CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader and Rich Fogel; directed by Hiroyuki Aoyama.
REVIEW: I am all for creating new villains, and despite the unofficially named (Bullock coins it) Calendar Girl's surface similarities to Calendar Man, she truly IS new. This is a villainess whose Bat-mandated pathology is an acute case of body dismorphic disorder that pushes her into revenge schemes on the people who dismissed her when she hit 30, her age and ugliness all in her mind, which is why she wears an unmoving Japanese-inspired mask. You can see the twist coming - that she isn't scarred under there - but it's nevertheless a strong image, and it's interesting this WB show would make this political comment when the WB was and is still rife with "youth culture programming".
Unfortunately, neither Calendar Girl as a villain, nor the episode as a whole are all that focused. The name change leading to a new motivation is quite clever, but not all the pieces fit together very well. So she themes her crimes on seasons, then uses tricks that have to do with a holiday in that season, then circles a date on a calendar that's important to her but has nothing to do with the chosen holiday. Her henchmen dress like Chippendales (and indeed we're subjected to slightly adult/sexist fare in other places, like the car show and the agent's sexual harassment). And then there's the bit with the convincing animatronic dinosaur... is that supposed to be a reference to both time and aging? Bruce Wayne's in there somewhere vainly looking for gray hairs, and undoes his company's mandatory retirement age at the end...
Are the writers perhaps feeling their age creep up on them? Truth be told, I find ageism is usually stronger the other way, and I don't feel bad for the employee's 65 years. Working at Wayne Enterprises and the boss knows who you are? Yeah, you're gonna be fine. Calendar Girl is a more worthy of our sympathy, and I'm not sure we care if Batman and Batgirl rescue her scuzzy captives. Are we perhaps meant to see this as a feminist episode highlighting how women are wrongfully considered old and used up much earlier than men? Because that's in there, but again, it doesn't come into focus very clearly.
IN THE COMICS: Calendar Girl is a clever reworking of the Calendar Man concept, though once the name was feminized, it gave the character very different motivations. The calendar-themed modus operandi are recognizable however. The car show includes models named after Paul Dini (writer on this series) and Ben Oda (a once ubiquitous comics letterer).
SOUNDS LIKE: Calendar Girl is played by Sela Ward (The Fugitive, Sisters, Once and Again) who at this point was campaigning against Hollywood's youth bias, which no doubt played into her casting. Fashion designer Donna Day is voiced by Tippi Hedren from Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie. Barkley James, the car peddler, is Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit). The sleazy agent, Irv Kleinman is Barry Bostwick (Mayor Randall on Spin City). And that's Charlie Rocket (Dumb and Dumber) again as network programmer Frederick Fournier.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Calendar Girl is an interesting new villain, but the script could have used some sharpening.