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DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Old 01-13-21, 04:47 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Until watching the 2 part story featuring George Sanders as "Mr. Freeze" I'd never noticed he's using an accent not too far off Schwarzenegger's. That makes me appreciate him in the role a bit more than Otto Preminger - but until I see the story with Preminger in the role I really won't know for sure.

Trivia: My alarm clock sounds *exactly* like the Bat Phone. Even my grandkids noticed it when I watched episodes with them. No, it was not intentional. I purchased that alarm back in 1977 - it's LED with one touch panel to turn it off and another to trigger a 15 minute "snooze" mode.
Old 01-14-21, 03:22 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Re: Discovery - I dug the first season, actively disliked the second, and (almost) thoroughly loved the third. The first two seasons suffered from the writers' fixation on being cleverer than us and springing plot twists on us with the frequency of a daytime soap opera. The second season was so convoluted that I quit even caring what the hell was going on by around the fifth episode. Their insistence on making the show "mature" has been a mistake, too. As LJG765 can attest, I swear like the proverbial sailor; graphic language doesn't inherently faze me, nor does graphic violence. But they just don't feel congruous with Star Trek, and there have been far too many moments where I was taken out of the story because of those things.

I feel they did an overall really good job reining in those impulses for the third season. It felt tamer and calmer. I was underwhelmed by the finale, but thoroughly enjoyed the underlying theme of reaffirming those classic, corny Star Trek ideals. I nearly had catharsis every time Saru spoke up about the Federation's values and ensured that they lived up to them. That's what I want most out of Star Trek, and they gave me that this season. If anyone has been soured by Discovery through its first two seasons but wanted to like it, I would highly encourage you to give its third season a chance. It felt the most familiar to Star Trek for me since ENT.

I know there have been lots of complaints about how Burnham is the center of the universe. It's demonstrably true that she is, but I think it's disingenuous to balk at that. As I see it, the underlying problem has to do with the show's premise of making it a point of view show from someone who wasn't a captain. It's a solid idea, but the problem is they ended up making her just as important as a captain anyway. She's no more conspicuously central to significant events or connected to major things than Kirk or Picard--and I would argue less than Sisko or Janeway. The difference is that she's not the captain.

[As an aside, this is one of my biggest pet peeves about the Alex Kurtzman era: The complete and utter disregard for rank and protocol. It started with taking Kirk straight from cadet to captain in the '09 movie and has persisted throughout the Kelvinverse movies and CBS series. One of the highlights of Disco's second season was Anson Mount as Pike, but that dude wasn't captain of the ship. He was at most the moderator of the panelists on the bridge. I don't know if it's something that just doesn't register with Kurtzman as relevant or if he has some relentless anti-hierarchical agenda, but it's glaring and irks the hell out of me. And I don't understand what story value it has to do these things rather than just make the important characters be captains all along, except so they can be periodically chastised without facing any actual consequences. I digress.]
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Old 01-14-21, 03:39 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Until watching the 2 part story featuring George Sanders as "Mr. Freeze" I'd never noticed he's using an accent not too far off Schwarzenegger's. That makes me appreciate him in the role a bit more than Otto Preminger - but until I see the story with Preminger in the role I really won't know for sure.
I can't remember why Sanders didn't return, but I do recall in Adam West's memoir, Back to the Batcave, that apparently Otto Preminger was an absolute nightmare to work with, which is why they recast with Eli Wallach. I had to look up my review of the book to confirm which Mr. Freeze was the difficult one. I noted something else in that review:

Perhaps the most interesting remark is a knock on Tim Burton's 1989 film, which bothered West because, "in the film, he destroyed those first two hoods but did nothing for the people they'd mugged." In West's world, Batman should place the victim ahead of the perpetrator. It's a sensibility that informed his take on the character, and is really the heart of the book. It's a recurring theme in Back to the Batcave; West reconciling his off-screen life and choices with the values personified by his on-screen persona. West isn't Bruce Wayne and falls short of the ideal, of course, but it's telling that he clearly wants to be as respectable as the Caped Crusader.
I also noted that, "Allusions are made to his notorious swinging lifestyle but only occasionally and rarely in much detail." That was definitely not true of Burt Ward's sleazy Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights.
Old 01-14-21, 02:09 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I’m watching the first episode of ST TOS in hopes of making it a year-long effort. A friend helped build a site called Let’s Watch Trek: Look Forward, so that helped nag me into it. I just registered and haven’t explored much, I’ve actually been meaning to binge TNG (have watched parts but not all) and DS9 (first five seasons) for a while. We’ll see how long I go.

https://watchtrek-lookforward.com/explore/
Old 01-14-21, 05:38 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I've enjoyed the chance to work through several shows on BD/DVD. I should finish the entire run (started a couple of years ago) of Family Ties this evening. I would have guessed that I had seen every episode during the original run or on repeats, but these last few seem brand new. One in particular, "Rain Forests Keep Fallin' on My Head", stands out, but not for anything worthwhile. While the show often would touch on serious subject matter frequently throughout its run, this particular one was over-the-top as Jennifer became obsessed with the environment. The result was an episode lacking in humor and almost cringeworthy.

Old 01-14-21, 05:47 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I just finished the first season of The Mandalorian. I did really enjoy it and am looking forward to season 2. Will say I'm still totally clueless about pretty much everything. I hope that a few more questions are answered in season 2.
Old 01-15-21, 11:21 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I finished S1 of Batman last night. What a fun ride! In the 5 or 6 years since I'd done a full viewing of the DVD set I'd forgotten just how good the main villains are in their roles: The Riddler, The Joker, Penguin, and Cat Woman. The only villain I don't particularly care for is "False Face" - kind of strange, that one. I'd also forgotten the fun puns and throw away's from Dick/Robin and Bruce/Batman. I start S2 tonight.
Old 01-15-21, 09:45 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Finished The Mandalorian season one last night, stared season two tonight. I am still really enjoying the series. Still not getting a lot of answers which is kind of annoying.

I am surprised at how the writers made it almost virtually a Western that just happens to take place on several different worlds and space. There have been several scenes where I'm pretty sure have been ripped off directly from some Western movie or show or another.

I also am half convinced that they really loved The Black Stallion directed by Carroll Ballard. All the long, drawn out silences with pretty music overlaid...
Old 01-16-21, 09:28 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I just finished The Mandalorian, second season. Enjoyable season, I liked it just as much as the first, though I did get tired of the "tell him you have a clue, then require him to help you to get it" format. Happened in every episode and did get a little old. That being said, still really liked it and am regretting that it'll be, what, a year? before the next season?
Old 01-16-21, 09:46 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by LJG765
I just finished The Mandalorian, second season. Enjoyable season, I liked it just as much as the first, though I did get tired of the "tell him you have a clue, then require him to help you to get it" format. Happened in every episode and did get a little old. That being said, still really liked it and am regretting that it'll be, what, a year? before the next season?
Yeah, long wait. Thereís also that
Spoiler:
spinoff series that Iím not super excited about but will probably watch.
Old 01-16-21, 09:56 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by davidh777
Yeah, long wait. Thereís also that
Spoiler:
spinoff series that Iím not super excited about but will probably watch.
I'll just put the rest all under spoilers just in case!
Spoiler:
I didn't realize that there were going to be spin-offs! Looks like there will be 3: One on Boba Fett, one on the Jedi Ahsoka and one on the Rangers. I wondered about the line about the Thrawn (sp?) on Ahsoka's episode, so that's why that was there...spin off. I didn't think Boba Fett was that exciting to get his own series, tbh. I can't remember the movie where we find out about him (Rogue One?) but do remember the story line. Figured The Mandalorian was were it was leading.

I guess I'd watch Ahsoka's spinoff but not sure the others interest me, but may have to watch 'em all in the case they all work together into one big crossover like the Avengers eventually did. I'm not sure how they can maintain the quality though it is Disney and they do have pretty big pocketbooks...


Old 01-17-21, 01:49 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I've been making daily progress on Batman, though I only got to two bat-episodes yesterday on account of being under the bat-weather. In his surprisingly candid commentary for the movie, writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr. noted that the series was novel and fun, but a one-trick pony that quickly became predictable to the point of tedium. It's funny how contexts can change things, because a few years ago when LJG765 and I started syncing up for it, I felt that way by the end of the first season and found much of the second a chore. But since then, most of the TV series I've watched have been so serialized and so reliant on startling plot twists (looking at you, Discovery) that there's something now refreshing for me about this formulaic format. The aesthetics are always delightful, as are most of the guest villains.

I know conventional fan wisdom has been to shun this incarnation of the Batman mythos, or to at best indulge it as an isolated curiosity, but I'll say this much: Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin remain the definitive screen Penguin and Riddler, respectively. Strong arguments also exist for Alan Napier (Alfred), Julie Newmar (The Catwoman), and the George Barris Batmobile. I personally favor Batman: The Animated Series' Alfred (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) & Catwoman (Adrienne Barbeau), and the 1989 Batmobile, but not by nearly as strong a margin as Meredith and Gorshin.

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Question: I've looked at Batmobile miniatures on Amazon and elsewhere but don't purchase them because the pin striping on almost all of them is done in *orange.* I've *always* thought they were *red* as that's the color I see on the DVD/BR and what I remember in the original airings (when I could see them in color), magazine photos, and the movie (and I painted my Revell Batmobile with red pin striping based on the box and what I saw on TV and in magazines). Do you guys see orange or red pin striping?
I've also noticed an inconsistency between just how red or orange those Batmobile highlights are from one product to the next. What I can tell you is that in a featurette on the movie disc, the color of the seats is explicitly identified as red. Nothing is said about any of the highlights, but it stands to reason that they're supposed to match the seats, which would make them red, too.

I don't recall if the DVDs did this - but when selecting an individual episode on the BR set it will continue with subsequent episodes in "play all" mode even though that wasn't chosen. I hate discs that do that - I like to play episodes 1 at a time with *me* deciding when it's time to start the next.
Yeah, I'm with you on this! Definitely my second least favorite part of the viewing experience so far; the worst is the racism in "An Egg Grows in Gotham"/"The Yegg Foes in Gotham". Even by late 60's standards, the jokes at the expense of the Mohican character Chief Screaming Chicken are awful. Aside from being distasteful in itself, it's also unfortunate because it blemishes what is otherwise one of the more interesting premises in the series, with Egghead exploiting the terms of the treaty under which Gotham City is leased. The entire city is leased with the heirs of the founding families presenting nine raccoon pelts every five years to the tribal chief--himself all that remains of his tribe, reduced to little more than a roadside souvenir vendor. Egghead's scheme is self-serving, but it does shine a spotlight on the shameful ways in which colonists took land from Native Americans. It could have been more forgivable if it had at least ended with Batman advocating that more equitable terms be renegotiated, rather than end with the chief learning a lesson about getting carried away with greed. I'm surprised that it didn't end that way, given that in every other instance, Batman goes out of his way to advocate for others. Several times, he's made arrangements for people (exclusively young women, unless I've forgotten a guy) to be assisted somehow by the Wayne Foundation during or after their prison terms. But when it comes time to see just how obscene the leasing arrangement has become, we're reminded how he remains Millionaire Bruce Wayne and not merely Bruce Wayne. Truly disappointing.
Old 01-18-21, 12:02 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by Travis McClain
I've fallen into one of my stronger depressive episodes and largely withdrawn
I completely relate to this. I've been drifting in and out of bouts with depression, anxiety, and burnout. Working with the public 6 days a week while the pandemic is still going strong takes a huge toll on me, and sometimes I just can't deal with anything at all. That's why I've just stuck with Family Guy episodes during this challenge. It wasn't my intention at all, but 22 minute episodes are good for my shortened attention span and the laughs help me turn off the real world briefly.
Old 01-18-21, 02:20 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by EdTheRipper
I completely relate to this. I've been drifting in and out of bouts with depression, anxiety, and burnout. Working with the public 6 days a week while the pandemic is still going strong takes a huge toll on me, and sometimes I just can't deal with anything at all. That's why I've just stuck with Family Guy episodes during this challenge. It wasn't my intention at all, but 22 minute episodes are good for my shortened attention span and the laughs help me turn off the real world briefly.
I'm sorry to hear that you're also having a rough time, EdTheRipper. I've had challenges in the past that fell during such episodes where my participation was so limited that it felt like one more failure, compounding everything else. Hell, I didn't even attempt any of the last three of this challenge, and if you check out my challenge history in my signature you'll see nearly 50 others crossed out because I didn't bother with them, either. (Not all of those were victims of depression, but I'm certain the lion's share were.) Having said that, I've also had challenges where what little I did rouse myself enough to participate was a source of stability and satisfaction. I hope this year's challenge is the beneficial kind for you.
Old 01-18-21, 02:27 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by Travis McClain
I've been making daily progress on Batman, though I only got to two bat-episodes yesterday on account of being under the bat-weather. In his surprisingly candid commentary for the movie, writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr. noted that the series was novel and fun, but a one-trick pony that quickly became predictable to the point of tedium. It's funny how contexts can change things, because a few years ago when LJG765 and I started syncing up for it, I felt that way by the end of the first season and found much of the second a chore. But since then, most of the TV series I've watched have been so serialized and so reliant on startling plot twists (looking at you, Discovery) that there's something now refreshing for me about this formulaic format. The aesthetics are always delightful, as are most of the guest villains.
I've never minded "formula" type TV - but I also grew up in the 60s and that's my "comfort food" TV era. I *do* recall many series getting to the point where I kind of tuned them out as I could predict what was going to happen within the first few minutes and all the jokes felt rather recycled. In spite of that I absolutely *loved* Batman - still do - and have never minded the "rut" it fell into towards the end.
Originally Posted by Travis McClain
I know conventional fan wisdom has been to shun this incarnation of the Batman mythos, or to at best indulge it as an isolated curiosity, but I'll say this much: Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin remain the definitive screen Penguin and Riddler, respectively. Strong arguments also exist for Alan Napier (Alfred), Julie Newmar (The Catwoman), and the George Barris Batmobile. I personally favor Batman: The Animated Series' Alfred (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) & Catwoman (Adrienne Barbeau), and the 1989 Batmobile, but not by nearly as strong a margin as Meredith and Gorshin.
They can shun all they want. For me, this *is* Batman as it pretty well mirrored what I was reading in the comics at the time. I pretty much ended my love affair with comics about the time S3 began and only got back into them when DC "killed" Superman in the 90s. It took me another ~15 years before I finally swore off super hero comics as I discovered, finally, they were as repetitive as this show. I fully agree with your assessments of Meredith and Gorshin. Until Jack Nicholson came along I'd have put Romero's Joker as the best. Nicholson *just* edged him out with his performance in Burton's 1989 take on the character, which is my hands-down favorite Batman film.

Originally Posted by Travis McClain
I've also noticed an inconsistency between just how red or orange those Batmobile highlights are from one product to the next. What I can tell you is that in a featurette on the movie disc, the color of the seats is explicitly identified as red. Nothing is said about any of the highlights, but it stands to reason that they're supposed to match the seats, which would make them red, too.
I've never watched that feature - sounds like I should, eh? I also need to rewatch that film before I start S3. I meant to do it before starting S2 but just forgot!

Originally Posted by Travis McClain
Yeah, I'm with you on this! Definitely my second least favorite part of the viewing experience so far; the worst is the racism in "An Egg Grows in Gotham"/"The Yegg Foes in Gotham". Even by late 60's standards, the jokes at the expense of the Mohican character Chief Screaming Chicken are awful. Aside from being distasteful in itself, it's also unfortunate because it blemishes what is otherwise one of the more interesting premises in the series, with Egghead exploiting the terms of the treaty under which Gotham City is leased. The entire city is leased with the heirs of the founding families presenting nine raccoon pelts every five years to the tribal chief--himself all that remains of his tribe, reduced to little more than a roadside souvenir vendor. Egghead's scheme is self-serving, but it does shine a spotlight on the shameful ways in which colonists took land from Native Americans. It could have been more forgivable if it had at least ended with Batman advocating that more equitable terms be renegotiated, rather than end with the chief learning a lesson about getting carried away with greed. I'm surprised that it didn't end that way, given that in every other instance, Batman goes out of his way to advocate for others. Several times, he's made arrangements for people (exclusively young women, unless I've forgotten a guy) to be assisted somehow by the Wayne Foundation during or after their prison terms. But when it comes time to see just how obscene the leasing arrangement has become, we're reminded how he remains Millionaire Bruce Wayne and not merely Bruce Wayne. Truly disappointing.
As I'm of a particular age and grew up with all that non-PC stuff I really don't notice it much in movies and TV shows - depending. I like those episodes solely for Vincent Price as Egg Head. Edward Everett Horton was chosen as a nod to his character Roaring Chicken on F Troop (1965). During their network runs the two shows appeared back to back on Thursday nights. In that show, the "Indians" were more of a parody so I'd guess that's what there were going for here as well, but it doesn't play that way in this show and without that bit of history the parody is totally missed.
Old 01-20-21, 02:45 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

So... I watched Batman: The Movie and enjoy it far more than I did when I saw it in the theater when it was released. Back then I thought it was rather lame and overly long. It's far more enjoyable now although it *is* considerably more "campy" than the TV series.

I started The Danny Thomas Show S6 as my late night show to fall asleep on. It's not bad but I'm growing tired of at least one song in every episode - it's normally sung by Thomas but also fairly regularly by guest stars. Shirley Jones was in an episode I watched night before last and did *two* songs, one a bawdy type thing and "It Might As Well Be Spring" from the musical State Fair. At least that one was a song I like. Annette Funicello came on as a regular of sorts. IMDB shows her to be in 5 episodes but she's moved in with the family as a foreign exchange student so... She's also doing her slow line reading bit using a faux sounding Italian accent (which *should* sound more authentic considering her heritage). I know she's a Disney icon but I just never much cared for her early TV work (she does almost the same read/accent in Zorro, and I didn't care for her there, either). She was lots better in the Beach movies of the early 60s.

And I started watching S1 of Head of the Class, the mid-80s sitcom starring Howard Hessman, "Dr. Johnny Fever" of WKRP. I always enjoyed the series when it aired and am finding it's still funny. But the theme song is *pure* 80s TV with that 80s cliche TV theme "song" sound. You know, the same sound that almost all of the sitcom series that decade had. I recently purchased S1 & S2 of that one. PQ isn't that great, it was produced on video tape, but at least the show still holds up reasonably well and is entertaining.
Old 01-21-21, 03:54 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Finished Batman today. Most of the third season was hard to watch, honestly. The change in format to a single half-hour episode each week instead of the two-part cliffhanger format left the writers doing two things. One was that plots became either boringly simple or absurdly convoluted. Whole subplots are resolved offscreen with bits of exposition squeezed in, including some instances of our heroes' escapes from death traps. There's no breathing room. There's not even enough time to see the "Gotham City - 14 Miles" sign outside the Batcave, let alone any celebs poking their heads out of the window during a Bat-climb. Or, for that matter, Bat-climbs.

The other glaring problem with that third season is that the budget stopped paying for complete sets. Most episodes' guest villains hole up on empty stages with bits of sets. They did what they could to keep alive the aesthetics of the series, but it's hard to do that without walls.

That said, there are some things I like about that third season. The biggest is Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. The way she was squeezed into each episode felt as hasty and contrived as everything else, but I enjoy watching her whenever she's onscreen. There was something refreshing about her laughing in the middle of a fight sequence. For one thing, her laugh was simply endearing. Also, though, there's something about Batgirl taking the time to laugh that slowed down time a bit, which was nice in what were otherwise breakneck paced episodes.

I also enjoyed Anne Baxter as Olga, Queen of the Cossacks and her partnerships with Egghead. Baxter looked like she was having a ball, and Price always did. They had enjoyable chemistry together, too. Some of the plots got outright wacky, like The Joker scheming to become surf champion so he can become leader of the youths. That wackiness appealed to me. Plus, Alfred got to do a lot more. I don't know if Alan Napier had more fun that year but it was a lot of fun to watch him take a more active part in things.
Old 01-21-21, 04:03 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Congrats, Travis! I always liked Yvonne Craig.

I’m still working on TOS and am hoping to finish the first season, but I’ve been derailed by the political coverage. Like you with Batman, I’m not sure what to expect in the third season as I’ve always just looked at the show by episode rather than by season, but I’m roughly aware of some issues arising at that time. I’ll see if it plays out on screen.
Old 01-21-21, 04:49 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by Travis McClain
Finished Batman today. Most of the third season was hard to watch, honestly. The change in format to a single half-hour episode each week instead of the two-part cliffhanger format left the writers doing two things. One was that plots became either boringly simple or absurdly convoluted. Whole subplots are resolved offscreen with bits of exposition squeezed in, including some instances of our heroes' escapes from death traps. There's no breathing room. There's not even enough time to see the "Gotham City - 14 Miles" sign outside the Batcave, let alone any celebs poking their heads out of the window during a Bat-climb. Or, for that matter, Bat-climbs.

The other glaring problem with that third season is that the budget stopped paying for complete sets. Most episodes' guest villains hole up on empty stages with bits of sets. They did what they could to keep alive the aesthetics of the series, but it's hard to do that without walls.

That said, there are some things I like about that third season. The biggest is Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. The way she was squeezed into each episode felt as hasty and contrived as everything else, but I enjoy watching her whenever she's onscreen. There was something refreshing about her laughing in the middle of a fight sequence. For one thing, her laugh was simply endearing. Also, though, there's something about Batgirl taking the time to laugh that slowed down time a bit, which was nice in what were otherwise breakneck paced episodes.

I also enjoyed Anne Baxter as Olga, Queen of the Cossacks and her partnerships with Egghead. Baxter looked like she was having a ball, and Price always did. They had enjoyable chemistry together, too. Some of the plots got outright wacky, like The Joker scheming to become surf champion so he can become leader of the youths. That wackiness appealed to me. Plus, Alfred got to do a lot more. I don't know if Alan Napier had more fun that year but it was a lot of fun to watch him take a more active part in things.
I generally agree with that assessment of S3. The reliance on sets with no walls or curtains for walls bothers me more than the rushed scripts. While I really like Craig as Batgirl it's always bothered me that her presence feels forced for the most part.

I got a kick out of Alfred hopping on the back of the Batmobile during the 3rd episode of the "Londinium" trilogy, hanging onto the back windshield on Robin's side of the car. And I've always wondered why the presence of the Batmobile on the cruise ship taking the cast to "Londinium" didn't raise questions. Rudy Vallee as an "upper crust twit" criminal was very enjoyable as was Glynis Johns as his wife. But, again, those cheap non-sets are horrid.

Since discovering NBC was a hair too late offering to pick up the series has always made me wonder if they'd have returned it to the way it was produced in S2 or kept up the cheapness that hurt S3.
Old 01-21-21, 05:08 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Batgirl was the main reason I got Season 3 of Batman. Iíve always been a fan of Yvonne Craig. With BBC America running nature documentaries all week, Iíve been watching a lot of them, but havenít taken the time to list them yet. I also started on the Special Edition Collection of Planet Earth that Iíve had for a few years. Iím enjoying these shows. I also like the new show on Discovery+, A Perfect Planet and plan to watch more of it before the month is over.
Old 01-22-21, 07:09 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
I generally agree with that assessment of S3. The reliance on sets with no walls or curtains for walls bothers me more than the rushed scripts. While I really like Craig as Batgirl it's always bothered me that her presence feels forced for the most part.

I got a kick out of Alfred hopping on the back of the Batmobile during the 3rd episode of the "Londinium" trilogy, hanging onto the back windshield on Robin's side of the car. And I've always wondered why the presence of the Batmobile on the cruise ship taking the cast to "Londinium" didn't raise questions. Rudy Vallee as an "upper crust twit" criminal was very enjoyable as was Glynis Johns as his wife. But, again, those cheap non-sets are horrid.

Since discovering NBC was a hair too late offering to pick up the series has always made me wonder if they'd have returned it to the way it was produced in S2 or kept up the cheapness that hurt S3.
Barbara asks Bruce about the large crate with his name on it, which he explains away as containing an absurd quantity of things for Dick to continue his studies while they're in Londinium. It's yet another of the myriad instances where the same people who can piece together the most outlandish of The Riddler's clues aren't capable of making the most obvious possible connections between Batman & Robin and Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson; Batgirl and Barbara Gordon; or, perhaps most glaringly, between Alfred and, uh, Alfred. I did enjoy the Londinium three-parter overall though it did occur to me that it's so weird we see Aunt Harriet meet with Commissioner Gordon, tell him she wanted to surprise Bruce and Dick and would be in town for another few days, but we never actually saw or even heard if they did get together. I wonder if maybe they were supposed to but Madge Blake wasn't well enough to film her subsequent appearance?

I have to say, I'm disappointed by the special features on that box set. I enjoyed most of them (the "Na Na Na Batman" clip of various CW actors talking about how much--and how little--they recall the show is a complete waste of time), but there's almost no insight whatsoever to be found about anyone or anything except Adam West. I was surprised that even Burt Ward shows up less than those CW actors! It's like someone at Warner/Fox got caught up in celebratory pieces they forgot all about any kind of explanatory or insightful ones.
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Old 01-22-21, 09:58 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I think I noticed the difference in color between Barbara and Batgirl's hair for the first time with this viewing. It just never registered that Barbara's hair is brown and Batgirl's is red. Both are read heads in the comics yet I never gave it much attention in the TV series.

It's also fun that Alfred knows who Batman, Robin *and* Batgirl are in real life.

I chalk up those issues about identity to "need of the story" type stuff. After all, you'd think just hearing Bruce and Batman speak would be enough to make the ID (same with Robin/Dick and Batgirl/Barbara) as they make no effort to disguise their voices when in costume.

I'm not a "special features" type of viewer. I don't think I watched them on the DVDs and know I haven't on the BR. I may give them a shot this weekend - but will absolutely avoid the CW one - I've never liked those type things. Who cares why/how some "celebrity" watched the series or what they think about it? I'm more interested in that information from people I know and whose opinion I respect, people who'll likely never be invited to do one of those type features. Or from people who actually watched it during the first airings - what they thought at the time. I'd really expect something lengthy from Adam West, Burt Ward, and several of the guest villains, Julie Newmar specifically, and possibly from a director or two. You know - people who were actually involved in the show's production.
Old 01-22-21, 10:25 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Last year, I picked up the Legends of the SuperHeroes DVD during one of the Warner Archive Collection 4/$44 sales. Good God, was that rough to endure. The first special, originally airing 18 January 1979, is "The Challenge". Adam West and Burt Ward return as Batman and Robin, and are joined by several other DC heroes (Green Lantern, Flash, etc.) to oppose the Legion of Doom. It has all the seriousness of an overly long SNL sketch, and more or less the same production values. Most of it was filmed outside. Not, like, "on location" outside. Just... outside. The only redeeming factor for me was Frank Gorshin reprising The Riddler, and being just as committed to the zaniness of the role as he had been 10+ years earlier. The second special, "The Roast", aired the following week, 25 January 1979. It consists of Ed McMahon hosting a roast of the heroes, with most of the bits done by their villains (sadly, excluding Gorshin's Riddler). If "The Challenge" was dreadful, then "The Roast" is whatever is worse than dreadful.

The one thing of note for me is that I distinctly recall Adam West complaining in his memoir about the special for including Alan Napier while he was in especially poor health, which he felt was humiliating. Napier is nowhere to be seen or even alluded to in either special, though, nor is there any footage containing him among the spattering of deleted scenes and outtakes. IMDb doesn't show anything for Napier, not even "scenes deleted". Was Napier's footage just not even used at all? I don't have the book anymore, so I can't consult to see what else West said about the subject.
Old 01-22-21, 10:54 AM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

Several years ago a friend purchased that disc and loaned it to me - basically insisted I borrow it because I'm a fan of the Batman series. I was hesitant due to its "made for TV" vibe (I typically avoid *all* types of "reunion" shows/specials/roasts as 99% of the ones I've bothered with are quite lame). It was about what I expected - pretty bad. I think my reaction was very similar to yours. At the very least it kept me from purchasing my own copy (which likely wasn't going to happen anyway).
Old 01-25-21, 12:18 PM
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Re: DISCUSSSION THREAD for 2021 TV on DVD* Challenge

I broke down Saturday and finally started my journey back through Westeros via Game of Thrones. S8 went on sale BF week at a price I could stomach (very cheap) and my son's been bugging me to hand over the digital code (he got the rest and just needs this one to complete *his* collection) and I was looking for the next drama series since I finished Batman (OK... not really drama but it's taken the lion's share of viewing the past week or so). It felt like it was finally time.

I find I'm really enjoying the early seasons and that they're excellent adaptations of the novels I've read up to this point (the first and just over half of the second). Little things are left out/changed but nothing that truly effects how the story plays out. I *am* somewhat insulted, and finding it rather disingenuous, that Benioff and Weiss were given "Created by" and "Written by" credits on the series when all they did was *adapt* what Martin had written. They "created" nothing and the vast majority of the dialog is lifted directly from the novels. I'd say they should have only received "Adapted by" and "Screenplay by" credits.

So... I finished the first two seasons. It's funny how you tend to remember things over time as I truly thought certain events happened much earlier while others I thought happened later in these seasons than they did. I'm also in the position of wishing I had the week off so I could binge a season per day. The series seems to work much better, at least for me, when it's binge watched. In spite of that I'll likely slow down with it as I know I'll not be able to complete the viewing before the month's over.

Last edited by BobO'Link; 01-25-21 at 12:46 PM.

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