So on a lark and because harleyquinn1517
has been getting me back into Batman again, I've been watching the 1960s Batman TV show. The show as a whole is good for Narm Charm and unintended hilarity, but in typical myself fashion I've become completely fixated on Frank Gorshin's portrayal of the Riddler.
He's hardly what most of us would think of as the 'traditional' Riddler, but years in the Transformers fandom has made me good at compartmentalizing different versions of similar characters. To more modern sensibilities he comes across as a cross between the goofier versions of comics Riddler and a less psychotic version of the Joker. Most of his riddles are more about wordplay than intellectual strain (though their relevance to current events can only be deduced with Batman's Insane Troll Logic free association) and there's an intense playfulness to his schemes. In "Death in Slow Motion
" he does an entire Charlie Chaplin routine as a distraction for stealing a pittance of cash and dropping off his first riddle. Necessary, no. Awesome, yes.
He later walks into a bakery and pies the employees in the face. There are legitimate reasons for this. Fact remains that he thought it up.
It doesn't hurt that Riddler's the walking definition of a manic state. He's constantly bouncing off the walls, giggling, running off into passionate monologues, creating bizarre plans which he is extremely enthusiastic about and on rather unusual occasions making out with his own hands. Swap the shopping sprees with crime sprees and you've basically covered every DSM syndrome that would make it past the sixties censors. Much of this is of course due to Gorshin's acting, which gives us a wonderfully expressive character who can't seem to stand still for more than five seconds.
Also, kinky as heck. I'm not even kidding. No guy who doesn't have some manner of bondage fetish would be that gleeful about playing around with medieval torture/bondage equipment. That sensibility in the context of the sixties (especially such a mindblowingly Wholesome place as Gotham City), combined with the potential manic-depression, just makes me itch to get inside his head.
One of these days I will stop trying to overanalyze trivial or minor characters from shows that gave little thought to the 'verse they were creating. BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.