Well, fellow fans, we have less than a month until we hit the Frothing Twenties, so it’s high time to look back on what is inarguably the most prolific decade of DC television in history. From the waning years of Smallville to the depths of Lucifer, from the zany antics of Teen Titans Go! to the modern antics of Harley Quinn, DC has completely dominated the small screen over the past ten years.
Y’think anyone could have predicted an iZombie show back in 2010? Or Krypton? Or Pennyworth? I mean, there’s a whole freaking Arrowverse that has burst into existence since then! (Heck, I’m not even sure if what we’re watching on our portable screens can be called ‘television’ any more!) It’s a brand new world when compared to a decade ago, a golden age for fans of DC Comics and its properties.
So let’s take a stroll down memory lane as we volunteer our favorites from the past ten years…
5. DC Super Hero Girls
This show is just a joy to watch, from its initial direct-to-video movies to the shorts created just for streaming audiences in both of its incarnations.
4. Justice League Action
Never got enough traction at Cartoon Network, but it felt like a spiritual successor to Batman: Brave and the Bold, so the show eventually found a nice warm nesting place in my heart.
3. DC Nation Shorts
As you might tell from my final three picks, Saturday mornings from 2011 - 2013 were my favorite era when it comes to DC animation in this decade. The shorts that were sandwiched between GL and YJ were so varied and energetic, I didn’t even need Froot Loops to get my brain fired up in the morning. Favorites: Doom Patrol, Sword of the Atom, '70’s Wonder Woman.
2. Green Lantern: TAS
Initially turned off by the CGI of the show, I was quickly won over by fantastic voice acting, characters and stories. Whoever ends up helming the HBO Max version of Green Lantern should take notes from this series.
1. Young Justice
This show is the platinum standard when it comes to superhero/comicbook animation. It gave me the Teen Titans show I’d longed for, and gave me so much more. It is my favorite other-media adaptation of DC Comics’ characters of all time (yes, even beating out B:TAS). The fact that the fanbase brought it back for more seasons here on DCU is just icing on the cake.
I never in a million years would have thought that anybody could bring this comic series to the small screen - on basic cable - and not only reproduce so much of it intact, but make it sing so beautifully. I could put half a dozen surprises in this slot - Gotham, Titans, Constantine - but the fact that they pulled this story off is what makes me doff my cap in the end. Until the end of the world indeed…
Gosh, I laughed when this was announced. I thought there would be no way that the producers and writers of this show would be able to entangle me in the way they did. As far as shows that weren’t picked up, this was the greatest loss of the year in my book. I wanna see Nyssa punching Thanagarians with her super-powers!
I feel like I’m singing the same song here, but when a Watchmen series/spin-off/sequel was announced, I scoffed. Scoffed, I tell you! Right out loud! I thought it was not only unnecessary, it was downright disrespectful. I was wrong. It’s not only incredibly respectful of the source material, I think it’s powerful and incredibly necessary in this day and age.
2. Doom Patrol
This show. THIS SHOW. On it’s own, it’s my favorite thing DC has done in this decade. The heart, the characters, every single frame of every episode is so spot-on, I am always in a state where I want to be re-watching it. And Cliff is the zaddy of all zaddies.
1. The Arrowverse
Yes, this is cheating. I know. But with Crisis coming up this week, I can think of no way to separate these amazing shows into their component parts. They have coalesced into one giant show in my heart, giving us the promise of a full universe in a way that no other group of shows has ever even dared to attempt. (For the record, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is still my current favorite of the bunch).
I’d also like to give a special award to DC Daily. I never realized how badly I needed this kind of thing in my life, but I do.
Your turn! What shows from the last ten years floated your boat and flipped your switch?