THE ARKHAM SESSIONS, by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the observation and clinical analysis of the characters in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

Live from Ontario, California's Comic Con Revolution, our friend Livio Ramondelli, joins us to discuss his favorite episode "Over the Edge," which features the nightmarish realization that everything could easily come crashing down for Batman and Gotham City, if he's not able to keep the Bat Family safe.

Forgive the bad audio. It was recorded at a convention with folks who weren't entirely sure operating the sound board.

This episode is dedicated to our friend and comic legend (not to mention, writer of BTAS episodes), Len Wein, who passed away this week. Len was one of the most kind souls you'd ever have the blessing of meeting and he's dearly missed.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_108_22Over_the_Edge22.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:47pm PDT
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Do you get restless if you stay home for too long? Like going to new places rather than familiar ones? Prefer sports that involve a physical thrill such as surfing, rock climbing, and skiing?  You're probably a sensation seeker!

In this episode, we discuss the new character Roxy Rocket, a pro stunt person turned thrill-seeking criminal who has fixated on Batman. We discuss her propensity for risk and danger, and explain the neurobiological underpinnings of adrenaline addiction. For example, why would one person interpret a situation as terrifying, while another experiences exhilaration? Can addiction to thrills be psychologically harmful? Does Batman share any of these traits we see in Roxy? Buckle up and join us for an all-new episode!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_107_22The_Ultimate_Thrill22.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:47pm PDT
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Join us at San Diego Comic-Con, as we merely scratch the surface of the psychology of Batman: The Animated Series with two of the people most responsible for its success--Paul Dini and Alan Burnett! Also joining us is our dear friend, DC writer Brenden Fletcher. 

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In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we meet a classic Batman villain for the first (and last) time; we explore the development of stalking behavior through the narrative of Cassidy, a rising pop star; we dive into the "types" of stalkers; and we describe concrete factors that increase the risk of stalking violence. Listen now for the full analysis! 

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It's a relationship we never thought we'd ever see; a relationship we never even wanted to see: Killer Croc and Baby Doll, two people who feel they're misunderstood by society. Can finding one another help how they feel about themselves? Why do they each revert to versions of themselves that they're so desperate to shed? And could Bruce Wayne have been more helpful in reforming Baby Doll after their last meeting? There's A LOT to take in, as we assess "Love is a Croc!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_104_Love_is_a_Croc.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:29pm PDT
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Robin learns a tough lesson when he disobeys Batman and goes on his own to pursue a mysterious case involving a young, lost girl by the name of Annie. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore the notion of "personhood" and identity development. First, how do we define a person? What characteristics must one have in order to be considered a sentient being? Reviewing various definitions of personhood and sentience, we ponder where Annie fits by reviewing the criteria: Is she self-aware? Intelligent? Has the freedom to choose? If she has the moral right of personhood, then should Robin have given her a chance to live apart from Clayface?  Listen to the episode below for our full analysis of this unique Batman episode!
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_103_Growing_Pains.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:23pm PDT
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The Joker is in some serious need of cash. So when his old rival, King Barlowe, dies and leaves him $250 million, he's absolutely thrilled...and a little confused. Can the Joker retire, now that he's got one big LEGAL score? Will money buy his happiness? Can Harley simply be replaced? Is there a type of person who's more susceptible to con artists than others? What's the Golden Triangle of Happiness? And how did a popular pastime in the late 1800s become a popular psychological evaluation? All of this and more, as we analyze "Joker's Millions!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_102_Jokers_Millions.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:03pm PDT
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Join our hosts, Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, as they talk to special guests Henry T. Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels), Eric and Julia Lewald (X-Men: The Animated Series), and David Wise (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) about developing characters and stories for animation--including those characters' psychological make-up. Hear stories about working on Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Rebels, X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Live from WonderCon 2017, it's The Psychology of Animated Series, presented by The Arkham Sessions.

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The show takes a momentary detour to celebrate our 100th episode by deconstructing the latest Batman film, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017). In this episode, we highlight some of the most compelling psychological themes present in the movie, including Batman's isolationism, his emotional dependency on The Joker, and his reluctance to connect with his newly adopted son, Robin (Dick Grayson). Overall, the film offers us so many essential and universal lessons in emotional growth, including what happens when we "protect" ourselves by being alone.  The film also normalizes and opens dialogue about the different ways we deal with personal loss and trauma. It's hard to believe it's "just a kid's LEGO movie."

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_100_The_Lego_Batman_Movie.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:08pm PDT
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In what appears to be a significant transformation, Scarecrow decides to terrorize the city of Gotham by taking fear away. Scarecrow's newest weapon is a toxin that eliminates any biological response related to fear and anxiety. Batman becomes a victim of the toxin and begins to act a bit more...like Batman? With his fear and vulnerability completely wiped from his psychological repertoire, Batman is reckless, impulsive, and lethal. He engages in risky and senseless behavior, putting himself and others in danger. In our analysis of the episode, we address the real importance of anxiety and fear. Our bodies are equipped with a physiological "alarm system" designed to warn us of actual danger and risk. When that system goes awry, our ability to protect ourselves and others is disrupted. Does Batman ultimately learn this essential lesson about the advantages of fear? Does he experience remorse for putting Robin in danger during his altered state? Was there any permanent damage and will we see him become a colder, harder Batman? Listen in for our exploration of these topics as well as our responses to questions all about anxiety symptoms and ways to manage them!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_99_Never_Fear.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:10pm PDT
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