In which I only use the f-word once.

§ August 9th, 2019 § Filed under swamp thing, television § 3 Comments

JohnJ wrote, in response to my post about the final Swamp Thing episode:

“…After I recently watched the 11-episodes of Titans I am curious whether Swamp Thing also dropped as many ‘f-bombs’ as Titans did. I didn’t count them but there were soooo many. More than 50, less than 100 I would guess. Enough that it was painfully obvious what somebody thinks ‘mature’ means and from every character.
I’ve watched the first episode of Doom Patrol and don’t remember the language being that salty.”

Well, there were a few choice uses of that particular vulgarity throughout Swamp Thing‘s run, but relatively few and far between. In fact, it was a surprise whenever one would drop.

Not like in Titans, where, hoo boy, they weren’t shy about their pottymouths. The sheer incongruity between what our perception of what the Teen Titans has always been versus what the TV show presented probably made the that particular swear stand out…oh, and the fact that they used it like a million times, that helped too.

It just felt somewhat tonally inappropriate, whereas in Doom Patrol, where our favorite f-bomb was used with a significant amount of frequency and enthusiasm, it seemed, well, natural. Probably from a comic fan perspective of knowing that Doom Patrol spent time under the Verigo banner, therefore swearing, and just from the general feeling that this show is “different” and all that usage of Carlin’s Seven Words is just another example of how this superhero show is different from other superhero shows.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that Doom Patrol is genuinely funny. The enbtire attitude of the program is “hi, we’re super weird and we totally don’t give a shit” perhaps makes all the swearing just, well, part of the fun. Whereas on Titans, the swearing just comes across as “look how edgy and adult we are” and it can feel like it’s just trying to hard to convince the viewer that this is all serious business, that’s why Robin has to say “fuck.”

Look, not to say I didn’t like Titans. I thought it was fine, enjoyable superhero nonsense. Still don’t get that portrayal of Dove…though she and Hawk look perfect, but like I’ve said before, if Dove is supposed to be non-violent like in the comics, they must be grading on a scale compared to everyone else in the show. And the show is super-violent, but at least it’s mostly nicely-shot, easy-to-follow violence that my eged eyes and brain can appreciate.

Anyway, last time I was talking about Swamp Thing I said I was going to try to go into specifics about what I thought went wrong with the show. And…well, beyond rushing the hell through Swamp Thing’s character evolution, I honestly don’t have much to complain about. The one really unnecessary element was likely the Dan Cassidy/Blue Devil stuff, which pains me to say, being a Blue Devil fan since that 16-page preview in that long-ago issue of Firestorm. Just…what did he add to the story, exactly? He saved Abby and Liz at one point, but that could have been handled another way without him. And he was a test subject for Woodrue’s medical shenanigans, I suppose, but aggain, no reason for that to have been specifically that character.

My thought was that they were going to be leading to a contract between Alec Holland being trapped in a body we was tortured by, versus Dan being trapped in Blue Devil’s body, and having a grand ol’ time while doing so. But clearly that’s not what happened, and the truncated nature of the series meant Dan getting his happy ending, free of the curse or whatever after waiting around for years to save Abby that one time, which clearly wasn’t the intended resolution for that arc but that’s what we got. Oh well.

Anyway, I suppose my main complaint was “not enough Swamp Thing doing Swamp Thing stuff,” but that’s generally my complaint about every TV show and movie. It’s the main reason I never watched Friends.

3 Responses to “In which I only use the f-word once.”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    “Anyway, I suppose my main complaint was “not enough Swamp Thing doing Swamp Thing stuff,” but that’s generally my complain about every TV show and movie. It’s the main reason I never watched Friends.”

    I’m picturing the opening credits of the Brady Bunch, but with Swampy taking the place of one of the kids.

    He might’ve made a good DJ on WKRP in Cincinnati, though not a very chatty one. (Good, more time for the music!)

    On the Bob Newhart show: “This is my brother Darryl. This is my other brother Darryl. And this is my other brother Swamp Thing.”

    He could’ve been a third dad on “My Two Dads.”

    Okay, I’ll stop now.

  • JohnJ says:

    Glad to read your thoughts on Titans. I was afraid it was just me.
    Best thing about the show was that they finally have decided that Cyborg is only in the Justice League and can’t also be a Titan. Worst thing was that the cliff-hanger ending to the season relied on an almost complete episode dream sequence. It’s like Batman’s stupid dream of Nazi-Superman in Batman v. Superman suddenly became the actual story. Thank goodness Superman’s mom’s name was Martha or that whole movie wouldn’t have made any sense. Oh, Heroes & Icons reran the first episode of The Adventures of Superman last Saturday, reminding us all that in the early 50s Kal-El’s adopted parents were still Eben and Sarah. Glad they finally changed that.

  • Robcat says:

    I believe Swamp Thing did meet Friends. Wasn’t it on the short lived 70’s cartoon like the Scooby Doo team-ups like SC meets Batman and Robin (Batcookie, anyone?)

    There was Swamp Thing meets Friends.

    Swamp Thing meets Vincent Price.

    Swamp Thing meets the Three Stooges.

    Swamp Thing meets Supernatural. (Or was it X-files?)

    Swamp Thing meets the Harlem Globetrotters.

    And who can forget Swamp Thing meets the Jackson 5?

    I have no end to this joke. Sorry.