The Avengers is classic camp – Barbie, take note

Camp may have been coined to denigrate a particular kind of femininity, but it became a celebration of what women can be.

Last month’s trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie arrived just after another camp delight was unearthed from the archives. The Avengers (the 1960s British TV series) made its Australian debut on blu-ray at the start of December, as part of a luscious boxset from boutique label Imprint Films.

The Avengers: The Emma Peel Years box captures the show at the 1967-68 height of its powers and at the very zenith of its camp – a brand of camp that Barbie seems determined to revive. But what is camp in 2023? While it has become a mainstream aesthetic, it has all but vanished from blockbusters dominated by comic book movies, replaced by irony, knowingness and an insistence on striving for realism, even if your hero dresses up as a giant bat.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more