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What’s up with ‘Teen Titans Go!’?

The producer insist that it’s a kid’s show but, honestly, what are they teaching these kids, How to Be an Idiot 101? “Teen Titan’s Go!” is a remake of the American animated 2003 television series, “Teen Titans,” based on the DC Comics fictional superhero team of the same name. The remake debuted on April 23,2013, and it amazes me that they have reached more than 100 episodes.

“Teen Titans Go!” was not created to continue from where its predecessor left off in the series. Instead, it has taken a different route, showing the Teen Titans in their everyday lives. Despite being labeled as comedy and action, the latter is hardly ever portrayed, and the level of comedy is vexatious. Some people may like the show, but others, like me, would agree that it’s uncreative and provides more of a disservice to its viewers. I prefer my siblings watch “Steven Universe,” “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” or “Gravity Falls,” which I think are far better cartoon options than “Teen Titans Go!”

Putting my nostalgia for “Teen Titans” aside and taking the new “Teen Titans Go!” for what it is still makes me cringe
when I watch it. The characters’ lines are full of elongated pointless jokes. It seems as though the producers, Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, had a ball dumbing down the show.

“Somebody wrote that their view on the show was that it was stupid, but funny. To me that is right where we are going for,” Jelenic said in an interview at WonderCon 2013.

Yet dumbing down the content of the show negatively affects the kids watching it. The reality is that kids are easily
influenced. The type of shows they watch while growing up, among other things, can have a significant impact on the way they view the world around them. Imagine a future with kids speaking like Robin, who is portrayed as an arrogant control freak that is often rude to his teammates, or Starfire, the alien princess who is an innocent airhead incapable of properly speaking English. We would have kids shouting obnoxiously all the time, being rude and even bullying each
other in school like Robin did to Beast Boy in Episode 7 of Season 3.

“Oh, you think that’s funny, nerd? Try laughing at this! Crank kick! Crank kick! Crank kick!” Robin said in the episode, “Hey You, Don’t Neglect Me in Your
Memory.”

In this episode Robin “crank kicks” all over Beast Boy’s face until the principal gives them detention. This episode references the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club” by engraving the idea of “labels” on children’s minds, such as the jock
(Cyborg), nerd (Beast Boy), basket case (Raven), and the homecoming queen (Starfire). Having a show enforce labels
can harm children’s self-esteem as they grow up by pressuring them to belong to a certain group.

“Shut it, nerd. School isn’t about what you feel on the inside,” Robin continued.“It’s about dressing up the outside, so everyone knows who you are by looks alone.”

Kids from age 4 and up imitate what they see and hear. They’re like little sponges soaking up all the information around them. Frankly, I don’t like to see my 6-year-old brother watching this show and mimicking what these characters are doing. I’m not saying that all cartoons have to be educational, like PBS Kids, but I would appreciate the producers
showing something more valuable and noteworthy. Amid bad cartoons like “Teen Titans Go!” are good cartoons, like “Steven Universe,” that provide more meaning to their episodes by allowing the viewers to reflect on the lessons learned by the central character. I just hope that TV networks keep creating more shows like “Steven Universe,” where the creator’s passion reaches the audience.

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