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TV Wasteland: Holy Series Finale!

We say farewell to Batman: The Brave and the Bold

By Rob Vaux     November 14, 2011

 

This Friday witnesses the end to one of the more controversial eras in the long history of the Caped Crusader. Batman: The Brave and The Bold finished its final season and more than a few Batman fans are happy to see it go. Its deliberately camp attitude and outlandish Golden Age plots stuck in the craw of those who believed that Batman begins with Frank Miller and ends with Christopher Nolan. But frankly speaking, that grim, gritty Dark Knight has no shortage of outlets elsewhere. The groundbreaking Animated Series touched upon it regularly, especially during the later seasons, and Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is still the most hotly anticipated film of 2012. The Brave and The Bold couldn’t hope to compete with them on their own terms… so it didn’t even try. Instead, it went the opposite route: taking the kiddie-friendly 1950s comics to heart and adding a dash of knowing winks to it all.
 
It worked incredibly well, from the artwork that evoked era artists like Dick Sprang to the imaginatively goofy storylines that sent the eternally po-face Batman against the most outlandish villains possible. He traveled to outer space, he swam to the bottom of the sea, he piloted what appeared to be a Bat-Autobot and his utility belt held all manner of ridiculous doodads designed to teach hapless bad guys the true meaning of justice. Indeed, it made such ridiculousness a point of pride, and the creative ways it found to express itself made for a delightful time week after week. Countless gems cropped up throughout the show, such as John DiMaggio’s pitch-perfect Aquaman or a time-traveling opener in which Batman battles the cybernetic John Wilkes Booth. In so doing, it made a unique mark for itself, as well as earning a legion of fans who embraced all aspects of their favorite superhero. Most of those fans will line up to see Christian Bale just as eagerly as they tuned in to the show every week, and Batman is none the worse for wear for either of them. So let’s take a moment to tip our pointy-eared cowl to The Brave and the Bold; it understood the depth of this character and did justice to a sadly neglected side of him. Wave good-bye this Friday at 7:00 PM EST on Cartoon Network.
 
Monday
Terra Nova (Fox, 8:00 PM EST)
Maddy discovers a terrible secret after taking an internship with the colony’s top scientist. Meanwhile, Josh keeps trying to get his future girlfriend back to Terra Nova so that they can presumably get eaten by velociraptors together.
 
Jurassic Park (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Let’s cut to the chase here: when Sam Neill says, “stop that, it’s really stupid,” you need to listen to him.
 
Tuesday
Battle: Los Angeles (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
It’s hardly the definitive alien invasion story, but its gritty house-to-house take on the concept gives it a nice sense of distinction.
 
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
The third time is not the charm for the foundering franchise based on the C.S. Lewis classics.
 
Twilight (FX, 7:30 PM EST)
I don’t care how much he sparkles; if someone calls you his own personal brand of heroin, mace him and phone the police.
 
Zombie Apocalypse (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
You can’t accuse Syfy of playing coy with its subject matter…
 
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The second film in the Resident Evil series is probably the weakest, though it definitely stays true to its video game roots.
 
Wednesday
American Horror Story (FX, 10:00 PM EST)
Moira gets a nibble on the house, even as Constance and Larry try to sabotage her efforts. Whose side should we be on here?
 
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The team visits a whiskey distillery in Kentucky, where multiple definitions of the word “spirits” seem to have cropped up.
 
Thursday
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
If Sheldon’s going to leave Amy out to dry, then Stuart the comic book guy is going to move in. You have no one to blame but yourself, Sheldon.
 
Burn Notice (USA, 10:00 PM EST)
An African warlord kidnaps a notable scientist, unaware that Michael and his gang of bad-asses are on their way to rescue him.
 
Ginger Snaps (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
This brilliant Canadian horror film involves a pair of sisters, one of whom undergoes a few more monthly changes than normal after she’s bitten by a werewolf.
 
Sweeney Todd (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
Jonny Depp earned an Oscar nomination as the title character in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the ghoulish musical. It’s easily the director’s best film since Ed Wood.
 
Predator 2 (FMC, 9:00 PM EST)
Oh Danny Glover, we can’t stay mad at you. Especially when you say “pussy face” so emphatically.
 
Tangled (Starz, 7:10 PM EST)
On a completely different note, Disney’s long-delayed Rapunzel project turns out to be a blast, thanks largely to the decision to posit it as a screwball romantic comedy.
 
Starship Troopers (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
It’s edited for television, so why bother watching it? Oh right, Neil Patrick Harris…
 
Star Trek: Insurrection (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This may not quite be the weakest of the Next Generation movies, but it’s feckless enough not to matter.
 
The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle are off until January. This is me, not shedding a single tear.
 
Friday
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
A man dies and his corpse turns bone-white, which may be connected to a rare genetic disorder. Olivia and the boys doubtless get to the bottom of it in a timely manner.
 
Chuck (NBC, 8:00 PM EST)
An assassin appears at a Buy More convention, with Chuck and Sarah hot on his heels.
 
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
Monroe goes undercover in order to ferret out a suspect who uses the power of hypnosis. Whatever, guys. Move along; nothing to see here.
 
Nikita (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
Nikita uses stolen money in an effort to flush Oversight’s controllers into the open, while Alex makes a move on her father’s holdings in Russia.
 
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
The Winchesters are on the trail of what appears to be the Jersey Devil, though evil sandwiches at the local restaurant may have something to do with it as well. Yes, you read that right.
 
Sanctuary (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Henry joins up with the UK Sanctuary team to check out an abandoned ship whose crew killed the Abnormals onboard before turning on each other.
 
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EST)
That asshat Jedi general may have finally pushed the 501st to the breaking point when key members of the Legion face execution for defying orders.
 
ThunderCats (Cartoon, 8:30 PM EST)
Tygra and Lion-O come to blows… presumably over Cheetara. Please notice that I’m studiously avoiding the easy cat-based sexual jokes here.
 
Young Justice (Cartoon, 6:30 PM EST)
Artemis and Zatanna head for the big city on Halloween, where nothing can possibly go wrong…
 
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EST)
Bat-mite returns to make Batman’s life a living hell one last time. Fare thee well, TBATB, and thanks for the ride. See the top of the article for more.
 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sundance, 7:30 PM EST)
I know I stand alone on this, but Kristy Swanson is still the one true Buffy.
 
Predators (Cinemax, 8:10 PM EST)
Adrien Brody and a team of ultimate bad asses find out they’re not such bad asses after all in a sterling sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger original.
 
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
See, this is people’s real problem with Hollywood. The title is lying: it’s not the Final Friday. By my count, it’s not even the second or third Final Friday. Stupid Hollywood…
 
Saturday
Primeval (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
A nuclear sub uncovers a Liopleurodon, which is a pretty scary plesiosaur as plesiosaurs go.
 
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EST)
I appreciate this remake’s attempts to explore key elements of the Freddy Krueger mythos (such as the lynch mob that killed him in the first place) and to treat Krueger like the monster that he is, but even so it misses some vital element that prevents it from clicking.
 
Super (Showtime, 9:30 PM EST)
Rainn Wilson basically reiterates his character from The Office, playing a hapless schlub with a pipe wrench who becomes a masked vigilante. The always awesome Ellen Page guest stars as his sociopathic sidekick.
 
TRON: Legacy (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Disney’s not-quite-a-sequel proves every bit the equal of the cult original, though its middling box office performance doubtless left parts of the Magic Kingdom disappointed.
 
Planet Terror (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
The ill-conceived notion to divide Grindhouse into individual movies can’t hurt this awesome entry featuring Rose McGowan as a stripper with a machine-gun leg fighting hordes of rampaging zombies.
 
Friday the 13th (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The less-than-sterling remake still has the benefit of gathering the disparate elements of Jason Voorhees into one single easy-to-view package.
 
Sunday
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9:00 PM EST)
Secrets abound as Andrea has to put her newfound survival skills to the test.
 
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
Dexter applies things he learned from Brother Sam in the investigation of a new case, even as Debra clashes with Captain La Guerta over the murder of a prostitute.
 
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Starz, 8:03 PM EST)
Odd starting time. Not that it can save the film…
 
The Devil’s Rejects (IFC, 8:45 PM EST)
IFC loves them the Rob Zombie, as evinced by their repeated showing of the undisputed high point of his canon.
 
Angels and Demons (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
I’ll eschew the easy “it’s not sci-fi” joke and simply point out that this sequel to the inexplicably popular The Da Vinci Code still sucks, no matter what station it plays on.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Wiseguy 11/14/2011 8:31:46 AM

Thoroughly enjoyed Brave and the Bold. But it shows the impact Miller had on the character when all these fools think that's the only Batman.

Didn't dig that Super movie. It had its moments but too few and far between. For whatever reason I didn't find the over the top violence entertaining as I normally do.

I love those shows where they show videos of folk doing stupid things and paying the price. Love Tosh.O for example, he is one funny mother effer. So I tried watching Ridiculousness and they have the worst and lamest host ever. This cat is embarrassing and he keeps moving around like he's about to shit on himself and to top it off he has some dumb bimbo sitting there just to giggle the entire show. I was angry just watching this and wanted to punch him in the face

Sons of Anarchy is starting to get real. This show has elevated itself quite a bit this season

And AHS is starting to answer some questions but many remain

millean 11/14/2011 8:56:42 AM

I'll really miss Brave & The Bold.  Definitely not the best Batman incarnation, but this show didn't take itself seriously, and was awesome because of it.

And on the flip side of the same awesomeness coin... is anybody out there catching Young Justice?  This show has become an excellent new series.  My biggest complaint thus far had been last week's "it was all just a dream" episode, but to my delightful surprise they expounded on that angle this week and actually made it an interesting plot point.  If you aren't watching this series, you SHOULD be.

(And Thundercats is still a delightful surprise.  Not the best in the world,but worth the watch.)

millean 11/14/2011 9:02:42 AM

Oh by the way, I'm obviously a HUGE Batman fan, but I'm not convinced that the Dark Knight Rises is the most hotly anticipated movie of 2012.  99% of the time the Avengers couldn't hold Batman's jock strap, but I think I am almost looking forward to Marvel's team up more than TDKR.  (Hell, I'll even bet Wiseguy is looking forward to Avengers more than Nolan's Batman, but that is pure speculation at this point.)  :)

I'm just glad I don't have to pick between the two.  2012 movie season is going to rock.

phantomx69 11/14/2011 9:34:27 AM

ok how come person of interest does not get any love here!!

Bryzarro 11/14/2011 9:41:30 AM

 @millean - Young Justice and Thudercats have become my weekly favorites to watch.  And I wasn't big on Young Justice but their missisons have been much better latley.  And ThunderCats has pleasantly surprised me for it's take and twists on the original.

I wasnt a big fan of Brave and the Bold but it was Batman and i'll miss it.  Battle LA was awesome IMO.  

And why the hate for Prince of Perisa.  Saw it with my kid and we both enjoyed it.  

peak37pt 11/14/2011 10:56:20 AM

 I loved Brave and the Bold. The writing/humor/animation/ was all stellar and it was wonderful. I'm sad that it's over. I looked forward to it every week. 

samson 11/14/2011 11:08:43 AM

We've had over 20 years of a grim, dark Batman. And I don't want a comedic Dark Knight to be the norm. But, with that said, there is room for a lighter take on the character if done well. With that said, I loved The Brave And The Bold. Especially the episodes with Aquaman. In it's own way, this show was every bit as good as BTAS. Bader's voicing of the not so Dark Knight was spot on. What made the show work was letting Batman be Batman while everyone else do the goofy stuff. Then, having his reactions based on that. Comic gold I tells ya! Comic gold.

Wow, didn't even know "Super" had came out. For the most part, I dislike superhero commedies anyway. But, I'll give anything a try. As long as it's well done, I'lll enjoy it.

@phantomx69 - I love Persons Of Interest. It's a good show that gets better week after week. If they ever do a live action "The Dark Knight Returns" Jim Cavesiel would be a great Batman. Which, he basically is anyway in this show.

I know there is a lot of hate for The Vampire Diaries. But, it's actually pretty good and they have no problem killing people without a second thought. Sure, it can get a little sappy, but when they cut loose, it more than makes up for it. I learned some cool ways to torture a vampire from this show. Prime example; imprson said vampire in a cage just big enough for him or her to fit sitting down. Fill water gun with holy water and squirt vampire till you recieve your desired information or you get bored. Which ever works for you. Plus, the lead chick and the witch are hot as hell. I certify this show as safe viewing for men who want to keep their "guy cards."

 

Hobbs 11/14/2011 12:02:15 PM

Millers take on Batman is what saved the character.  There is a reason why we want to keep it that way.  The minority might like the mr. mom batman but the majority rules.

Millean, I'm willing to bet the Hobbit is the most anticipated movie of 2012 but I havent seen any polls. That's number 1 on my list followed by Rises and Avengers.

The 2nd resident evil was the weakest?  Really?  Have you seen the one where they are in Vegas and it doesn't even look like Vegas.

millean 11/14/2011 1:12:05 PM

Hobbs, you may very well be right about the Hobbit.  However, I had honestly forgotten they were even making that movie until you brought it up.  Never was a LOTR fan, but I know there are a lot of fans out there.

I would still bet Avengers/TDKR is neck and neck at the top, with Hobbit close behind.  But like I said, this really isn't a competition in my eyes, so bring 'em all on!

And Bryzarro, you preach it, brother!  Even PoP is awesome sauce. 

 

Wyldstaar 11/14/2011 2:53:53 PM

I never really gave BATB a shot.  It looks like it would be good for kids, which is fine.  The production art for the new Batman animated show looks awful, not to mention using Katana as the sidekick.  I'll stick with Young Justice. 

I'm looking forward to The Avengers and DKR equally, but in different ways.  I don't give a pair of fetid dingos kidneys for The HobbitLOTR was good, but I'm over it.

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