EPISODE REVIEW: Batman The Brave And The Bold: “Bat-Mite Presents: Batman‘s Stranges Cases!” (Season 2, Episode 24)

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Sorry for the delay on this review. I’ll be pinchitting for our normal reviewer tonight. For regulars to this column, please forgive our differences in style.

PLAY BY PLAY

We start off with the adventures of Bat Boy and Rubin. Bats is a fat midget, Rubin is, basically, Jerry Lewis circa 1967, when he was big on the annoying, but not big on the funny. People are turning up dead, and Batboy runs around the city pretty much randomly beating up entire gangs and spanking children, rather than actual sleuthing. It’s kinda’ Seussical, and Bats is voiced by the same guy who does Nibbler from Futurama. After each solution, another dead body turns up, proving that his hunch was incorrect. Finally, they go back to the bat cave, where Rubin finds another dead body, realizing that the killer is, in fact, Batboy himself. Batboy reveals himself to be a vampire with a foot fetish, who KO’s Rubin, and then sucks him dry.

It’s supposed to be funny, but mostly it just kinda’ sucks. It’s a LONG teaser, seven minutes.

Batmite or Larry or whomever turns up, doing that annoying Pee Wee Herman thing he does (Because Bat-Mite is voiced by Paul Reubens) which just makes me want to start punching people and never, never stop. (Coincidentally, my cousin Kirk was on the swim team with Mr. Reubens in high school like 40 years ago, and has told me that the guy had pretty much the same effect on everyone back in those days, too). Batmite explains that we’re gonna’ be watching various Batmans of alternate universes do atypical things, then fast-forwards through the opening credits because, as I said, this is one LONG teaser, and we haven’t hit one genuine laugh yet.

The second vignette is a faux 1960s Japanese Batman, who, with Robin, solves an entirely non-mysterious mystery surrounding the continual resurrections of his arch nemesis “Lord Death Man.” (Hint: He’s not really dead. Duh.) They solve it, padding out the non-story with some deliberately limited animation, then they kill Lord Death Man, and it ends. It’s supposed to be charming, but mostly it just sucks.

The third vignette combines Batman and Robin (80s Superfriends style) with the Scooby gang (1970s Scooby Doo Movies style) in a lame, lethargic, lackluster loser of a plot in which Joker and Penguin are trying to find a gangster’s treasure hidden in an old theater the night before it’s torn down. They pull a ghost act to scare everyone off, kidnap Weird Al Yankovic (Don’t ask), and then the Dynamic Duo and the Mysteries Inc gang do a forced, pointlessly complicated, stupid attempt to catch the bad guys in the act (Rather than simply go beat them up and arrest them) which exists for no reason apart from tediously padding this turd out to seven minutes of bowel-clenching agony before failing. Again: It exists only to fail. Then we get a fight, which is typically awful, until Batmite uses the power of pointlessness to rewrite the characters so they can actually use violence (Verbotten in the 70s/80s cartoons parodied here) and then Scoobie and Shaggie beat the crap out of the bad guys, then, mercifully, it end.s

The End

OBSERVATIONS

I’m just gonna’ come out and say it: I don’t like this show. I never have. It’s not without its charms, it does some interesting things with the characters now and again, I’m certainly not accusing it of being a dumb show, and occasionally it’s even funny (Generally when Aquaman is around). But would all those intermittent qualities be better in, I don’t know, a *GOOD* show? Don’t they all feel kind of wasted here? This isn’t like “Oh, hey, good series with a couple great bits last week!” It’s more like “Tolerably awful show with unexpected good bits every couple of weeks.” I just don’t like it.

Yeah, yeah, I get it: the Batboy and Rubin thing was a sly reference to some dumbass Mad Magazine crap from like fifty years ago that no one gives a crap about. You know what? It still sucks. Yeah, yeah, I get the gag with the Japanese Batman: that sucks, too. To my surprise, the Scooby Doo thing actually sucks worse than its original source material. If you can out-suck 1970s Doo, you suck pretty bad, my friend. If the only real laugh in the whole episode is having a cartoon hippie beat up a cartoon clown, your bar is set pretty low.

What I think the authors overlooked this time out is the commutative property of suckiness: If your source is good, then the parody may suck. If the source material sucks, then the parody version thereof *will* suck. If you’re slapping together a Simpsons-styled vignette show based on three sucky parodies of three things that suck in a show that ordinarily KINDA’ sucks to begin with, then these variables multiply to give the crap-tacular equivalent of an atomic bomb, and you end up out-sucking doo.

Ugly animation, mosty, unfunny jokes, terrible voice acting, irritatingly obvious gags, seriously, if anyone out there wasn’t already inexplicably invested in this series, and this was the first episode you ever saw, not only would you write off the entire series instantly, but you would probably vomit until you needed to be hospitalized.

It is the worst episode in the history of anything ever. The third episode of “My Mother The Car” was better, because at least that had Bill Daily in it, and, you know he’s always kinda’ good, even when he isn’t.

Really, the Scooby Doo thing is the most disappointing bit, since a crossover with the new “Mysteries Inc” show has been blathered about for a couple years now, and I had high hopes. “Mysteries, Inc,” is a really surprisingly good, smart, clever, beautifully animated, well-voice-cast, well-written, series that I like in spite of myself, and in spite of the fact that I’ve always hated Scooby Doo. THIS show, Brave and the Bold, is only tolerably not-awful at best, and this episode was pretty much like spending an hour trapped in a room with bloody stool.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only 22 minutes long, but that’s how awful it is: it bends time around it to spread the pain and suffering around.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

No one will like this episode anywhere in the world. If anyone attempts to convince you otherwise, then they are terrorists who hate America, and are planning on killing you and your family, and then feasting on your innards. Back away, inform the authorites, unplug your TV, leave town, and never come back again. You can build a new life for yourself in Costa Rica or some place safe from the scourge of this show, and the plague of evil it brings upon us. These are dark times indeed.

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