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Is Adam West woefully underrated?


Apr 19, 2006
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I've been rewatching Batman and Robin from the 1960s, which also had a movie tie in on television. For those who haven't seen it, the show is generally regarded as camp.

I've been blown away by the overall quality though. It ages very well. The humor is much more ahead of its time than it gets credit for. It's satirical, a straight man comedy that pokes fun at a bunch of high society folks losing their stuff over stolen jewels and silly non threatening villains.

On top of this it's a fairly good interpretation of the 1950s comics and the villains are all so spot on.

If Nolan could've used a time machine to cast Ceasar Romero as the Joker, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and, of course, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler I'm sure we all would've taken it. They simply nailed their roles. I even think Julia Newmar pretty much was their TDKR template for Catwoman.

It seems like the show and movie catch a lot of unwarranted slack.
I am a HUGE fan of the 1960's Batman show. Feel free to check out the fan thread I made on it some time, Optimus; http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=340782

It is a cult classic, and it has aged really well, IMO. How many times has this show been referenced over the years in TV shows and movies?

Nolan is a definite fan of the show. He has a poster of the 1966 movie on the wall in his home office. Anne Hathaway's Catwoman is clearly based off the design of Newmar's Catwoman. The clown mask Ledger's Joker wore in the bank robbery scene is the same one Romero's Joker wore in his first episode on the show.

It's the only version of Batman I've seen that made campy Batman cool and fun. The villains were amazing, my favorite being Burgess Meredith as The Penguin.
Adam West is the best. Season 1 of that show is legit one of the greatest showcases of solid television programming in history.
I was a Batman fan before Adam West came along. The first season wasn't too bad, they actully took a number of stories directly from the comics, I thought it was kinda cool and I enjoyed the actors and thier interpretations (of the villains mostly,) the only acting I didn't care for was Gordon and O'Brien, and I absolutely HATED Burt Ward as Robin (He's the reason I'm not a fan of Robin to this day). After that, I think the show became a victim of it's own success, especially when they started making up their own really lame villains (Egghead, Marsha Queen of Diamonds, etc.) and I finally realised that the producers actually had no respect for the characters at all, as the stories got sillier and sillier. I started off loving the show, but I evntually learned to hate it.
These days, though, I appreciate the show for what it was (a spoof) and what it did, i.e. basically saved the Batman franchise at DC comics, which had been on the verge of being cancelled.
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West was perfect for the Batman he was doing.
That's exactly it West was that eras Batman and he played it superbly.

PS. I also love him on Family Guy :p

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