What about Barman? Should you let your children watch it? The answer is: Certainly. Batman is good healthy stuff. Its dynamic dun are heroes easy to identify with, and they are beyond doubt goodies.
A recent episode paused heavily for an indignant traffic cop to rebuke a carping lady motorist and explain that Batman "in his off-hours gives talks all over Gotham City on traffic safety." He might have added that he is kind to elderly aunts too, and courteous. but no more, to each week's obligatory lush dish.
Rut an equally important point is that Reitman is a great one for "Wham" and "Clunk". The programme carries a built-in guarantee that you will never have to watch for more than ten minutes without violence breaking out. And this is a good thing. The young mind likes and needs vicarious violence. and Batman sees that it gets it.
One sort of violence, in particular, such programmes certainly ought to eschew. And that is any technical dodges which their young adherents might imitate. But the mighty punches and dare-devil swoops Batman contrives are totally beyond the juvenile reach, and the episodes are re gularly preceded by a warning not to try jumping from great heights clad only in a plastic Batman cloak. How good can you get? Should we. in fact, even make our children watch Batman willy-nilly? Happily, the answer is "No". Truth to tell. the programme is from an artistic point of view not as good as it might be. And one should at least hope that poor art is not continuously attractive to the young.
The plotting out of the story in Batman is often perfunctory. The jokes. though generally ingenious. are frequenti■ mistimed. The whole lacks the cumulative inevitability that any television should try for.