Mr. Adventure wrote:
I think some people judged it for not being BTAS instead of taking it on its own merits.
I agree. True, it paled next to B:TAS, but it wasn't awful, just relatively mediocre for the first season or two but with some interesting aspects, and improving over time.
And I think a lot of people had trouble letting go of Mark Hamill and judging TB's Joker on his own merits as a character. I think Kevin Michael Richardson did an amazingly good job as Joker -- very different from Hamill's (though there was some Hamill influence on the voice he used), but a virtuoso performance in its own right. As amazing as Hamill was in the role, Richardson has one of the most astonishingly versatile and mutable voices in the business and he was able to give Joker an extraordinary performance range. There was one episode where Batman used VR to go inside Joker's mind, manifested as a virtual Gotham whose every inhabitant was an incarnation of Joker, and each one had a different voice and personality even though Richardson was playing every one. It was amazing, and for all his talents, Hamill could never have pulled it off as well.
(And yes, in this show it was "Joker," not "the Joker." Since it was "the Batman" rather than just "Batman," I guess they wanted to maintain the contrast.)
TB also had an interestingly creepy take on the Riddler (played by Robert Englund) and made much better use of Hugo Strange (initially played by Frank Gorshin until he passed away) than B:TAS did. And the direct-to-DVD movie The Batman vs. Dracula
is a fairly good film, much more intense and adult than the show was able to get.