Batman (1960s) TV Poster Image

Batman (1960s)

Campy classic is still fun, but perhaps too stiff for kids.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Crime doesn’t pay. The Dynamic Duo always rounds up the villains and foil their fiendish plots.

Positive role models

Batman and Robin think nothing of putting their lives at risk to protect the people of Gotham City, and seem to have little else to do besides fighting crime. They may not be very realistic, but they’re certainly noble and self-sacrificing.


Plenty of over-the-top fistfights. This show is famous for its campy fight scenes, featuring cartoon-like effects: big, screen-filling “Bam,” “Pow,” and “Bang” images. The result is more comedic than violent.


Some mild flirting. Women seem drawn to Batman, though he resists their advances.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking and smoking. One recurring villain, the Penguin, usually has a cigarette.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this campy, classic TV series about the Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder sidekick will certainly dredge up fond memories for many adults, but might not resonate with younger viewers. There’s some social drinking and smoking, and very tame flirtation, but definitely no swearing and the frequent fistfights are so staged that they seem just plain silly. However, the show also comes across as stiff, and might not appeal to anyone accustomed to more exciting, and more nuanced, contemporary superhero dramas.

What's the story?

When evil strikes, only BATMAN (Adam West) and his daring sidekick Robin (Burt Ward) can stand up to the nefarious supervillains who threaten Gotham City. The Dynamic Duo face a never-ending stream of dastardly schemes, criminal conspiracies, and wicked plots in this classic TV series.

Is it any good?


Yes, the show is decades old, and it certainly shows its age, but it’s silly fun in a way the few other superhero shows before or since even attempted. Forget about the dark and brooding Caped Crusader we see in more contemporary portrayals -- West’s Batman is the ultimate stiff, completely straight-laced and upright in a way that makes the entire show more of a comedy than a drama. It worked then, and it works now; this old show is still entertaining.

However, the value today may be based mostly on nostalgia. It’s more likely to be fun for adults who watched it as kids and can still appreciate its singularly odd approach. But young viewers may not find as much here that will appeal to them. Batman is one of the most complex superhero characters, and his psyche has been deeply examined in comic books, films, and several other TV shows. People who are already acquainted with these versions of the Batman saga might find this old gem to be shallow and flawed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about superheroes. Why do you think Batman is so focused on fighting crime? How does his own tragic history fit into his motivations? How is the violence in this show different from more modern TV violence?

  • How does this version of the Batman story compare to some of the recent films? Do you prefer this lighthearted take, or the darker, more serious adaptations? How does each affect you?

  • Talk about what makes the show seem dated. How is the language the characters use different? What about the gender roles depicted?

TV details

Premiere date:January 12, 1966
Cast:Adam West, Burt Ward
Network:Discovery Family Channel
TV rating:NR

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Parent of a 12 year old Written byWeeklybob December 4, 2010

Great Show From 1966 to 1968! I watched this when I was a kid.

What do these weirdoes mean by " To stiff for kids"?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 11, 2011

Holy Bat-TV Series

Campy classic from the 60s still holds up. Nothing wrong with it and it is a real treat to watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byletticepalmer April 1, 2016

Hokiness Makes It Tolerable For Sensitive Kids

This show -- especially in its first season -- perfectly captures both the serious and hilarious parts of Batman's personality (seasons 2 and 3 go a bit too far in the "hilarious" part). In one scene, the Joker attacks Batman with a confetti gun. Ribbons of confetti are shown wrapping around Batman, who then struggles and fails to escape from the colorful confetti. Fights consist mostly of actors shoving each other around. Batman once refused to rush to the head of the line, because he felt it was unfair to the other people waiting in line. Batman refuses to park the Batmobile in a "No Parking" zone, because that would be breaking the law. The whole presentation is so much less intense than what you see in cartoons that, for my sons who are both a little bit on the sensitive side, this is the first superhero cartoon that my children have tolerated. A great amount of care went into the details. The Batmobile is still really impressive to young children. A lot of great work went into the villains costumes. Overall, it is much more imaginative than gloomy or scary. There are minor moments of dated sexism -- lots of women in cocktail dresses doing nothing but hanging out, scenes of women going gaga over Batman and Robin -- but compared to other shows from the 60's it is amazing how well it holds up on this front. For older children who can read well, an added bonus is that there is (right now in 2016) a comic being published called Batman '66 that ties in with the world of the Adam West TV series. My 7 year old son, who up to now has been totally uninterested in super-heroes, has been captivated by both the comic and the show. As an added bonus, his 4 year old brother has been equally captivated.