I’ve been very bad at following all of the comic based shows that based on my, tastes I should be throwing my support for. Despite likening Arrow my viewing grinded to a halt less than halfway through the season and Agents of Shield’s rough start had me giving up on it after the second episode. (By the time I’d heard it had improved greatly by the end of the first season it was way too late.)
So despite my mixed feelings about it, I’ve decided to make an effort to follow the entire season of the latest comic based program, Gotham. The whole concept of Gotham is to serve as a kind of prequel to the Batman franchise featuring the history of Gotham City between the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents and his becoming Batman. (And how everyone else became who they were as well)
At the moment I’m afraid I’m not particularly impressed. I confess most of my complaints are because of the exposition dump that pilots and early episodes always suffer from and I also will restrain my comic book dogmatism (pedantry?) of pointing out how many of the details are out of sync with the comic book since the continuity of the show is obviously different. But even while taking that concession things felt forced to me. Every one is introduced all at once and the success of doing this is mixed at best.
For the most part I liked the visuals of the show. The city skyline is created from mostly whole cloth in a sepia town with the sky a perpetual overcast and the show goes out of it’s way to show just what kind of corrupt, amoral pit Gotham is.
But beyond this everything seemed forced. The corruption of the city, especially the police force felt which protagonist Detective Jim Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) has to navigate through feels almost cartoonish lacking any subtlety what so ever but perhaps I have a problem with this because I’ve been spoiled by another Police procedural featuring a less than perfect police force in a broken city… i.e. The Wire. Based on this how can any other show compete? But despite this I find myself wanting more. And at the moment the plot feels dependent on everyone besides Gordon being incompetent or apathetic and the two exceptions are spending all of their time going after him.
Again I feel like I want more instead of people merely being in the mob’s pocket you could have a virtually feudal setting with organized crime competing with the city’s aristocracy and other factions making the police becoming a power un to itself serving the highest bidder…. But then it’s only been the first two episodes.
There are There were a few things I liked especially Robin Lord Taylor as the future Penguin. Though the way he’s been acting so far I have trouble imagining him a future criminal mastermind.