A Bone To Pick With Batman ’66

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The campy 60s action/comedy series Batman follows superheroes Batman and Robin as they battle various criminals throughout Gotham City. Each episode relies on a specific formula of the heroes uncovering a crime, tracking the criminal to his or her hideout, being captured by said criminal, having to escape a ridiculously complicated deathtrap, and confronting the criminal for a final time before hauling the villain back to jail.

The episodes become tiresome after repeated viewings and to any thinking person the entire series itself is unwatchable. Producer William Dozier detested the comics and therefore set out to make the series as campy as possible. However, several episodes did borrow heavily from the Batman comics at the time, and the comics themselves did nothing to combat the cheesiness.

It wouldn’t be until later in the 80s that true Batman fans were treated to a much darker, more mature Dark Knight. The one saving grace of this series are the guest villains, most notably Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, and numerous others. Although the actors typically play the villains as over-the-top maniacal fools, it is still enjoyable to see these greats ham it up on camera.

Overall, the series itself is a bit of a dud to anyone with half a brain, and the wooden performance of West as Batman does not help matters. One could say this show is remembered more for its villains rather than its hero, since the actors playing them do seem to give the roles their all. For those who wish to indulge themselves in mindless entertainment, this series is very accommodating.

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