Monday, September 29, 2014


Possibly one of THE most anticipated TV shows of the Fall, GOTHAM premiered this week on FOX to a mixed reaction from fans. While DC Comics' characters have been successful in recent years from the highly popular Smallville (2001-2011) to the current series Arrow (2012-) , even more shows from DC will premiere this Fall including The Flash (CW) and Constantine (NBC). Set in the Batman universe and loosely based on the short-lived DC comic books series Gotham Central (2003-2006), Gotham is basically a cop show set around the events of Bruce Wayne's (David Mazouz) parents murder, but the future Caped-Crusader is not the main character. Instead, the show focuses on Police Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he works with his partner Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) as they try to clean up the streets of Gotham as organized crime and corruption plague the city as two rival crime bosses vie for control.
In the style of Smallville (Superboy/Superman), Gotham is essentially a prequel in that it tells more about the origins of the hero we have all come to know so well, namely Batman. While focusing more on the cop drama in the city and less on the origin story, the show has a lot of work to do in getting fans to follow it. While trying to desperately include plenty of fan-service (albeit too much) the show includes cameos from several other Gothamites and characters from Batman's would-be rogues gallery. Aside from the usual characters such as Gordon, Bullock there is of course Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), Bruce Wayne's loyal butler. Along with a few familiar (and not so familiar faces) there is the criminals Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Carmine Falcone (John Doman), while Falcone has appeared in the Batman comics for years Fish Mooney is a completely original character created for the TV series, much like Harley Quinn who was created for the 1990's Batman Animated Series and was soon incorporated into the comics. One of the major would-be villains who make an appearance is Oswald Cobblepot, (Robin Lord Taylor) aka The Penguin, as a much skinnier incarnation of the Batman villain. Other characters who make an appearance and have some, if very little to the story in the beginning is Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michale Smith) and even a young Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy (Clare Foley). While Batman as a character has one of the biggest cast of characters in the comic book it seems very difficult that the show will be able to address the origins of all these characters. The fact is, the show seems to have almost too many characters, especially those introduced in just the first pilot. While the show seems promising and hopes to draw in Batman and comic book fans alike, the show seems to be off to a somewhat rocky start, putting too much into the first show and insinuating tat the entire show will be focused on solving the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in yet another re-working of the origin. Whereas the comics has its own origin, which has been changed and rewritten so many times, including the latest revamping of the character in 2011 as part of DC's New 52. The original character Joe Chill who was featured briefly in the Christopher Nolan movies seems to not be included in this shows story. All in all, Gotham seems to be less of a comic book based show and more of a CSI-like cop drama, complete with overly-melodramatic characters and action. As a Batman fan I was excited to see it, however after watching the pilot episode I was somewhat undecided to what the future of the show might hold and if the show will become as popular as Smallville or suffer the fate of previous Batman show attempts like Birds of Prey (2002-2003), only the fans and ratings will tell...GOTHAM airs Monday nights on FOX 8/7c.