For some reason or another, I skipped Doom Patrol when it first appeared on DC Universe. This was not because of some deep-seeded hatred or a distaste for the material, I merely thought, “Oh, hey, I’m going to watch that when I get time” and then I never got time.
So, the entire season has aired and I’m only just now getting into it and, I have to say… Gosh, I really hate that I didn’t soak this insanity in when I first got the chance.
This television series simply does not give a single solitary damn and I love it.
Doom Patrol tells the story of an unlikely group of
friends acquaintances who are brought together via strange events that gave them superpowers, but also made them freaks. You’ve got Cliff, a hotshot racecar driver who, after being involved in a terrible crash, is reborn into the body of a clunky robot. You’ve got Larry, a test pilot, who is burned beyond all recognition following a plane crash and now has an energy being living inside of him, Rita is a former Hollywood movie star who, after getting exposed some some green stuff, has a body that melts and turns into a blob when she’s upset, and you’ve got Crazy Jane, a woman with over 60 separate personalities, each with their own individual superpower.
These people are basically forced to live together under the roof of The Chief, a wheelchair-bound super scientist who studies them and tries to help them.
However, an omnipotent bad guy named Mr. Nobody kidnaps The Chief and the ragtag team of misfits tries to laughably form a superhero team to track him down and save him with the help of Cyborg, a rising cybernetic superhero from Detroit.
A couple of days ago, I wrote about the season two premiere of Titans and lamented the fact that the series tries so hard to be edgy that its frivolous uses of profanity come off as a fake and desperate. Doom Patrol also uses a LOT of profanity as well, but unlike Titans, it feels more real and more relatable. The members of Doom Patrol, despite being fantastic freaks with dangerous powers, come off more as real people thrown into extraordinary situations.
It helps that Brenden Fraiser is absolutely brilliant as Cliff the Robot. He is such a guy… just trying to get a hold of the weird things happening around him while being a weird thing himself. His multiple exclamations of “What the f***!?” feel like they could be coming from the audience itself.
I guess that’s one of the things I’m growing to love about this show: It is so ridiculously self-aware and just doesn’t care. The main antagonist, played wonderfully by Alan Tyduk, knows he’s on a show and knows he’s on a streaming app. He delights in recapping the events as sarcastically as possible and continuously addresses the audience, much to the confusion of the characters who aren’t privy to their own fictional nature.
This show is the Twin Peaks of superhero television shows. Doom Patrol isn’t just a little kooky, it is a show that must be thrown into a padded cell so it doesn’t hurt Titans or Swamp Thing. This series is a ferret in a blindfold, on crack, holding a chainsaw, and running towards the screams and I love it.
The plots are ridiculous, but they’re never predictable. The situations are silly, but they’re always a surprise.
And I still have no idea what that cockroach is about.
I’m fully aware that Doom Patrol may not be for everyone and some will be turned off by this series’ devil-may-care storytelling.
These people are, of course, wrong…. but I digress.
I’m only six episodes in, but I can’t wait to see where this madness goes next.