When I first heard that DC was starting its own streaming service, my reaction was “not another one!” My husband’s, however, was yelling “take all my money!”
He watches all the DC animated films and shows, so the idea of them all being in one place excited him, along with old shows like Lois and Clark and Wonder Woman.
But what finally drew me in was the promise of new live-action shows, and they did not disappoint. I’m glad we subscribed, and when my husband asked if we should cancel and sign up for something else for a while, I asked him to wait.
So, here are my top five reasons you should be watching the live-action shows on DC Universe.
Okay, so they just call it Titans on DC Universe, but it will always be TT in my heart. When I used to work in a bookstore, Teen Titans was a comic that I always took time to read each month. I enjoy the animated series, Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go (the daylight savings episode of the latter is probably the funniest 30 minutes of television in history). I was eagerly anticipating the live-action version, and it was worth the wait.
It doesn’t stay faithful necessarily to what everyone is used to when it comes to the Titans, but it’s dark, interesting, and your favorite characters are there. There’s Robin, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy. And for good measure, they throw in some other side characters, such as Hawk and Dove, Wonder Girl, Jason Todd (more on him later), and the introduction of the Doom Patrol, which is the second live-action series on the streaming app.
I loved this series way more than I thought I would, and I look forward to season 2. I loved how Dick and Kory became the unintentional parents of the group. And I still totally ship Raven and Beast Boy, if Rachel can get a hold of her powers (although that probably applies to Gar too).
Freaking Dick Grayson!
Okay, I’m just gonna say it and you can throw things at me if you want – but I have Batman fatigue. I’ve seen so many versions of him, so many origin stories…I just need a break. It’s not that I dislike the Caped Crusader. It’s just that we see so much of him when there is a wealth of great characters within his world that I would love to see brought to the forefront with their backstories. Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, etc.
So, imagine my delight when the Titans version of Dick Grayson was not currently Robin, but a broody detective exploring the concept that perhaps a billionaire vigilante adopting a traumatized kid and turning him into a weaponized sidekick is not the best parenting decision. He is trying to get away from the vigilante life, yet carries his Robin suit with him and can’t resist helping out when needed.
Added to this plot is the appearance of Jason Todd, the current Robin, who seems to enjoy the violent lifestyle a bit more than he should be. I really hope this show and other aspects of the DC Cinematic Universe continue to explore some of the great secondary characters from Batman’s world.
This show is a trip. Often times you won’t know what the heck you are watching, or why you are watching it, but it is delightful fun. First of all, the show is very meta. Mr. Nobody, the villain played brilliantly by Alan Tudyk, narrates the show and constantly reminds the viewers that we are watching a story and that things are not going well for the main characters.
And besides the main characters, the plethora of other villains and heroes in the series (there is an army of butts that chase them, and a sentient street named Danny) is so amusing and sometimes so shocking you wonder how you can possibly be watching this on television. There is a guy who can locate anyone by consuming their beard hair, and another who causes everyone within a mile raises to have an orgasm by flexing his muscles (yes, you read that right).
And one of the things I love about Doom Patrol is that all the heroes are a hot mess. They are so flawed and when they try to do the right thing, they fail, over and over. But the whole point is that they keep trying. My favorite is Jane, the girl with multiple personalities that each have a different special ability.
Look, the Mummy movies are some of my favorite action movies of all time. And who does not have an affection for Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle and Encino Man? He was one of the main actors of my youth. So, I was absolutely thrilled to see that he would be playing RobotMan in Doom Patrol. Now, you mostly hear him instead of seeing him, as his character is a brain inside a metal suit, but you can catch a glimpse of him in flashbacks and dreams. Cliff is oftentimes unlikable, but there are humor and heart to the character that makes you root for him too.
And there is something delightful about hearing Brendan Fraser drop “f-bombs” in about every other sentence.
This is not your parent’s comic book show
I love the Arrowverse and other superhero shows on network television, but I like seeing some of the darker storylines explored in the Netflix Marvel shows and now the DC Universe live-action series. I’m not one that needs gratuitous violence or language, but if the story calls for it, there is something about the fact that they don’t need to edit it out for the streaming services. They can be as dark as they want to be. Now, I wouldn’t sit down and watch it with my small children, either. But they are okay with watching the CW superhero shows with me instead.
I think the streaming services also give shows that would never flourish on network TV a chance. I cannot see an average audience embracing the Doom Patrol, but I’m so glad that it was made. The only other show that I felt equally weirded about liking was Legion on FX, and that show took itself far more seriously than Doom Patrol. And where else could you see a romance between someone and a swamp creature (RIP already, Swamp Thing)?
While Warner Brothers is launching another streaming service in 2020, it insists that as of right now, DC Universe is not going anywhere. And although Swamp Thing was an early cancellation target, there is still Titans season 2, Stargirl and a new Harley Quinn animated series are in the works.
In the meantime, my husband will be sitting here watching the newest season of Young Justice and old episodes of Lois and Clark.
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Julie Maurer is a freelance writer and journalist who lives in the suburbs of Phoenix with her husband and three kids. She also published several romance novels on Amazon (under the pen name Julie Brookman), and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She began her fangirling lifestyle very young, as a card-carrying member of the Official Star Trek Fan Club (yes, there were indeed cards to carry). Her fandoms throughout the years have included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Veronica Mars, Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Arrow and Game of Thrones.