I've been watching Batman '66 in order for the first time -- on H&I, not MeTV (sorry Me) -- and I just hit the first episode of Season 2.

Is it just me, or did Batman get new ears for the new season?

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I can't answer that -- I haven't watched the show since it originally aired, despite having the DVD -- but surely someone here knows!

Over the weekend, I finished my “marathon” watch/rewatch of Batman (’66).  For the first several months I was watching 2 episodes a week (on the weekend); then I binge-watched most of Season 3 over the last three Sundays.

And the verdict is … I am so much more a fan of this show now than I ever was before.

To be clear, I never went through that period of disdain that many fans of my generation did.  I remember watching and enjoying Batman as a kid, not realizing it was supposed to be a comedy, but after that … well, it wasn’t running on any station near me, and I just didn’t give it much thought.  Other than buying the occasional little die-cast model of the ’66 Batmobile because, hey, nobody thinks that that Batmobile isn’t cool.

Two things struck me watching the show now, as an adult.  First, I was surprised at how much I didn’t actually remember.

I thought I remembered a lot about the show.  Take one of my favorite characters, King Tut.  I knew the character, I knew his gimmick, I knew he was played by the incomparable Victor Buono.  But watching the show I realized that I didn’t remember actually seeing any of the Tut stories before.  How could I know so much and remember so little?  Same for Vincent Price as Egghead.  Heck, even Julie Newmar.  I mean, c’mon … Julie Newmar!?!  (OK, I can write some of that off to pre-adolescence.  Trust me, there are Julie Newmar scenes that I am never going to forget now.)  The actors (and sets and bright colors and action, etc., etc.) made an impression that never went away, even though the stories didn’t stick.

The other thing I realized was just how much pure fun this is.  Yes, it was unabashedly goofy, and I’ll grant that that sort of humor isn’t for everyone.   But just look at how much fun everyone, especially the guest villains, seems to be having.  (Other than, ironically, Milton Berle.)  It’s contagious.  How can you not want to play along?

Honestly, if I didn’t have umpteen other projects in mind, I’d be sorely tempted to go back to the beginning and watch it again.

You need one of these:

(Actually, everyone needs one of these AFAIAC.)

That was a large part of the attraction of the show: that everyone on it and watching it was having fun.  The death traps were nice, the villains were great and the bat mobile was the coolest car to come out of the 1960's, but in the end everyone was having a good time.  I'm sure even the stuntment were enjoying themselves because that show was good, solid employment.

I'm always irked when I run into someone who insists that Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman.

Yeah, everyone knows it was Lee Meriwether! [ducks and covers]

Eartha Kitt was fine. But oh, man, Julie Newmar. Even as a pre-adolescent I'd get flustered watching her. (Probably didn't know why.)

Julie Newmar had the body, Eartha Kitt the voice.

The problem with Eartha Kitt wasn't her acting or anything like that. It was the complete absence of any sexual tension between her and Batman. Her Catwoman might as well have been Mr. Freeze.

It's not her fault either. I'm sure there were a lot of cold feet about the possibility of romantic intrigue at the time between Kitt and Adam West due to racial issues.

When the Batman TV show aired I was 17 1/2, so Julie Newmar's charms were not lost on me, nor were those of Yvonne Craig later. I enjoyed the actors playing the villains. The colors were lost on me as I didn't have color TV at the time (dinosaurs still walked the earth). This past year I watched a few of the 1966 episodes in color on, I think, METV. I think the reason the stories are hard to remember is that the stories were incidental to the over-the-top character performances and visuals.

I had given up the Batman comics five years earlier because the alien-of-the-month stories weren't doing it for me. When Julie Schwartz took over the books and started having Batman stories that were more in line with what I was reading in The Flash and other books I began reading Batman and Detective again. I know some people don't like the New Look era stories, but I did. This was a bad time for the TV show to treat Batman as a silly character after he had so recently stopped being a silly character. Worse, they inflicted these "camp" elements on the comics themselves.

Still, I had mixed feelings because there was finally a show on TV showing superheroes and supervillains. Today, with wall-to-wall superheroes, it's almost hard to believe there had been none on TV since the George Reeves Adventures of Superman show, which had been off the air for almost eight years. For tone, I preferred Jonny Quest and The Wild Wild West as better versions of comic book stories.

  Yea, that was the case I'm sure.  One other thing was that there was never a fight between Kitt and Craig.

Randy Jackson said:

The problem with Eartha Kitt wasn't her acting or anything like that. It was the complete absence of any sexual tension between her and Batman. Her Catwoman might as well have been Mr. Freeze.

It's not her fault either. I'm sure there were a lot of cold feet about the possibility of romantic intrigue at the time between Kitt and Adam West due to racial issues.

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