For our first foray into alternative media sources, our sights are set on the fourth wall. As a bonus, I will soon be reviewing most if not all current and upcoming streaming service platforms because the options available can be overwhelming, and it is important to understand what is available. Now, fellow binge watching enthusiasts, let's jump in!
As the title suggests, we will be breaking the fourth wall, much like DC Comics’ Doom Patrol. For the uninitiated, DC Comics recently released its own streaming service called the DCU, and it is fantastic, particularly the addition of its new original content. Let me preface this by saying some of the DCU offerings (like the back end of Titans’ first season, which endured extensive retooling, rewrites, and reshoots) could be avoided but others (like Young Justice: Outsiders and their entire comic library) are gold mines. One of their standouts on their streaming platform is their original series, Doom Patrol, which represents a high water mark for any network, let alone one that just came into existence.
The first season of Doom Patrol is a beard hair (punny reference) away from its conclusion and has been nothing short of fantastic. The titles of the episodes are punny and self-aware like the episode entitled "Paw Patrol", marking a diametrically opposite program in tone and substance to the popular Nickelodeon show that many children are currently addicted to.
For the sake of my review, I will be focusing on the first episode and non-spoilers for the season as a whole. I was shocked by the first scene, not for any content matter, but because I simply was not ready for the style and ease with which the show engaged with its audience. The expectation quickly became great writing, deftly developed characters, and well-crafted storylines. Just when the peanut gallery begins squabbling about the writers’ missteps, they reveal that they are two steps ahead by reintroducing the perceived oversight with care to emphasize the effect.
As someone not well versed in the source material, I felt like the show brought me up to speed well. The introductions to each character were strong and created empathetic and multi-faceted dynamics, both inter- and introspectively. Despite being reminded that I was watching a show, the acting and writing made me feel like the events were plausible even if they were unlikely. The humor is outstanding. As someone with discerning taste, earning a laugh is difficult. Nevertheless, I regularly find myself laughing out loud at the meta jokes and direct dialogue with the audience. Doom Patrol’s effects are practical (mostly for budgetary purposes), a much-welcomed reprieve from the constant barrage of lackluster CGI. The creators and editors work diligently to create a realistic composition to the show.
The cast is outstanding led by a resurgent Brendan Fraser and supported by the ever outstanding Matt Bomer, Alan Tudyk, and Timothy Dalton. The empathetic connection with the characters is transcendent. Doom Patrol is different but utilizes its uniqueness in effective ways to create successful perspectives and explorations of life, where serious themes that need addressing in today's climate are paid their due. The audience feels like they are watching a commentary on society without being beat over the head with politics and other social ideals. Doom Patrol tackles the feelings that everyone has of not quite fitting in while trying to be the best version of ourselves in our own hero like ways.
You can trial the DCU for seven days and binge Doom Patrol, Young Justice, and Titans for free! It is absolutely worth it, and as a result, it may cause you to sign up, as it did us. Personally, Doom Patrol is worth it for ADULTS. Do not miss out on the experience of seeing the show because you think that it is a comic book show. It really is much more than that. Also, it is produced by Greg Berlanti, who produces Arrow and The Flash, among others, so if you are a fan of those, this will be right up your alley. If the subscription service is not of interest, then the DC Universe will be releasing Blu-Ray versions of their original content soon, so you have alternative methods of enjoying too.
The skinny: Doom Patrol is most certainly worth a free try! I give it 3.5 plus stars out of 4 and must watch with thumbs way up! I absolutely love Doom Patrol and think it makes the DC streaming service a must have as it has quickly become my favorite, and in my opinion, the best show on television, sorry G.O.T.