Teen Titans Go! will kick off the second half of its third season on April 21, and will later surpass the 150-episode mark with no signs of slowing down.
Even with 11-minute episodes, that’s an impressive achievement. If you haven’t embraced the looser, zanier short format of Teen Titans, then you’ve missed out on many hilarious laughs and parodies that run the gamut from 8-bit episodes to puppets to Scooby Doo spoofs. The creative bar gets raised each season, as their witty writers find new ways to tell stories about food, holiday celebrations, beating boredom, singing catchy tunes, and stories so strange they cannot be categorized.
Have an encyclopedia of comic-book knowledge in your brain? Then you’ll adore all of the easter eggs hidden in every episode, like the one featuring multiple incarnations of Robin. It’s like a kids’ version of Community, set within the DC Universe. But there is a wide divide between the actual viewers of the show and the vocal minority who wish the show would go away.
Here’s a fun look with the Teen Titans Go! cast members Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Khary Payton (Cyborg) and Scott Menville (Robin) at this past Wondercon, talking about what goes into creating an episode, what to expect out of the new season and the best state of mind to enjoy their show:
In last season’s episode, “Let’s Get Serious,” the cast of Teen Titans Go! met the cast of Young Justice and the writers had fun with all of the online haters wanting Teen Titans Go! canceled, blaming it for the reason that Young Justice was canceled. Most other animated series (including Young Justice) would gladly take their ratings and not surprisingly, it has introduced many young children to the DCU, something the comics have been unable to consistently do in several years. Despite all of the hatred the show has generated with some longtime Teen Titans/Young Justice fans, the show has won over its new target audience and continues to be renewed. It's also worth noting: Teen Titans Go! is consistently the top kids cartoon airing on television whenever it airs, and it sits on top of the pile of animated cable shows.
At one end of the spectrum, some movie fans are begging for the DC Extended Universe to lighten up. Then at the other end, animated fans want their shows to be more deadly serious. So what is it, fans? Make up your minds!
As someone who enjoys all of the shows in the conversation, it’s possible to enjoy each one for different reasons, but trust me, comedy goes a long way. The weight of serial storytelling or heavy continuity helps manufacture stories with tapestry and architecture, but Teen Titans Go! is constructed differently. It is easier to jump into Teen Titans Go! at any point. The quick-paced, stand-alone quality of each episode welcomes the younger audience and those unfamiliar with the characters. This isn’t about destroying the legacy, as I’ve often read in countless online complaints. It’s simply about lightening up and having fun with a different take.
Thankfully, producers Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, continue to follow their guts, and put their faith in their fellow writers, cast, and crew, instead of quieting the cries of the internet; it's been working out well, thus far.
New episodes begin airing again April 21, Thursday nights on Cartoon Network 6pm/5pm Central.