While season two of Titans has its enjoyable moments, it fails to live up to its promise owing to an unwieldy cast of characters and a mystifying amount of violence.
Creators: Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop
Seasons: 2 (2019, 2020)
Streaming on: Netflix
It’s unnecessarily gritty
Titans tells the story over 13 episodes of Batman’s former sidekick, Dick Grayson/Robin (Brenton Thwaites), who grapples with his past and numerous gripes with his adoptive father, Bruce Wayne/Batman (who often appears to Dick in flashbacks) while trying to lead a team of young, budding heroes. This story is told using an inexplicable amount of violence. The ex-Boy Wonder leaves the bat-nest to drop f-bombs and stab the bad guys with gardening tools. Many of the failings of the previous season continue to plague season two of Netflix’s DC superhero offering. The show’s need to be as dark as it can was one of the faults on display during the first season. Even the second season tends to be excessively broody and violent without fleshing out the majority of its characters in a compelling enough way to justify this.
Too many superheroes spoil the soup
The show hinges on a group of people with special skills, who come together firstly to survive and eventually to become a team dedicated to beating the bad guys and making the world less terrible. However, the show introduces too many new characters, failing, in the process, to develop them fully, let alone establish meaningful connections between them. To a bloated cast, it introduces characters like Superboy and Aqualad (who gets killed off in the same episode), seemingly to please fans. This makes it hard for the audience to feel invested in the heroes, and the story as a whole turns into quite a mess.
The villains are poorly handled
The season seems to have been plagued by timing and budget constraints. The first episode of season two serves as an extension to the finale of season one. The big bad demon Trigon (rendered in terrible CGI) that was all set to destroy the world last season is quickly and unceremoniously dispatched to set up this season’s baddie, Deathstroke. The iconic DC villain had the potential to turn the series around, but it’s a shame he’s so underutilised. All he really does is threaten to kill the Titans unless they agree to disband and then just become a stepping stone for Robin to become Nightwing.
An excellent Robin story
The only character that has a fulfilling, well-rounded story is Dick Grayson. The season progresses purposefully as Dick fights his demons and comes to terms with his past as he brings his team together, becoming a real leader. When the series caps off his narrative with him becoming Nightwing, it doesn’t feel like simple fan-service, it feels earned.