Is The Batman animated series from 2004 underrated?

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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Oh come on. The dialogue in the first seasons of "The Batman" is literally a constant stream of bad one-liners followed by a electric guitar going TUDUM. Honestly this cartoon is better if you can't understand English and just read the subtitles in another language. B:TAS doesn't come close to that amount of "cringe". If there are one-liners at all in a B:TAS episode, they are usually said by a villain.
I find Robin's jokes in BTAS as cringe as anything said in The Batman. And it's not the jokes I object to per se. It's more like arch, unrealistic dialogue. Yeah, The Batman has the same problem. But it's not much worse than BTAS in that regard.

The Batman is a worse show than BTAS because I find it cynical and I think the producers put a lot less care and effort into it. But the comparison in tone and emotional honesty is not the thing the show is regularly attacked for. You want to talk dialogue and bad jokes, it's not much worse there.
 

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
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(I am assuming that Robin's jokes are so dated that I didn't even perceive them as actual jokes)

Robin appears in 29 episodes and barely talks in the episodes he appears in. The latter can be said about most characters. The scripts of B:TAS are usually very short. They let the orchestra set the scene.

The Batman is the opposite. The characters talk a lot and I wish they didn't. They constantly cut to another scene with those bats flying over the screen.
 
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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(I am assuming that Robin's jokes are so dated that I didn't even perceive them as actual jokes)

Robin appears in 29 episodes and barely talks in the episodes he appears in. The latter can be said about most characters. The scripts of B:TAS are usually very short. They let the orchestra set the scene.

The Batman is the opposite. The characters talk a lot and I wish they didn't. They constantly cut to another scene with those bats flying over the screen.
Again, I'm talking strictly dialogue. BTAS's isn't great. Your argument that there is much less of it doesn't actually change that. I mentioned that BTAS's tone and emotional resonance is why it's the better show, and part of that had to do with talking less, and letting the things onscreen speak for themselves. But when the characters actually spoke, I cringed.
 

Kirben

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No, I recently watched the complete series, due to the Blu-ray releases, and I thought the later seasons got worse. I actually preferred the first two seasons, since they were a different take, with the focus on the early years. I liked seeing more interaction between Batman & Alfred, seeing Batman working on his gadgets, Batman having to work against the police, and the on-going elements showing Batman slowly gain the trust of the Police over time.
It felt like the later seasons decided to play it too safe, adding more side characters (Batgirl, Robin, team ups) to appeal to fans, and the early years aspect was lost. Batgirl in particular was really annoying, and literately took over the show in some episodes (Thunder). Robin wasn't much better, and the team-ups were disappointing.
 

CyberCubed

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So I imagine the "Bat Embargo" kept Scarecrow, Two-Face and Ra's Al Ghul out of this show because of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight which came out at the time? This is very strange to me, that 3 iconic Batman villains were not allowed in this show due to the live-action Nolan trilogy at the time. You'd think putting the animated versions in the show would help advertise the movies and introduced the villains to kids.

Also unless I'm forgetting, The Mad Hatter was never in this show either, right? Weird since he wasn't in any movies at the time.
 

ShadowStar

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So I imagine the "Bat Embargo" kept Scarecrow, Two-Face and Ra's Al Ghul out of this show because of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight which came out at the time? This is very strange to me, that 3 iconic Batman villains were not allowed in this show due to the live-action Nolan trilogy at the time. You'd think putting the animated versions in the show would help advertise the movies and introduced the villains to kids.
You're correct, and this is a good example of corporate logic.
 

ABrown

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So I imagine the "Bat Embargo" kept Scarecrow, Two-Face and Ra's Al Ghul out of this show because of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight which came out at the time? This is very strange to me, that 3 iconic Batman villains were not allowed in this show due to the live-action Nolan trilogy at the time. You'd think putting the animated versions in the show would help advertise the movies and introduced the villains to kids.
I don't know about that. The Batman was meant to tie in with Batman Begins. I'm not saying that they were supposed to be a shared continuity. But Bruce's design was slightly based on Christian Bale's appearance. And both are supposed to be Batman's early years.
 

Spideyzilla

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You're correct, and this is a good example of corporate logic.
I know the 90s Spider-Man cartoon had similar problems, John Semper has said they were banned from using Electro and Sandman because of James Cameron's then-upcoming Spider-Man movie, and apparently those were the villains he was planning on using (although they did end up using Electro once the movie stalled, albeit a version whose origin was completely different from the comics).

To answer the question the thread posed: yes, I would say so. The show isn't perfect and I basically recommend pulling a Star Trek and skipping the odd numbered seasons. Season 1 is mostly terrible, albeit with a good two part finale (which admittedly only emotionally works if you've watched the whole season and gotten used to the characters). Season 2 is hit and miss although I'd say there's plenty of good stuff and is probably the most underrated season. It also introduces The Riddler, who I would argue was easily the show's best villain. I know not everyone agrees with me on this but I don't care much for season 3 at all, personally. Season 4, as others have said, is outstanding and very much worth a watch. I didn't love the Everywhere Man episode though everything else is an absolute home run. It's one of the most consistently great seasons in DC animation history and I love it. The two-part premiere that introduces Robin is the best thing the show ever did and easily holds up to even the best episodes of the DCAU. I really wish A Matter of Family had a more well-known spot in DC animation history, it really does deserve it. The two part season finale is also outstanding. I mean, for a show that once did nothing but play it safe to end a season with Batman teaming up with Martian Manhunter to stop an alien invasion? Bravo. And yeah... season 5 is a letdown, not much else to say. I always thought introducing the Justice League was a weird move, particularly since I don't think there were ever any plans to have a spin-off show focusing on them. I'd be very interested to know what behind-the-scenes stuff resulted in the step back in quality. And yes, The Batman vs. Dracula is excellent and I highly recommend it. As far as DTV Batman movies go it's definitely underrated.
 

-batmat-

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I don't know why most people have a problem with Season 1. I like it. Sure, it's not as good as Season 4, but it's great, in my opinion.

Seasons 1 and 2 were the seasons where this show felt more its own thing. Ethan, Ellen Yin, Chief Rojas, all original characters (even if Yin was somewhat based from Yindel?) with fresh takes on Batman and its villains. With Season 3, it became a bit more classic Batman, introducing Gordon, Batgirl and then Robin and the JL in the final seasons.

But I feel, as underrated as the show already is, seasons 1 and 2 are underrated too!
 

Otaku-sempai

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I don't know why most people have a problem with Season 1. I like it. Sure, it's not as good as Season 4, but it's great, in my opinion.

Seasons 1 and 2 were the seasons where this show felt more its own thing. Ethan, Ellen Yin, Chief Rojas, all original characters (even if Yin was somewhat based from Yindel?) with fresh takes on Batman and its villains. With Season 3, it became a bit more classic Batman, introducing Gordon, Batgirl and then Robin and the JL in the final seasons.

But I feel, as underrated as the show already is, seasons 1 and 2 are underrated too!
I think it might be because the writing (especially the plotting) was disappointing in comparison to the DCAU with an over-reliance on gadgets and an under-reliance on wits. Story logic was spotty at best, characterization was fairly minimal and a lot of shortcuts were taken to resolve most stories. Lots of flash, little substance.

Granted, this show was aimed at a slightly younger demographic.
 

khuddle

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I found the music from that show incredibly irritating: a lone synthesizer that sounded tinny, jarring. Its a tiny thing, but it turned me off the show completely.
 

Pooky

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Odd that the "Bat Embargo" applied to Two-Face but not The Joker who appeared in the same film. I guess he was too big to block.
 

TUO

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Yes The Batman 2004 was underrated and didn’t get the same appreciation as Batman The Animated Series or Batman Beyond got. Some things that I didn’t like about the show was that they made The Original Robin Dick Grayson too short and made him sound like he didn’t hit puberty almost like Tim Drake from The New Batman Adventures and The Joker’s hairstyle made him look like a clown super sayin.
 

Otaku-sempai

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Yes The Batman 2004 was underrated and didn’t get the same appreciation as Batman The Animated Series or Batman Beyond got. Some things that I didn’t like about the show was that they made The Original Robin Dick Grayson too short and made him sound like he didn’t hit puberty almost like Tim Drake from The New Batman Adventures and The Joker’s hairstyle made him look like a clown super sayin.
That's an odd complaint considering that Dick Grayson actually was pre-pubescent when his parents were killed. His portrayal in The Batman was bang-on as far as I can see.
 

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