What ages is the Adam West Batman series appropriate for?
November 17, 2017 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Is this appropriate for kids? What ages? I remember watching it on TV as a kid and it seemed fine to me and my parents but that was in the 80s.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm to Media & Arts (20 answers total)
 
My brothers and I watched the original run, and we were ages 8, 6, and 4.

But I'm not a parent.
posted by jgirl at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


All ages. It's the perfect show. The "violence" is ridiculous and of course most of the punches are blocked by big cartoony "BIFF!" and "BOFF!s" The only issue is there are a lot of people in crazy costumes, which can sometimes bother some small kids, and of course the kids need to know that Batman is really going to escape from that giant killer bee trap or whatever he happens to be trapped in at the end of every show.

So maybe for extra sensitive kids, proceed with caution.
posted by bondcliff at 11:45 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


It has a lot of extremely cartoonish violence, including literal BAM POW things that pop up when there's a fistfight, but also things like Batman and Robin being tied to a table approaching a circular saw and maybe being held over a boiling cauldron and things like that.

So. For most kids toddler and up, who have had normal levels of media exposure, it should be fine. However, if they don't watch TV or non-toddler oriented videos, it might be a little bit scary for really little kids, like 2 and 3 year olds.

I guess I'd say that if a kid is capable of skepticism, it should be OK, but if they take everything literally still, it might be a bit much.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


But also, I'll say that show was the real peak TV and it is super appropriate for everyone except the exceptions I mentioned.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:48 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think it holds up pretty well and is pretty kid-friendly (down to quite a young age - the jokes are really tiered, from simple absurdity that even preschoolers will appreciate to fairly sophisticated camp). I've only watched the movie recently, not the episodes - YMMV with the cliffhangers on the episodes, which I guess could be intense and/or lead to "just one more!" syndrome (I feel like cliffhangers don't really happen in modern programming aimed at younger children). It's a pretty solid all-ages program, though. I don't suppose it sends any particularly important or positive message, but it's very fun.

I remember enjoying it at around age 9 or so (in the 80s), and I was a REALLY sensitive TV watcher as a kid, as in we weren't allowed to watch cartoons and a few years before Batman I was hide-behind-the-sofa scared of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe on Mr. Rogers.

For an upper limit of kid ages I think maybe some (maybe older grade school through middle school) kids who are used to higher production values might not get the joke of how junky all the costumes and sets and effects and things are and think it's stupid (which is not exactly incorrect), but they won't be traumatized or anything. Worst case scenario they think the adult who recommended it is boring or weird.

(Also the DVD commentary on the movie with Adam West and Burt Ward is maybe the best DVD commentary ever recorded and everyone should seek it out, though probably *that* won't really appeal to kids much.)
posted by mskyle at 11:59 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm like the kid from the '70s who was terrified of Smokey Bear commercials and can really relate to the Nightmare Fuel section of TVtropes, and yet I loved this show in re-runs as a kid. Excellent point made about how the cliffhangers could potentially be upsetting to very young children; maybe watch it with them and make sure they're not taking it too seriously.

On the upper end of the bracket - maybe if a tweener these days has been living under some kind of internet-free rock can they mistake the genius that is the Adam West Batman for some stupid show that you're stupid for recommending. If so, I think the only consequence is you can't expect great things for these unfortunate kids who don't get it, but that's not the fault of this show; just be thankful you've caught it early and can get them into some kind of remedial camp/satire education.
posted by randomkeystrike at 12:08 PM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


I never liked it as a child in the 90s and can't imagine that a kid today will enjoy it, but there's nothing inappropriate about showing it to a kid of any age, I would think.
posted by crazy with stars at 12:11 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


My fondest childhood memories are watching with my younger brothers.
They would make me read the “pow!” And “zap!” To them.
So they were pre-school age- I was about 6.
The loud color scheme and wacky villains were not taken seriously by any of us. The episodes are short so any dramatic tension isn’t too serious or long.
posted by calgirl at 12:19 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes, there is cartoonish violence, but the show also teaches that violence is not always the answer.

Sometimes the answer is to deploy Bat Anti-<noun phrase> Spray, followed by violence.
posted by sourcequench at 12:28 PM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


It's not that far off in terms of violence level from live-action Looney Tunes, really. And not that far off in sensibility from a slightly less hyperkinetic Teen Titans Go?
posted by tobascodagama at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2017


Pretty sure this and Wonder Women planted the seeds for my interest in bondage as an adult, and I totally 'shipped Cat Woman and Batman in a way that positively modeled some dubious future romances I could have skipped... otherwise it's fine!!

(Things like The Benny Hill Show were also in afternoon re-runs when I was a kid, so w/out that context these takeaways may have been different for me. Heh.)
posted by jbenben at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


Consensus seems to be that it is fine as long as my kids aren't particularly sensitive, which they aren't. Thanks all.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:50 PM on November 17, 2017


I remember unironically loving this show when I was a little kid, and how furious I was when I learned what “camp” was. They were making fun of me, personally! (Keep in mind I was under ten.) I think, with no evidence whatsoever, that similar experiences drove the “grim and gritty superhero” trend that’s still going on today.

So, probably okay for any age except there’s a non-zero chance the experience will turn your kid into, like, Frank Miller or somebody. I wouldn’t chance it myself.
posted by Ampersand692 at 12:51 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


> I never liked it as a child in the 90s and can't imagine that a kid today will enjoy it

My kid, who is younger than my Metafilter account, loves it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:54 PM on November 17, 2017


IMO, Batman ‘66 works on both camp AND unironic levels. It's kind of like Gilbert and Sullivan, where the humor only really works if you play it absolutely, completely straight.

I remember one scene where Catwoman is in prison, and Bruce Wayne makes a deal to get her paroled under his supervision. She gets up, and in a voice completely drained of life, says, “Sorry, Mr. Wayne. You're a nice man, but my heart belongs to Batman,” and walks back to the cells. And I'm sorry, but if you can't see Bruce's heart breaking, you’ve got your head stuck up the Penguin’s umbrella.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


Pretty sure this and Wonder Women planted the seeds for my interest in bondage as an adult

There is precedent for this...
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2017


How apropos, I was literally watching a double episode with my daughters, for and six, last night. No problems at all.

KERBLAMMO!
posted by smoke at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


and of course the kids need to know that Batman is really going to escape from that giant killer bee trap or whatever he happens to be trapped in at the end of every show.

I just wanted to emphasize this -- it sounds like your kids are awesome and good with this stuff, but if anyone else has The Most Sensitive Child Ever as I was and is pondering all of this, please make sure you give them this cultural cheat sheet. I have really strong memories of being *terrified* watching Star Trek TNG and that episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats the poison fish, because no one had actually clearly explained to me that no one* dies in episodic tv, and I was very poor at picking up storytelling tropes until I was nearly a teenager.

Also, just as another data point, I remember watching Batman with kids I babysat who weren't much out of toddlerhood and they loved it and were fine.

*okay yes Tasha Yar I know but you get the idea
posted by kalimac at 1:35 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


I looked it up, and I didn't get that line quite right. Catwoman says, "There’s no room for another man in my life, Mr. Wayne. You're nice, but my heart belongs to Batman.”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


My sister loved it when she was three.
posted by kitten magic at 2:31 PM on November 17, 2017


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