So at this point I’ve seen a decent number of episodes of Gotham (It’s seven). Gotham is, in case you didn’t know, the city where Batman does his Batman thing. In this TV series, which airs on Fox at Mondays at 8, is actually focusing on James Gordon just after Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered, (spoilers!) so at least a decade or two before Bruce goes vigilante. The series follows Jim around as one of the only good cops in corrupt Gotham.
So far we’ve had a lot of ‘monster of the week’ episodes, with the mob boss/penguin storyline weaving its way through the background. At first the overacting nearly killed me. Perhaps it’s because Batman is such a well-known franchise that everyone wanted it to do well so bad that they tried too hard. I don’t know. It was just painful. Thankfully it has gotten better (depending on the character …Fish is still pretty bad.). I also thought the pacing of this show seemed off, but the most recent episode really pulled things together beautifully. That’s part of why I decided to write this review now. The show has proven itself to me to be smart and well written enough to stick with at least until the end of the season.
Now for the characters:
Jim is likable, and I think he is, for the most part, realistically written. You just feel bad for him because he wants to do good and is so far underwater. Every little win for him then feels that much bigger because of the odds.
His partner Harvey is the jaded cop who was once like Jim. His actor is one of the only ones I think has acted well from the beginning. I feel like he is a character, not an actor playing a character.
They also show off Bruce Wayne as a child. He annoyed me at first, but now that he’s further past his parent’s murder, he’s started showing the characteristics of the Bruce Wayne we know and love as Batman. He is, though, still just a child who lost his parents recently and they don’t forget that. I’m warming up to Alfred. He is another of the actors doing a good job; I just didn’t necessarily like the character to begin.
I am disgusted with Barbara. I’m not sure if it’s that the actress has no charisma with the other characters, if the character was written poorly, or it’s a combination of both. I wince whenever she’s on screen and am sort of upset that I know she’s the one that ends up with Jim, so there won’t be any losing her … and all of the scenes that she had with the female cop, Montoya, feel like they were just put in there to have a yaylesbiancouple to drum up some funsexualtension or something. It falls flat; the actresses have no chemistry with each other at all. Just. Yuck.
However, I feel like the Penguin is stealing the show. It is a hard feat to pull off a character being so utterly evil and yet entirely endearing at the same time. He’s the bad guy, he will stay a bad guy, and yet I find myself rooting for him. Perhaps I will change my tune a bit if?/when! he betrays Jim.
They’ve also thrown Selina Kyle in (not really doing much yet, but she saw the Waynes’ killer apparently, so I’m sure it will come up). Poison Ivy as a child was in like one episode. Edward Nygma is just an awkward, pathetic dweeb, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re going for. Oh, I also love that they have the three crime bosses vying for position. I mean Gotham is all about the crime. For a while I thought Falcone was going to get shoved to the side, but they reminded us why he is the most powerful man in Gotham.
Overall, this show is worth watching if you’re a fan of the world around Batman. If not, there’s very little there for you. I don’t think it’s so well written that it would be enjoyable without a preconceived relationship with the characters. Then I could be wrong. I had no attachment to the penguin before watching Gotham and now I love him.