Reviews: Gotham

Pilot

Good: Bullock! Finally a corrupt cop who isn't a villain. It's so rare to see cops on the take be anything other than mobsters with a badge. Added complexity is excellent.

Falcone! See above, re: complexity. Gordon's job is not going to be just "take out the bad guy"

Nygma! Not necessarily needed yet, but I can see a great arc for him, hopefully with a stop as a bizarre type of vigilante who investigates other's crime scenes and leaves clues rather than help for the cops.

Cobblepot! While psycho veiled in upper class is not my preferred Penguin interpretation, it was acted the hell out of!

Allen! Existence outside of comics at all = awesome, seems to have right characterization, too.

Bad: Barbara. hard to tell if acting was stiff or writing lacking, but if she is bound by canon to produce Barbara Jr. then we need to think of them as a decent couple who's marriage fails due to his marriage to the city, not one that should never have been. The Bi-the-way bit felt like pointless added drama.

Ivy. Not needed. This show should flee from meta-humans in general, and if she's something else, it still could have waited an episode or two.

Alfred. Full stop. Did anyone tell the actor that this character has some history worth reviewing?

Production. Okay, lighting was good, but composer needs to stop acting like every time Selina lands on something is momentous and if that under-the-chin cam from the foot-chase ever comes back a director is getting slapped upside the head. Pacing was good.

Intriguing: I admit I was ready to write this off sight unseen, but there is some hope for a good run. Things I'd like to see/have revealed: above Riddler vigilante. Selina and Bruce training together. Gordon ending up in MCU (dragging Bullock along) and learning not ALL cops are corrupt, the good ones are working VERY quietly. That comedian (revealed to be Joker or not) was spying for Falcone. Episodes without Bruce. Fish Mooney dying (she was very well played, but is obviously a nice Act 1 boss). Oswald learning to act for an excruciatingly slow rise to power. More non-significant character nods (Childless Flying Graysons, Hugo Strange, Dr. Arkham, whatever) not all need to be important to the plot. Harvey Dent starting out (very young) as a public defender.

I will watch next week. See you then!

Didn\'t reach its potential for me

Being a long-time fan of all things Batman, I was eager to see a live-action series taking place in that universe. Unfortunately, Gotham didn't live up to my expectations. In fact, it's barely a step above that Birds of Prey show that was on back around the time Smallville first landed.

It's a shame too, because so many elements of this show could have worked. You can see it in the mishandled jumble that is the first season. You get the sense that the creators probably had a mind to create something like The Wire meets the DC Universe. They fell very short.

Some elements work:
  • The actors playing The Penguin and The Riddler are the main reason to watch it all, doing for their characters what Heath Ledger did for The Joker.
  • The show typically looks good, with cool sets and locations, fantastic lighting and overall great cinematography.
  • Cheesy though they may be, I do enjoy the little nods to the Batman lore and the movies.
  • As trite and done-to-death as it is, I like the buddy cop dynamic between Gordon and Bullock; Ben Mackenzie and Donal Logue have good chemistry and really nail the humor to their interactions.
  • Tons of great character actors for just about every episode. And they're all hamming it up. Way up.
  • Mostly good kid actors (crucial), but we'll touch on that again.
  • Some decent action and a handful of really cool scenes.

And the bad...
  • Any show where you are able to easily solve the case a half-hour before the crack detectives do nearly every episode is, by default, not very good.
  • So far the pace of the show is plodding and uneven, bordering on meandering.
  • They have the benefit of relatively good child actors, and they completely underutilize them. Bruce, Selina/Cat and Ivy are among my least-liked characters.
  • I love Jada Pinkett Smith, but Fish Mooney is a dull, stupid, pointless character. And they try so hard to convince you she's awesome and significant.
  • So many stupid decisions, redundancies and diversions to fill those 20+ episodes.
  • The Joker... before Batman. Seriously?
  • The show, by its very nature, screws with the whole Bat mythos in a big, off-putting way.

I can see why some would watch it for its gimmick and entertainment value, but it's not a great show by any stretch of the imagination. Of course, this type of show will probably get season after season on Fox.

Pilot

Before I get into details, my feelings on the pilot episode...meh. I found it incredibly meh. Also, I am doing this review with just watching the pilot.

Good: I like most of the casting.

I actually liked Fish Mooney as a character (Only half a point though, because her name is incredibly awful.)

The scene with the comedian. I actually laughed at his joke and the possibility of him becoming the Joker has the perfect balance of Foreshadowing and Fauxshadowing that it seems interesting without being too heavy or odd with either outcome.

Fish Mooney's first scene is a good scene and nice character set-up.

Bad: The actors for Barbara, Bruce, and Alfred all just rubbed me the wrong way.

The idea that Joe Chill (Or whoever it is, I'm using Joe Chill as a filler name because he's the one who did it in the comics) killed the Wayne's because he was ordered to instead of it just being a random crime annoys me.

The names of Fish Mooney and Ivy Peppers. Fish Mooney is an incredibly stupid name, even if it turns out to not be a real name or something. And as most everyone has said, Ivy Peppers is a crappy name and utterly awful foreshadowing.

The scene with Edward Nygma. His first riddle actually seemed like something a normal persona would say, the second was immediately subverted, and after the third he was told he needed help. Apparently the creators don't understand that you have to actually use a running gag straight before you start playing with it.

The scene with Mario Peppers. It was stupid and just done to set up drama and show how eeeeeeeviiiiiil and corrupt the GCPD and Fish Mooney are.

I know that Harvey Bullock is supposed to be a corrupt cop, but he just came off as too corrupt to consider anything but a villain with the scene at the end. Isn't he supposed to still be likable despite being corrupt?

A minor thing, but shouldn't Renee Montoya be a kid still during the time frame of the show? Don't get me wrong, I like her, but usually she looks a few years younger than Bruce (Give or take. Ages can be a bit hard to pin down)so the fact she is an adult in a show where Bruce is a kid seems odd (And the fact the Latino lesbian is used despite it not making sense, it feels a bit forced just so they can have those minorities filled).

I am not a fan of police procedurals, and this feels like CSI: Gotham City.

Gotham S 1 E 1 "Pilot"

I had my doubts, but it turned out to be relatively good. The large amount of foreshadowing slightly annoyed me, but mostly when it was highly unsubtle. The rest, eh. I didn't really like the Penguin's first scene. His other appearances won me over. Acting? Not a good judge of acting. Story? Great. Hooray for Mafia-esque elements and corrupt cops. I am excited for the rest. I hope it gets better. Final note: Not really a fan of Bruce.
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