Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Batman Season 2 - A Midterm Report

Before we launch into Season 3 it's time for a quick review of our favorites from Batman's second season.

Before we get to our individual picks, we thought we'd start off with a list of the top five "visited" second season episode reviews on the blog:
  1. 37 &38: Hot Off the Griddle/The Cat and the Fiddle
  2. 47 & 48: An Egg Grows in Gotham/The Yegg Foes in Gotham
  3. 79 & 80: Batman's Anniversary/A Riddling Controversy 
  4. 57 & 58: Marsha, Queen of Diamonds/Marsha's Scheme with Diamonds
  5. 85 & 86: A Piece of the Action/Batman's Satisfaction

Our Season 2 Top Five Lists

Peter's Picks
  1. Hizzoner the Penguin/Dizzoner the Penguin
  2. Come Back, Shame/It's the Way You Play the Game
  3. King Tut's Coup/Batman's Waterloo
  4. The Devil's Fingers/The Dead Ringers
  5. A Piece of the Action/Batman's Satisfaction

John's Picks
  1. King Tut's Coup/Batman's Waterloo
  2. The Devil's Fingers/The Dead Ringers
  3. That Darn Catwoman/Scat, Darn Catwoman
  4. Hizzoner the Penguin/Dizzoner the Penguin
  5. The Cat's Meow/The Bat's Kow Tow

Season 2 Best Special Guest Villain/Villainess

Peter's Pick
Julie Newmar as The Catwoman

John's Pick
Julie Newmar as The Catwoman

Season 2 Best Bat-Babe (Villainesses not eligible)

 Peter and John's Pick
Lee Meriwether "King Tut's Coup/Batman's Waterloo"

Season 2 Best Gadget

Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service
(Don't leave the cave without it!)

John's Pick
Batpole Lift

Season 2 Best Cliffhanger

Peter and John's Pick
Robin suspended over viciously realistic crocodiles.

We here at Batpole-Central are dying to hear what you, our faithful readers picked for your faves of Season 2. Please let us (and your Bat-brothers and sisters) know in the comments section!


  1. Just in chronological order...

    An Egg Grows in Gotham...
    Hizzoner the Penguin...
    The Cat's Meow...
    King Tut's Coup...
    Pop Goes the Joker...

    It would be easy for me to pick another five or ten I like a lot, though. I also agree with both of you in awarding Catwoman the MVV award for the year. My favorite cliffhanger is probably Hot Off the Griddle's giant magnifying glasses.

  2. Okay, here goes...

    1. The Devil's Fingers...
    2. Hizzoner the Penguin...
    3. King Tut's Coup...
    4. Hot Off the Griddle...
    5. The Minstrel's Shakedown... (What the hell, he was one of the less offensive new villains!)

    Best villain (a tie): Catwoman and King Tut. Chandell's in a class by himself, of course...

    Best peril: Gotta go with that giant magnifying glass (Hot Off the Griddle).

    Best babe: It's probably got to be Lee Meriwether (King Tut's Waterloo...), although Doe, Rae and Mimi from Devil Fingers shouldn't be shortchanged. And hey, future DynaGirl Judy Strangis managed to make an impression with just one close-up (The Cat's Meow). Then there's sweet Terri Messina as Dick's girlfriend Penny in King Tut's Coup... Oh, enough, Gerani! Time for that cold shower...

  3. PART 1:

    Continuing from the first season, here are the statistics, analyzing the second season of Batman based on Peter and John's ratings for each episode.


    Peter's average second season episode rating was 2.13 (down from 2.23 for the first season) and for John the average was 2.39, (down from 2.76) which means, in their estimation, despite a drop in quality, season two was still better than average.

    If we consider 3 Bat Signals or better the mark of a great show, then eleven were deemed worthy.

    Peter and John agreed on four shows:

    The Devil's Fingers

    Hizzoner The Penguin

    A Piece Of The Action

    King Tut's Coup

    Generally, John was more generous than Peter with his ratings. He gave five more shows 3 Bat Signals or better.

    Hot Off The Griddle

    The Spell Of Tut

    The Cat's Meow

    That Darn Catwoman

    Penguin Is A Girl's Best Friend

    Peter gave two more shows 3 Bat Signals or better.

    Come Back Shame

    Ice Spy

    At the bottom of the barrel, both agreed that Shoot A Crooked Arrow, (Peter 0.5 John 1.0) was the weakest first season show, with a 0.75 average. The Puzzles Are Coming was the other low ranking show, with a 1.0 average (Peter 0.5 John 1.5).

    Again, there was relatively little disagreement in episode rankings. They rated most shows to within a Bat Signal or less of each-other.

    The only major difference of opinion was the 1.5 Bat Signal split for The Impractical Joker (Peter 1.0 John 2.5). John thought it was better than average, while Peter ranked it a cellar dweller. There was a minor difference of opinion for Marsha Queen Of Diamonds (Peter 2.5, John 1.5) but the ranking meant Peter thought it was better than average, while John gave it a below average rating.

    Continued in part 2 ...

  4. Part 2:


    Ranking the Villains:

    Here's the average of Peter and John's episode rankings of the second season villains, with a couple of qualifiers. I tampered with the statistics for Colonel Gumm and Catwoman. I'll explain my reasoning at the bottom of the rankings.

    01. Chandell 3.25

    02. King Tut 3.125

    03. Shame 3.0

    04. The Penguin 2.56

    05. Egghead 2.5 (tied)

    05. Mr. Freeze 2.5 (tied)

    07. Catwoman* 2.375

    08. The Minstrel 2.25 (tied)

    08. Ma Parker 2.25 (tied)

    08. Marsha 2.25 (tied)

    08. The Mad Hatter 2.25 (tied)

    08. Colonel Gumm** 2.25 (tied)

    13. The Joker 2.06

    14. The Black Widow 2.0

    15. The Sandman 1.75

    16. Clock King 1.5

    17. The Riddler 1.25

    18. The Puzzler 1.0

    19. The Archer 0.75

    Life was easy in the first season. With no villain team-ups, the averaging process was simple, and ranking the shows the villains appeared in was straightforward. For the second season, I struck a couple of problems.

    * Catwoman: I left “The Sandman Cometh” out of the averaging process, because I felt the hastily re-scripted show unfairly dragged her average down. If it had been included, her average would have been 2.25, putting her in the middle of the pack with the likes of Ma Parker and The Mad Hatter. I thought she deserved a better rating than them, especially since you both nominated her as favorite season two villain.

    ** Colonel Gumm: There's no doubting Roger C. Carmel's talent, but, with a show rating of 3.0 Colonel Gumm would rank with Chandell, King Tut, Shame, and The Penguin at the top of the table. Clearly, he was a lesser character, sharing the guest spotlight with The Green Hornet and Kato, whose presence is the main reason for Peter and John's high score. I reluctantly made a value judgement, and deducted .75 of a Bat Signal from the average, giving Colonel Gumm a 2.25 ranking, putting him alongside The Minstrel, Ma Parker, Marsha, and The Mad Hatter, where he probably belongs.

    My observations: I was surprised that, despite the absence of Frank Gorshin, and a general drop in script quality, overall Peter and John rated the second season above average. I was expecting a below average ranking with a few good shows rising out of the dross.

    However, it was no surprise that King Tut would rise to be among the cream of the criminal crop, along with one shot Chandell, first timer Shame, and a revitalized Penguin. Meanwhile, the Joker's average show ranking continued to be just average. In the twenty five years since I last watched the show, I'd forgotten just how weak The Archer and The Puzzler shows were.


    Of the twenty nine second season shows, collectively, Peter and John rated five shows at 3 Bat Signals or higher, seventeen between 2 to 3 Bat Signals, and seven stories ranked lower than 2 Bat Signals.

    So, what does it all mean?

    For season two, Peter and John rated 17% percent of the shows as great (down from 23.5% for season one), 59% were average to better than average (very close to the 58.5% for season one) and 25% were deemed below par (up from 17.5% for season one). That's about a seven percent drop in quality. It'll be interesting to see how the third season holds up.

    All the best,

    Glenn :)

  5. Thank you, Glenn!

    Actually, during some of the season 2 shows, all I was looking forward to was your number crunching :>

  6. I'm in:
    1. Coup/Waterloo
    2. Yegg/Egg
    3. Shame/Game
    4. Hizzoner/Dizzoner
    As with the S1, I'm not scrounging up a fifth unless it's at the bar.

    Best Villainess: The incomparable Newmar, transcending every script given her.
    Best Babe: The intoxicating Meriwether.
    Best Gadget: Oh, the Lift, I suppose. It's useful.
    Best Cliffhanger: The escape was a cheat, but Duo-on-a-Rostisserie is unforgettable. George Foreman knows I've tried.

  7. No worries Peter.

    When we get to the end of season three, I'll show you what would have happened to Batman had you and John been executives in charge of programming at ABC.

    All the best,

    Glenn :)