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TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:10 am
by bat-rss
"The Penguin's Clean Sweep" has more logical inconsistencies and oversights than you might realize at first glance. Our childhood friend Kyle joins us once again to put this episode under the microscope!

Also, from the archives, another Batman Radio Show we recorded as kids! ... microscope

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:52 am
by High C
For whatever reasons, this Batman ep never floated my boat. I mean, it's not terrible, it's just kinda meh, IMO. But your show was good as always.

You guys mentioned all the way back in Gorshin's finale how the season 3 ethos seemed to be to make the Duo, especially Robin, look dumber to make BG look smarter, and that continues apace here. I also have to fault Oscar Rudolph's direction. Robin's line about how 'if Penguin didn't take anything out' of the mint followed by the long pause before Batgirl finishes the line is more awkward than it should've been, and that's on the director.

Kyle again had some good points, especially his observation about Beradino not speaking that much in his role, and also what exactly was Penguin's plan? Tim and Paul were right--the equipment and henchperson names suggest they expect people to discard the $$$, but then why did he feel the need to dump the serum?

Oh, and this is a nitpick, but it bugs me how shows/movies always say 'mint' when paper money is the quarry. Mints make coins, period.

Speaking of Beradino, once someone of his caliber has ANY lines, that usually wouldn't affect his pay. It's my understanding the pay had more to do with how many days he/she was on set.

As for Paul's observation about Burt's crosseyed look, it was reminiscent of the African death bee scene in Londinium. African death bee = Lygerian fruit fly I guess.

I also had the MNF electronic game!

Petaluma was the site of the world arm-wrestling championship.

As for The Batman Radio Show, was Steve Martin singing 'King Tut' the Young brothers' answer to Lesley Gore performing 'California Nights' and 'Maybe Now'? :P

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:31 pm
Amazing how you guys can make interesting shows from season three episodes that would not make the cut of a Bazooka Joe comic strip. Listening to your show, my mind drifted back to "Fine Feathered Finks," and how that was the way the Penguin should be written...only for the reminiscing to hit a brick wall in the form of the character's final episode.

At least Meredith was able to leave the role with his dignity in place. Others were not so fortunate...

...I'm looking at you, Caesar Romero!

Moving on to Robin made to look stupid next to Batgirl...

Come on. Robin--a world class detective, and presumably, he helped build many of the computers and devices in the Batcave (which suggests he had an understanding of how they needed to function) cannot recognize bacteria? Whatever. Making Robin a dunce all to prop up Batgirl (well, when she was not talking about women's intuition and reading tea leaves) was yet another reason season three is barely worth revisiting.

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:31 am
by Jim Akin
Another fun installment. I'm going to miss this podcast when you reach the end of the series!

I rewatched the episode a couple of days after listening to the podcast, so I may inadvertently be covering points you guys already mentioned, but a couple of things jumped out at me:

Batgirl is relegated to second-stringer status in particularly humiliating ways twice in the episode: When Batman and Robin tell her to wait at the bank (for what?) while they go do important stuff and then evidently ditch her there; and when she cycles up outside the bank (the one she was supposed to be waiting at all along) and gets Penguin-gassed before she even gets in one kick at the finks. Batgirl deserved better.

I know it's just a silly TV show, based on a silly comic book, and that continuity was never the point. I also know that not even a tycoon with the clout of Bruce Wayne (or Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, etc.) could convince the entire global marketplace to avoid money from a given city. But even if we didn't know that from the Minstrel episodes that Gotham is a financial hub with a stock exchange, it'd be an economic disaster for the city if all currency originating there were suddenly declared off-limits around the world.

On a more mundane note, there's a newsstand on the block between the Gotham National Bank and a building on the corner that's served as the Gotham Expo Center in past episodes, and the production team couldn't be bothered (or wasn't paid) to fill it up with real newspapers and magazines. Instead they covered it with what looks like multicolor wrapping paper, which makes it hard to tell exactly what it is at first glance. That wouldn't have mattered much if the newsstand had just been seen in passing, but it gets a lot of screen time in the episode and serves as the backdrop for the batfight, and it looks really rinky-dink. (It's also kind of surprising to me that the studio didn't just keep the newsstand populated with fake publications, so it'd be ready for use anytime.)

Finally, as board member dell pointed out in another thread, the manager of the Gotham National Bank, whom Batgirl quizzes about the contaminated money, was played by John Vivyan, who starred in Blake Edwards's action series "Mr. Lucky" during the 1959-60 TV season. The show (which is available to stream on Amazon Prime) was highly rated but cancelled after just one season when its sponsors pulled out and couldn't be replaced. As with John Berardino, his role is an uncredited cameo.

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:14 pm
by gothosmansion
While Penguin's Clean Sweep isn't one of my favorite episodes, I think I liked it better than you guys.

The good point: I like that Batman researched the fruit flies and knew they would die when the temperature dropped. Good to see him actually using detective work.

I also didn't really give too much thought to Batgirl upstaging Robin during the microscope scene. In seasons 1 & 2 Batman had to explain things to Robin a good bit. Remember, Robin is still a crime fighter in training at this point.

For me, the real down side of the episode was Miss Clean. She seemed to be of the Ethel Merman school of acting, which meant she just made sure to say her lines louder than everyone else. Think maybe she was Lola Lasagne's niece or something?

This will probably get me banned from the board, but there are a couple of Stanley Ralph Ross penned episodes coming up that I really do enjoy.

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:24 am
by Kite Kid
Jim Akin wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:31 am
a newsstand ... covered ... with what looks like multicolor wrapping paper
I thought the same, Jim, about how rinky-dink and unfinished it looks, and like you, I had the same difficulty at first in recognizing just what it was. That same newsstand is behind the old lady and the Boy Scout trying to help her cross the street in all three of the Egghead-Olga episodes.

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:09 pm
by bat-rss
We did mention that crazy newsstand in the podcast, by the way!
Jim Akin wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:31 am
Another fun installment. I'm going to miss this podcast when you reach the end of the series!
End of Batman series doesn't equate with end of podcast series! Just ask John S. Drew! We still have a bunch of additional things to talk about, and more scripts...

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:50 am
by robinboyblunderer
I can handle Batgirl showing up Robin though it is a bit extreme he doesn't recognize bacteria...! I think this is one of the rare Penguin episodes where he's not trying to run an "honest" game on Gotham. Too bad, uhm...hmm...Miss Clean wasn't given more to do.

The bat-flyswatter scene does crack me up. I think this episode, if not one of the bright spots of the third season, isn't the worst. It's better than Olga/Clavicle/Dr. Cabala.

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:43 am
Unless I missed it, what makes this episode unique among other season three episodes is that it features the only appearance of the Wayne Manor living room in the opening scene. Granted it is a very tight shot and for a living room that is so big, the actors are jammed into one corner. It makes me wonder if they saved a partial piece of the set when the repurposed the living room for the library (I believe that was the case correct?). It's unique only to this episode. I thought maybe it was filmed earlier in the season but the production number (1721) comes late in the season.

If I may digress, one thing that they could have done with the "dock" scene in Nora Clavicle was somehow work it out during production of the Lord Ffog episode when they are on the docks of Carnaby Street. It was a nice and sunny outdoor set.

Great episode (as always)!

Re: TO THE BATPOLES #114: Putting "Clean Sweep" under the microscope

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:55 am
by bat-rss
I think we did comment on the Wayne Living Room appearance in passing. Yes, I believe that set had become the GC Library. It looks like they merely grabbed the (or ANY) fireplace, and put it in front of some wallpaper that didn't look familiar to me. Viola! Wayne Living Room!

They could have used the docks, but remember, Sherman's script called for it to be nighttime. Holy Green Hornet day-for-night! But those shots tended to be tough to see anything in. When watching the show on YouTube/Daily Motion, I always had to turn out all the lights to watch those scenes!

Of course, as we've seen in our script shows, sometimes nighttime scenes became daytime scenes, for various reasons, and I'm sure one of those was to make things easier to see. They could always have had Nora set the bomb for an hour BEFORE sunset. Or, I don't know, for an actual time on the clock! Bomb timers tend not to be sensitive to the time of sunset, which changes day to day!