My Problem with DC Universe

For the record, I’m referring to DC’s streaming service, not the comic book or film continuity. Although, I’m sure I could go into problems with both of those universes as well.

But let’s stick with this new streaming service for now.

When it was announced some time ago that DC Comics would be coming out with their own streaming service, I thought, Great! One more thing that will tempt me to waste money each month. What would DC Universe have that I couldn’t get from Netflix or Hulu (both of which I’m already paying for).

As a lifelong DC fan, just the announcement that this thing was coming made it tempting to sign up for it as soon as it was possible. But then they announced that a third season of Young Justice would air exclusively on DC Universe, I was sold.

Kids, if you’ve never had a chance to watch Young Justice, you are missing out. In my opinion, this has been the best depiction/adaptation of DC characters as a whole in a long time. Maybe ever. It originally aired on Cartoon Network, but was unceremoniously canceled after only two seasons when toy sales were not what the powers that be felt they should be. The fact that it was one of the most watched shows on Cartoon Network was irrelevant, because it was funded by the toy money.

I don’t actually know that it was one of the most watched shows on Cartoon Network. I think it’s safe to assume that it was in second place behind The Clone Wars in those days.

Anyway, I’ve gotten way off track here. I’m supposed to be talking about DC Universe. Young Justice was probably 90% of why I wanted to sign up for this thing. And then they threw in digital comics that would be included in the subscription. Technically, they’re not just free to read, because you have to pay for the subscription. But you’ve got all these classic comic book issues that you can access at any time online. Not too shabby.

So I signed up. Between the digital comics, the forthcoming third season of Young Justice, and the plethora of classic DC films and TV shows (including the Christopher Reeve Superman series and Lois & Clark), it’s kind of a no brainer for me to subscribe.

But didn’t the title mention I have a problem? Yeah… it did. I have a problem.

As part of the series’ line-up, DC Universe has a news program called DC Daily. That’s pretty cool, right? It’s a show where they’ll cover news of upcoming DC movies, the latest in TV shows (not just on the streaming service, but all those shows that are still on the CW and elsewhere), and even what’s happening in the comics, both current and classic.

But it also includes a portion of the show where there’s a panel of contributors who discuss something that can be accessed on DC Universe. Sometimes it’s an episode from an old TV show (like the 1990 version of The Flash) or an old movie. And it will definitely be a discussion involving whatever new TV show is premiering on DC Universe.

Here’s the thing… The plan is to have original programming on DC Universe. They’re beginning with Titans, a series that follows characters from the 1980s run of “Teen Titans” by Marv Wolfman and George Perez (Robin, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy). Now that Titans has premiered, there’s said to be a new episode of something each Friday from here on out.

So every Friday, there will be a new episode of Titans until the first season is over. Then there will be a new episode of whatever the next series to premiere will be. Eventually, this will mean a new episode of Young Justice each week.

Every Monday, the team on DC Daily will likely discuss the latest episode of Titans, etc. And every Monday, they will provide a glowing recommendation for the latest episode of Titans, etc.

But what if Titans sucks? Doesn’t matter… Glowing recommendation. Why? Because DC Daily is run by DC. They’re not going to say anything negative about their brand. Ever.

I like watching DC Daily. I think it’s interesting to get some of these contributors’ takes on classic episodes and movies. But it bothers me to know that, if any of them honestly dislikes an episode (or anything, really) they will be unable to share those honest opinions.

I’m more interested in hearing geek speak about what some of these stories mean in the scheme of things and how they think these things should affect continuity.

I’m not saying Titans sucks. I’ve only seen one episode so far and… well, it’s not great. But it doesn’t suck. But I wouldn’t be comfortable being one of those panel people talking about how awesome every aspect of the pilot episode was.

Basically, DC Daily isn’t a news program. It’s propaganda.

But I guess it doesn’t really matter for me, because I’m sold on the product anyway. I’m not sure I would try to convince anyone who isn’t a lifelong hardcore DC fan to subscribe. But if you’re considering it, jump on YouTube and see what non-DC Universe commentators are saying about the streaming service.

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