I ignored the DCU TV efforts when they first launched. I had no interest in signing up for yet-another streaming service, much less one solely focused on rehashing works like DOOM PATROL that I had already read and loved and didn’t want a watered down distillation.
“What is this place?”
Now that all of the DCU TV efforts have been merged into Warner Bros/HBO, it’s far easier to watch them, and holy fucking shit, they’re all amazing, all swing-for-the-fences efforts that somehow have managed to chug along for the entirety of the pandemic.
“It’s a safe place for you to heal. You, and others like you.”
I should have known better. DC doesn’t micromanage their TV creatives the way Marvel does. And DOOM PATROL is amazingly devastating.
Unlike Harley Quinn, I’ve actually been very familiar with DOOM PATROL for years. I have read the entire Morrison run twice over. Shared it with my wife. While I probably should have read it when the original issues were rolling out while I worked in a comic book store, reading them in my late twenties was good enough.
“DON’T TOUCH ME!”
Unsurprisingly, as someone who has been diagnosed as having anxiety, hypomania/bi-polar/whatnot and PTSD (yeah, I’m a fucking shitshow), ‘Crazy Jane’ with her 64 mindsets is the character I identify most with. Diane Guerrero portrays that sort of mental whiplash perfectly.
“Ooooh, please touch me…”
(I’ll note that I have no idea how many appleboxes they have to use to block scenes with Diane Guerrero, but it has to be more than a few. However, her performance has a ferocity that measures her above every one of her co-stars.)
This show is immaculately cast and paced and costumed. April Bowlby is perfection as aloof and fallen Hollywood star Rita Farr, and the extremely form-fitting attire is an amazing narrative nod. Brendan Fraiser’s voice-over work for robot Cliff Steele is astoundingly vulnerable, and the physical effects for him are so tactile. Matt Bomer’s queer confliction as Larry Trainor +1 is so well-penned.
I have no idea how they talked Timothy Dalton into this, but he’s the best Chief you could ask for, and the house they’re shooting in? I want to go to there. It’s all rich Victorian wood and feels old and lived in and haunted. (I actually think I have been, as it looks like one of the WB lot houses, but they did a lot of great work with it!) Also: CIint Mansell provides the score! Alan Tudyk is Mr. Nowhere!
Everyone involved knew what they needed to do, and they did it to perfection, even if they were doing it in service of a bunch of misfits unfit for society.
I am shocked at how good it is, although it is not a subtle show. This isn’t ‘just good’ for a comics adaptation, or ‘just good’ for a genre TV series — it’s a great show, full-stop.
It’s the first show to remind me of SENSE8 in a long time, despite the fact that it is a pretty sexless show. It’s all about misfits trying to come to terms with their realizations and reckoning with them, and we do not have enough of that.
“Do you remember what it felt like? […] To be normal?”