Apologies, folks — we were sent material for Doom Patrol Season 3 weeks ago, but I did not want to look at it until I had watched the show. My instincts aren’t always correct, but they were this time — Doom Patrol turns out to be an excellent series and, due to circumstances, the promo material for Season 3 definitely spoils where everyone ends up. If you yourself haven’t seen Doom Patrol yet, you really need to get on that, and you should watch them in order, avoiding anything about Season 3 until you reach that point.
The premise for Doom Patrol is basically “what if the X-Men had no idea what they were doing.” Like its counterpart at Marvel, the DC version is about a team of ostracized misfits with superpowers who take refuge in a mansion owned by an old man in a wheelchair, but while Professor X is a noble leader, The Chief is much less so. Currently the Patrol spends more time fighting each other than they do actual crime, but they’re working on it.
The cast is fantastic. Brendan Fraser is a riot as Robotman, a former race car driver who wound up in an accident so bad his brain was the only thing they could save. Now lumbering around in a poorly built robot body, he spends all his time swearing and getting easily agitated about the tiniest of problems. April Bowlby steals every scene as Rita Farr, a Golden Age Hollywood actress stuck in time — she brings her stuck up “I’m too good for this” attitude to every situation and it never gets old. But the most fascinating character of the bunch is Diane Guerrero as “Crazy” Jane, a late-70s punkster who possesses 64 personalities, each with a separate superpower. Jane could be unstoppable if she was more stable, but she’s often literally her own worst enemy.
Season One of Doom Patrol is nearly flawless, mixing the perfect blend of humor, pathos, and undiluted comic book wackiness. I was ready to declare it one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. ….Then I saw Season Two.
Season Two makes a lot of deadly mistakes that harm the series’ quality. For some reason the cast is mostly broken up, having seven separate adventures simultaneously. Because of this, the plots that are good have their momentum derailed by needing to check in on someone else’s plot. Season One’s memorable villain, Mr. Nobody, is nowhere to be found, and replaced with nothing (unless you count The Candlemaker, who doesn’t truly wreak havoc until the last episode). The wacky stuff is still there, but the “misery” elements are dialed up to 100, making for an uncomfortable and unpleasant slog. To top it all off, COVID-19 struck right before they were about to film the finale, meaning the show ends with everyone appearing to be dead or in the process of dying. If Doom Patrol hadn’t been renewed, this would’ve been one of the worst endings of all time.
But there IS a Season Three, the below trailer is proof, and we hear a lot of the issues that sprang up in Season Two have been fixed. We hope so, because when this show is on target, IT’S ON. The first three episodes of Doom Patrol Season 3 will premiere September 23, followed by additional episodes weekly on HBO Max.