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TV Nights: Gotham #1

TV Nights: Gotham

Episode: Pilot
Original Airdate: 9-22-14

It’s time to start the biggest superhero and comic book TV seasons in many years if not ever and Gotham is the first one out of the gate, though I’m probably one of the last ones out of the gate to get a post written about it. Based on the trailer, and what the show was going for I had high hopes for this show. I thought it could be an interesting take on the superhero trend, something along the lines of how Lois and Clark focused more on the relationship between the two rather than the superhero aspect. This show is supposedly going to take a closer look at the Gotham PD side of the equation rather than the supervillain side of things. And since this takes place when Bruce Wayne is still a boy and there is no such thing as Batman there should also be no such thing as supervillains yet. Instead, they are all still merely criminals before crossing the line once the door has been opened for the overly theatrical. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if they delve into some early theatrics later in the season, especially if they start struggling in the ratings department. Overall, I initially liked what I saw, but as I started reading other people’s negative reactions, I started to see more of the holes in the show and am actually a little glad that I have waited so long before writing this.

Gotham

Before I get into some of the negativity, I’ll mention some of the things that I did like quite a bit about the show. I loved Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock, even just in this single episode he managed to convey a fantastically flawed and complex character. He’s someone who is comfortable working in a corrupt system, but he is also willing to stick up for his partner despite his misgivings over how well Gordon is going to fit in. I loved young Alfred and young Bruce, while the child didn’t get too much to do in his scenes, he managed to show a great forced maturity for his age, and Alfred seems right in line to grow into Michael Caine’s Alfred from the Nolan trilogy. I liked Falcone’s brief appearance towards the end where he is painted as being a somewhat sympathetic character in an overly corrupt society. I also enjoyed the overall look of the show and the feel of it. It felt like Gotham without needing to have Batman or any supervillains in it.

Now as for the issues in the pilot. The biggest one for me was that there were way too many “I recognize that name!” and “Oh, I know who that character is going to be in the Batman universe!” shoehorned into the show. I understand that it is the pilot, so I really hope that this will be toned down for the regular episodes, but when the show teases: the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, the Riddler, the Joker, and of course Batman himself all within the course of 40 minutes, that’s overkill. I didn’t like Cobblepot’s character whatsoever. He didn’t feel like the Penguin, he didn’t feel threatening, he didn’t feel sympathetic. He was annoying and unlikable. Again, there’s a chance that he will have an ongoing character arc throughout the series, but I would rather that he didn’t come back anytime soon. The MCU, or whatever it was called, and their rivalry with the Gotham PD wasn’t needed within the pilot. There was just overall too many things going on. While I’ve heard some negativity towards Ben McKenzie’s Gordon, and some positivity towards Jada Pinkett’s Mooney, but both of those character were middle of the road to me. I didn’t have any issues with Gordon, nor did I think that Mooney was anything special. I haven’t made my mind up about the show just yet, it still has the potential to be something great and something different, but it also has just as much potential to go the other direction. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.

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About Bubbawheat

I'm a comic book movie enthusiast who has watched and reviewed over 300 superhero and comic book movies in the past four years, my goal is to continue to find and watch and review every superhero movie ever made.

Posted on September 25, 2014, in TV Nights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I’m on the fence with it right now. I feel like it could go either way and I wonder how long they can keep it going without Batman.

    • I think it really depends on what direction they decide to go in. I think it would actually be smarter if they stuck to a police procedural and keep all the Batman villain stuff much more subtle than in the pilot.

  2. Hey Bubba. I liked your cautious-ness with this. Personally, I am always willing to give TV shows a lot of slack in the beginning. Unlike movies, they can develop into something great. So lets see what happens with this one.

    • Yeah, and like I said, I did enjoy it while I was watching it aside from the overdose of villain names. And I remember how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was fairly weak during the first half of its season and it ended very strong.

  3. Agreed. I’m seeing it as pretty much average. I liked Nigma being the forensics guy at the police station and hope he’s at least recurring. The Ivy and Joker nods seemed like red herrings to me, especially the Joker one.

    I’m going to give them a few more weeks to see how things settle out, but this was probably the DC TV show I’m least interested in.

    • Yeah, even though I still haven’t caught up with Arrow I’m really looking forward to the Flash, and there’s still Constantine to come. This may be a case of having Pilot syndrome, so I’m not giving up on it just yet, but it’s currently low man on the totem pole.

  4. Haven’t checked this out yet, but everything I am reading is either really negative or at best, middling. Which is a bummer because the premise for a young Jim Gordon TV show has so much potential.

    • Absolutely, I’d still give it a shot, maybe you can watch episodes 1 & 2 back to back after tomorrow and get a better feel for how the show will go from this point forward.

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