POP CULTURETVDoom Patrol Season Two and HBO Max: Nobody is to be Seen (you’d get that if you’ve watched the show)

DOOM PATROL SEASON ONE Last year Doom Patrol premiered on the flagship streaming service that is famously known as DC Universe. A service that has come to rival that of Netflix and HBO. It was Warner Brother’s big entry into the streaming wars. A service that has had the most subscribers than any to come befo- Ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha!!!! Barely anyone subscribed to that shit. Confusing, right? Who wouldn’t want a service that will one show going on...
Aaron Vaughn1 month ago5123 min
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DOOM PATROL SEASON ONE

Last year Doom Patrol premiered on the flagship streaming service that is famously
known as DC Universe. A service that has come to rival that of Netflix and HBO. It was Warner
Brother’s big entry into the streaming wars. A service that has had the most subscribers than any to come befo-

Ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha!!!!

Barely anyone subscribed to that shit. Confusing, right? Who wouldn’t want a service
that will one show going on at a time if you are lucky? Count yourself extra lucky if that the
show was actually good and not trying to be overly dark and edgy to appeal to a fan base of Teen
Titans that doesn’t exist. Man, I loved the more fun and colorful Teen Titans, but when Robin
said “Fuck Batman” I came in my pants. Plus, you also keep a very limited selection of DC
comics that is never up to the date with what just came out.

But you know what the DC Universe did have? Doom Patrol. I have always wanted to
read the comic run by Grant Morrison which was the primary inspiration for the show, but I have
never got around to it. But because of Brendan Fraser and Alan Tudyk being casted in the show,
as well as an entertaining trailer, I decided to use a free trial to check the show out. I then found
myself keeping the subscription for the show’s runtime. I then also checked out Titans once it
was done and then cancelled my account.

In fairness, I probably didn’t give Titans a fair enough shot. I’ve heard of people enjoying
later episodes, but the show’s tone at the start struck me as it was trying way too hard to be
mature. I have checked out their premiere episodes for Harley Quinn and Swamp Thing via
iTunes when they became available. I enjoyed both of them but I’ve never felt the urge to
continue either of them or want to re-subscribe to the service.
But Doom Patrol was incredible. Since the show’s premiere back in February of 2019 I
have watched the first season three times. The first time was as it was coming out, when I bought
it on iTunes, and then not long ago when HBO Max opened up for business.
This might be my personal favorite show currently in its run. It has comedy, action, and it
is extremely meta (I love it when a show constantly references it’s a show which might explain
why Community is still one of my favorite comedies ever). The show is able to juggle all it’s
insane and weird ideas while also telling a compelling and freaky story of self improvement. The
show also constantly breaks the fourth wall which always brings a smile to my face (you can
probably tell I grew up a Deadpool fan). Also, just the best cast with the best villains.
I highly recommend the first season for comic fans, comedy fans, and meta-fiction fans.
Even if future episodes end up falling short the first season stands well enough on its own that
I’ll always love it.

HBO MAX

Warner Brother’s HBO Max has arrived not that long ago and I signed up day one just
for Doom Patrol season 2. I am actually glad that Warner decided to share Doom Patrol between both DC Universe and HBO Max because it does give the show a chance to reach a wider
audience. Also I’d rather subscribe to HBO Max because I’m getting HBO shows as well. I’ve
watched McMillions, Succession, and started watching Deadwood again. I love it.
For HBO Max as a service, however. I’m annoyed that Warner is withholding a lot of
their library. Some of it is tied up in other contracts with streaming services and others they just
cycle through at different times of year. This isn’t a deal breaker because when it comes to
streaming services the backlogs of film are more of a bonus because I’ll mostly be subscribing
for new shows. Most of the movies I’ll watch will just be revisits for me (not always, but
usually). If I’m watching something I haven’t seen before I’ll rent it if I’m interested enough and
it isn’t on anything. But if I want to revisit something that is a Warner movie and it’s not
available on streaming I just won’t watch it. This happened with multiple Warner movies. It isn’t
a deal breaker but it feels like they are losing a lot of customer watch time because of this. If I
don’t find Kiss Kiss Bang Bang I’m just going to play video games instead. I do also wish they
would move the DC Universe into HBO Max more for their sake. I’m sure there are still
contracts in place that prevent this which might explain why they don’t put all DC content on
Max but it still feels very self defeating on their part. The best way to put it is that it’s like having
a parent that is making their small and physically disfigured kid go up against their older and
genetically engineered to look like Dave Bautista kid. That is more of a testament to the
disadvantages of DC Universe than to the advantages of HBO Max.
That being said I still think the service is worth it, for me at least. If I ever just turn on
HBO Max just to scroll and find just whatever I’ll always find something. Despite Warner
deciding to limit their library there is still a pretty good selection. I always find something to
watch. Also you get HBO channel shows and I’m basically considering that to be originals for
the service. So as long as HBO makes shows that interest me I’m probably going to keep the
service.

With that said, you’ll probably only get the most out of the service if you are a fan of
HBO programming. I actually find the quality of HBO shows to be better than many shows on
Netflix but HBO really only caters to one kind of viewer while Netflix can serve up to many
demographics with it’s large library of originals. HBO has shows in different genres but really
they have been serving the same demographic since they started as premium cable. Sure, there is
Cartoon Network on Max but it’s not kids flipping the bill. Max’s originals are also very limited,
so it’s really the HBO shows you are subscribing for. If you love HBO shows you’ll probably get
a lot more out of this than other streaming services. If not, it’s really not worth it. Luckily for me,
I love HBO. Deadwood is one of my favorite shows ever and they are still making great shows.
So I have no regrets.


DOOM PATROL SEASON TWO

*Some Spoilers for Season One*
For Doom Patrol return they have posted the first three episodes of the season up to
stream. The first episode follows the fallout from the end of season one with many of the
characters now miniature versions of themselves and then the following episodes and how many
of the characters deal after finding out that Niles Caulder is the man responsible for all their
freak mutations. But they are also met with his daughter, Dorothy, who is a monkey human
hybrid and has extremely fucked up imaginary friends that come to life. She also can make her
imaginary friends come to life which is bad when one of them ends up being a world ending monster. In the following two episodes it is revealed that Niles will soon die and that they need
to find a way to extend his life so that he can continue caring for his daughter. Only, not
everybody wants to help Niles after he made them into failed experiments.

I’m being a little vague for the show right now in the hope that some might see this and
want to check the show. Any future writings, if they happen, will have more spoilers and be
treated more like discussions rather than recommendations because I’m recommending that you
jump onto this season now if you have any vague interest in the show.

I was actually concerned for the show coming back. The first season of Doom Patrol was
so well done and flowed so well that I was concerned that it might’ve peaked. This was more of
a fear based on my own experience with TV. The first seasons of Dexter and Fear The Walking
Dead come to mind as shows that peak in their first season. It was my own experiences with TV
that made this fear, so maybe not a lot of other people shared this concern. Luckily these
beginning episodes grabbed me just as well as the beginning episodes in the first season did.
We’ll see how the season as a whole turns out, but this is a very promising beginning.
Firstly, for what I like. The cast is still great. Brendan Fraser’s voice is always
entertaining for the foul mouth Cliff Steele/Robotman. But Matt Bomer is also able to do a lot
with just his voice for Larry Trainor/Negative Man in episode two and three (Also, apparently a
different actor plays him when the character is in bandages and Bomer just dubs over it. Seems
unnecessary but alright. They’re doing the same for Robotman but that makes a little more sense
given the character). Abigail Shapiro’s Dorothy is also a fine addition to the cast which is very
welcomed considering how hard it is to find good child performers. It’s still a very funny show
with some great journeys of self improvement. I brought up both Cliff and Larry for a reason
because right now they have most of my interest. There are also some very effective and creepy
scenes which makes sense considering showrunner, Jeremy Carver, used to run Supernatural for
multiple seasons. As a horror fan, I welcome it. There’s a scene that involves butterfly wings in
episode three that made me lose my mind.

As for issues they are mostly things that just have to do with the season just starting. I’m
not very interested in Cyborg’s storyline right now but I feel like that’s because they are planting
the seeds of his storyline rather than really diving into it. The same goes for Dorothy’s character
but I’m especially more forgiving of that because it’s a new character introduced when there is a
lot of momentum for others.

There was also something missing right now in this current season. The first season was
full of these meta moments where the shows used the fact that this is a show to it’s advantages.
Literally the villain solves a conflict for the main characters by narrating flashbacks and telling
characters what to do years before so that they could solve issues. There was real time
retconning. Also at the climax of the fist season they are able to fight off the main villain by
narrating what they are doing before the villain gets the chance to do so. There really isn’t any of
this so far in the second season. But this just might be because all the meta moments came from
the villain in the first season who isn’t here anymore. I’m pretty sure the first season’s villain
will show up again in a later season (not this one) but also the meta moments were huge for the
first season so I find it hard to believe that they won’t come back. Also I feel like this affects me
more than it does most audience members. I love breaking the fourth wall and meta references.
This is more of a case of “I miss it” rather than “There’s something wrong here.”
My main concern about how this season is going to develop stems from the lack of a
villain. I really think that the show needs to start introducing a more central antagonist for the season. The villain was so good in season one that there are some big shoes to fill but I’m still
waiting for them to be filled. I am wondering if there will really be a central antagonist at this
point because the broader conflict seems to be more internal at this point. But if this is the case,
for all I know the show could pull it off in the end. But right now there does feel like there is a
big void to fill. Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody in season one was incredible and they might know
that all too well. Maybe they know it will be too hard to bring in a new villain so they are
holding out for now.

If you like weird fiction, misfit stories, and insane stories of self improvement I highly
recommend Doom Patrol. At least get that HBO Max trial run to check out the first season. I
can’t wait to see here this season goes and I hope to see Danny again (just watch the fucking
show to understand that).

Aaron Vaughn

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