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Episode #13 - Mean Seasons
Original Airdate - April 25th, 1998

Fashion turns deadly when Page Monroe, a disgruntled model creates seasonal chaos and a series of not-so-pretty kidnappings as she avenges, much to Batman's dismay, the age-conscious trappings of a youth-oriented fashion world.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by Robin III, Batman Fan
Credits
Story by Rich Fogel
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Hiroyuki Aoyama
Music by Shirley Walker
Animation by TMS Kyokuichi Corporation

Voices
Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Tara Charendoff as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
Sela Ward as Clendar Girl/Page Monroe
Barry Bostwick as Irv Kleinman
Tippi Hedren as Donna Day
Robert Costanzo as Detective Harvey Bullock
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred
Mel Winkler as Lucius Fox
Charlie Rocket as Frederick Fournier
Robert David Hall as Reporter
Bumper Robinson as Teen Cop
Dennis Hasybert as Barkley James
Miriam Flynn as Zaftig Lady
Video

Screen Grabs






Pans



Quotes
CALENDAR GIRL: Sorry, but you and I have a date with destiny. . . your destiny.
--
MISS SOLSTICE: No, please! I'm too young to die!
CALENDAR GIRL: Honey, you're never too thin and you're never too young.
--
BATMAN: I do remember. Pretty girl.
BATGIRL: Don't you mean woman? She was your age when she made that commercial, Batboy.
--
IRV: Can't you see I'm in a meeting.
BATMAN SLAMS IRV AGAINST THE WALL.
BATMAN: Meeting's been cancelled.
BATGIRL (to girl): I'd run if I were you.
--
CALENDAR GIRL: Strange, isn't it? Dinosaurs have been dead for millions of years yet they still get parts in movies.
--
BULLOCK: Did you read her her rights?
OFFICER: Yes sir.
BULLOCK: Then she knows they don't include this.
PAGE: A-h-h-h-h! No-o-o-o-o! No, don't! Don't look, please! No. No.
BATGIRL: She's beautiful!
BATMAN: She can't see that anymore. All she sees are the flaws.


Review (Robin III): An underestimated episode, probably the first in this new series that actually uses a villain who is truly insane. It may not seem like it, but Calendar Girl / Page Monroe has a lot of problems. It was also good to see Batman using a bit more detective work that usual in this series, which is usually no detective work whatsoever.

This episode was also extremely well animated and drawn, mainly during running and fighting scenes. (Especially when Calendar Girl first shows up and races through a crowd of onlookers).

An excellent scene with the mechanical dinosaur that most do not appreciate as well. It was a great intro to bring it into the Batcave's trophy room, unfortunately, it would need a lot of fixing up. This episode was different than most, but it comes back to the roots: the comics. Not always does Batman face a regular villain without zany motifs and weapons, often (especially in around Batman #480 - 490) he fought one-timer villains that were interesting, yet bizarrely strange at the same time. It was good to see that change brought to the show.

Review (Batman Fan): A personal favorite of mine that is able to work in a serious issue that people face today and pass on a message in such a subtle way that you don't even realize it's happening. This episode also proves that TNBA didn't lose the dark and grim stories from B:TAS days or stories that focus on characters with heavy psychological problems.

The center of this episode is a new villain to the series, Calendar Girl. On the outside she's a pretty colorful and eccentric villain, she uses seasons and holidays as a motive in which she has some very creative and fun weapons such as exploding pumpkins, gas-exploding easter eggs, and fireworks from her fingertips to name a few. Her basic plot is to take revenge on those who dropped her as a model and spokesperson to attract a more youthful audience. This is where we get to the woman behind the mask. After being rejected and dropped, she begins to subject her body to surgery after surgery to perfect her "flaws" and try to go back into the modeling world. She then becomes an obsessed fanatic who is so convinced that she isn't beautiful; she must hide her face from the world when in reality she is very beautiful. This passes on such a severe message that definitely applies to our society today. We are so concerned with looks that this is living proof of how people judge you can literally drive you over the edge to make yourself look perfect and meet everyone's standards. It also touches on the issue of youthfulness, and that once you're pass a certain age; you are no longer useful for jobs such as modeling. Page Monroe is a model that got caught in the spotlight and the society that admired her so much eventually led to her destruction, as she can no longer see the beauty she really has. It leads to a psychological breakdown, thinking she is too unattractive to ever show her face again, thus Calendar Girl is born. This is some heavy stuff to put in a children's cartoon, but the real neat thing was, it was so subtle and blended in so well with the action, that a child could enjoy it just for the action, while an older viewer can see the message and layers this episode has.

This episode has some really fun scenes and they are all brilliantly executed with beautiful animation. Probably the most memorable fight is with Batman and Batgirl up against the robotic dinosaur. The animation is amazing in that scene and it was fun to see our characters up against that huge monster and come out triumphant. Batman and Batgirl also did a nice amount of detective work, which was sadly pretty much absent from the TNBA run going for more of an action oriented cartoon. Batman's interrogation of Page's agent was as good as past interrogations in B:TAS, being very creepy and intimidating visually and audibly thanks to a terrific performance by Kevin Conroy. It was nice to see our heroes in the cave putting the clues together to solve these crimes instead of automatically knowing them as in other TNBA episodes.

The finale was amazing, part of the fact that it was so symbolic and it foreshadowed the end to Calendar Girl. This scene has got to be one of the grimmest scenes in TNBA. Batman and Batgirl are fighting Calendar Girl in a run down club. Batman goes head to head with a Calendar Girl dressed all in black with a scythe. During their fight, the overhead projector that was used to show how beautiful Page "was" begins to malfunction and breaks, which slowly begins to deteriorate her face. That scene right their perfectly sums up exactly what this villain is about, showing how messed up she really is and distracts her long enough to be subdued by Batman. The very ending scene where Bullock removes her mask as Page has a breakdown (excellently performed by Sela Ward) was a brilliant way to end the episode where the viewer is showed how beautiful she really is, and we are left feeling sorry for this poor soul.

This episode sums up a very stressed outlook on society today and does it in a dark and twisted psychological way that gets you hooked, and you stay with it through all the beautiful action scenes and music until you get to the brilliant finale which shows you the irony in it all. This episode is generally overlooked, but in my mind, it's truly a masterpiece!

*****

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