Sunday, July 17, 2005

Titans Go!

Have you watched Teen Titans yet? No? Holy cats, what is wrong with you?

Last night the Cartoon Network aired the last in a three-part Teen Titans story about the Earth's ruin and domination by an all-powerful transdimensional demon. Let me repeat that. This was a three-episode arc of a kids' show about the end of the world.

Teen Titans features first-class writing that manages at once to be funny, touching, and earnest, and refuses to talk down to the intended kid audience. Like Buffy before it, the show uses allegory (superhero rather than supernatural) to illustrate what it's like to grow up in the 21st century. Being more than the sum of your parts. Knowing your limits, and how to rise beyond them. Finding out, painfully, that friendship may not last forever. Recognizing and confronting racism. Becoming more than you were born into.

The voice performances are terrific, the action sequences fresh, and the style unique, mixing a Western animation style with anime-inspired quick shots that lend the show additional humor and texture.

As Cyborg would say, boo-yeah!

There have been a few off the grid episodes that suggest lickable toads were on offer in the writers' room that week instead of bagels ("Mad Mod," "Bunny Raven"), but by and large Teen Titans, along with Veronica Mars, is for me ably filling the hole left by Buffy. I wish them a long run and Emmy nominations.

1 comment:

John Donald Carlucci said...

Teen Titans has developed some seriously adult arcs so far. I'd never have expected it to be honest. I really expected this show to be their kid-friendly gateway show, not a trojan horse. The Trigon eps have been surprisingly on the mark (even barring the editing of stuff like Trigon's rape of Raven's mother - man, try explaining that during family time).

JDC