Well, lads, it's official.
HBO Max's Doom Patrol will conclude with season four, which has yet to come back after its mid-season finale. I've lurked in the subreddit, reading other users' speculations on whether it will come back for a fifth or not, and as such, I've tried to keep my hopes high and expectations low for more Doom Patrol.
Unfortunately, today, while scrolling through Reddit after eating lunch, those hopes were struck down.
The Hollywood Reporter article's headline hit me like a sack of bricks and broken glass.
'Titans', 'Doom Patrol' Ending on HBO Max
The current fourth seasons of both of the Greg Berlanti-produced HBO Max dramas will be their last, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Sources say producers on both Titans and Doom Patrol saw the writing on the wall amid all the changes with DC Entertainment and plotted their current seasons with proper endings so as to not leave fans in a lurch.
- Lesley Goldberg
Now, I can't speak for Titans, as the only Teen Titans show I ever watched was the Cartoon Network one from the mid-2000s, and even then I wasn't really into it. But Doom Patrol is a show that's very near and dear to my heart, and I will miss it very much.
If you're wondering what the hell I'm moaning about, Doom Patrol is a live action show based on a DC comic series I haven't read. Fortunately, my brother is really into comics. Just after season three came to a close, he told me I would like the show and we watched it together.
Holy hell, was he right.
In the first season of the show, we're introduced to our...heroes? No, that doesn't feel right.
We're introduced to our protagonists, the members of the titular Doom Patrol, a group of messed up people who develop superpowers--or in Cliff's case, end up being a brain in a robot after a car accident. They've been brought together by the wheelchair-bound Niles Caulder, who has much more to him than meets the eye.
Season one focuses on Niles being kidnapped by the supervillain, Mr. Nobody, expertly portrayed by Alan Tudyk. Robotman, Crazy Jane, Larry Trainor, and Rita Farr work together with Cyborg to save Niles, with each episode delving a little more into their characters' tragic backstories.
I think what I like the most about Doom Patrol is that the show defies my personal expectations for a "superhero" show. The characters are (and I can't think of a better way to describe them but) fucked up in so many ways. From Cliff's history of drugs and being an overall terrible father and husband, to Jane being an alter ego created to protect a young girl who was horrifically abused, to Larry having to hide his true self as a gay man in the '50s, and to Rita, a Hollywood actress with a checkered past.
Though Cyborg, who has his own childhood traumas he must deal with, tries to make the Doom Patrol work together as a team, they're reluctant to operate that way, and don't really broach the topic until mid-season three.
Another way Doom Patrol defied my expectations was how they aren't the formulaic protagonists who "save the day." They're selfish people with foul mouths more interested in saving themselves, and sometimes each other, from their trauma.
I think the best testament to the power of the quirky, yet gut-wrenching series is the fact that Gardiner enjoys it. As previously mentioned, Gardiner is willing to watch something if I like it, so that alone was my one saving grace to get him into it.
He's been on record as not liking superhero anything, so I knew when I told him one of my favorite shows was based on something from DC, he started to groan. I told him it wasn't going to be what he thought it was, and so we settled into dinner one night and watched the first episode.
Gardiner loved it. And if I didn't need to go back to my apartment after the weekend, I'm sure we would have caught up through season three much quicker.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Doom Patrol is a really powerful show and just about anyone could get something out of it...as long as you're cool with copious swearing, sex, nudity, and seeing a bunch of Nazi robot puppets getting ripped to shreds.
Anyway, I just want to say thanks to Doom Patrol for being such an entertaining and gripping watch. I'll savor the last half of season four as it's coming out, and probably cry when the credits roll after the finale.