Archive for September, 2014

Fox launched their attempt into comic book inspired television Monday night with the premiere of their new show ‘Gotham’.

As a fan of the Arrow series and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; I was hopeful that Gotham would continue the gritty, realistic, story-driven tradition of the aforementioned. I was not disappointed.

Anyone who knows anything about Batman lore will be familiar with the pilot, what is different from the Batman movies/comics/games/etc. is that the point of view of the event is taken from Jim Gordon’s perspective as opposed to Bruce Wayne’s. This was of course the selling point of the series and as far as the first episode is concerned, it does it rather well; showing Gordon to be the youthful idealist we would expect him to be.

The story is nothing too special, but once again that is because of familiarity with the story and because of an easily seen “it wasn’t a simple mugging” narrative that has to be there to give viewers incentive to continue watching the series. The ending was equal parts unexpected and expected (we can’t have the protagonist die in the first episode, can we?) but the dialogue between Gordon and Falcone was for me, the highlight of the episode.

The grittiness was there, from confined alleyway shots to panoramic views of the city. The dilapidated feel of the city is there, not too much, but more than your average gritty, New York, cop drama; just about the right amount one would expect. The balance between comic inspired TV show and cop drama was done well, and I really hope that strength continues throughout the series.

The casting for the show is good, with Benjamin Mckenzie being a superb Gordon. Donal Logue is typecast (hey, if you’re good at something, why quit?) but fits the role of Gordon’s partner like a glove. Jada Pinkett Smith brings her acting chops as Fish Mooney, an underling of Falcone’s. Sean Pertwee is a good pick for a younger Alfred, as a young Michael Caine is currently unavailable at the moment.

John Doman was perfect as Falcone, capturing the harsh realism of the crime world and the world in general; I look forward to any future Falcone scenes. I am interested to see the development of David Mazouz, the young Bruce Wayne, as he pulled off the role without committing the supposed sin of being “annoying”. The only bone to pick I have with any of the characters (so far) is the role of the Penguin.

While Robin Taylor does a fine job, I don’t like how the scriptwriters interpreted his character. Gotham being an origin story, I don’t expect Oswalt Cobblepot to be the feared character he is known as when Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, but I also didn’t expect him to be tall, thin, and very servile. I understand the servility to a point but the show paints him as a sadistic sissy (for lack of a better term). Perhaps future episodes will bring out the full potential of the Penguin, something I strongly hope for.

I enjoy the winks to the Batman universe, being introduced to other characters such as Crimson
Mist/Poison Ivy, Selena Kyle/Catwoman, and Edward Nigma/the Riddler; and I look forward to their development. While Nigma’s role in the episode was interesting, being the uber-nerd for the cops, Crimson’s was kind of pointless (as of yet) and Selena’s was somewhere in between; these problems will hopefully be resolved with further episodes.

Overall, Gotham was well done, living up to the hype and pumping up future excitement for the next episode. While committing commonplace TV sins (coincidence, insertion of too many characters) there are no significant problems in the pilot, with my personal exception of the Penguin. Any such problems will dissipate with continued good writing and character development. Gotham may very well become the best new series of the fall season.