Every Friday Chris hand-selects a streaming recommendation for your weekend.
This Week’s Featured Flick
Batman The Animate Series on Amazon Prime
As you listen to our 10th anniversary review of Batman Begins and the subsequent Batman banter on today’s episode of the podcast, take note of how much time, and reverence, we give to this children’s cartoon series. But hey, we’re children of the 90s! This show was on every day after school, without fail. It’s where I met most of Gotham City’s villains for the very first time. Not on the big screen. Not in comic books. On a little TV with a mono speaker humming out Danny Elfman’s immaculate score; a score which I actually associate more with BTAS than I do with the movies for which it was originated. So yeah, part of our collective admiration for the show is nostalgia. But I have fond childhood memories of lot of TV shows that I would never consider recommending as an adult. Examples? Sure. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe come to mind. Having seen old episodes of those shows in the past decade, I can say I never want to revisit them. It would only ruin the affection I have for them.
THAT is nostalgia, and for me Batman: The Animated Series goes far beyond it. I’m not afraid of tarnishing sacred memories when I watch it now. I’m excited about discovering thinks I missed as a kid! It was crafted with a unified tone that I could hardly senses and certainly couldn’t have defined when I was young. Glance through the first few pages of the writer’s bible for the series. It’s all about servicing the story and the character. The ‘HUMOR GUIDLINES’ section floors me. It would have been so easy to make a show that relied on the tried-and-true formula of campy Batman, especially for the young demographic that would consume the show. Plus, consider when this came out. The series began airing in the fall of 1992, following a summer release of Batman Returns. They were capitalizing on the success of Tim Burton’s films, and as I mentioned before they even borrowed the score. This could have been a slam dunk cash grab! But lucky for us all, it wasn’t. BTAS was a unique portrait of a half-century old super hero that was informed by its history, but not defined by it.