One of the nice things about a driving commute is the opportunity to sit back, let your mind wander and enjoy something that sounds fantastic. I’ve got a bit of a commute these days. But to be fair, it’ nothing like I used to have going into the NYC from the ‘burbs every day.
I was looking forward to listening to a new podcast on my way into work. Batman: The Audio Adventures had a cool logo and seemed to signal that it would be a cool thing for an old-time radio/old movie fan, like myself, to enjoy on the morning ride. I gave it a try but only listened to about 3 minutes of it.
Ugh! It’s awful.
Here’s what Rich Johnston had to say about it on the on long-running Bleeding Cool site:
Batman: The Audio Adventures is a new audio drama podcast produced by HBOMax, the first American-made Batman audio drama serial since the 1940s. What they didn’t tell us was that the series is what you get if Saturday Night Live made a Batman radio show. The publicity for Batman: The Audio Adventures mentioned that the show takes a comedic approach to Batman. Just about every trope in the Batman mythos is here – the supervillains, the Batmobile, Commissioner Gordon, Gotham City as a major character – but given a heightened, slightly campy, comedic twist.
What a shame and what a weird product. I thought we, as a society (albeit one obsessed with media) had given up on the silly, overused, poke-fun-at-the-super-hero style of comedy. To me, this show was stupid, misguided and goofy. But hey, I know that I’m not the target. Maybe it’s aiming for the same kind of fans who love Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Instead, might I suggest two other radio drama programs disguising themselves as podcasts? And one “forgotten treat”? (Click on the images to find the podcasts and how to listen.)
The EC Vault of Horror Podcast is a lot of fun. It’s the audio version of the old EC comics with a little updating and tweaking. When I think of EC, I tend to think of my old favorite EC artists, so I wasn’t sure I would like this one. Turns out it’s a riot. Certainly worth a try.
The Frozen Frights Podcast is extremely well done. It actually owes a lot to that old 1950s style of horror comics – but like the EC Horror Podcasts, this one is updated and slick, so it appeals to both older and younger fans. A creepy good time is waiting for you…if you dare!
Rod Serling’s Zero Hour was one of his last projects. It’s from the early 70s, long after the Golden Age of Radio had ended. But this was on last try to recapture that lightning in a bottle. Serling worked with Elliot Lewis, a giant of old time radio, and some of the top TV stars of the day – folks like William Shatner, Bob Crane and Lee Meriwether. If you love The Twilight Zone, you’ll like this. Maybe not love it, but definitely like it.
Who needs a hackneyed, bloated Batman radio show? Sure, I’ve been waiting for a cool Batman radio show for a long time. But it’s easy not miss something like that when there’s so many other OTR-ish things to listen to!
*Thanks to Yamu Walsh for turning me onto these awesome podcasts in the first place.