TV Review: Titans S1E1 Titans

Rachel Roth, a teen haunted by dark visions and powers, falls under the wing of Detective Dick Grayson. We also meet Kory Anders and Beast Boy Gar Logan.

After much anticipation, Titans, the first live action release for DC Entertainment’s DC Universe digital service has debuted. There’s been much trepidation over what’s been seen. With Robin uttering “Fuck Batman,” and a darker tone, it’s not difficult going into watching the debut with memories lingering of recent live action adaptations of DC properties. But, in this case, the dark works. It works because the dark tone is part of the story as its superheroes meets horror.

Titans introduces us to the various characters in a world that’s familiar for fans of the comics or movies. At the center of it all is Dick Grayson played by Brenton Thwaites. This Grayson is Detective Grayson working for the Detroit police department so in his mid to late 20s most likely. Beyond his duties as a police officer, Grayson dons his tights to take care of criminals as Robin. But, what’s interesting is he has a focus. Grayson, like his comic counterpart lost his parents in a Circus accident and was taken under Batman’s wing. Due to his trauma, he seems to focus on helping children, a singular focus. In a telling scene when presented with stopping a drug deal, he just wants to punish the criminal who’s most likely molesting a child. He even gives everyone else a chance to run. Robin is an extension of his work as a police officer.

Raven, played by Teagan Croft, is the other character that seems to be at the center of the show. Raised by a woman that’s not her mother, her past is hidden to her. Individuals want her for some demonic type thing and she has powers. This is the darkness of the show. For those that know of the character from the comics, this makes sense and to do a light tone of a show with her as a focus could be odd. She’s a character that has a horror background and the team behind the show recognize that.

There’s also Starfire played by Anna Diop, a being who’s confused as to her past and we’re introduced to as she walks away from a car accident where bullet holes are in the car. Again, the character is familiar to her comic version but rather different in numerous ways. We’re teased a lot about her but little is explained.

And Ryan Potter‘s Beast Boy debuts towards the end in a segment that feels a bit forced and probably would have been best to include in another episode.

Again, what’s surprising about the show is the adult nature of it all. Kids have Young Justice and Teen Titans Go! but it’s still unexpected to see blood flowing as much as it does and the amount of violence portrayed. There’s no reason for DC to not do this but as a debut show, you’d have thought they’d have gone for something a bit more across the board for audiences instead of something so mature. That’s the most surprising thing about the show.

It’s also quite good. There’s a clear vision for this episode, and assuming the series. They know what the show is in both pacing, tone, and the characters and that singular vision benefits the product. There doesn’t seem to be tonal shifts or fights about what the show should be, it’s these four characters coming together in a superhero show with horror overtones. That’s clear throughout.

The episode is good with a clear idea as to what it is and delivering an episode that’s shockingly more mature than expected. It’s a solid time getting me interested in what’s to come and a show that feels perfect for the Halloween season.

Overall Rating: 7.5