‘Teen Titans Go!’, Where Santa Is A Real Jerk

Now that December is here, it’s time for me to write a bunch about Christmas. The month is dominated by the holiday, in both a religious and secular way. Not to knock other celebrations, but from a cultural standpoint nothing beats Christmas. It has aesthetics. It has Santa. Christmas has had more impact on pop culture than any other holiday, and if you don’t believe me check out Netflix or the Hallmark Channel.

Speaking of Santa, not all Christmas content is reverent. I enjoy the holiday, but I have an iconoclastic streak running through me as well. That’s part of why I enjoy the Cartoon Network show Teen Titans Go! as much as I do. In addition to liking its animation style, it brings me a heaping helping of anarchy, absurdity, and pop culture references clearly pointing at me as the adult viewer. They aren’t shy about it like some other shows that have a heavy kid audience. I watched Cyborg do a whole one-act play where he is both Balki and Cousin Larry on Perfect Strangers. Others than some crass jokes that probably appeal to the younger, more sophomoric audience, a lot of Teen Titans Go! is right up my alley.

On the show, Santa Claus is a recurring character. He’s also a total prick. My guess is a lot of the audience for Teen Titans Go! are tweens and teens who have just grown out of the whole Santa thing. They are trying out sarcasm and cynicism for the first time. Then, here comes a cartoon where Santa is a jerk who hates the Teen Titans and tries to steal other holidays. When he fails, he refuses to deliver Christmas presents. He calls the Titans “garbage kids.” He has a theme song that goes, “All hail the jolly fat man.” Santa is a recurring foe of the titans, which means we see violence visited upon Santa, and Santa visiting violence upon the Titans.

I watched one of the Christmas episodes recently, and if there is a new one this year I look forward to it. Teen Titans Go! have put out some of my favorite holiday content in recent memory. They are willing to have a little edge without being overly facile. I enjoy seeing Santa in the guise of a real douche, breaking windows with crowbars and calling kids garbage. In a weird way, I’m still celebrating the season. I just get some laughs and some iconoclasm along the way. Merry Christmas, you garbage kids!

About Chris Morgan

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