Saturday, November 19, 2011

Goodbye Brave and the Bold

"The Brave and the Bold," did several things that will always cement it as one of my most beloved TV shows.  First, it was pure Batman love.  It wasn't just love for the dark gritty Batman, but a love of all things Batman even the silly things.  Only on Brave and the Bold would you see Batman wearing a different colored batsuit every day to foil a crazy plot, or be part of a crazy race where all the heroes and villains have theme cars. 

The second thing the show did was bring to TV some of the more obscure characters in the DC universe.  Only on the Brave and the Bold would you see Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth, or Detective Chimp.  It was fun to turn in every week because the cold open always meant you could never be sure who would show up in the first five minutes before they would go on to the main story.  They even made Aquaman cool, OUTRAGEOUS!

Now, the show did one other thing.  It had nearly the best last episode of any TV show.  I'm going to miss the show, but boy did it go out in style.  The Batmite decides that the show has literally jumped the shark and decides to speed up the process so that the network will go back to a dark and gritty Batman.  Using his reality changing powers Batmite soon has Batman saddled with a cute little daughter named Kiki and a Neon Orange Talking Luge with its own catch phrase-"Let's get low and gooooooooo."

The fiend!

As people turn off the show the only one who can help Batman is the fairly insane Ambush Bug.  In comics, the Ambush Bug started as an annoyance for Superman and then was morphed into a mad magazine style character making fun of all of DC.   Here, he is absolutely aware that they are in a fictional universe and are fictional characters.  So, knowing that if Batmite suceeds they will disappear he tries to fight all the crazy changes and bring the real Batman back.  It's not easy, at one point in a totally meta moment Batmite changes the voice actor doing Aquaman.

It all makes for wild fun, but then it gets very sincere at the end.  The bug finally convinces Batman that he is being manipulated by Batmite.  But that also means that Batman realizes he's fictional.  Suddenly he asks in seriously "...then why am I doing this?" With the help of the Bug, Batman understands why he is important to US the audience.  With that new purpose in mind he fights to stop the Batmite's plan. 

Batman fails.  In the end the suits decide to cancel the show.  With his new awareness though, Batman has a final cast party as the tear down the bat cave revealing it to be a set.  Then, he turns to us the audience and he gives a little speech telling us he will still be with us.  The end.

It was a brilliant show with a brilliant end. 

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