Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season One Wrap up

Season one impressions

Re-watching the entire first season of this show has left me a bit perplexed. I had memories of really liking this series, but over the past 26 weeks I have frequently found myself underwhelmed with what I thought was going to be a really fun exercise. I know that the appeal of this show for me has always been that it contains the largest and most diverse cast of DC comics characters of any show to date, but that appeal is somewhat of a novelty, and by definition, novelties are only novel when they’re new. So I guess I am just finding a really wordy way of saying that it didn’t hold up as well as expected.

There are some stand out episodes that are worth repeated viewing, the first appearances of Green Arrow, Plastic Man and Aquaman come to mind. I also think that watching the three Equinox episodes in succession would be fun, and it is widely accepted that the Music Meister episode is one of the best 20 or so minutes in all of animation. So seven solid entries in a season of 26 is better than many shows have, I just feel like something was missing.

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This season had a really impressive voice cast, and quality animation, but sometimes it was the writing that let me down. The show heavily leaned on humor and action, but it needed some sort of overall narrative tying the season together. There was a half hearted effort to do that with Equinox, but he wasn’t used often enough to make it truly effective. I hope there is an added element of some sort in the second season to make the show a little more compelling.

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One major positive about this first season, is that it truly is a family show and not just one for children. Much of the previous DC animation (at least in the Timm/ Dini era) seemed to be geared more towards older viewers and could be boring to younger children. The Brave and the Bold does seem to appeal to everyone in the family, and opens up ample teaching moments to discuss characters that children may have never seen before. I am definitely an advocate for opening up opportunities to discuss superheroes and villains.

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From this point on, most of the episodes that I will be reviewing are episodes that I will be watching for the first time. I caught a lot of the first season when it originally aired, but by the time the second season debuted, some things had changed for me and I was able to catch them. I am eager to see how the series tone and execution changed during the hiatus. I am hoping that the creators began to develop a clear vision for the series once it experienced some success in the first season. For the second season reviews I am going to try to use a little less rigid format than I used with the first season. I am going to weave my commentary in along with the plot summary, hoping to craft reviews that are a little more fun to read as well as write. I’ll see everyone next week with a review of “Long Arm of the Law!”

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