2017-06-14 / Here's the Scoop

Here's The Scoop

Holy loss to society!

Like many folks, I was saddened this week to learn of the death of Adam West, the original “Batman” in the 1960s TV series.

As was the case with millions of others, I spent countless hours of my “formative years” learning right from wrong by tuning into this riveting programming. I also got lessons in onomatopoeia during every show with every “Bam,” “Biff” and “Pow” of the not-very-violent fight scenes. So, it was almost like English class. That was a bonus, since I was likely watching the show while procrastinating on my homework.

Getting a chance to glimpse at those body-hugging suits worn by Cat Woman and Bat Girl was merely a bonus for an adolescent boy. Again, I was mostly interested in the “good” and “bad” characters being portrayed.

In addition to the tinge of sadness over Adam West’s passing, I was shocked to read that 120 episodes of this classic were aired in just three seasons. That kind of production doesn’t happen any more. “Holy Mass Production, Batman!”

Plus, according to several stories, the reason “Batman” was cancelled so quickly had nothing to do with ratings, but because it was too expensive to produce. It sounds like accountants were the only real foes who could get the best of the Caped Crusader.

Just to clear up any misconceptions, I was naïve, but I didn’t think “Batman” was “real.” And, yes, I did have a model of the Batmobile. I think it’s still around here somewhere.

Simply irresistable

As I browsed stories about Adam West this week, I was more than a little surprised to learn that he and Robin were basically babe magnets! Groupies were apparently not limited to rock bands, as the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder were reportedly overwhelmed with offers of “romance” from female fans. “This was the Swinging ’60s, after all,” Adam West was alleged to have stated.

If I ever go back and watch reruns of “Batman,” I’ll have to drive the notion of groupies out of my head. After all, this was a time of innocence and watching this campy show was a perfect half-hour escape. Plus, you always knew who was going to win. It was much like professional wrestling, in many respects.

Among the many cool aspects of “Batman” was the role of “faithful butler” Alfred. That dude was in on one of the world’s biggest secrets in helping to hide the true identities of Batman and Robin, but he never let anything slip. He could never work in Washington, I’m guessing.

Nice try, but...

Over the years, there have been a number of “Batman” movies and I’ve seen a few. I even looked forward to the first couple of releases. These films were visually stunning, but the original Batmobile left them in the dust. Some of these movies tried to explain Batman’s tortured past and make our hero more “lifelike” and relatable.

I never really cared too much about how Batman got the point of being a superhero. I was just glad that Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara always knew they could pick up the Bat Phone and rest assured that the criminals threatening Gotham City would be subdued. I must say, the justice system didn’t seem to be working very well, as the bad guys seemed to be constantly on the loose.

That’s another story. As are the “exploits” of the Caped Crusaders off the set, where they reportedly engaged in creating a different sort of onomatopoeia. — Brian Sweeney

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