A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Titans is a superhero show that adds the team of Raven, Robin, Beast Boy, and Starfire to the live-action DC Universe drama in a dark, violent, and mature way. Many scenes are exceedingly graphic, including close-up views of people being shot, gory wounds, bones visibly breaking, and dead bodies in pools of blood. Raven's demonic side controls her at times and exacts revenge on adversaries in bloody and painful ways, and Robin works outside the law to dole out vigilante justice. There are gruesome street fights, often involving guns, knives, and other weapons. Language is another concern; everything goes here ("f--k," "s--t," "son of a bitch," and "a--hole," just to name a few) and nothing is censored. This intense series isn't appropriate for most teens, but mature viewers who enjoy this kind of tangential story within the DC Universe will want to watch.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In TITANS, destiny unites a new team of young superheroes to counter an evil threat to the planet. Tormented by visions of a mysterious boy's childhood trauma, empath Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) begins to make sense of her powers once she joins forces with that same boy, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), all grown up. Half-human, half-demon Rachel assumes the persona of Raven, while Dick works to shed the image of Batman's associate, Robin, and create his own identity. The two are joined by alien princess Koriand'r, a.k.a. Starfire (Anna Diop), and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) who can transform into different animals. Together these powerful heroes are the planet's best hope against evil in all its forms.
Is it any good?
These youthful DC characters transition to live action in dark, foreboding fashion in this gritty and very violent drama series. The severe tone is obvious from the start as Rachel wrestles with impulses she doesn't understand, disturbing visions she can't control, and a trauma that sends her fleeing for her own safety. Meanwhile Dick balances his day job on the police force with vigilantism learned from his years alongside Gotham's masked avenger, and Koriand'r finds herself in an unexpected place with more questions than answers. Eventually their paths cross and their new shared destiny begins.
Titans will draw DC and superhero fans who like re-imaginings, but unlike most hero tales, this isn't a series that's meant for the family. The graphic violence and profanity makes it iffy even for most teens and certainly inappropriate for kids who will recognize the characters' names from the popular Teen Titans animated series. Adults who watch will find that the plot develops very slowly and methodically, which can go either way depending on your expectations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of the violence in Titans. Does its graphic nature serve a purpose, or is it more for shock value? Where do you draw the line between appropriate and not with regard to this kind of content? Would the series be better served by content that is more family friendly? Why or why not?
Do these young heroes embrace their roles, or are they more resigned to the fact that they are supers? Is it OK for them to enjoy beating (and sometimes killing) the bad guys? Is revenge their motivation, or is it something else? What character strengths like teamwork are evident in their personalities?
Do you think marketing is a factor in the rollout of new character stories like this one? How do other DC productions and products benefit from association? What character crossover do you notice in Titans?
Themes & Topics
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