Monday, August 02, 2004

TV: You can rest knowing they've got your back

This weekend saw the long-anticipated return of two of my favorite cartoons: Teen Titans and Justice League, now retooled as Justice League Unlimited.

Teen Titans finally resolved the Terra cliffhanger (I don't think it was intended as a "cliffhanger", but when you take four months off between episodes, that's what you get) by having her betray the team on Slade's behalf. I have to say, after all that work to put Terra inside the Teen Titans headquarters, Slade's grand plan was pretty stupid. Send in a bunch of robots? The ones the Titans destroy every single time? That's your plan? I mean, it led to some excellent fight scenes, but that's about it. If the plan was to kill the Titans, why were the robots trying to install some of Slade's machinery in the tower? If the plan was to install that machinery, why didn't he just have Terra do it? It's just a nonsensical plan, a waste of resources and an unnecessary exposure of his mole in their organization. And what is Terra's reason for working for Slade? She's not bad, and Slade didn't appear to have her under any kind of physical or mental control. Why does she help him hurt her friends? And why does Beast Boy let Slade go at the end, when it looks like his bear-form was kicking the crap out of him?

So, yeah, some minor questions leaving me a little dissatisfied with this episode. But I'm glad to see the show back, and I see that the next two episodes also feature Terra, so maybe some of my questions will actually be answered.

Justice League Unlimited also left me wanting. The reveal of the satellite full of heroes at the very beginning was pretty cool, but I'm afraid all those extra characters are going to crowd out some of the original seven (six, now -- it looks like Hawkgirl is gone for good, which is a shame. At least she's not forgotten; best scene in this episode was Green Lantern waking up yelling "Shayera!" I hope she returns at some point this season. And speaking of GL: nice facial hair. As Scott at Polite Dissent noted: it's the Avery Brooks makeover). Many of the original episodes left out one or more of the headliners, and that was when they only had seven total to draw from. Now there's dozens. It looks like Martian Manhunter will be left out of the main action every episode, coordinating things from the satellite, which I don't like. And I don't think Flash or Wonder Woman had a single line this episode, which, considering this was the season premiere and all, is a bad sign of things to come.

I don't like the new title sequence: it seemed like they couldn't show enough of Supergirl. There are, like, fifty other superheroes you could show in the credits, why concentrate on her? Maybe the credits will change each week, showcasing whichever characters are in that week's episode. That'd be nice.

I liked Green Arrow (although I don't care for his voice -- Kin Shriner, some soap opera guy I've never heard of. His voice is too wimpy), and they made sure to supply a fan-favorite moment right at the beginning. The second I saw him, I started chanting, "Boxing glove arrow, boxing glove arrow," and they did not fail to deliver. Sweet! His reluctance to join the team was believable, and his reason for staying was another fan-favorite moment (Black Canary!), but the chemistry the writers seemed to want to build between him and Green Lantern never really worked. And the resolution to the nuclear menace was pretty lame: "It's an inanimate carbon rod!" Would a twelve-inch chunk of carbon really shut down a fifty-foot tall atomic robot? And if so: who cares? It just looks dumb.

A note on the music: please make it stop. It's horrible. That twangy guitar doesn't fit with this show at all (unless Lobo makes an appearance). Get the old music back, stat.

So, yeah, another disappointment for me. There appears to be a lot of promise in this show, especially if they face some galactic-level menace and have to use everyone at once, but I was just fine with the smaller team. I think they had plenty more stories to tell, with room to fit in the occasional guest-star superhero. I fear the real fun of this show -- and its focus -- might get lost in the crowd.

Labels: , , , ,

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by