So I'm on the computer today because I injured my neck and am now bed-ridden until Monday. Details on my injury include:
I developed the urge to start a journal entry while I was watching Teen Titans GO! this morning.
I was watching The Return of Slade
, an episode in which our revamped chibi-style titans address the episodes of the original series (as well as the feature length movie) that deal with their defeat of Slade. The TTG episode doesn't actually show the battle, but instead it shows the characters' reactions to what we can assume was the entirety of that part of the original Teen Titans storyline.
The characters re-enter the building, exhausted from battle, and begin describing the whole ordeal. In this entire segment, there is a LOT
of reference to the story arc in the original TT. Beast Boy says something along the lines of "Well, too bad people will never see any of it!" This is, to me, a huge kick in the crotch to all major critics of TTG, or at least a jab at TTG viewers who are still unaware of the original TT universe. Raven comments that "it wasn't just the fight that was amazing, in the end, so many compelling storylines came together and resolved in such a satisfying way!" Robin even references the fact that he and Starfire kissed during this period in the show.
While I was watching this episode, it occurred to me that this entire beginning segment was just an outlet for commentary on the old Teen Titans, and possibly a point of incentive created by the writers to get the new, younger TTG audience to take interest in the original series. But this wasn't the only part of this episode that I found to be interesting.
The second half of this episode's plot deals with the party that the Titans decide to throw to celebrate their victory. Beastboy and Cyborg convince Robin to hire a clown
. (We discover that Starfire is horribly afraid of clowns. )
"I vow to never trust a clown!" -Starfire
Beastboy's and Cyborg's perceptions of the clown are derived from their childhood: They remember clowns as awesome, cool, the best time of their lives.
They are inconceivably excited for this clown, much to Raven's and Robin's annoyance. However, when the clown finally arrives, the boys' attitudes change from excitement, to disappointment, to anger. The clown is NOT as cool as they remember because their perception has changed from when they were children. Then, Cyborg suggests that they modify the clown
to make him cooler.
--Robin says something to them that I found to be really profound: "Clowns were never cool. You're letting nostalgia cloud your memory!"
--Raven says something that is more obviously profound: "Guys. Kids' entertainment is NOT something to be messed with. It's sacred. I worry that altering this clown could have disastrous consequences."
Afterwards, Beast Boy brushes off these warnings and proclaims that they are "making this clown cool again"
This commentary between the characters is possibly symbolic of the creation of the re-vamped Teen Titans GO! series and popular criticism of it by fans of the original series. The dialogue, if you care to read into it, is juxtaposed in such a way that it explains to viewers the importance of preserving traditional media (such as the clown, used as a symbol for the original TT), while also emphasizing the importance of innovation and moving forward in terms of new standards of animation and entertainment.
In this sense, the existence of Teen Titans GO! is, in and of itself, the further development of a great series. It was not created to satisfy
the original fanbase (although it often does), but rather to expand
upon it in a modern way.
THIS IS WHY I ACTUALLY ENJOY WATCHING TEEN TITANS GO.
Sure, it's dumb. It airs on Cartoon Network. It's angled towards a younger, less intellectual and culturally aware audience. But the show's writers continue to please me with easter eggs and hidden references to the original series.
Another thing: The show's creators actually re-hired
the Japanese pop group Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi to make the new Teen Titans GO! theme
. (I just thought that was cool)
Anyways, my medication is making my thoughts a little cloudy so I'll wrap up this rant for now. If you don't watch TTG on account of the fact that you are defensive of the original series, I would highly suggest it to you. Look at the background art and listen for little references to TT and other plots in the DC universe (there are a ton of Batman references). You won't be disappointed!