Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so camp

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Batmanknight1106
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Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so camp

Post by Batmanknight1106 »

Hello Bat fans! I am new to the forum. I am in my 20s. I became a fan of the show back in 2010.Nobody I now oh the current fans even like this show :{ So I decided to come here and share my thoughts on The Batman TV show.I might even Review every single Batman episode on YouTube :D
Did anyone find the first season to be not so camp.I mean The Jokers Wild was kind of haunting in its own right.
Edward Nigma
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Edward Nigma »

Welcome to the board Batmanknight1106.

I've never thought of Season 1 as camp (at least not in the way Valley of the Dolls/Mommie Dearest/Showgirls are considered camp.) I've always thought the first season was an audacious blend of action/adventure, satire (of comic books in particular and society in general) and, in the villains, a true sense of menace. Thereafter, the show devolved from that audacious blend to comedy (season 2) and then to Surrealistic self-parody (Season 3).
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Riddler Fan
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Riddler Fan »

The "Campiness" didn't begin (in my opinion) until season 3. The first few episodes of season 1 were very tame in terms of outrageousness, except for Batman at the Disco ("I shouldn't want to attract attention").
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Chuck Williams
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Chuck Williams »

Edward Nigma wrote:Welcome to the board Batmanknight1106.

I've never thought of Season 1 as camp (at least not in the way Valley of the Dolls/Mommie Dearest/Showgirls are considered camp.) I've always thought the first season was an audacious blend of action/adventure, satire (of comic books in particular and society in general) and, in the villains, a true sense of menace. Thereafter, the show devolved from that audacious blend to comedy (season 2) and then to Surrealistic self-parody (Season 3).
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elmrgraham
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by elmrgraham »

I think that the best seasons of Batman were Season One and Season Two.Season 3 was a downhill one.
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High C
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by High C »

This topic was discussed many times on the old board, and it's always interesting.

I'd say the camp wasn't as prevalent in season 1, but it was there. I mean, tell me it's not campy that a supposedly brilliant criminal would substitute Jill St. John for Burt Ward and expect nobody to notice? :o

Or a professor who fancies that he's King Tut, and makes all his criminal assistants dress accordingly? Or a guy who shoots a sleep-inducing ray out of his top hat? Or criminal assistants who all wear color-coordinated outfits [the henchmen didn't dress like that in the comics].

And season 2 got even campier with love darts and time machines and voice erasers and Cataphrenic, etc.

And of course, season 3 topped them all in terms of campiness. But the seeds were sown in S1 and nurtured in S2. Yes, S1 was more dramatic and more 'noir' than the other 2, but there were signs of what was to come.
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redbird
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by redbird »

Regarding season 1, for myself I would have to say a change in the direction of the show came about after the zelda the great episodes. Remember the gun fire at the conclusion of that episodes in the mummy cases. Also the cliffhangers were more of a possibilty. The Robin on the operating table, Bruce on his way to the furnace, being unmasked on tv by the Joker and Aunt Harriett kidnapped. After that cliffhangers became "camp" spinning wheel of death, tied to train tracks with plastic wrap, covered in plaster, tied to a clock tower etc. It was almost like the network wanted the show to be toned down for the very young who were watching. The same thing happen to George Reeves as Superman, the first season was pure mystery,nadventure and crime. The following seasons "camp", playing to the younger group who pretending to be Superman with red towels attached to their back and flying.
rickkrefft
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by rickkrefft »

Season one remains my favorite of the series. Loved almost all the episodes. Season two had some great episodes as well, but many stinkers too. Loved all the Julie Newmar Catwoman that season, and the Joker and Penguin team up, but I hated no Frank Gorshin Riddler. I think season one was easily the best and not as campy, yet still fun.
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Kamdan »

I always point this out to Batfans who aren't fans of this incarnation of Batman. To me, the overly ridiculousness and more deliberate camp element came when the movie came out, followed by the second season.

That first season feels very much like it was often described as a "pop art adventure." As it was pointed out before, The Joker Is Wild had some genuinely creepy moments, namely when Batman peels off The Joker's Pagliacci mask, but of course, it's counterbalanced with the drunk man at the bar ("It's my mother-in-law!").

However, some episodes, like A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away/When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play, didn't have those humor elements, making them feel a lot more like the initial Bob Kane and Bill Finger era comic books. Episodes like that give you somewhat an idea of how a more "serious" version of the series would have played out.

There was also more elements in that first season that were notably more adult in content that would never show up in the later seasons. In The Bookworm episodes, it starts off with Commissioner Gordon being taken down by a sniper, which of course, turned out to be a double. Also, in one of The Riddler episodes, Batman is almost shot directly in the face by one of The Riddler's henchmen.

Something humorous that I always point out is how in The Dark Knight, Alfred asks Bruce "Were you mauled by a tiger?" and it turned out to just be dogs. In the first Catwoman episodes, that's exactly what he has to deal with, a tiger, and he had no armored suit to protect him on that one.
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Riddler Fan
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Riddler Fan »

I find it funny that both Batman and Lost In Space followed the same downward spiral and the same time. In Lost In Space the first season was very dramatic, the second season was more adventurous and the third season was a space farce. Strange to that both were products of 20th Century Fox. Should we read something into that?
Kamdan
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Kamdan »

I think they were just playing to the "camp" fad that was going on in that period.
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Mr. Deathtrap
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Mr. Deathtrap »

Citizens,

I think Kamdan's point about the movie shifting the series heavily into camp makes a lot of sense.

Some of the early season 2 stories are as suspenseful, action-oriented, and plot-driven as the first season stories. The Clock King appearance is very good as an example. Some of these scripts were left over from consideration from season 1.

One of the changes was Charles Hoffman replacing Loreno Semple Jr. as script editor and while some of Hoffman's stories particularly with Mad Hatter are excellent, he slowly allowed the camp to dominate stories as it did in the movie. The decision to mimic the movie more and more may have been made by more people than just Hoffman.

This point about more emphasis on humor is not really a criticism of the film, which was longer than a typical episode and had more scope while trying to appeal to a wider audience. Telling a story with four villains is not easy and the Joker's presence in the gang is never really justified. (I assume he planned the plot that unfolded in the opening with the yacht vanishing and the shark attacking Batman.)

By the third season the suspense show had turned into a comedy and Hoffman had an uphhill struggle from the get go.

Mr. Deathtrap
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Dr. Shimel
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Dr. Shimel »

Riddler Fan wrote:I find it funny that both Batman and Lost In Space followed the same downward spiral and the same time. In Lost In Space the first season was very dramatic, the second season was more adventurous and the third season was a space farce. Strange to that both were products of 20th Century Fox. Should we read something into that?
Well, they did have a habit of sharing props.
Edward Nigma
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Edward Nigma »

redbird wrote:Regarding season 1, for myself I would have to say a change in the direction of the show came about after the zelda the great episodes. Remember the gun fire at the conclusion of that episodes in the mummy cases. Also the cliffhangers were more of a possibilty.
Kamdan wrote:However, some episodes, like A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away/When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play, didn't have those humor elements, making them feel a lot more like the initial Bob Kane and Bill Finger era comic books. Episodes like that give you somewhat an idea of how a more "serious" version of the series would have played out.

There was also more elements in that first season that were notably more adult in content that would never show up in the later seasons. In The Bookworm episodes, it starts off with Commissioner Gordon being taken down by a sniper, which of course, turned out to be a double. Also, in one of The Riddler episodes, Batman is almost shot directly in the face by one of The Riddler's henchmen.
I don't think there was a tipping point in Season 1 when the absurdist element overwhelmed the noirish element. Some of the later episodes, as Kamdan notes, had some very low-fi, violent elements (like Commissioner Gordon being "shot", Robin tied to an old-fashioned saw belt) juxtaposed with absurdist elements like Robin averting certain death by catching a batarang with his teeth. You also had that wickedly devilish moment in "The Penguin Goes Straight" when Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara are about to shoot Batman and Robin, who are unconscious and suspended behind a curtain.

In my opinion, Lorenzo Semple Jr. did a masterful job keeping the two elements in balance in Season 1, which is why the first season holds up so well after 47 years.
Mr. Deathtrap wrote:Citizens,
One of the changes was Charles Hoffman replacing Loreno Semple Jr. as script editor and while some of Hoffman's stories particularly with Mad Hatter are excellent, he slowly allowed the camp to dominate stories as it did in the movie. The decision to mimic the movie more and more may have been made by more people than just Hoffman.

By the third season the suspense show had turned into a comedy and Hoffman had an uphhill struggle from the get go.

Mr. Deathtrap
I'm less charitable to Hoffman than you are as I think he was as much a part of the problem as its solution. But, in his defense, even Lorenzo Semple Jr. would have had a hard time once William Dozier decided to have writers write for his social circle rather than having writers write interesting villains and then find talented character actors to play them.
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Mr. Deathtrap
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Re: Did anyone find The First Season of Batman to be not so

Post by Mr. Deathtrap »

Edward Nygma,

I'm normally no so charitable to Charles Hoffman as script editor on BATMAN. Here, I'm merely trying to be fair.

I agree Semple balanced the noir and camp elements nicely in bringing a comic book to life. Hoffman let the show become formulaic, which may have been inevitable. He also seemed to rely on a smaller pool of writers, which is unfortunate but perhaps understandable because of the pace at which the show was made.

Joel Eisner's book describes how Hoffman selected an innovative script with the Sandman and insisted on inserting Catwoman while rewriting the script so that the lead actor declined to play Sandman and the writer did not recognize his story, if I'm recalling the story correctly. The team-up had some excellent elements, but overall ended up being pretty weak and exemplifies what had happened to the show by then.

Again, by season 3, any attempt Hoffman may have made at good storytelling was largely doomed.

I like your point about the direction in which William Dozier had taken the show.

Mr. Deathtrap
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