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Batman 66 Bat-Probe: Episode 6 : Batman Is Riled
Reviewed by Geena Phillips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   August 05, 2014

Before I get into this episode itself, I wanted to take a moment to give kudos to IFC for how it handled this marathon. First off, if they time-compressed the episodes to fit into the modern cable-TV half-hour, it's not intrusive at all. Also, they didn't awkwardly insert commercial breaks at weird places not in the original program (yeah, I'm lookin' at YOU, BBC America). Finally, they haven't been skipping ahead in the order (at least not yet); this has afforded me the opportunity to view the show's evolution in the smallest possible scale. They also kept the original aspect ratio, and didn't stretch a 4:3 show to fit widescreen TVs (yeah, I'm lookin' at YOU, Food Network and The Cooking Channel).

Batman being stymied by smoke pellets (from the Joker's own utility belt). Oh, the irony!

Dude! There you go AGAIN, calling yourself "the Clown Prince of Crime." I'm serious now; you've gotta cut it out, or we maybe can't be friends anymore.

Batman flying up a rope (as he does when there's no wall to scale) is certainly cheesy, but it's not one bit less cheesy when done with CG.

Cool! The self-tying-up confetti bit in Joker's belt is actually a pretty inspired effect.

I love how, after a while, the fact that virtually every single bit of automotive business is optically sped up becomes something the viewer no longer pays attention to.

Anytime an old-time TV show features a white guy in a suit delivering the news from behind an old-time news desk, all I can picture now is Aaron Sorkin at home, furiously spanking it for the duration of said scene.

News interviewer: "Commissioner Gordon, have Batman and Boy Wonder finally met their match?"

Gordon: "Well, let me say this, Fred: I-I'd hate to think so."

Geez, Commish, thanks for the pep talk! Do you coach Little League in your spare time? Cuz I'm sure Batman and Robin are now ready to charge back out on the field, with a renewed sense of vigor and purpose. :b

Newscaster: "In this hour of peril and need, perhaps all our prayers are best summed up by my small son, Harold, just eight years old. Kneeling beside his little bed, hands clasped reverently before him, he said, 'God bless mommy, God bless daddy, God bless my dog Spot, and please, Batman, whoever you are behind that mask of yours, please save us.'" (whatever you do at this juncture, avoid picturing Aaron Sorkin approaching climax, at all costs)

For crying out loud, Harold, when Batman said "Pray to me!" in Batman Begins he was trying to scare the pants off a criminal; he didn't mean it literally (and he's sorry you overheard that whole thing).

The Joker hijacking a television broadcast is an old familiar standby, and makes me all warm inside. His then staging a parody of What's My Line is the icing on the gravy.

A quick note on the henchmen of Batman: All the villains seem to have them, and they're all virtually interchangeable. I'm rapidly developing the theory that Batman was the Law & Order of pasty, craggy, middle-aged white guys; i.e., everybody did their time there in the late 60s.

So, your master plan is to overcome Batman and Robin with a sleeping-gas champagne cork at the ship christening they're scheduled to conduct? Well, it has the virtue of having never been tried, I guess . . .

And speaking of the ship christening:

Random Guy In Crowd: "Hey, what are you two guys doin' out here, when the Joker's out there takin' over the city?"

That, citizen, is a COMPLETELY FAIR question. Random Guy for mayor!

"Egads! What sorcery is this?" Thank you, Joker, for the notable quotable of the entire episode.

C'mon, Batman. You're already beating the living stew out of the Crown Prince of Crime (see, Joker? It's perfectly okay if SOMEONE ELSE calls you that); do you have to simultaneously humiliate the poor bastard, by breathlessly explaining just how you outsmarted him? Let the Joker take his whuppin' with some dignity, willya? He already knows he's got it coming; mastermind-shaming him seems excessive.

The Joker, foiled by his own utility belt? Oh, the irony!

Dear Gotham State Penitentiary: Please consider NOT putting the Joker back in the minimum-security wing this time. Assholes.

No love,


Whoops! Wrong guest villain.

Check out RevolutionSF reviews of every episode of Batman 66 by Geena Phillips, who knows more about Random Guy than you. Write her at geenacanblowme@gmail.com

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