By Dave B.
Isolated from the world around them, a group of enhanced metahumans bands together to rescue their leader from an evil that can rearrange the fabric of reality itself. But before they stand a chance of defeating the powerful Mr. Nobody, they must find a way to overcome their ingrained mistrust others while battling their own ever-present personal demons.
I had no idea what to expect when I decided to watch Doom Patrol. Mostly, I expected a slightly quirky, but fundamentally standard superhero story. I’ve never been more pleased to be completely wrong. It’s important to know that this show is not for children, at all. That said, Doom Patrol is unquestionably one of the best television shows of 2019. It’s weird, wild, and wonderful in every way. Doom Patrol does not consist of stereotypical heroes. Through various tragedies, a Hollywood starlet, a military test pilot, a girl with multiple personalities, and a race car driver find themselves with incredible (although often dangerous and/or disfiguring) superpowers. Saying that they were “normal” people before their transformations would be a stretch, but they were all relatable due to their flaws and their suffering.
The writing in Doom Patrol is filled with depth, humor, and most importantly, compassion for the main characters. That compassion is the show’s most powerful feature because in the hands of lesser writers, the main characters could have been intensely unlikeable because… well, because they are aren’t always the best people and they often behave in very selfish ways. But with each episode, viewers discover why these heroes are the way that they are and watch them struggle valiantly for personal growth and redemption. Action and humor are plentiful, but Doom Patrol’s primary focus and strength is creatively conveying character development.
For 14 episodes, Doom Patrol was on pace to get a score of a perfect 10 from me, but it dropped the ball in the finale. While the last episode was certainly weird and wild, it was distinctly not wonderful. The narrator fully admits that it functions as red meat to fans of more traditional superhero fare. In my opinion, a television show can still theoretically receive a perfect 10 if it has a single episode that’s noticeably worse than all of the other episodes, because the score is not saying that something is flawless. It’s saying that the impression that the show left on me is ideal. But by relatively flubbing the last episode, Doom Patrol added a feeling of mild disappointment to what otherwise was an overwhelmingly positive, even joyous journey.
Despite the disappointing ending, Doom Patrol: Season One is definitely a must-watch show and provides an excellent incentive to give HBO Max a try. It was one episode away from being the second best television show that I’ve ever reviewed (behind “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Season Two”). For various reasons, lot of people won’t give Doom Patrol a chance, but if you do, I promise that you will not regret doing so.
Service: HBO Max
Approx. Episode Length: 55 Minutes
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.