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This is an abridged version of the review posted for the first season of this series.
If you like Batman, and prefer when it's treated with a slightly darker tone, then this TV series which ran in the early 1990's on Saturday mornings in the US is for you. This is entertainment for kids with an edge that makes it interesting for adults too. The show didn't shy away from more difficult material and yet remained very much targeted at kids. It's the little details that make the differences. For example, no one ever dies no matter what. Characters are clearly delineated between good and bad, but in true Batman fashion, dealing with psychological traumas and the bad in all of us is very much a part of every story, and some moral ambiguity is often present. Some characters are truly complex and scary.
The writing is very good with some episodes approaching pure genius and putting most big screen screenplays to shame. Watch out for the double episodes dealing in depth with the bad guys in the Batman universe. The ones introducing Two-Face, Cat-woman (in one of her sexiest incarnation) or Clay are among the best. The series got many awards during it run for its excellence in that regard, along with its guest stars voices, and music soundtrack.
Visually, the series is also astonishing, giving birth to the term "Dark Deco" (as a reference to Art Deco recast for our favorites Dark Knight). Although the DVDs are definitely lacking there, the quality is good enough to see the gorgeous backgrounds and signature coloring. The series is set in the late 20th century, but as if all Design, Architecture and Art stopped evolving after the Art Deco movement in the 20's and 30's. It gives the series an eerie feeling of modernity while remaining very classically Noir.
- Laurent Hasson