TV Review: Doom Patrol S1E1 Pilot

In the series premiere, the reluctant heroes of the Doom Patrol – Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman and Crazy Jane face the threat of Mr. Nobody, who’s after The Chief.

There’s a lot of television shows on the air based on comic books. While some feel a bit too similar to each other or lack that special something to stand out, there’s some that not only stand out but bring something new. Doom Patrol, the latest live action series for DC Universe, is that example of something a bit different.

Unapologetically adult the first episode introduces us to the team of Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), Elasti Girl/Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Negative Man/Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Cliff Steele/Robotman (Brendan Fraser), and their leader the Chief (Timothy Dalton). Most are unlikeable if downright horrible people.

The episode teases it all out as it slowly familiarizes us with the world and characters. Some of what’s revealed is tragic, some of it will elicit anger. What it does is deliver characters who have some depth and rather interesting. What Doom Patrol does first is introduce us to fuck-ups first who eventually become heroes instead of giving us heroes who we later learn their flaws.

The show embraces its quirky material with some changes, one absolutely for the better. It knows it’s odd and rolls with it in look, pacing, and presentation. The entire episode is narrated with a sense of humor about it that keeps what otherwise is a rather slow start entertaining. The performances are good as each actor embraces the fact their characters are dicks. There’s nudity, there’s swearing, again, this is an adult show that’s more about each character adjusting to their life and embracing who they are.

The threat is rather vague. Moments are weird. Some of the FX is rather dodgy. But, there’s something about this show. Its quirky sense of self and embracing who the intended audience is makes it stand out from the sea of choices.

The first episode isn’t exciting but the performances, character introductions, and a sly sense of humor come together for a package that’s worth the hour to watch.

Overall Rating: 7.5