A Few Thoughts On "Batman: The Brave and the Bold"

Now, contrary to what the title may suggest, this is NOT a full blown review of the current Batman series on Cartoon Network! I will say this about the show though: I don't find it NEARLY as offensive as many Batman fans do! Yes, I know it's frustrating to finally have the characters reputation as far away from the Adam West show as possible, only to have this show come along that was meant to not only look like that awful show, but to actually remind you of that show. In fact, short of not getting Adam West back to voice the caped crusader I would say this is a fairly logical continuation of the 60's show. At the same time I acknowledge why the creators took this road, and why it was ultimately the best choice. Let's face facts folks and admit that "The Batman" was not that great of a show. Granted, some of it's ideas were good (especially the re-inventing of The Penguin and Riddler), and there were even some cool action sequences.

But deep down the show never really caught our attention, and maybe the reason was because it felt like the writers were trying to recapture the magic of the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini Batman series. Well folks, let's face it: We're NEVER going to have a Batman show that good again! If we do we should consider ourselves very lucky, but I doubt anyone will capture lightening in a bottle twice. Magic like that is a rare thing, so we should appriciate what we got out of it instead of complaining about the other shows that don't have it. So the producers of this show realized that there was no way they were going to create that magic again, and decided to go in a different direction. And you know what? It works. Yeah, it's bright, color, and childish. It's got more humor in the scripts. Staple characters like Alfred, Robin, and pretty much all the standard Batman rouges are nowhere to be found. We don't even see Batman as Bruce Wayne.

They did this on purpose. They did it because they wanted to do something different. And frankly, despite the fact that CN rates this series TV-Y7 (incorrectly in my eyes) this is easily the most kid friendly Batman we've seen in years. This is the kind of Batman show I can share with my kids when I have them (at least until their old enough for the mature stuff). By holding off on all the staples of the show the creators were able to make this Batman show something different, which is interesting at the very least. Still, even though I'm a defender of this show it's not like I'm a fan of it. I can't watch it all the time because it IS silly, and because I DO prefer the more mature Batman! Well, the writers of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" decided that they wanted to end the first season with a bang, and boy did they ever.
If you missed the two part finale don't worry: CN will, in all likelyhood, be reairing several times before the end of the month is up. The storyline involves Batman going to an alternate reality and discovering that he is the villain there, and that his arch-nemesis Joker is actually the good guy (though his identity here is Red Hood and we never see his face). So not only does the first episode open with an ambitious first part, but the second part is an ambitious finale when Batman returns home to find his evil dopplganger Owlman has destroyed his hero image. Plus his friends are now hunting him down. Oh yeah, and to top it all off, out favorite Batman villain Joker finally appears. And Batman now has to team up with his greatest enemy to save his reputation. And as you can see from this picture...

...Joker looks pretty much exactly as he did in the 60's showm, yet he still has some menace to him. I would have to say it would have been nice to have Cesar Romero voice the Joker once more here for an even better classic's a shame he's dead and all that. The reason behind this post is to not only explain to Batman fans WHY I don't think the shows lighter tone is nessicarly a bad thing, but also to excourage them to hunt down the two-parter and give the show a second chance! I doubt the rest of the show will have a scope this ambitious, but I think it would be very fan appropriate to have some of the classic villains in two-parter finales like this. It really does show that while these writers may be going for something different they are, in the end, Batman fans just like you and me. And we should be applauding their efforts rather then tearing them down.

Post a Comment