Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Teen Titans Go! "La Larva de Amor"

Definitivamente uno de los mejores episodios de la serie. No, en realidad no hablo español. Así que espero que Google esté traduciendo correctamente mi plátano.

Sometimes, TV shows decide to do something a little different. One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is "Family," where Captain Picard cries in the mud to get over getting Borgified while Worf deals with his parents coming aboard the Enterprise. ...It's better than it sounds.

Doctor Who took a risk that paid off with the well-received "Father's Day," an episode focusing on a small band of survivors at the end of time.

This episode is a telenovela parody focusing on Rube Goldberg physics that primarily features Silkie as a main character. In fact, the parts featuring the main characters are the weakest parts of the episode.

The A-plot where Silkie goes through a telenovela while doing nothing but crawling around unaware is both funny and fun.

The B-plot involving... anything the Titans do is... well, there's nothing wrong it, but I find that it's just not as interesting as the A-plot.

This is the second episode written by Amy Wolfram, who was also responsible for "Dude Relax." The rest of her episodes are hit or miss, but typically speaking, they won't actively make me angry, and I'll take what I can get.

The problem with talking about this episode is that the meat of the episode is just a sequence of well-animated physical gags. It was hard enough to even recap that.

Telenovela Characters
Okay, yes, Carlos and Sonia are pretty stereotypical. But I feel that this is mitigated by the fact that they're loving parodies of telenovela character archetypes. Nika Futterman delivers a fine performance, and I'm actually impressed with Scott Menville's ability to speak Spanish.

Silkie is at his best here. His thousand-yard stare while he absent-mindedly crawls around is my preferred take on the character. A later episode will give him a bit too much in the way of... shall we say, "proactivity," but that's a story for another time.

I simply cannot do Silkie's physical comedy justice through text. This episode was filled with superb animation touches, from Silkie crawling around, to Carlos knocking water out of someone's hand, to the subtle look of fear on Sonia's face before the goons take her and Silkie away. Quite simply one of the best episodes so far in terms of animation, with some fun nonsense when the Titans make mustaches.

Final Thoughts
When I say that this episode that deviates from the series norm is one of the best episodes... well, that might come across as either damning this show with faint praise, or an insult to the status quo. But to be completely honest, I think you could cut out some of the Titan shenanigans and turn this into a really nice standalone short film.

I... really have little to say. I try to hit at least 500 words with these Reviews... but I got nothing. The episode shines through its physical comedy, and that's very difficult to properly portray and discuss in a written format. There's no deep meaning to glean, no massive complaints I could be making, and there's really not point in examining the Titan's personalities, since nothing more is revealed about them through their behavior.

Except maybe for Starfire's murderous tendencies.
This is just a quietly good episode that shows what the writers and animators are capable of.

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all! I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go see The LEGO Batman Movie with somebody special.

Next time, though, the show has a bit of trouble deciding the A-plot and the B-plot. See you then!

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