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Why Doom Patrol Season 2 Premiered At Just The Right Time - Exclusive

Doom Patrol is one of the most complex and layered genre series airing right now. On the surface, the show is steeped in top-tier interesting DC Comics lore — whether we're talking a genderqueer sentient city street, a race-car driver's brain in a robot body, a guy whose superpower is flexing, or any of the other delightfully unique plot elements the show throws at its viewers week after week. The key to the acclaimed DC Universe/HBO Max series, though, is something that runs deeper than anything on the surface.

Yes, fans tune into Doom Patrol to watch dysfunctional superhero hijinks, but they've also been captivated because the first season very clearly established Doom Patrol as a series about flawed people who are doing everything they can to be better. Every member of the Doom Patrol team — from the human-turned-robot Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan) to Cyborg (Joivan Wade) – has been through a great deal of personal pain, and the series' first season was all about how they learned to turn the negativity of the past into something positive.

Now, as Doom Patrol season 2's story unfolds, the team is learning how to cope with those pains as a more cohesive unit while also exploring their own roads to growth. The result is a show with a message that turned out to be even more resonant right now than it would have been had the new season dropped under normal circumstances.

In an exclusive interview with LooperDoom Patrol actress April Bowlby, who plays Rita Farr on the show, discussed why the second season of the series premiered at just the right time.

Finding hope in Doom

Doom Patrol season 2 brings with it plenty of new — and still very strange — threats for the title team to deal with, even as they're still facing the issues within themselves that helped define the first season of the series. Given the time it premiered – on June 25, 2020 — season 2 of Doom Patrol also provides parallels to the circumstances of the real world. Of course, the creators of Doom Patrol didn't make the new season with a global pandemic in mind, but now that season 2 is out, watching these characters grapple with the strangeness of the world they find themselves in is even more powerful than it might have been had it debuted earlier. 

For Bowlby, whose character is focused on personal growth and learning to be a superhero on Doom Patrol season 2, it's all part of the broader message of the show: finding your place in a weird world and opening yourself up to growth even when things can feel hopeless. In that way, Doom Patrol seems to have returned at exactly the right time, when all of us are experiencing a deeper sense of vulnerability.

"I think our show focuses on real issues like mental illness and LGBTQ+ acceptance and it's through the lens of superheroes. So, I feel it's [about] that coming together over your differences and applying it to help each other," said Bowlby. "Our show, although quirky, really deals with vulnerability and not being accepted and [the question of] what is the human condition? And the only way that you can deal with that is to embrace each other. That will lead to healing each other and sharing the struggle with the world will bring us together."

Bowlby continued, sharing with Looper that "to be vulnerable is step one." The characters of Doom Patrol have done that, and people in real life are beginning to do that as well, as the pandemic continues to affect day-to-day life and many around the world are fighting for justice and equality. Doom Patrol, as Bowlby noted, highlights the importance of vulnerability in igniting bravery and ultimately change. Odd as it may sound at first witness, viewers can actually learn a lot from Doom Patrol.

"What is happening with the world right now is that there's a shift and a transition, and we hope to be transitioning into something better. But in order to get through it, you need to break down what isn't working," Bowlby said. "I think our show is definitely that. You can't move forward unless you look at yourself and deal with your past issues, and if you can't be brave enough to look at the past, then you can't move forward. And I think we're looking at the past, I think we're admitting — well, we hope that we admit — where we made mistakes so that we can fix it and you need to be vulnerable. You need to be honest to do that, and our show has that stance of finding how vulnerable you can be, how you do that, where are your people, how do you move through this world?"

Doom Patrol season 2 is now streaming on DC Universe and HBO Max. New episodes arrive every Thursday.