Tv’s Gotham may not be Batman, but it sure packs a punch.
In August, I was watching television when the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham came on. I was ecstatic, it looked great, and I couldn’t wait to see what Gotham was like in a pre-batman world. So a month later, I was waiting with my breath held for the pilot. I had visions of Masked Villions run amuck. I had seen The Penguin in the trailer, and wanted to see The Penguin that I knew and loved. (To hate) So you could imagine my dissatisfaction when I see that he was really nothing but a lowly umbrella boy, and all of the criminals were mobsters, not Super villains.
I finished the pilot episode, and was mildly amused, although, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t tune in for the second episode. It just didn’t seem to have what I was hoping for in a Batman TV show.
Now fast forward to April, and no matter where I go, I keep hearing my friends and colleagues talk about how good Gotham is. Naturally, it piqued my interest. How could a show that started out so mediocre end up being as good as they’re saying. So I went to a good friends house, and watched episode 2…and 3, and 4, and well, you get the idea.
This was not the show that I saw in September. Well it was, but I was watching it wrong. This was not Batman, it was Gotham. So, when I stopped watching it like it was Batman, I had a really good time.
Gotham is the story of James Gordon, and his time as a detective at Gotham City Police Department. If you think Gotham is bad with Batman around, before the Caped Crusader things were a MESS. Corruption spilling out of the ass, judges and politicians in bed with the mob, homeless children being rounded up to be put in prison if they weren’t “good looking” enough to be considered for adoption, and a plethora of evil doers(?) committing crimes from Bank robbery to murder by weather balloon.
Jim fights to clean what seems to be an infinitely Dirty system.
The most wonderful part of this show for me, is that it gives you a whole new perspective on people. Suddenly, The Riddler isn’t just some joking idiot, but he has a solid-and terribly sad-backstory. The Penguin isn’t some crackpot villain who just wants money, he’s a nobody who is sick of being a lapdog. He wants the respect that he thinks he deserves. While watching this series the quote consistently popped in my head: “Evil isn’t born, it’s made.”
The acting is subpar at some points, but not enough to be considered “campy.” Benjamin McKenzie, the actor who plays James Gordon went from being a bane (No pun intended) in the first few episodes, to the series strongest pillar. Personally, the shining star of the series for me, is Donal Logue, Aka Harvey Bullock, James’ wisecracking drunk partner. His back and forth attitude paints him exactly as I believe he should be painted. He was once a good cop, but time and pressure can change anybody. I have a love and hate relationship with Bullock, that seems to consistently be love by the end of the episode.
We see many familiar faces along the way. Such as; Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Electrocutioner, and even a very interesting appearance from a young man who could ONLY be The Joker. I may be mistaken, but this may be the only time in The Batman mythos, where we get a look into The Jokers childhood.
I regret ever making the rash decision to stop watching this show. Although, now I can binge it instead of waiting weekly. Although, I know I’ll be there before I know it.
Gotham may not be the Superhero show we needed, but it was DEFINITELY the one we deserved. With only a few more episodes remaining in the season, will Gotham be one of those rare Fox shows that makes it past the second season? Only time will tell.