Batman has been at both ends of the spectrum in his long history. There were doubts in some corners the public would even accept a dark and gritty version in 1989, because most people thought of the 60's tv show more than the comic at the time. (Non comic fans were mostly oblivious to then recent gritty Miller version.) There's room for a "serious" dark knight and a lighthearted one.
Old school Mission Impossible fans were dismayed by the Tom Cruise film, but were not as visible to the media as Trek fans. There was a clueless MTV reporter at the premiere who incurred the wrath of Martin Landau.
If you're unhappy with the current iteration of a old tv show or character, the old versions are still around to be enjoyed.
Exactly. For me, the single best balance of the extremes is BATMAN: THE ANIMATED series, which kept the tone just right, and, more importantly, got the character himself right--world's greatest detective, not crazy, mysterious, grim-but-not-brooding, a sense of humor, etc.
The 60s TV show got the details right, but the tone wrong.
For me, just about every incarnation from 1939 up through the late 80s-early 90s or so kept the basic core of Batman intact, despite wild variations in tone. Ever since the 90s, however, it seems like we've been force-fed a "psycho-ninja" Batman.
BATMAN BEGINS got a lot right, but it's been retroactively ruined for me by the sequels and their excesses. All of the little things I didn't like about BB made up the entirety of the sequels.
I'm content with what I have, though. The thing that hurts is that my beloved properties are being misrepresented to the public, and that future generations may not know any better.
After all, people I know have told me that the Fantastic Four are "stupid", solely on the basis of those lousy film adaptations. These people will never know how awesome and important the first 100 issues of that series was. Because of the movies.
Now, a generation will grow up thinking that Batman is a violent maniac who has throat cancer, and couldn't solve a mystery to save his life, and James Kirk is an arrogant fratboy with numbtongue.
The prequels have already detracted from the uniqueness of the OT, for many people, by showing us Vader as a child, and Yoda with a lightsaber. An entire generation only knows STAR WARS from THE CLONE WARS.
I've read of one fan whose children loved Anakin in the first two films and TCW, and refuse to even try to watch the original films at all, since they know that their hero is now the evil Vader.
So, now, it's possible to be a STAR WARS fan without ever having seen STAR WARS! And a STAR TREK fan without ever having seen STAR TREK!