Help Me Understand! Why Do You Like Titans?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the DC community over the past year and half. It’s been a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests and finally talk about comics with some new people. With that said, the more I’ve learned about the community, the more I’ve realized I really disagree on some things. Which is why I thought it would be fun to work on some threads where I could get a chance to hear other people out on things in the DC community I’m not a fan of, and test some of my own judgements.

Now, to be clear, I do not think of myself as “the superior DC fan.” Nor do I think it’s possible for anyone here to be superior as a fan… okay maybe HubCityQuestion has us all beat, but I am willing to accept that. Anyways, just because I like somethings and dislike other things does not mean I am right. I don’t think there is a “right” in this situation. It’s all a matter of personal taste. So please don’t feel like I am trashing on you or think you are dumb (or any other insult) because we disagree. That is 100% not the case. The entire purpose of this thread is to learn more about why you like it. To have my opinions challenged. Let’s take this opportunity to have some healthy, friendly, and respectful conversations on things we disagree about.

Now, with season three being just around the corner, I think it’d be a good idea for the first topic I chose for my “Help Me Understand!” Threads be DC Universe’s (or, I guess, now HBO Max’s) Titans. I remember when this show was first announced I was SO FREAKING excited to watch it! I remember waiting every day to see the news that would come out about it. I specifically remember how insanely pumped I was to see Brenton Thwaites in costume for the first time.

I had grown up on the Teen Titans and Young Justice animated shows. So a mature, live-action show of my favorite characters was RIGHT up my ally. And then… the first trailer dropped. To say I was let down, may have been a bit of an understatement. There was something just off about it. And, that was when I first started to to worry; but I was still excited and more than willing to give it a chance. And I did… multiple chances in fact. I’ve watched both seasons, twice now, and I am not a fan. I say all of this because I want to make it clear that I’m not just hating on the show for the sake of hating on it or because I don’t like the characters or because I came in wanting to dislike it. My problems began and are with the show itself specifically.

Right off the bat (pun intended), Titans is FILLED with incredibly hard-to-listen-to and cliché dialogue. Rachel’s character in particular struggles with this. She is constantly and consistently the epitome of a disjointed, middle-aged dude struggling to write as a teenage girl. Her dialogue is constantly filled with the cliché emo-girl lines that can all basically be summed up into “you just don’t understand me,” which makes her incredibly annoying! Now, this is a problem with a lot of the characters on the show (Dick and Jason in particular) but this is an EXTREMELY big problem for Rachel because the entire first season revolves around her as a character.

We spend most of the season with Dick and Rachel as they attempt to help protect her from the cult and deal with her daddy-issues. The conflict of the season in particular lies in the audience’s ability to care about Rachel. To want her to be safe. To want her to win. To just like her. But her dialogue/characterization pretty much made that impossible for me. And that is a huge problem for most of season 1! Granted, that wasn’t something that affected my ability to enjoy the Starfire storyline of that season, but that’s because it was basically not connected at all!!! And that is the second huge problem of Titans’ writing.

You see, bad dialogue by itself is not the end all be all of a show. Stargirl struggles with a similar problem with its dialogue at times, but I love that show because it has solid characters and an engaging plot! Titans, on the other hand, simply is not able to fall back on that. The show is so incredibly poorly paced and has such disconnected plotlines that I can’t even try to feel engaged with overall narrative to be able to ignore the smaller details of writing. As I stated above, the first season of Titans is telling two completely different storylines that don’t connect well at all. The main storyline with Dick and Rachel is battling for my attention with Starfire’s plotline. It’s not unusual to have two storylines in a narrative (the A-Plot and the B-Plot), but both of these plotlines are acting as equally important as the other while pretty much not connecting in any significant way. It’s like watching two shows at once and changing between the channels halfway through an episode of one series to start the episode of another; and this problem only gets WORSE in season two

Honestly, the disconnected plotlines of season one didn’t bother me as much because the show was paced so slowly/poorly that interjecting the plot with a new location and characters every once and a while would grab my attention again. On top of that, there were really just the two plotlines I described before. Pretty easy to keep track of. Season two, on the other hand, oh my lord. Talk about a complete 180 in the worst way. The pacing is still bad, but now it’s WAY TOO FAST!!! The first 10 minutes of episode 1 speeds through the climactic battle and enemy that we just spent all of season one building up to so they can rush into a completely new storyline with new characters and a new villain. And with this new season came a lot of new plotlines. We have Rachel recovering from her father, Dick dealing with PTSD from his time as Robin, Hawk and Dove fighting, Jason and Rose’s love story, Superboy escaping from Cadmus with Krypto, Kory and Donna on their adventure, and Beast Boy… well Beast Boy is just kind of there (a bit of an afterthought of a character included for fan service). That’s like 7 different storylines, all of which are equally as important, constantly fighting for my attention, and never connecting until the last episode (and only kind of connecting at that). It’s just a mess of a story.

So, to sum it up, the disjointed narratives, poor pacing, bad/cringey dialogue, and overall just bad writing makes Titans pretty much unwatchable for me. But with that said, I seem to be in the minority here. I mean Titans has done incredibly well critically and commercially (hell, they wouldn’t be making season three if that wasn’t the case) so I’m just kind of left wondering what I’m missing here.

I mean, I’ll admit that the show isn’t all bad. The costumes and actors are GREAT!!! The costumes were the things that first sold me on the show; and while I’m not a fan of the show overall, I VERY rarely blame that on actors. All of them have proven themselves on other shows or films to me, so their acting is not the problem I have with the show. And some of them even give strong performances in the show itself that made me happy here and there. But costumes and actors I like aren’t enough for me to give the show a pass (nor do I think it’s enough for anyone).

So that’s where I leave it to you, help me understand! What do you like about Titans? As I prepare myself for my THIRD re-watch of these seasons in preparation for the next season, what should I keep in mind to hopefully have a better experience? I look forward to talking with you all in this thread.

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Well sorry I don’t have much to counter your take on it. :rofl:

I will say I honestly don’t think you’re in the minority with your feelings on the show. Pacing issues, slow burn with little pay off with writers failed attempt at juggling multiple plot lines in season 2.

I didn’t mind the dialogue as much though but know what you mean. S1 was a slow burn and because of last minute (not sure how in advance I guess) changes for the finale we didn’t get the climax they had been building up to. I get seasons can end on a cliff hanger but because it was such a slow ride getting there it felt like a let down.

There is so much to rip into on S2 but I won’t go there here. I did on the official reaction thread and others for the final. I had been positive after ST being canceled, constant doom and gloom about the service ending, and there was another “the sky is falling” situation I wanna say I just sat back on but can’t think of what it was over at the moment. S2 though did it for me and while I’m certainly going to be tuning in for S3 I don’t have much expectations for it really. I agree with all the things you pointed out and also that the suits and actors do a great job and frankly thats what saves the show from being a total flop for me. I feel they need to have a tighter story that’s more fluid and less fractured. And for the love of DC please have them actually be a functioning team. I’m a huge TT fan and have read just about all of Wolfman’s run from the 80’s and Johns from 2003. There’s drama in those stories between team members and when dealing with a group of teens/YA, it’s to be expected, but please have the main focus be on working as a team and taking down the bad guys.

So, why do I like Titans? :pleading_face: It’s all I got right now as a TT fan at the moment and while I clearly have issues with the show, like you said it isn’t all that bad. Heck S2 started off okay but around 1/2 through they just went off the rail with plots and pacing. I still have some hope they can turn it around, but I did hear 1/2 of the season will be focused on red hood and the other on Blackfire. I hope their writing team figured out how to balance it out, providing sufficient time to deliver both stories with however many eps. they have. S2 put the bar low and I’ll be doing the limbo into S3.

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I appreciate your take and insight. Maybe you’re right, and I’m not as much in the minority as I think I am on my side. It’s just that I can’t help but notice the high ratings it gets when I look up the show on Google.

That said, if I can add one more positive thing I left out in my original post, I really enjoyed Connor’s story in S2. Literally the only thing I’d look forward to every episode. Which is ironic because Superboy was always my least favorite part of any Titans related media. But it was just the best all around when it came to writing, acting, direction, etc. Too bad it was just not really integrated into the rest of the story minus him chilling with Beasty for a bit. So yeah, a quick little added positive.

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Yep, same here. Honestly was hoping they’d just give him his own spin off and separate him from this mess. And really since they are trying to go for the whole Nolanish real world vibe with the show he’s to OP and makes them redundant, same thing if they bring on Wally. Love the YJ take on the character but Wolfman’s run, I thought he was a bit of a drag and I’m okay with him sitting it out for this show actually.

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I honestly don’t know what they’re aiming for with the show. Like, I could definitely see them trying to go real world, Nolan-ish stuff in season 1, but I think they kind of completely gave up on their original plans at this point. Them turning Jason into Red Hood ALREADY proves that they’re just throwing everything at the wall and rushing into anything they can from the comics. Pretty much just aiming for fan service all around. Not saying I like that, but it seems to be what they’re going for at this point. I mean, what, they’ve done like 3 or 4 of the best comic arcs in the past 2 seasons alone. Also, yes. I’d love to see Connor in his own show.

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Yep, RH situation has me worried they will botch things up again. at&t/WM/HBO seem to be going hard on their diet to cut the fat so hopefully someone over there has lit a fire under the writers butts to make sure they deliver a good show.

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I honestly think Titans is way worse than most CW shows. Not even limiting that to DC shows. I mean, I enjoyed Riverdale more than I enjoyed Titans. Like, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend the CW has the best writing and shows in the world. But the first few seasons of the Flash were very solid. The writing and characters were very consistent and on point. They had decent (I’ll be it a bit drawn out) pacing. With writing that had some emotional elements that really carried the narrative. I cared about what happened to Barry, Iris, and the rest of the characters. Can’t say that about Titans. Yes, there’s a lot of fluff in the CW. But I don’t think that means it’s inherently worse than Titans because the problems that Titans has make them far more unwatchable for me.

That said, I encourage you to expand a bit more on your take. Instead of just saying it’s better than something else. Explain why you like Titans. Focus on the way Titans is a positive experience for you vs. just comparing its negatives to the negatives of a different show.

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Am I crazy about the show? No. Do I dislike it? Also no. To me it’s a serviceable superhero show with good action & acting and enough time spent to flesh out the characters to a certain degree. So excitement + drama = I’ve enjoyed it. The main thing that set the show back for me is the lack of a team dynamic. So much time is spent with characters moping about their own dilemmas, or arguing over what have you, it never really felt like The Titans ever come together as a team. When they hear the police siren at the end and are like “time to get to work”, it felt unearned. I am willing to overlook that though, if team dynamics are improved in season 3.

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@dogwelder9 Thanks for taking the time to write that out! I had honestly never heard of dysgraphia, so apologies for my ignorance. Nonetheless, I understand just not being the target demo for stuff. And I agree that the later seasons of most CW shows (with the exception of Legends) tend to be the worst.

@moro I agree that the action and acting is good, but I just personally don’t feel like it’s enough. For me to feel like a show is worth the HOURS I put into it, there needs to be more. And I just feel like the story/writing isn’t there. Yknow what I mean? What are your thoughts on the story? I’m interested!

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I don’t think my post stopped at action & acting. I mentioned that the show spends a good deal of time fleshing out the characters. I also mentioned that the team dynamics could use a little work. I think I view the story through that lense. Individually, I think we got a good deal of backstory on each character. As a team, feels like the show has been building them up for 2 seasons, with little payoff.

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Interesting. Do you personally feel im overstating/overreacting on some of my issues with the writing? I take no offense to that, but im just curious because it feels like you don’t seem to have the same problems with the show that I have.

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I enjoy almost all comic shows to some degree, but I wouldn’t put Titans near the top.

I don’t mind cliche dialogue, in fact I can be a sucker for it.

I see why Titans would appeal to many. It has that Batman atmosphere going for it. It’s also why it doesn’t work for me. It’s dark it’s badass, it’s cool.

That worked to some degree on young me. Older me however just rubs my temple at it like an old Ebeneezer.

If I watch an upbeat happy show. I become happy. If I watch a dark show well, why would I want that?

I require more of darker shows They need to give me something that outweighs the dark mood they carry. Preacher is smart, it’s funny, it has something to say. Doom patrol is weird and takes you down the rabbit holes you didn’t know existed.

Titans however it’s just dark, and cool - but is it though? I don’t know, I’ll just take my cane and go shake it at christmas or something. :joy:

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No, it’s a definitely fair critique. While I don’t mind a dark show (I actually love dark, mature stuff) Titans really falls flat in that category. But I think that’s moreso because it is TRYING WAY TOO HARD!!! It’s like Riverdale. They decided they wanted to make a darker show, but didn’t have the actual idea for it. They just said, “lets make it dark,” which leads to them just throwing random stuff out to make it dark with no actual meaning or thought process. They wanted to make it dark and (more specifically) cool, but then they tried too hard and it became the opposite.

I think the best example of this is the infamous “[FRICK] Batman,” line. The problem with that line isn’t that he curses, it’s that it makes no sense in the moment. It’s not something anyone would actually say, and certainly not a cool person. A cool person would just scoff off whatever was being said to them and move along, but the writers NEEDED that moment. They wanted so badly to make Robin seem extra cool and mature and dark; and, for whatever reason, they thought saying [frick] was the way to go. I have no problem with cursing. I swear like a sailor. But it’s so clear that they’re trying so hard to be cool and edgy that it just becomes laughable and the exact opposite when it happens. That’s my problem with the shows tone at least.

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I just saw the commercials and never saw a reason to watch.

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That’s fair. The first trailer for season 1 was a trainwreck. I think they took it down off the official DC YouTube channel because I couldn’t find it there when I looked for a link for this post.

I wouldn’t say overreacting. I understand your criticisms, I just don’t feel that strongly about 'em (no disrespect meant). Has to do with my nature really. If I don’t like a show or comic, I just stop following it. There’s usually a reason or three why I would dislike it, but I don’t really spend that much time analyzing it :slightly_smiling_face:.

As for your specific criticisms:

  • Pacing. Didn’t really have a problem there. I felt like seasons 1 and 2 really serve as a season 1 for me. Team members and their backstories and some of the baddies are introduced. Let’s see where they go with this.

  • Multiple/fractured storylines. I get it, but it didn’t bother me the same way it bothered you. I liked that there were multiple stories to follow; it allowed for spending more time with each character individually. What I didn’t like, and I repeat myself here, is it really didn’t allow for much team action or interaction. Also, the focus on the individual stories led to just a tad too much moping going on.

I don’t know. Again… the show is not at the top of my list, but I find it entertaining enough to watch.

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I thought it was an interesting take on the concept of having the Teen Titans in a much darker material, even though I grew up with both the action-packed, classic 2003 Teen Titans and the surprisingly hilarious, but charming Teen Titans Go!, two of my most favorite cartoons featuring DC superheroes. I have always wondered what would the Titans look like in live-action action, because they are usually animated in every other appearance in movies and TV shows, and we never see them in live-action, except Cyborg in Justice League. When I heard about the characters looking different, I thought to myself, maybe they can find some interesting designs for them to match their source material characters, especially making Beast Boy green in his human form, but still green in animal forms, Raven saying Azarath Metrion Zinthos and a purple cloak, Starfire having orange skin, pinkish red hair, and flight, add Cyborg with them, and having Dick Grayson be in his pre-Nightwing Robin costume. Also there are some changes I really want to add on to this show, maybe I think we can have Robin and Starfire close to each other, just like Raven and Beast Boy did in this show, the comics, and Teen Titans Go! (BBRae), have Beast Boy change into almost any animal he can think of, like his source material, other than just a tiger, and also maybe add the other villains from both Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! on this show, to match the spirit of the Teen Titans, even though it’s supposed to be a dark Batman-styled DC show, like Arrow, Flash, Stargirl, Swamp Thing, Supergirl, and Batwoman. Also I think this show is pretty enjoyable, but I still prefer both Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! more often, because they’re both the real teams of Titans I grew up with, and thought it was pretty interesting that they made the characters have gruesome attacks on villains, I mean Beast Boy killed and ate a bad guy in tiger-form, while trying to getting used to his animal-morphing powers and being green, but I thought Teen Titans Go! had some very odd and edgy humor and self-aware jokes throughout its episodes and even its movie adaptation, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (they accidentally killed a cartoon tiger with their T-Car, stopped Aquaman from being a superhero with a six-pack ring on him as a baby, got Superman back as a superhero by having Krypton destroyed, and even got Batman back as a superhero by having his parents killed in Crime Alley), and that awesome and funny crossover with the Go! Titans meeting the original Titans. Anyway, maybe this show would be even more interesting with some improvements on the characters and maybe this show would be just as interesting and entertaining as watching the animated Titans having action-packed adventures and drama, or doing random crazy misadventures around the Titan Tower and even doing self-aware, and edgy adult jokes, next to fart and butt jokes, while also being charming in any way as being goofballs in a universe full of dark, legendary superheroes.

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I completely agree with you, and have my own grievances abt it. I felt the finale in season one was horribly done. The climax lasted like ? Ten minutes? And it just didn’t make sense. It was then that I decided “this really isn’t worth it”. But then of course I attempted to watch the second season HAHAHAHA. so I did give it another chance, I did. But I couldn’t even get halfway through the first ep. the writing is just awful. And it’s a SHAME because I adore Anna Diop as starfire, genuinely like Brenton Thwaites as dick, and I love Ryan Potter [and the fact that he wanted to be Tim Drake but was cast as beast boy only to be completely ignored… ugh]. Conor Leslie is also a gem. So I like A LOT OF THE ACTORS. It sucks that the writing is falling through. Also, the whole take on Jason Todd is HORRENDOUS. I don’t even want to get into it. It’s not even Jason Todd, it’s a whole new character tagged as jason todd. He is my favorite character of all time, so it’s challenging to see him be absolutely destroyed by this writing. Yeah. That’s the short version AHAHAHA

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I agree. I also feel bad for Ryan Potter too. What an awful situation to be in as an actor. I also feel bad for him and Teagan Croft because their whole love thing is so forced and uncomfortable. I mean he’s like 10 years older than her with her being underage. So weird

You know they should just add an actress the same age as Ryan Potter for Raven, so that their relationship is fine with each other, not forced or underage, but it needs to be just like in both the source material and Teen Titans Go!.