"REVIEW - TEEN TITANS GO! - SERIES PREMIERE"


Series Trailer

Teen Titans Go! Series Premiere Review
"Legendary Sandwich"/"Pie Bros" Airs Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 7:30pm (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network

Series Synopsis: The character-driven comedy series focuses on the funny that happens in between saving the world and living together as teenagers without adult supervision. The comedic mayhem of the animated series is punctuated by pranks and the occasional need to fight crime, but it will also deal with the everyday issues of adolescence. With epic staring contests to decide who does the laundry, a series of quests and battles to construct the perfect sandwich or fighting crime in Jump City , one thing is for sure, these Titans will always be ready for an adventure inside the house and out.

Episode Synopsis:
“Legendary Sandwich” - Wanting to get rid of the other Titans so she can watch her favorite cartoon in peace, Raven sends them to the ends of the universe on a quest for the ingredients to make a legendary magical sandwich with the secret of eternal life.
“Pie Bros” – Cyborg’s birthday is coming up, so Beast Boy takes a job at their favorite pie shop so he can afford an expensive gift. But when he has to work during Cyborg’s party, his job threatens to come between the two pie bros.

Review by James Harvey
Going in, Teen Titans Go! will have a lot going against it. Many already see it responsible for the death of the much-beloved Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, despite that being completely untrue. Others see it as a step back for the DC Comics animation brand, foregoing action for comedy. Personally, I was in the latter. I don’t want to see a DC comics-based animated comedy show. I want to see an action series, full of great heroes, epic events, and plenty of character depth. That’s what I want from my DC Comics cartoons. But, against all odds, I ... enjoyed Teen Titans Go!. The series premiere episode - which featured two 11-minute tales "Legendary Sandwich" and "Pie Bros" - was immensely enjoyable.

I was never a big fan of Teen Titans when it originally aired. It was good and I liked what I caught, but it never latched on to me like Justice League Unlimited (and those shows), so when this new cartoon was announced I had no real vested interest. It seemed like it’d be a cute show, and nothing more. And, to a point, that is accurate. It’s a cute show, has some solid jokes, and the stories are just long enough that they don’t overstay their welcome. In fact, it reminds me of the old comedy series from the early 1990s, specifically the likes of Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain. Not in the content, but in the way most of the humor is delivered, and how some will completely fly over the heads of little ones but should connect directly with adult fans. An example? Just listen to Robin’s first bit of dialogue in the first story "Legendary Sandwich" – the execution and delivery is perfect.

If you’re holding a grudge against this show, an unfair one I might add, any review will likely not sway your opinion. However, I do understand what Cartoon Network is trying to accomplish with this series. The network is trying to broaden the audience for the DC Comics animated series, and making a comedy-bent series and airing it around the same time as their more popular animated comedy fare seems like the logical choice. Personally, it’s not one I would have made but it makes sense to try and lure new fans to the brand, and it will work. Teen Titans Go! is a good series, plain and simple.

To give a quick character break down, the main cast of Teen Titans Go! all are pretty much slightly exaggerated versions of their original Teen Titans counterparts. Keeping the original voice cast helps this concept go a long way, actually, in making the jokes and the series premise work. Based on the two story series opener, it’s safe to say that Robin and Raven will likely be the breakout characters for the show. Robin’s macho jerkishness is amped up to a near intolerable degree, and it’s hilarious. Raven is so sullen and dark, but she’s struggling to hide a cute, light-hearted side (keep your eyes open for a blatant albeit solid My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic joke at the start of the episode). Everyone gets a moment of two to shine per 11-minute story, but I found those two made the biggest impression.

The show’s premise – what happens between the big battles – seems like something that can give the series a substantial run. There’s plenty of concepts that could be mined with five superheroes teens just kicking it around their homebase in-between battles. What was promising about this series opener is that, based on the concept, it didn’t go for the obvious tales. We get one story about an epic sandwich and the other about Beast Boy getting a job so he can buy Cyborg a gift while dealing with a killer baker. If the show can keep with the slightly off-kilter ideas, then there’s a great chance the show will find a solid audience.

In general, the animation is solid and the voice acting is as great as one can expect from a DC Comics animated series. The more Flash-esque animation is a bit to get used to, but by no means is it a hindrance. The humor is pretty on the mark throughout, a fair mix of blatant gags and more subtle jabs (again, pay attention to Robin and Raven). Also, keep an eye out for background characters and scenes – there is some truly great (and shockingly twisted in times, as you’ll see in the second pie-focused story) dark humor on display.

If you’re interested in seeing a comedy series based on the classic Teen Titans cartoon and the DC Comics brand, this is the place to start. Both stories featured in this episode - "Legendary Sandwich" and "Pie Bros" - show solid wit and sly, slightly crooked humor. It’s funny, respectful to the material, and skewed enough to be something entirely its own. Teen Titans Go! has a lot going against it, and some of that unfairly thrust upon it, but the new series should be able overcome that if it can continuously bring forth the strong comedic chops on tap in the first episode. Give Teen Titans Go! a try and you just might enjoy yourself. Actually ... you will!

Teen Titans Go! Series Premiere Review
"Legendary Sandwich"/"Pie Bros" Airs Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 7:30pm (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network