We return to filmed entertainment for this week's question, which is:
Discussion after the jump, or as I call it "Revealing how little Jeff knows about super-hero tv shows".
- Batman (1960's version): Campy, yes. Stupid, yes. But also a heck of a lot of fun. If you don't mind laughing at the genre, it's hard to go wrong with a DVD of this series and a lot of cold beverages.
- Batman: The Animated Series (original Bruce Timm version): In a lot of ways, Bruce Timm with "Batman" did for television super-heroes what Tim Burton did for them in movies. This darker and grittier Dark Knight showed that you could combine animation with super-heroes and still come out with a really good, more mature, genuinely well crafted product. It set the mold for DC's animation domination for a long time to come.
- The Flash: This short-lived but excellent live-action show is one of the few chances The Flash has had to star. And since I love Flash, I loved this show. Very quirky and fun; I wish it had lasted longer.
- Heroes: I was a huge fan the first season, and then it fell off a cliff. Pity. Too much of the "people standing around talking at each other in ominous voices" syndrome that plagues most prime-time television. They should've quit while they were ahead.
- The Incredible Hulk: You gotta love the combination of wimpy Bill Bixby, enormous Lou Ferrigno, and cheesy Seventies fashion. I bet if I were to watch this again now, it wouldn't come off nearly as well, but at the time it was great. Serious adult treatment of the core Hulk dilemma -- living with the beast inside us all. Well, wait, that's not entirely true. The main Hulk dilemma is "Where can we go to smash the largest number of things in the most violent manner possible?" But the other thing is a close second.
- Justice League: The Animated Series: Man I loved this show in both of its incarnations. How they managed to keep such a big cast of characters distinct and interesting when, let's face it, they all have exactly the same body and face, is beyond me. But they managed it very well, presenting interesting stories and fun characters with just the right mix of drama and stuff going "boom".
- Lois & Clark: I am somewhat embarrassed to say I never saw a single episode of this. But I hear it was good if you like your super-heroes with a dash of romance.
- Smallville: I am very embarrassed to say I never saw a single episode of this. But I hear it was good if you like your super-heroes with a dash of teen angst.
- Superman: The Animated Series: Right up there with Timm's "Batman", this was Superman done right -- lots of gigantic world-menacing monsters and causing maximum collateral damage to the surrounding area. Big fun.
- Wonder Woman: The sight of Lynda Carter in a push-up Wonder Woman bustier was a very important moment in the lives of many mid-Thirties/early-Forties male comic book nerds. Hubba hubba. Terrible show, but ... hubba hubba.
- X-Men: Evolution: I am extremely embarrassed to say I never saw a single episode of any incarnation of this series. But I hear it was good if you like your super-heroes with a dash of Wolverine. OK, a HUGE EFFING DUMPTRUCK LOAD of Wolverine.
So out of the ones I have seen, I'd have to say that "Justice League" is my favorite. I just like everything about that show, I think they hit the perfect balance of super-hero silliness and well-crafted writing.
I'd love to hear your choices in the comments, particularly if they're on the ones I haven't seen before, or if you think I've left something out.