Doom Patrol, the DC Universe live-action series focusing on the titular strange group of heroes, is finally upon us at the end of the week — and that means the first full reviews of the show are making the rounds.
Created by Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and starring an intriguing ensemble that includes Brendan Fraser (Robotman), April Bowlby (Elastiwoman), Diane Guerrero (Crazy Jane), Matt Bomer (Negative Man), Jovian Wade (Cyborg), Timothy Dalton (The Chief) and a villainous turn for Alan Tudyk (Mr. Nobody), the series follows the titular group of misfit heroes as they try to save the world from Mr. Nobody, and prove they're just as super as other groups like the Titans.
The series has, so far, brought us charming teasers and trailers, the team's brief appearance on Titans was well-received, and longtime fans of the Doom Patrol comics are eager to see their favorite characters get a live-action showcase. But what are the critics saying?
Well, though its early story may leave something to be desired, the cast of Doom Patrol apparently does what we expected them to do: They (mostly) win the audience over.
Here's what the critics have to say after seeing the first two episodes of the series:
"Overall, Doom Patrol is assuredly not going to be for everyone. (In the first few hours after Warner Bros. made screeners available, I had a colleague reach out to recommend it immediately and another that noped the hell out forever.) But if you can get behind the type of comic book storytelling that swings wildly for the fences in that superhumanly macabre way only comic book storytelling can, Doom Patrol is both your jelly and your jam. If every streaming service needs a breakout original to give it a personality, DC Universe might have found one." - Vinnie Mancuso, Collider
"Seen in an episode of the DC Universe’s Titans and now spinning off into their own series, this adaptation from executive producers Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti (behind all the CW superhero shows) is just as wonderful and weird as the comic." - Mark Perigard, The Boston Herald
"But if you’re still on the fence, you’d better believe the platform may have very well found its crown jewel. I’m aware that I’m speaking somewhat prematurely because we still have Swamp Thing and Stargirl to anticipate in 2019, but Doom Patrol has genuinely left me that impressed." - Eric Joseph, We Got This Covered
"The product, as it is, chooses to be bland despite delivering on moments of true emotional resonance - particularly with storylines related to Robotman. There was a unique and fascinating show to be made out of Doom Patrol. A show that would have looked at the weirdness of Legends of Tomorrow and said: 'hold my beer.'
"Instead… we got what we currently have." - Merrill Barr, Forbes
"Doom Patrol gets off to a more exciting start than Titans, and I’m curious where it goes next. I just warn viewers expecting Flex Mentallo they might want to hold off on those wishes for next season." - Kyle Pinion, The Beat
"Doom Patrol’s level of success is in some ways indirectly related to lack thereof in the series that preceded it. As such, if this were the first offering from DC Universe, it might be more readily categorized as “fine but unremarkable.” Instead, with its inherent playfulness and fixation on the persistent emotional consequences of physical and emotional trauma in a world filled with unexplained phenomena and superheroes, the series comes across more like a necessary new beginning for the fledgling streaming service." - Kevin Yeoman, Screen Rant
"But the mess, frankly, is part of the Doom Patrol aesthetic. It’s supposed to be messy, and weird, and not all fit together in the right ways. It’s supposed to make you question structure, the way a superhero show — and perhaps even a TV show — should be. That it’s not always successful is fine, because where it does win puts it on par with any other drama on TV. It’s part and parcel with other genre-bending shows like SYFY’s Deadly Class, or AMC’s Preacher, fellow comic book based series that don’t fall easily into any particular classification.
"It’s also the first must-watch show from DC Universe, and given that it’s only their second original show, that bodes promising things for the fledging streaming service’s future. I guess we do need more TV superheroes, after all." - Alex Zalben, Decider
"Because the DC Universe streaming service is populated with teams of burgeoning heroes who are all so sure of themselves, Doom Patrol stands out. Nobody on the Doom Patrol verbalizes how much they don’t want to be superheroes, but it’s written all over each of their faces. They’re a group of people who’ve been supremely put upon by fate, and rather than taking it all in good stride like proper heroes, they’re upset. They’re angry, broken, and unsure of just who or what it is exactly they’re meant to be—and it makes them all riveting to watch." - Charles Pulliam-Moore, io9
"With Doom Patrol, it's almost as if DC Universe depicted the (initially, at least) dismissive response to Titans' dark and serious tone, and set out to concoct an antidote. The third original series from the fledgling streaming service is wonderfully bizarre and self-aware, exactly what you'd hope for comic book characters once billed as 'the World's Strangest Heroes.-" - Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resources