Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Another openin', another show...

Just learned about a new animated Batman series coming to the WB. Could be good, could be bad. I certainly agree with the general consensus that the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini animated series was the best translation/adaptation yet of the Caped Crusader, capable of entertaining kids and grownups alike without the (lovely) campiness of the 1966 series. Its second incarnation, with Robin along for the ride, was a little more kiddie-fied, and I never quite got into "Batman Beyond" (though both of those later series had their deathtrap moments now and then). I admit to watching the current "Justice League" once in a blue moon, and the few times I've caught "Teen Titans," I've enjoyed it--mostly for the Shonen Knife theme song and the cool anime-style graphic design. So I'm up for a new series, even if I have my doubts. (FYI, I also learned tonight that a 4-disc DVD of the aforementioned Timm/Dini version is coming out soon, apparently with a few bonus features.)

Speaking of animation, my latest passion is the (vaguely) superhero-themed series that are part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, namely "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." The "heroes" of the latter are a milkshake, a bag of french fries, and a wad of meat from a hamburger (whose "superpower" is the ability to turn himself into an igloo and a hot dog; nothing else, just an igloo and a hot dog). I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that BirdMan and Space Ghost caused a stirring in my pubescent loins when they were first on the air in the (correct me if I'm wrong here) early 70s, so it's weird to see them turned into the stuff of stoner comedy three decades later. All these series remind me, in a weird way, of what DC's Vertigo line does with third-rate comic book heroes of my youth, throwing out everything but the name and using the character as a post-modern meditation on the non-heroic details of everyday life.

Oops, is that too highfalutin' for ya? Look, they're just fucking funny.

No comments: