Teen Titans Go!
Teen Titans Go! is, simply put, one of the funniest cartoons of all time. Some may find the goofy humor childish, but if you keep your mind open and get in the right mood, it can be quite hilarious. The more you watch it, as the recurring jokes continue to come back, the show just keeps getting funnier.
Some fans were disappointed when the story of DC’s Teen Titans evolved from the fantastic action cartoon Teen Titans, then to Young Justice, landing most recently instead as the comedic Teen Titans Go! While it’s true that the superhero team which consists of Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy generally resides in the realm of action, they also make a great comedy team. This show’s humor is very unique and weirdly funny.
The interesting take on the normally cliché-filled superhero cartoon genre focuses on the team’s day to day life in Titans Tower. Action and battles against their villains are generally secondary to whatever the team is focused on at home on that episode, that is if the action is shown at all. Instead, the show plays out more like a superhero-themed, comedic Big Brother or Real World series. The characters bicker about what to eat, who will do what chore, what to watch on TV, or what they plan on doing for fun.
By doing a superhero show so differently than what everyone is used to, the showrunners have given us something new and almost entirely different. The show pokes fun at superheroes and every cliché they’ve come to be known for. Even when the team manages to get out of the Tower and go fight a villain, they continue to crack jokes and argue the entire time.
Many of the jokes are truly sophomoric and often fall into the category of potty humor. As a population, though, can we all admit that, in the right mindset and atmosphere, this type of humor can sometimes be just what the day ordered? Teen Titans Go! manages to find that sweet spot where it’s perfectly silly for silly sake but not stupid.
These characters joke about toots, watching tv, doing chores, and make fun of each other. They get jealous and angry with each other. They pick with each other like best friends often do. Their relationships are fun to watch.
When they’re not making jokes, they’re often singing. Many times, they joke and sing about food. They have songs about waffles, songs about burritos, and a glorious song about hamburgers. “Buns, ketchup, pickle, cheese. Put that patty in between, it’s burger. What, what? It’s burger.” Hilarious and instructional! The team’s love of pizza once even pits them against none other than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves. This satirical take on the Turtles worked perfectly because Greg Cipes voices both Beast Boy of the Titans and Michelangelo from 2012’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The burger song surprisingly isn’t the show’s best song. No, that title falls to “The Night Begins to Shine.” This song is an amazing rendering of a new 80s song. It may be a new song from this decade, but I would challenge the biggest 80s trivia champ to differentiate the song from real new wave, synth songs from back then. Truly, the retrowave song displays the true musical talent the people behind this show can produce if they really want to. The song throws out all the typical comedy of the show and, instead, just plays it straight. The song deserves radio play.
The show often references movies and shows from pop culture. Sometimes, entire episodes are an homage to these pop culture icons. One episode, for example, closely followed the plot of The Breakfast Club. A very creative turn the show does is that, whenever The Night Begins to Shine is featured, the art often turns to the style used in the epitome of 80s music-infused animation, Heavy Duty.
Occasionally, actual villains do make appearances. The shows typical rogues include Hive, Trigon, Doctor Light, Brother Blood, Darkseid (voiced by Weird Al), and the rarely seen Deathstroke. Heroes sometimes make appearances as well. Superman, Red Arrow, Aqualad, Batman, and others show up from time to time. Batman, though, is different than he’s ever appeared. He never talks and only ever laughs.
Another funny aspect of the show is that they often discuss and explain grown up topics in amusing ways. For me, I’m reminded of how Animaniacs taught its viewers state capitals via song. In Teen Titans Go!, the team has tackled topics such as mortgages, equity, pyramid schemes, history lessons, and the different traditions of many holidays.
The lessons, though often oddly accurate, aren’t the point though. These aren’t the PSA’s that the cartoons of the 80s pushed out. Instead, the topics seem to be purposely boring so that they create the ensuing bickering. Also, of course, many of these lessons include songs. With that, even pyramid schemes can be hilarious.
When another Teen Titans show was announced, this show may not be what people expected, but given the chance of an open mind, they could see it as the comedy gold that it is. It’s not the typical take on superheroes, sure. Rather, it’s a fresh, creative version that wonderfully turns all the expected superhero clichés on their ear and gives viewers something entirely new. If you watch it and get in the right mindset, you’ll surely find yourself laughing out loud. And, I’m betting, you’ll do so often.
Teen Titans Go: Unexpected Comedy Gold
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 9/109/10
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