The first episode of Doom Patrol was a strange, humorous origins trip with superhero outsiders, tainted pasts, and twisted powers. With an off-beat storytelling, paired with an omniscient narrator, and villain, it totally worked. Until the end, where in a rushed attempt to shoehorn in a wacky team up, the story falls apart completely. But in its second episode, the “team up” sequence is immediately brushed aside in order to give the characters some more fantastic development time and introduce the best live version of Cyborg ever seen.
The style and comedy of Doom Patrol works as the writers and actors all seem to acknowledge, not only the 4th wall, but also the fun and creepiness of this particular corner of the DCU. The only soar-thumb in the series is having two of your leading characters/actors, Brendan Fraser’s Metal Man and Matt Bomer’s Negative Man, only voiced by the named actors in place of their mummified or styromified (?) covered stand-in. That said, each actor pulls out the goods for their voices and in the flashbacks. The long missing Brandon Fraser proves that although time, and fast food, may not have not been kind to his once chiseled good looks, he still has the acting chops and comedic timing to land every joke, both in person and in his voice over.
With the physical presence of these characters alive in spirit only (literally in the Negative Man’s case). The heavy lifting is left to the rest of the team, a task these strong talents seem to relish. Diane Guerrero’s Crazy Jane, April Bowlby’s Elasti-Girl, and Timothy Dalton’s Chief waste no time tearing and chewing up the scenery in the most delightful and satisfying ways possible. Especially, Diane Guerrero and April Bowlby who jump between grounded and extreme performances as the scenes demand. Crazy Jane and her seemingly unending differences in personalities, and powers, is a character that could easily get old and over-blown in a heart beat, but instead, she seems to skate and spin on that razor’s edge with glee, and a heavy heart. The real scene stealer though, is Tudyk, not as the villain, but as the show’s narrator. He is constantly referencing not only the audience, and the opening title sequences. He definitely has some of the best lines in the show.
The second episode doesn’t further the plot much, but pulls the characters together with off the wall story telling, great writing, and really solid acting that solidifies it as the best show the DC streaming service currently has to offer. Not to belittle Young Justice or Titans, but both shows were released to a lot of fanfare and ended up being just fine, and to be blunt, nothing really worth the $8 I’m shilling out monthly for the service. But if Doom Patrol’s quality is any indication of what’s coming for Swamp Thing and the rest of the DCU streaming slate, then this service just might have me renewing my subscription for 2020.
DC Universe’s Doom Patrol Finally Get’s A Live Action Cyborg Right