Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Superhero Media: Young Justice

I can imagine the pitch meetings for this show very clearly. On one side of the table are a bunch of nerdy writers who really love the Teen Titans and on the other is a bunch of studio executives who want another Batman, The Animated Series. The programme can go ahead so long as it's angst-ridden, dark and brooding, so some of the characters need a rewrite. The meetings about trying to find a way to make Aqualad cool must have taken weeks. Tattoos? Yeah. Buff? Yeah. Water control? For some reason, yes. Also Robin is a hacker, despite being Dick Grayson, not Tim Drake, Superboy is emo and Kid Flash is horny. Together, they will save the world from a cadre of villains using bits of Starro to destroy the reputation of the Justice League. Yeah, it's not the best story. 

Where the programme shines (and why it has such a dedicated fanbase) is in the relationship between the characters. Unlike in many teen/tween dramas, the characters in Young Justice actually come across as real people, real adolescents with real problems of identity that go along with burgeoning adulthood. Entire episodes are given over to interactions within the team, which can be tedious in programmes like Arrow, but works with the less emotionally developed characters of Young Justice. The choice of villains is interesting too, with D-listers like Sportsmaster and The Brain not only making appearances, but playing major roles.

Has it come across that I have a few big niggles with this programme? Yes, it's good, really good, in fact, but there were a few things I just couldn't shake while watching it. Firstly, it's trying really hard to be "edgy" and cool, which can grate with the inherent silliness of the source material; it's Teen Titains for Zod's sake! Second, I get the feeling that this was a backdoor pilot for a new Justice League programme. The League show up a lot. Some episodes deal with League politics a great deal, which do lead somewhere in Young Justice: Invasion, but kind of jar with the theme of young heroes trying to be taken seriously. Still worth a look, just take with a grain of salt. 

1 comment:

  1. I wished it had gone into more seasons, the show had some potential and as you said the characters they developed was great plus all the bonus characters was great to see like Zatanna and the other secondary characters also....

    Terrors was the best episode where they had to get inside Belle Reve....