I know, I know, its a hugely unpopular opinion. BUT hear me out. I am not saying it wasn't good AT THE TIME, but apart from a few standout episodes (over the edge, vendetta, heart of ice, etc.) and the Mask Of The Phantasm movie (which is still great) the series hasn't aged well at all.
A whole lot of it, is downright goofy and stupid. Just look at episodes like feat of clay, where Batman gets knocked down by a normal guy who lies on his back, or the really cheesy "I am the night, I am vengeance, I am Batman!" speech.
Look it up and try not to laugh or cringe at the ridiculousness of it all, I dare you.
To be honest... and to add insult to injury... I heavily dislike Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman. He just sounds too pompous and too... how do I put this... royal? You know, like some guy, riding on a horse, with a lance and a shield, talking to some townsfolk. He is the worst part in the Arkham games for me and a recurring reason to switch the games audio to German, even when I absolutely HATE German dubbing on everything.
Lets rewind for a second.
I am Marius from Germany and I read comicbooks since I was eight years old (20 years ago now... Gosh I am getting sooooooo old).
My father died of cancer a few weeks after my birth. When I was eight, I discovered a huge box in our attic, with his name on it. In it, there were a lot of american comic books, all in english, with all kinds of superheroes. I think I maybe started to read because it was something that brought me closer to this man I never got a chance to know, but maybe it was only for all the colorful characters and the action.
Anyway, since I am German, I kinda learned the english language by reading comicbooks, even before I was being taught english in school. I basically never had to do that much to get a good english grade, which was a very nice side effect comics had for me. I always enjoyed Batman the most. I love everything Batman. All animated shows, the Nolan movies (did not like the Burton ones because of his killing streak there and I won't talk about the Schumacher ones), videogames, Kotobukiya statues, prop replicas etc. So, yes, my living room looks kinda like the batcave;-)
And thats a very important factor of all this...
I grew up with that show.
That show made me even more of a Batman fan and made me search out a comicstore, after I finished the comics I inherited after my fathers death. On a deep, primal level, I love this show. What irks me is that it is held up by some fans today as the best interpretation of batman and I strongly disagree.
In Germany you don't get the BTAS on DVD. It never got released here. So imagine my face when I saw the first two seasons at HMV in London a few years back. I was like you guys... in my mind BTAS was the holy grail... I remembered the darkness, the seriousness of it all... then I got home and watched it again. Oh boy.
I think the time has come to look at TAS at face value and be honest to yourself. It was a nice little show, we owe one of the best Batman movies ever to (Mask of The Phantasm) and the start of the great DCAU, which peaked quality wise with JLU, which is indeed as good as you remember it.
It took us kids seriously as an audience and I am forever grateful for that, because for the first time in my life I didn't felt belittled by a TV series for kids and it made a lot of us fans, but it wasn't what we made it out to be. It is a show, a lot smaller than the legend it created, no matter how much we loved it at the time.
Better yet, don't look at the show again and keep it in your heart, filled with warm memories and don't ruin it for yourself like I did. I still blame HMV.