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On TV Today's Date:

The Batman
The Big Heat
Original airdate 11/13/04


Before you read any further, I must alert you that this is a brand new review of a brand new episode of The Batman. If you are a regular reader, then you may experience a sense of déjà vu while reading it. If you are a new reader, than you might want to read last week's review of "The Big Chill" because it at least has puns.

While on patrol, Batman discovers a building with a huge hole burned in it. He investigates and discovers that the company's servers and records have been torched. Just then, our villain of the week Firefly shows up and has a rooftop battle with Batman. Firefly escapes.

Later, Bruce Wayne meets with Mayor Grange (voiced by '60s Batman actor Adam West). Gotham City is about to award a contract to expand a children's hospital which had been a pet project of Thomas Wayne. Unfortunately, the city council doesn't like Bruce's playboy reputation and instead is considering giving the contract to Gothcorp.

What? No Lexcorp?

Bruce makes it his goal to come up with hard evidence that the rumors of shady business practices by Gothcorp are true in order to sway the city council back to his side. He must juggle that task while also trying to bring Firefly to justice.

This week's episode follows the exact same formula I ranted about last week (which is where your sense of déjà vu would kick in). Batman fights new villain, Batman loses, Batman invents new gadget, Batman defeats new villain.

The Big Heat changes it up slightly by adding the complication of Bruce's business woes, but it is still beat for beat the same story. It's boring, it's repetitive and it has to stop now if WB has any interest in someone over the age of 11 watching this show.

As much as older Batman fans (are they still watching this show?) will appreciate the casting of Adam West as Mayor Grange, it doesn't work. West has too recognizable a voice for the part, nor does that voice match the look of the character. To West's credit, he plays the part straight and never once says "old chum."

Some of The Batman's redesigns of Batman's rogue's gallery have been controversial. They remade the Joker to look like a psychedelic Jamaican monkey. They made the Penguin learn karate. Bane went from looking like a Mexican wrestler to a Mexican wrestler in a badly designed GoBot costume.

For me, however, Firefly is the first one they have gotten right. He looks like and moves like a firefly and I might actually buy his action figure if it existed.

Which, apparently, is all this show is really about anyway.

Michael Goodson


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