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TELEVISION REVIEW: FTN reviews Teen Titans Go! S01E01

April 14th, 2014 by Dave Bowling Comments

Teen Titans Go! 
Starring: Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Scott Menville (Robin), Khary Payton (Cyborg), Tara Strong (Raven)Hynden Walch Hynden Walch (Starfire)

So then, Teen Titans has finally come back. Sort of.

Back in 2003 Warner Bros began producing a more kid-friendly counterpart to its Justice League series, the last entry in the critically-acclaimed DC Animated Universe. Teen Titans pitted Robin, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy against Deathstroke (known by his more PG-friendly real first name of ‘Slade’) and various other villains such as Killer Moth, Plasmus and the Hive Academy. The series was simultaneously serious and comically light-hearted, featuring an Anime-aping form of animation that was as bonkers as some of the plots. Overall, the series was a quirky slice of superhero action spliced with flatmate comedy and I for one was seriously disappointed when Warners dropped it after five seasons and a feature-length special.

Since the end of both Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited, Warners have tried to make a few visits to the DC world without falling back on their established Animated Universe. We got The Batman, Young Justice, Legion of Superheroes and Batman: The Brave & The Bold, none really up to the standards of what went before. So when Cartoon Network announced that they were bringing a new series to our screens named Teen Titans Go!, it seemed things were looking up.

And finally, it’s arrived in the UK.

The series reunites the main voice cast from Teen Titans, but goes all-out for comedy. In the first episode we get two 15-minute shorts: Legendary Sandwich and Pie Bros. Legendary Sandwich sees Robin’s sandwich-making prowess challenged by a mythical super-powered BLT Raven tells them about that can grant the eater immortality. To try and find the ingredients Beast Boy, Cyborg and Starfire set out on quests to discover the widely-dispersed bacon, lettuce and tomato, while Robin has to brave the local supermarket for pretzel bread. All so Raven can watch girly cartoons while maintaining her goth-like exterior. Pie Bros has Beast Boy trying to source cash for Cyborg’s birthday while the Titans seem to be oblivious to the ‘mystery ingredient’ in Mother May-Eye’s fruit pies…

Based on this opener, I’ve got hopes for the series to follow in the surreal screwball comedy direction of the original’s comedy episodes and more recent CN creations like Regular Show. All in all I’d prefer it was more serious (and longer) at times but the show has potential.

3 out of 5 nerds

Airs on Cartoon Network, 10:30am Saturdays; repeated Monday at 6:30pm

Dave was born at an early age to parents of both sexes. He has been a self-confessed geek for as long as he can remember, having been raised through the 80s on a steady diet of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Red Dwarf and (sigh) Knight Rider. Throw the usual assortment of Saturday morning cartoons into the mix and we have something quite exceptional: someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of utter tosh; a love of giant robots and spaceships fighting; and the strange desire to leap tall buildings in a single bound while wearing his underpants over his trousers. The death ray is currently in the works and one day you shall all bow to him, his giant space station and fleet of funky orange space shuttles...