Archive for the ‘Let’s Get Geeky’ Category

Let’s Get Geeky #39: Pixar

Friday, October 7th, 2011

As you probably are aware of, Steve Jobs passed away a couple days ago and I thought it would be fitting to do this weeks article as a tribute to him. However, I’m not a Mac user, and while I do have an iPod I wasn’t sure that was an appropriate subject either. Then I figured out what to write about, something I honestly do geek out about, Pixar!

While the Pixar films aren’t the only computer generated shows I’ve seen, nor were they the first, they still rank up there as some of my favorites. For that matter they are some of my favorite films period. While the visuals of their films are stunning they don’t rely on that to just be able to get by, the stories are also well written and have lots of heart. And even though they are animated, so some people might think they were for kids, they’re more of an all ages type thing with something for pretty much everybody. I’m not usually a fan of 3D movies, but the one exception to that is Pixar films. Most of the time I prefer to see a film in 2D, mainly due to the fact that I don’t care to wear the 3D glasses over my regular ones, but with a Pixar film I’m more likely to put up with that annoyance.

They are also great at getting an emotional response from people in ways you wouldn’t expect. Who would have thought when they saw Toy Story in 1995 that 15 years later they’d be so attached to CGI toys that their eyes would be welling up at points of Toy Story 3? Or that a movie could basically start out as a silent film, with their main character never speaking much at all period, and have the audience care about him? But their films aren’t all sadness, they are also full of humor, adventure and as I mentioned earlier, heart.

Anyone who says they don’t enjoy at least one of their films either has never seen them, is lying, or is a sad strange little person, and I pity them.

Let’s Get Geeky #38: Jim Henson

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

As you may have noticed, there has been a bit of a theme to the Let’s Get Geeky articles this month. There is a reason for that, this Saturday would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday so I wanted to celebrate his work throughout the month. I’ve seen tributes online to Jim around the day of his passing, but I felt for me it was more appropriate to celebrate on his birthday. As mentioned in an earlier article I was first exposed to his work through Sesame Street, but at that time I didn’t really think much about the man behind (and under) the characters. I’m sad to say that due to this when he passed away I might have heard about it, but if I did I don’t recall really feeling a loss. Now though that I’ve gotten more into his works such as the Muppets and Fraggle Rock I do feel a bit of a loss. But only a bit of one, since I feel that because of all the works he left that he is still around in a way through his legacy.

I’ve read and heard interviews with various people who knew Jim Henson, and not once have I ever heard anyone say anything bad about him. Yes, I know that a lot of times those sort of things people don;t say anything bad anyway, but I just get the feeling from the interviews that the people speaking are being genuine, and not just being nice for the sake of being nice. Do you recall those surveys that used to be all around the internet? The ones that asked you questions about you to share with friends (or complete strangers depending on if you posted them somewhere…)? Well, one of the questions I remember from those things went something like “If you could meet any person living or dead, who would it be?”. While it has been ages since I’ve filled one of those things out, if I were to do one now, I’m pretty sure the answer to that question would be Jim Henson.

Thanks for all you did Mr. Henson, we miss you.

Let’s Get Geeky #37: Fraggle Rock

Monday, September 19th, 2011

I know I knew about Fraggle Rock when I was older, mainly due to having at least one of these from McDonald’s. However, I don’t recall having watched the show in my youth. Fast forward a couple decades and when I was getting back into the Muppets in general I also learned a bit about Fraggle Rock, but it would still be a while before I saw an episode.

My journey to Fraggle Rock continued in 2010 when I went to San Diego Comic Con. The new (at the time) channel The Hub had an area set up showcasing some of the programs they would be airing when they launched, including Fraggle Rock. I had found out about this from my friend, who was going to be playing guitar there for Fraggle Rock sing along sessions with Red Fraggle & Karen Prell. I decided to head over to say hi to my friend and stick around for one of the sing alongs. During the sing along they asked for volunteers from the audience to come up and help Red sing the theme song, but they wanted the older folks who grew up watching the show. I wasn’t going to volunteer at first since even though I knew the song from listening to it on my iPod I technically had no memory of watching the show, but after a few moments with only three of the four volunteers needed I stepped forward. I’m glad I did too since everyone who volunteered got a free copy of the hard cover collection of the first volume of the Fraggle Rock comic from Archaia Studios. See? Volunteering can be rewarding.

Fast forward a bit more and after an upgrade in service and The Hub was one of the channels I was able to watch on my tv. Of course one of the first things I checked out was Fraggle Rock, and I was worried at first that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations and hype. Well, it didn’t, it actually surpassed them. I had heard plenty of the songs before, so I knew the quality of those were top notch, but even the stories were well written. Some were obviously better than others, but that’s the way things are with any sort of story based medium. The show didn’t shy away from tough issues either, tackling things such as death & prejudice without sugar coating it for younger audience. In fact, in a way I’m kind of glad I didn’t see the show until I was older since there are things in the show I can appreciate more now that I might not have caught had I watched it when I was younger.

Let’s Get Geeky #36: The Muppet Show

Friday, September 9th, 2011

I’m not actually sure I saw any episodes of The Muppet Show when I was growing up. It’s kind of hard for me to recall for sure. I knew who the Muppets were of course, but that could be from exposure to them from other means, such as Muppet Babies or commercials or movies or other appearances. And with youtube and watching clips online I’m not really sure when I saw my first entire episode of the show.

I’m sad to say that for a while that I thought I’d outgrown and was “too old” for puppets. I don’t recall exactly what it was that changed my mind but a few years back I decided to do some searching online for Muppet related stuff. I found videos of course, but I also found a podcast called The MuppetCast hosted by Steve Swanson. Thanks to Steve I was reintroduced to the joys of not only The Muppet Show but Jim Henson’s other productions as well.

As I mentioned earlier I don’t have clear memories of watching entire episodes of the show, so as “research” for this post I watched a handful of episodes on youtube before writing this post. The show is filled with humor, songs, sketches, and of course those staples of the Muppets… explosions and chaos. Some sketches were recurring in multiple episodes such as Pigs in Space, Muppet News Flash & Kermit reporting from the planet Koozebane, to name a few. But there were also one off sketches and songs, often involving the special guest of the episode. The show didn’t have a lack of guest stars either. Some of the celebrities they had on the show included Gene Kelly, Vincent Price, and John Cleese. Of course since this is blog series focuses on the geeky I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the fact that they also had Christopher Reeve, Lynda Carter and Luke Skywalker (and his cousin Mark Hamill), Chewbacca, C-3PO & R2-D2 in a Star Wars themed episode.

My favorite characters from the plethora of wacky and zany ones to pick from, are Gonzo due to his “individuality” and Statler & Waldorf due to their snarkiness and sarcasm. I’m also a fan of Rizzo the Rat, but I only know him from his appearances in the various films even though he did appear in later episodes of The Muppet Show.

Let’s Get Geeky #35: Sesame Street

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Like many people who were born after the 1970′s I grew up watching Sesame Street. While I can’t specifically remember watching the show there are still memories I have of the characters, the songs, and even certain scenes. I couldn’t tell you who my favorite character was back then, but if I had to choose now it would be a toss up between The Count and Cookie Monster. The Count due to my love of math and numbers… besides, having lightning and thunder go off every time you finished counting… how awesome would that be! Cookie Monster I enjoy partially for his demeanor, but it also is due to his role as Alistair Cookie during the Monsterpiece Theater segments.

What is really great about the show is the fact that it is educational so children watching are learning something, but it is also entertaining so that they either don’t mind or don’t notice this fact. Or both. But with the way it is written, especially when they do parodies of mainstream media, the parents don’t necessarily mind watching with their kids, let alone silently scream to themselves when their children ask to watch it. For that matter, I know of people who will still watch the show occasionally and they don’t even have kids to use as an “excuse”. But I suppose a show that has been on almost 42… Drat! No lightning and thunder! Where was I? Oh yes, a show that has been on almost 42 years must be doing something right.

Let’s Get Geeky #34: Gronk

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I first heard about the web comic Gronk when I met the creator of the strip, Katie Cook, at a local comic convention. I was walking around the artist alley section of the convention floor with some friends of mine who are friends with many of the various artists and they introduced me to Katie. While at her table looking at some of the art she had for sale I noticed a sign saying she had also done work on some of the recent Fraggle Rock comic books and talked to her about that.

When I went home later that day after the convention I decided to check out the web site for her web comic since she’d been so friendly at the convention. I don’t recall if I read the most recent ones first and then worked my way backwards, or if I started at the beginning and worked my way forwards, or maybe I did a combination of the two and met somewhere in the middle… Either way I made my way through the archives in short order, usually smiling, if not chuckling or even laughing out loud at most of the strips. Katie posts a new strip every Friday, a day which for me is already filled with awesomeness and joy since it not only starts the weekend, but is also payday 50% of the time and is also the day I usually pick up my comics from the comic shop. But even with all that knowing that there is a new Gronk comic waiting to bring a smile to my face makes Fridays even more awesome. The comic is adorably cute, but not in a sickeningly saccharine-ish way, and also has references to many geeky elements such as the Muppets, Lord of the Rings, Avatar the Last Airbender and others.

Needless to say, yet I will anyway, I highly recommend checking out not only the web comic, but also Katie’s other work as well.

Let’s Get Geeky #33: VeggieTales

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I was first exposed to VeggieTales when I was helping watch younger kids for a mother’s group at a local church. One of the kids would bring in a VeggieTales video every so often for the other kids to watch. And thus I would watch as well.

Obviously back then since computer animation was reletively new the older videos look clunky compared to stuff that comes out today, but I enjoyed it.

Part of what I like about the series is the entertaining silliness mixed with a good message. A lot of the early shows were basically Bible stories but as time went on they’ve started doing parodies as well. They’ve spoofed things such as Indiana Jones, Wizard of Oz & Superheroes. But always with a moral built in, but not necessarily shoe horned in.

I also enjoy the shows for the music and songs. One of the things that is in almost, but not every, show is an intermission section normally called “Silly Songs with Larry”. Which are quite fun, entertaining and yes, silly.

There is also lots of music and songs used in the main stories, some of those are also silly but unlike the intermissions they have a point in the story.

The stories have a Christian slant, and my faith is important to me so that is another reason I like them. But I think other people who may not share my views might find some of them fun as well.

Let’s Get Geeky #32: The Pretender

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Like the main character in the show, my geeky experiences with The Pretender share similar aspects with other works mentioned previously in this series, and more than likely ones not yet mentioned. It may seem a bit repetitive if you’ve read the previous articles, but I’m gong to do a brief comparison of The Pretender and how it is similar to other geeky things I enjoy.

Like Star Trek, I was first introduced to The Pretender at my best friends house. Unlike Star Trek however I didn’t get as into the show right away. My actual entering into the shows fandom came from watching reruns on TNT, much how my exposure to Smallville came from reruns on ABC Family. And similar to Sam Backett Quantum Leap, the title character Jarod pretends to be something he isn’t. Unlike Sam who literally randomly takes over the life of another person while he tries to right a wrong before it happened, Jarod usually finds out about a wrongdoing before hand and takes on a role that will put him in contact with the person who is responsible and finds a way to get them to confess. This isn’t always the case though, at times he has pretended to be a specific person or has just been in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time. And being that Jarod is a genius, which is good, it is hard to pretend to be a doctor one day, a lawyer the next and a race car driver another, to name a few, so while he does do some actiony stuff, such as running from the people chasing him, he mainly uses his mind to get things done. Hmm, big brain, solving problems through thinking, some action but mainly running… just like Doctor Who!

But, while the show doesn’t seem to have any one detail that makes it unique in this series of articles I still enjoy the show, the actors are good, as is the over all plot line running through out the series, as well as most of the individual episode’s stories. Sadly however, The Pretender does share an aspect with one other previously mentioned show in these articles. Just like The Invisible Man the show was canceled before its time. Unlike The Invisible Man series, The Pretender did get two made for television movies, but sadly those just brought up more questions than they answered.

Let’s Get Geeky #31: Quantum Leap

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

I don’t recall when I first saw Quantum Leap or what my first episode was but I do know what I like about it. First is the time travel aspect of the show with the main character Sam Beckett traveling from point to point in his own life time having to fix something that once went wrong. The interesting thing about how the show handled time travel was that Sam’s “soul” traveled but not his body so when he got to a point in time he would take over for that person. In the show the person was always played by Scott Bakula, but the other characters saw him as the person he had leapt into. Whether it was a man, a woman or in one episode a chimpanzee. The other aspect of this was in the episode when Sam looked in a mirror the reflection was who he had leapt into, well, except for the episode where he leapt into a vampire.

Due to the nature of the show there was only one other main character in the show, Al Calavicci, played by Dean Stockwell. While this meant that the show had a plethora of guest stars, it was the main actors that sell the show for me. Their chemistry together is great and you believe they are friends who want to help each other. Where Scott Bakula played the time traveler, Dean Stockwell played someone from his home time at the secret base where the original project took place. He communicated with Sam as a hologram tuned to his brain patterns so that only he could perceive him, usually. There are a few episodes where other people could see and hear him as well but not often. Those episodes let Al be even more integral to righting the wrong than just feeding information to Sam and helping figure out what to do.

Last but not least is the fact that each episode has Sam leaping into some new, and unexpected scenerio, usually right smack dab in the middle of something. Which means he has to think his way out of the situation quickly so he doesn’t make people suspicious and reveal he is a time traveler.

Let’s Get Geeky #30: Heroes

Friday, July 29th, 2011

When Heroes was first on the air I might have heard about it but I didn’t really pay much attention to the show. However, shortly before the second season aired some friends of mine let me borrow their copy of season one on dvd to watch. I’m not sure exactly how long it took me to watch, but I do know I stayed up longer than I probably should have after work watching the dvd. Partially so I could return it as soon as possible, but also because I was really enjoying the story.

The main drawing point that got me to watch was the concept of what would happen if people in the real world were to gain superpowers. This of course was quite interesting to me as a comic book reader. But beyond that I also quite enjoyed the characters and the storyline.. or lines, depending on how you look at it since most if not all of the plots and character intertwined by the time the season was over. Which was another thing I liked since each episode connected to previous ones it was more like a long movie or mini-series as opposed to just episodes of a tv show.

I know a lot of people think that season one is the best season of the show, and while I will admit to it being better than season two, I have yet to see all of the last one or two seasons so I can’t really say on that part. However, I can say that while I do think season one is better than season two, season two isn’t as bad as it could have been considering it was during the time of the writer’s strike and I wonder what that season could have been like had it had the opportunity to have a full season instead of being cut short and certain elements having to be rushed.

Let’s Get Geeky #29: Bill Nye the Science Guy

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Much like other PBS shows I’ve talked about here (and ones I’ll talk about in the future) I’m not sure whether my love of learning in general and science in particular came about because of watching Bill Nye or if I enjoyed Bill Nye because of those aspects of my personality, but as before I’ve a feeling it’s a combination of the two.

Part of what I enjoyed about Bill Nye the Science Guy is while the content was educational it was made to be fun and not stuffy. Things like running gags (of SCIENCE!), skits, demonstrations and music videos parodying an actual song but with the lyrics changed to recap the subject talked about during the show.

It’s these music videos that I actually remember most from the show, even though for the most part Bill wasn’t in them, but I still have fond memories of the entire show, just slightly more vague.

Let’s Get Geeky #28: Encyclopedia Brown

Friday, July 15th, 2011

I don’t recall which of the Encyclopedia Brown books I first read, or how old I was, but I do recall enjoying them. For those who aren’t aware of the series, Encyclopedia Brown was a children’s mystery series in which the reader could attempt to solve the mystery before checking the back of the book to see if they were right. Each book usually had about ten cases to solve and tended to follow a formula as to how each case was presented. The characters were also introduced (or reintroduced as it were) in each book so it wasn’t necessary to read them in order. Like many other characters in mystery stories the main character often solved the crimes with knowledge that everyone else in the story had access to, but was either able to see it in a way no one else thought to look at it or by just having some obscure bit of knowledge in their mind. While in hindsight a lot of the clues needed to solve the crimes were common sense or general trivia knowledge, I still enjoyed trying to see if I could figure out the answer before reading the solution in the back of the book.

And while my memory of this isn’t as vivid as the books, I also vaguely remember checking out video tapes of a show based on the books from the library when I was younger.

Overall, while I’m not 100% certain if it was my first foray into mysteries and whodunits, Encyclopedia Brown was at least one of the first and is one of the reasons I enjoy mysteries to this day, whether they be books, tv shows, movies or audio dramas.

Let’s Get Geeky #27: “Weird Al” Yankovic

Friday, July 8th, 2011

The first time I recall being exposed to “Weird Al” was seeing a music video on Disney of “Eat It” being played with snippets of Disney cartoons to go along with the music.

However, it wasn’t until 1997 when I really became a fan. I was in Boy Scouts and the members of the troop who hadn’t gone to the National Jamboree were going on a road trip with the goal of visiting the Jamboree for a day or two, seeing sights along the way. During the trip one of the other scouts who was in the same vehicle as myself had brought along some cds, including Bad Hair Day and let me listen to it during part of the trip. I’m not sure exactly which song or songs got me hooked but I’m glad I had that chance to listen to the album.

Since I didn’t know most, if any of the songs he was parodying at the time I didn’t pick up on the true artistry of what he was doing, but now later in life I can appreciate his work on a new level. Some people might think it is easy to just write new lyrics to someone else’s music, but if you really think about it, it isn’t. Not only does “Weird Al” rewrite the lyrics to fit the same beat and pattern of the original, but he also does it so they still make sense, albeit in a much more warped, some might even say weird, fashion.

Also, because his songs fall under parody and fair use he doesn’t technically have to get permission from the original artists to use their music. I think, therefore, that the fact that he does go out and request their permission however makes him a classy guy. And most of the time he gets the permission since many artists feel that when “Weird Al” does a parody of one of their songs that they’ve reached a milestone in their career.

I’m a tad proud to say that when I hear songs played in stores and restaurants a lot of them I recognize more often as songs that “Weird Al” parodied than I do the actual songs. And while I have discovered other humor/parody musicians over the years, if I hadn’t been exposed to and became a fan of “Weird Al” there is a good chance I never would have searched for and found those other musicians.

Let’s Get Geeky #26: Choose Your Own Adventure

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I can’t recall which Choose Your Own Adventure book I first read, or how old I was, but I do remember reading and enjoying a lot of them when I was younger. I think my main enjoyment of the books came down to the fact that I got to choose the path the story would go and become the protagonist. Granted the choices were limited to only two or three possible paths, but even in reality the choices we make are sometimes limited as well. Do I get up on the left side or the right side of the bed? Do I go to the grocery store first or do I go to a restaurant for a bite first? Do I turn right or do I turn left? While these choices probably won’t end with you being deserted on an alien world or becoming the leader of an uncharted island they still demonstrate that every choice you make can, and does, have an effect, even if it can be imperceptible at time. So even though at the time when I was reading the books I might not have picked up on it, in a way they caught me that my actions can have major consequences.

And yes, I was one of those kids who kept track of which choices I made so when I went back to reread the story I could follow a different path to see where that lead me. Almost making an alternate universe out of it in a way. Though I will admit, sometimes after a few read throughs I would just go through and read the book cover to cover to see what I missed.

Let’s Get Geeky #25: Exiles

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Exiles was the first X-Men based comic series that I read. I was familiar with the X-Men from the animated show from the 1990′s but the state of the X-Men and their roster and books was confusing at the time. For that matter things are still confusing with them in some ways, but that would be a tangent. The reason I was into the Exiles however comes down to two main reasons.

The first reason is the premise of the book is that six characters from different alternate realities became “unhinged” from time and became Exiles and had to hop from reality to reality to fix something. This meant that almost every storyline sent the heroes to a universe we hadn’t seen previously. So with my enjoyment of the What If? line of books this was right up my alley. Unlike the What If? books however in Exiles you got to keep traveling with the six main characters of the book so you got to see these new worlds through their eyes.

That brings me to the second reason I like the Exiles, the fact that for the most part there were only six main characters, unlike the regular X-Men books which had countless characters in their books it felt like. And since the members of the Exiles were pretty much all from alternate realities instead of the main Marvel universe (also known as the 616 universe) if a character was put into harm’s way you couldn’t be sure if they would make it out alive or not. And many times they didn’t. When this happened the character (or characters in some cases) would be replaced by someone from another dimension becoming “unhinged”. Often the characters in the book were people we recognized by their name and/or look but because of their coming from a different reality their back story and personality weren’t always what you’d expect.

Let’s Get Geeky #24: Darkwing Duck

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Unlike many previous, and most likely future, entries I do recall what the first episode of the show I saw was and where I saw it. I was at my mom’s work after school since where she worked allowed her to bring me there after school so I would watch tv on a small portable set and the episode was Beauty and the Beet, which was the first Bushroot episode.

I know Darkwing Duck wasn’t the first show I watched with the hero having a secret identity (He-Man) or the first with crime fighting heroes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) but it was one of, if not the first show I really got into with a character that fit the comic book crime fighter with a secret identity type model.

Speaking of comics a little over a year ago BOOM! Studios started putting out a comic book on the character. I picked up the first issue due to nostalgia and enjoyed it enough that I’ve continued to pick up the series. Not only do the stories remind me of the show without actually being rehashed episodes but a lot of the covers are homages to famous comic book covers and many times they’ll also put Easter eggs inside the art for Disney fans.

Darkwing Duck is also one of three costumes I can remember dressing up as for Halloween parties. The other two being Star Trek related.

Let’s Get Geeky #23: Marvel Zombies

Friday, June 10th, 2011

I’m actually sort of surprised that this particular subject made it into the list of topics I have to write about as I’m definitely not a fan of zombie stories, or for that matter horror in general. However, even with that being said when the first Marvel Zombies book came out I picked it up. The most likely reason I can think of that I gave it a shot is the fact it was a sort of spin-off form an Ultimate Fantastic Four story where the team in that book met their alternate universe counterparts that turned out to be zombies from the universe the Marvel Zombies books took place in. Or at least one of the universes… Another reason I think that the books caught my interest is my previously mentioned enjoyment of alternate universe and what if type stories.

Another thing I think helped my enjoyment of the series is the fact that while there is some blood and gore it isn’t too graphic as compared to other books in the zombie/horror genre. I’m not even sure that the books would fit 100% in the horror genre. Yes, there are definitely horror aspects to the books but in some ways they could also be classified as a sort of macabre dark comedy. Still definitely not for children, but I do enjoy them.

Let’s Get Geeky #22: Deadpool

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

While he isn’t my all-time favorite comic book character Deadpool is in the top three. Fluctuating between the number two and number three spot depending on how I’m feeling. I am willing to admit though that he has become sort of what Wolverine was in the nineties, over saturated. But I don’t really have a problem with that, not only because I enjoy the character but because he is such a wacky character that him being in multiple books doesn’t seem to be a problem. Of course, my enjoyment of things weird, wacky and fourth-wall breaking could have a lot to do with my not having a problem as well.

I don’t recall what the first story I read with Deadpool was, or if I was hooked by the character with that story or if you took a couple more, but I am definitely now hooked. As mentioned above Deadpool has a tendency to break the fourth wall, a lot of times while conversing with the voices in his head. While this could get annoying if done in every comic, it suits me just fine when coming from Deadpool. It’s sort of like having a character MST3K themselves from inside the comic.

Let’s Get Geeky #21: One Must Fall 2097

Friday, May 27th, 2011

One Must Fall 2097 was a street fighter-like fighting game for the computer that came out in the mid 1990′s. However instead of playing as a human (or humanoid) fighting another human the combatants were giant robots… granted the giant robots had humans inside of them, but it was still giant robots. Another thing that the differentiated the game from other fighting games of the time (and for that matter many current games) is that with the exception of the stadium arena the different venues for fights had hazards that you had to watch out for in addition to your opponent.

I was first exposed to the game when I was at my best friends house, and while it wasn’t the only game we played when I visited, we did did play it quite a bit. The memories and nostalgia I had for the game were so good in fact that a few years back I did a search for the game and upon finding out that it had been released as freeware I downloaded it. While I haven’t played in at least a couple of years I do recall that I still enjoyed playing it even a decade after it had come out. The graphics definitely aren’t top of the line anymore, but if you’re a fan of fighting games, or giant robots (or both) I do recommend at least thinking about checking it out. Considering it is now freeware what have you got to lose other than maybe a little time? Or perhaps a lot of time if you get sucked into the game.

Let’s Get Geeky #20: Batman (1960′s)

Friday, May 20th, 2011

I’ve recently been watching the Adam West Batman tv show on The Hub, or as I like to call it, the Nostalgia Channel. I know it’s campy, but I think that is part of it’s charm. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s my favorite version of Batman, but neither is it my least favorite. I can’t recall if the show was my first exposure to the character, that honor might go to the Super Friends or even Scooby-Doo Meets Batman and Robin. But all things considered the characterization of all those versions are pretty much the same.

I also have to say a couple of the guest villain portrayals really stand out as well. Cesar Romero as The Joker, while the character was played a bit silly due to the nature of the show there are times when you see him get a touch mad, both in anger and craziness. A trait the character has in modern times where one minute he’ll seem to be care-free (or as care-free as a psychopath can be) and then the next he’ll snap.

Another actor I thought did a good job was Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. Granted, in the show his riddles were more like jokes, but you can kind of see in his portrayal Riddler’s psychological need to not lie, even if the truth is hidden inside a puzzle. Which is really interesting since while it was being done the actual idea of it being psychological hadn’t been written down yet. In the 1966 movie in at least one scene you can see Riddler in the background even when he isn’t speaking and he has a look in his eyes as if he is thinking up new riddles to perplex Batman with while the other criminals plan, a nice touch from Frank Gorshin.

And last but not least, I have to mention Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. I’ll admit it, I had a crush on her when I was younger and I still do. She was smart and for the most part wasn’t a damsel in distress. Yes, she did get captured from time to time, but so did Batman and/or Robin in the cliffhanger of part one of every pair of episodes in the first two seasons of the show.

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