliner, Robin stabs, beats, and shoots all of the criminals to death. Yeah, Robin murdered some thugs in an alley. The action is cut quickly in a generic fashion, possibly for the purpose of the trailer, but either way, it looks like trash.
We go back to Raven whose attacks someone and explains to the man from the circus that something is inside of her. He tries to comfort her, but let’s be honest, what is he actually going to do? Not much or the writers will give him some improbable actions to help out Raven.
A quick look gives us a peek at what Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Starfire (Anna Diop) will look like. Just like the rest of the cast, their costumes look poorly designed along with terrible CGI. Alongside them, we get some other looks at other heroes such as Hank Hall/Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly). Quick cuts are made to various action scenes in total darkness, so it is impossible to tell what you see for most of the last thirty seconds of the trailer. Poor character reveals and action that feels thrown together to try and attract anyone who might be interested.
Overall, I think this looks beyond atrocious. A lot of fans hated Teen Titans Go! and this will not ease their pain. When people think of low-quality TV that tries to be cinematic, then you get something with poor taste and looks. When going for any tone, you need to make it consistent and natural. All I get is that people are trying too hard to make this show come off as gritty for an adult audience. Despite their attempt, I see a trailer that looks like a teen superhero show that will have some extreme violence. Ignoring the violence, the dialog, acting, and terrible soundtrack makes this seem perfect for an edgy teenager whose parents won’t let them watch the good gritty shows and movies.
You can watch the trailer below. Meanwhile, be sure to give your thoughts on the trailer below. Do you agree with my assessment or are you excited for the new take on our young heroes?
Image via Warner Bros.