Monday, October 13, 2014

TV Review: Gotham

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars (After 3 Episodes)

Bottom Line: This Almost Batman series has its moments but may need a bit more super-heroics to keep up interest.

Debuting this season on FOX, Gotham gives as the story of a young Jim Gordon (eventually to become the well known Commissioner Gordon from the Batman mythos) as a green yet honest cop trying to find his way in the crime-ravaged, corruption-filled Gotham City.  In the first episode, he comes in contact with a young Bruce Wayne who has just suffered the loss of his parents in an apparent street robbery, and Gordon vows to bring in the person responsible for their murder.  And thus we set off into early years that forged the Batman and eventually brought Gordon and the Caped Crusader together in an unlikely partnership against crime.  You should know right away that this series does not tie in with the movies, as it sets up its own version of the Batman universe.  It is also thus far absent of any of the superheroes or supervillains from that mythos, though we see many seeds planted for the characters we know all too well from the comics.  We have been introduced to Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy), and Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) thus far (and there may have been a few other names dropped that I missed).  And the current story arc is focused on how Cobblepot morphs into that fowl character so famous from the comics.  Also in the picture is Harvey Bullock (who is Gordon's rather seedy partner), and Gordon's girlfriend Barbara could factor is at some point as Batgirl (or would Batwoman be more appropriate seeing the age difference between her and Bruce Wayne?).  The thing about this show thus far, though, is that it is pretty much just a crime drama with the names of Batman characters sprinkled about.  And while it's a decent enough crime drama, don't we have more than enough of those on television these days?  And how long will fans of the comic stick around for this "Almost Batman" series before they start to demand some payoff from the source material that is more than just teases about what the characters will be some day?  I believe one of the reasons that Agents of SHIELD has lost much of its audience is that it delivers too little of what the audience expects from the comics, and that could get to be a factor for Gotham as well.  I'm willing to tune in for a crime drama if it keeps a close tie to the source material, but if this turns into CSI: Gotham, then I will be losing interest quickly (as will probably many from the show's audience).  I'm on board for now, but still waiting for them to deliver on the goods.

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