Monday, June 19, 2017

Batman TV Series

Batman TV Series
[DVD Batman] 

The death, on June 9th, 2017, of actor Adam West has caused an outpouring of people remembering how much his portray of Batman (and his secret identity Bruce Wayne) meant to them over the past 50 years. Adam West and Burt Ward (as Robin the Boy Wonder) appeared for just three seasons in this comedic take on the popular DC Comics characters, from 1966 to 1969. The series, eponymously titled simply Batman, was a bright, garishly colorful affair. The characters, whether our traditional heroes, or their rogue’s gallery of bizarre villains, were played for obvious comic effect. Batman lectured Robin (and the villains) on morals, proper behavior and the intricacies of culture…but it wasn’t heavy-handed lecturing, and, when you stop to think about it, you may have been laughing at the portentiousness of it at the time, but wasn’t he right in the end.

Among the tributes to the late actor, I found it fascinating to realize that the later versions of Batman, from Michael Keaton’s first big-screen take, to the recent Christian Bale and Ben Affleck versions, all were much darker versions — the second of Bale’s trilogy even being titled The Dark Knight (also the title of one of comic publishing’s most legendary graphic novels). These were a long-term reaction against the comic nature of Adam West’s series…an attempt by the comics and movie producers to “reclaim” their character and rebrand him for a more troubled time period. But you wouldn’t have any Dark Knight, without Adam West’s “Bright Knight” to pave the way. The 1960s series is a pure and loving tribute to the comic books of a simpler time, and it is truly a pleasure to re-watch them and enjoy all the famous actors chewing up the scenery and having fun.
Frankly, I’d prefer my TV and movie superheroes to have a little more fun. Fortunately, I can relive that feeling with the original Batman!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try obscure TV shows such as Once a Hero, The Tick (the original live-action version with Patrick Warburton) and The Greatest American Hero, all of which had fun with the concepts of costumed heroes, even poking fun at the genre, while still paying tribute to it as well.] [DC Comics in recent years has published a Batman ’66 comic book. and tries to recapture the style, tone and feel of this classic TV series. Also, if you’re interested in the classic Batman series, I recommended both Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (a straight-to-DVD/BluRay movie, reuniting West and Ward with Julie Newmar as Catwoman), and Back to the Batcave, Adam West’s Batman memoir.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ Warner Brothers’ official Batman TV Serie web page ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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