Yesterday we heard the sad news that Adam West, the star of the 1960’s Batman TV series and the greatest Batman of all, died at the age of 88. Now, I’m not going to say that it came out of nowhere, or that it was completely unexpected. He was 88, after all. But still, it’s sad.
My son Samuel and I used to watch Batman every Saturday night on MeTV. Sam was about six years old when we started, and in three years I’ll bet we didn’t miss more than a handful of those Saturday night episodes. We always ate nachos and sat next to each other on the couch while watching Batman, and these Saturday nights will always be special to me (and to my son, I hope). Here’s a newspaper column I wrote about our love of Batman.
It was only when MeTV moved the series to midnight last year that we stopped watching it. I bought the series on Blu-ray last year, but we found it wasn’t the same.
The shows on Blu-ray are incredibly clear and bright (especially for the 1960’s) and sound better, but it’s difficult for us to get into a routine when we know we can watch them anytime. We also have the Batman movie from 1965, which is fantastic. Our Saturday night routine has unfortunately ended, and now we just watch whenever we get the urge.
Other actors have portrayed Batman. There were the terrible Michael Keaton movies, along with the equally bad Val Kilmer and George Clooney versions. I liked the movies with Christian Bale, but to me that isn’t the real Batman. As I’ve written before, Batman, along with other superheroes, should be accessible to kids. The Christian Bale Batman movies are definitely not kids movies. Same goes for the Ben Affleck version. It’s sort of strange that we live in a society where modern superhero movies and TV shows are being targeted toward adults instead of children.
Adam West’s portrayal of Batman was witty and funny, and he never took himself too seriously. Batman was good and kind and always did the right thing. That is why he’ll always be the real Batman.