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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PURR-fect Casting--twice!

What's On Wednesday:

Batman! Or more specifically, Catwoman. Growing up, I was always in front of the television (which is probably the reason I'm so pale *kidding*). Being a big comic book fan, I enjoyed watching The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves, Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter and of course Batman.

When I was watching Batman, I knew it was reruns, but what I didn't know was that it was on twice a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays)for its first two seasons. I thought they added the piece at the end that said "Tune in Tomorrow--Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel" just for the reruns since they were shown every weekday.

My favorite episodes were written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Yes, the same Stanley Ralph Ross that wrote the pilot TV movie for Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman. Of course, he wrote for Batman before Wonder Woman. See I was catching on. The reason his name always stuck out to me were because his episodes were clever and smart and there always seemed to be more there. I would later find out that he wrote with two audiences in mind. He wrote for the little kids looking for the POW! ZAP! and BANG!, but he also knew adults were watching it, so he wrote to them at the same time. He was one of the few that did it well.

My favorite villains are the ones he primarily wrote for: King Tut, Egghead, Shane and the feline femme fatale-Catwoman!

Catwoman was played during the first two seasons of Batman by Julie Newmar. Even as a gay little boy, I knew she was something special. I fell in love with her. The way she moved, the way she talked, the way she filled out the costume. I was a very confused little boy. She was tall, leggy and to quote the film To Wong Foo,..., "just try to describe her and not use the word statuesque".

She was flirtatious with Batman and catty with Robin, she seemed innocent and evil all at the same time. Her delivery of lines fit the character so well, that no one could ever replace her.

Wrong. During the third season, Eartha Kitt took on the role. The reasons have been many, but which is true I don't know (and at this point I don't care). The fact is that as much as I loved Julie Newmar in the role, Eartha Kitt was just as good. She was perfect for different reasons. She was a living persona of a cat. She purred when she talked and moved like panther. Besides, just her name is feline.

She didn't do as many episodes as Julie did, but they were just as memorable, especially the team-up she did with Cesar Romero's Joker.

Like the Samantha vs. Jeannie and Ginger vs. Mary Ann debates that are out there, I'm sure there is a Newmar vs. Kitt.

I can't pick a winner for myself, because there are reasons I love them both.

I still watch every movie I can get my hands on that Julie was in, from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to Streetwalkin'. I listen to every CD that Eartha put out to listen to her purr through "Santa Baby" to "I Need a Man".

I didn't talk about Lee Meriwether who played Catwoman in the theatrical version of the TV show and though she wasn't quite as memorable because she only had the one appearance, she did an admirable job. Let's face it, she had tough boots to fill.

DC Comics character

1 comment:

  1. I always liked Miss Meriwether, but she certainly can't compare with the Newmar/Kitt combo. Who could?



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