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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

TV Review: Titans S1E2 Hawk and Dove

DC UniverseDC Entertainment‘s new digital service, is here and with it the promise of original programming, the first of which is TitansTitans is a live action adaptation of the classic characters and team that debuts October 12. The first season consists of 12 episodes with new ones debuting weekly.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.

We’ve got an early look and is the wait worth it? Find out! You can read the review of the first episode here.

Positives

As this episode alludes to, we get to meet the lovesick duo of Hawk and Dove. The pair feels more like Bonnie and Clyde than the squeaky-clean version fans grew up reading in comic books. This episode also brings the new streaming service and current flagship show its first sex scene. It’s not played out graphically but you won’t see this scene on any of Berlanti’s shows streaming on the CW.

We also see how though Dick is no longer part of the Bat Family he’s not afraid to request assistance, seeking help from the other who raised him. We find out how far back the duo has a history with Robin, one that is more muddied than one expected.

Hawk, in this version, is less likable while Dove is much more flawed, but affable nonetheless. Also, in what might be look like a swipe is more like and, is several characters fandom for Game Of Thrones, making them more relatable to the viewer, thus more visceral.

In the episode a family of killers is hunting one of our protagonists. It gives the show its first big bad. Another landmark for this show, is that this is the first time we see a superhero kill some bad guys, as this show already has more blood splatters than all of the DC shows combined. And that’s only in its second episode.

The whole thing wraps up with a major cliffhanger. One that will definitely shock viewers instantly.

Negatives

None

Verdict

This is one to definitely watch as it lets the viewer know more about these characters and how even superheroes can get their love lives messy like the rest of us.


Director: Brad Anderson
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Brendon Thwaites, Liza Colon-Zayas, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Mina Kelly, Jarreth J.Merz, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson,

TV Review: Titans S1E1 Titans

DC Universe, DC Entertainment‘s new digital service, is here and with it the promise of original programming, the first of which is Titans. Titans is a live action adaptation of the classic characters and team that debuts October 12. The first season consists of 12 episodes with new ones debuting weekly.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.

We’ve got an early look and is the wait worth it? Find out!

Positives

One of the first things that you get about Titans is how dark it is, the mood that is set somewhere between the tones of the DCEU movies and Netflix’s Marvel shows, something that pulls you in right away and is quite a pleasant surprise. As even the Netflix Marvel shows restraint in certain aspects, this  show doesn’t as was seen and heard in the show’s first trailer, from a scene in Episode 1 X 01, where Robin/Nightwing verbally disavows Batman in the most straightforward way, something fans thought they would never hear from the character, and as can be seen throughout the first episode he explains the fallout to his partner and how it ha temporarily swore off having a partner because of what happened between Bruce and Dick. The majority of the show focuses on Raven, as we get a good backstory about her , as we see her relationship with her mother, played by the prolific Sherilyn Fenn,  and how she ends up meeting Dick, through an iconic comic book scene .  As in this version, which is much more faithful to the origin story in the comic book, is also being hunted, which at first looks like a child sex trafficking ring but eventually is seen to be a group of zealots who sees her only as the daughter of Trigon.  We also get to meet Starfire, where she wakes up with no memory of how she got there and who she is , as well as why she is dressed the way she is. This part makes sense once you find out what capacity Cory Anders is before she used her powers in this version.  As was seen online in social media, the instances of backlash, regarding Diop’s race and later her look, which as I have seen in this pilot episode, was gravely premature and downright abhorrent. In what is the last ten minutes of the episode, we see out first glimpse of Beast Boy, , which I feel will pay off in the second episode. As far as the special effects, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy uses their powers to what fans can rejoice, as all three characters in this episode, are quite formidable and the CGI used showcases it perfectly.

Negatives

None as the truth is the DCEU movies can take some notes from DC’s first unfiltered not family friendly show, as I feel this show captures the grit is sought to add to these characters onscreen canon.

Verdict

Watch as this first episode pulls no punches.


Director: Brad Anderson
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Brendon Thwaites,  Liza Colon-Zayas, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Mina Kelly, Jarreth J. Merz, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson,

Big Hero 6 Disney XD Series Gets it Voice Cast

Disney XD’s upcoming animated series Big Hero 6, based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, will reunite much of the original cast for its 2017 debut. Reprising their roles are: Maya Rudolph as Aunt Cass; Jamie Chung as no-nonsense, speed genius Go Go; Scott Adsit as huggable robot Baymax; Alan Tudyk as tech guru Alistair Krei; Ryan Potter as tech genius Hiro; Genesis Rodriguez as quirky scientist Honey Lemon; David Shaughnessy as the butler Heathcliff; and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee as Fred’s dad.

Also joining the main voice cast are Khary Payton as control freak Wasabi and Brooks Wheelan as fanboy Fred.

The film, from Walt Disney Animation Studios, was inspired by the Marvel comic created by Man of Action.

The series picks up immediately following the events of the feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax. Along with their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred, they form the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6 and embark on high-tech adventures as they protect their city from an array of scientifically enhanced villains. In his normal day-to-day life, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges and social trials as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

Additional guest cast includes: Jenifer Lewis as strict Professor Granville; Andrew Scott as villain Obake; comedian Andy Richter as Globby; Diedrich Bader as Bluff Dunder; Susan Sullivan as Fred’s mother; Sean Giambrone as Richardson Mole; John Ross Bowie as Mel; and Haley Tju as classmate Karmi.

Emmy Award winners Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley and Nick Filippi, the team behind the global hit Disney Channel series “Kim Possible,” serve as executive producers. Filippi also serves as supervising director. Big Hero 6 is a production of Disney Television Animation.

bighero6_featuredimage

Nickelodeon at Comic-Con 2011

Official Press Release Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

NICKELODEON AT COMIC-CON 2011

PANELS

Thursday, July 21, 2011

  • Fanboy & Chum Chum, 12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m., Room: 23ABC

Panelists include Nika Futterman (Chum Chum), Jamie Kennedy (Kyle), Jeff Bennett (Boog), Eric Robles (creator/executive producer), Steve Tompkins (executive producer) and Jason Meier (supervising producer).

  • The Penguins of Madagascar, 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m., Room: 23ABC

Panelists include Tom McGrath (Skipper), Danny Jacobs (King Julien), James Patrick Stuart (Private), Jeff Bennett (Kowalski), John DiMaggio (Rico), Kevin Michael Richardson (Maurice), Mark McCorkle (executive producer), Bob Schooley (executive producer) and Nick Filippi (supervising producer).

Friday, July 22, 2011

  • Kung Fu Panda, 11:45a.m. – 12:45p.m., Room: 6A

Panelists include Mick Wingert (Po), James Hong (Mr. Ping), John DiMaggio (Fung), Peter Hastings (executive producer), Gabe Swarr (supervising producer) and Randy Dormans (supervising producer).  Featuring the first look at the show, table read with the cast, screening of an episode and Q&A.

  • SpongeBob SquarePants1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m., Room: 6A

Panelists include Mr. Lawrence (Plankton), Paul Tibbitt (co-executive producer) and Vince Waller (creative director).  Featuring a sneak peek of “Mooncation,” art from “Runaway Road Trip” and a special programming announcement.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

  • The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra, 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m., Room: 6BCF

Panelists include Mike DiMartino (creator/executive producer), Bryan Konietzko (creator/executive producer), Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Ki-Hyun Ryu (supervising producer), Ben Wynn (composer) and Jeremy Zuckerman (composer) to feature an upcoming sneak peek at the art and animation of the series.

  • Power Rangers, 7:00p.m. – 8:00p.m., Room: 23ABC

Panelists include Alex Heartman (Red Power Ranger/Jayden), Najee De-Tiege (Blue Power Ranger/Kevin), Brittany Pirtle (Yellow Power Ranger/Emily), Hector David Jr. (Green Power Ranger/Mike), Erika Fong (Pink Power Ranger/Mia) and Steven Skyler (Gold Power Ranger/Antonio), moderated by Paul Schrier (aka Farkas “Bulk” Bulkmeier”).  Featuring a sneak peak of how they discovered their new secret lives and united to save the world from evil as well as a Q&A with the Rangers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

  • T.U.F.F. Puppy and The Fairly OddParents, 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m., Room: 7AB

Panelists for T.U.F.F. Puppy include Jerry Trainor (Dudley), Grey DeLisle (Kitty Catswell), Matthew Taylor (Snaptrap), Daran Norris (Chief), creator/executive producer Butch Hartman and Ray DeLaurentis (story editor).  Featuring a sneak peek of “Mission:  Really Big Mission” and table read and Q&A with the entire cast (including Jerry Trainor) and Butch Hartman.

CREATOR/CAST APPEARANCES & SIGNINGS*

Thursday, July 21, 2011

  • Fanboy and Chum Chum, 1:30p.m.-2:30p.m.

Nika Futterman (Chum Chum), Jamie Kennedy (Kyle), Jeff Bennett (Boog), Eric Robles (creator/executive producer), Steve Tompkins (executive producer) and Jason Meier (supervising producer)

  • The Penguins of Madagascar, 2:30 – 3:30p.m.

Tom McGrath (Skipper), Danny Jacobs (King Julien), James Patrick Stuart (Private), Jeff Bennett (Kowalski), John DiMaggio (Rico), Kevin Michael Richardson (Maurice), Mark McCorkle (executive producer), Bob Schooley (executive producer) and Nick Filippi (supervising producer)

Friday, July 22, 2011 

  • Kung Fu Panda, 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m.

Mick Wingert (Po), James Hong (Mr. Ping), John DiMaggio (Fung), Peter Hastings (executive producer), Gabe Swarr (supervising producer) and Randy Dormans (supervising producer)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

  • Supah Ninjas, 12:00pm – 1:00p.m.

Ryan Potter (Mike), Carlos Knight (Owen) and Gracie Dzienny (Amanda), to include raffle

  • Legend of Korra, 1:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.

Mike DiMartino (creator/executive producer), Bryan Konietzko (creator/executive producer), Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Ki-Hyun Ryu (supervising producer), Ben Wynn (composer) and Jeremy Zuckerman (composer)

  • Power Rangers, 3:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Alex Heartman (Red Power Ranger/Jayden), Najee De-Tiege (Blue Power Ranger/Kevin), Brittany Pirtle (Yellow Power Ranger/Emily), Hector David Jr. (Green Power Ranger/Mike), Erika Fong (Pink Power Ranger/Mia) and Steven Skyler (Gold Power Ranger/Antonio)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

  • T.U.F.F. Puppy and Fairly OddParents, 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m.

Jerry Trainor (Dudley), Grey DeLisle (Kitty Catswell), Matthew Taylor (Snaptrap), Daran Norris (Chief), creator/executive producer Butch Hartman and Ray DeLaurentis (story editor)

*All to take place at the Nickelodeon booth.

EVENTS

Friday, July 22

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ticketed Fan Event, 4:00-7:00 p.m., Basic Urban Kitchen + Bar, 410 Tenth Avenue, Downtown San Diego

  • One extraordinary preview at the “Mutation In Progress” as we reveal a behind-the-scenes look at the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles including a look at the upcoming toys and comics.
  • Check out www.facebook.com/teenagemutantninjaturtles page and @TMNTMaster for more details.

ONGOING BOOTH ACTIVITY

  • Costumed characters to include SpongeBob SquarePants’ SpongeBob and Patrick, Kung Fu Panda’s Po, Dora the Explorer, The Penguins of Madagascar, Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Aang, The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra’s Korra, Fanboy and Chum Chum, Monkey Quest and Power Rangers.
  • Monkey Quest’s “Get Monkeyfied” where attendees will be able to see themselves on one of the several screens with 3-D virtual monkeys.
  • Booth also includes a giant video screen featuring videos of Nickelodeon’s hit series and the agenda for each day.