By Chaz Lipp
Recently I spoke with someone who expressed, at length, a passionate yearning for the earlier Teen Titans animated series, the one that aired on Cartoon Network from 2003-06. This particular longtime DC Comics fan argued in favor of the less outright silly, sometimes sophomoric tone of the current Teen Titans Go!. Such is the nature of comic book fandom and geek culture in general, but it’s hard to see anything Teen Titans Go! as anything other than an ultra-lightweight time passer designed for young viewers. “Indoctrinating kids with lazily-scripted fluff instead of introducing them to the full scope of awesomeness within the DC Universe,” or so went this individuals rant. But honestly, while probably well argued, I feel that perspective might be a tad heavy-handed for this lighthearted, kid-friendly romp.
New to DVD is Teen Titans Go! House Pests: Season 2 Part 2, via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The first half of the season was released under the subtitle Appetite for Disruption back in April. Here, contained on two discs, we have 26 episodes featuring the comedy-based, but nonetheless heroic, exploits of Robin (voiced by Scott Menville), Raven (Tara Strong), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), and Cyborg (Khary Payton).
For anyone over the age of 13 (and that’s being generous), Teen Titans Go! is most effective when approached in small doses. The episodes are bite-sized, 11-minute bits and with 26 of them, you’re talking well over four hours of content. The gag-a-second nature of the series has the potential to become headache inducing. While a lot of this stuff is pretty funny, it’s likely to wear down many viewers when constantly bombarded. The plots range from the the somewhat more traditional (that word is used very lightly) comic book-oriented stories like “Robin Backwards,” in which ‘Bizzaro World Robin’ – that would be Nibor (“Robin” spelled backwards) – joins the Titans, to the utter irreverence of the stomach monsters in “Smile Bones” (brought on by Cyborg and Beast Boy’s poor eating habits). The cleverness quotient runs high in episodes like “Video Game References,” in which the Titans find themselves in various old-school video game environments (with the animation following suit) and “And the Award for Sound Design Goes to Rob,” which brings in a sound-cancelling character called The Whisperer.
No extras are included on Teen Titans Go! House Pests: Season 2 Part 2, just the 26 episodes spread over two DVDs. Teen Titans Go! is currently in the midst of its third season. Visit the official Teen Titans Go! website for more information.