Top critical review
Adam West is still the best Batman
on March 9, 2016
As a kid, I loved watching reruns of this show for the first time. It was a colorful, visually faithful adaptation of the comic book hero. I somehow completely missed the tongue-in-cheek lampooning back then, but now it's impossible to ignore. That may be the reason why these episodes are so tiresome to watch, particularly the two-part ones in the first two seasons (Season 2 has 60 episodes to get through!) Being neither dramatically thrilling nor especially funny, they walk a very narrow, very hazy line of emotional appeal. The result is a 120-episode show take an awful long time to get through.
Not that there aren't a few gems in there. The superior episodes are invariably the ones with Catwoman (Julie Newmar, naturally, not Eartha Kitt) and King Tut (Victor Buono's brilliantly comedic deliveries improve the scripts). Abysmal are such cut-rate villains as the Archer, the Minstrel, Louie the Lilac, Shame, Liberaces, and (the absolute nadir of the show) Nora Clavicle. The first season is probably the best season overall, and Batgirl makes Season 3 at all bearable.
While the show doesn't hold up all that well--definitely being a pop phenomenon of its day--the costumes, the sets, and that super-cool batmobile remain the best reasons to buy these DVDs. To be frank, I think the 1966 Batman movie is the best version of the show. Unfortunately, that film is not on any of these sets (probably for lingering legal reasons) but you can buy that separate if you don't already own it. The picture quality of these DVDs is pristine and colorful. While there are no extras on the first three sets (Seasons 1 & 2), the third and final season has a fifth disc loaded with all the extras from the complete series.