Category Archives: Gotham

Gotham 1.07 or The One Where I Stopped Watching

gotham7Last night’s episode of Gotham was brought to you by the letter A. A stands for alliances. An episode where a few alliances emerged, were dismantled, and revealed.  And yet it was still terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

I must announce that this will be my last Gotham post probably ever. I’ve reached the seven episode threshold and can find no great reason to continue following this show along. Gotham‘s vision is simply too unclear, and its character’s are non-essential to the story being told, and worse, to each other. Watching this series week to week since it’s premier earlier this fall, I have often felt that each character is a stick-figure protagonist of its own far-too-confused version of Gotham, especially on a series named “Gotham” based on a city that its audience already knows a whole lot about. Were this a character-driven show about the inner worlds of each, and their individual experiences in that environment (a la Mad Men or, at least an often mediocre The Walking Dead) this wouldn’t be a problem, but there is nothing character-driven what so ever here. In fact the characters have done nothing to drive themselves anywhere but where they are: stuck. They are what I like to call “Pawns with Personality” moved around by the story, shuffling from here to there, trying to make sense of it all, feeling feelings and doing not much about them. And even then, I have no idea who or what this force moving them around is. Worse: I don’t believe the writers do either.

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‘Gotham’ 1.06 or Goat’s Milkie or More Edlund Please

gotham 106 goat

Monday’s episode* of Gotham was brought to you by the letter F. F stands for FINALLY.

(*My apologies for the late posts throughout the week, under the weather over here)

So Gotham has had a rough start. At the risk of sounding redundant, I’ll say it again: For a new show (particularly a network series) it is not rare for the writers, the actors, the crew (etc) to slowly grow into what the series is really all about and improve upon it.  Unlike a film set where a director’s vision is carried out, a television series is a collective of minds and hands which require balance and this can take time to achieve.

This is why I have a “seven episode rule” for new shows that don’t hook me in instantly. Gotham has been one of these. \I’ve mentioned here before how the series does not seem to have one female writer on board this season, and that the writing has been overly testosteron-ized by it with multiple female characters falling flat on their faces. Unfortunately this has not yet been improved upon and the lack of chemistry and believable dialogue between them (who also all conveniently fall on some spectrum of bisexuality) is where this is most evident. However, the show does seem to be extending the biblical theme which it began in “The Balloonman“, continued in “Arkham“, and did a piss-poor job of in “Viper” (an episode so bad I couldn’t bare to write about it): violence begets violence.

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‘Gotham’ 1.04 or Lose Your Gun, Take the Cannoli or Not ‘The Wire’

gotham_104_promoI think I figured out why it’s so difficult to take Gotham even semi-seriously: it’s like someone tried to make a PG-13 version of all five seasons of The Wire into one, and using disposable villains who touch on the syndrome instead not the disease.  In four episodes they’ve crammed in homeless children, corrupt cops, corrupt politicians, and irresponsible media.  Wouldn’t be surprised if an episode on unions and the Port of Gotham is in the works.  During last night’s episode, “Arkham”, I felt like I was watching School House Rock after two seasons of House of Cards.

The truth is that television audiences are far more informed and sophisticated today than they were 10-15 years ago and showrunners need to put a tremendous amount of work into writing 20+ hours of television.  The writing on this show does not feel like a lot of work.  IMHO the Gotham writers should rely much less on the inherent mythology to keep people watching.  Seriously, the best thing about Gotham right now is still newbie Fish Mooney.  Could staying true to Batman be limiting Gotham more than inspiring it?

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‘Gotham’ 1.03 or Going Up! or When Violence Begets Violence

gotham-balloonmanHaving had a somewhat lukewarm reaction to FOX’s Gotham after the first two episodes, I must say that things are now looking up! Ironically, what this means is that things are looking down for GTown itself.  Way down. As Dr. King once said, “violence begets violence” and that’s the spiral Gotham, the city, finds itself in.

Episode 3, titled “The Balloonman” is keeping with my assessment that Gotham would be following a monster-of-the-week structure by introducing a third villain in a third week. Taking the expectations of the Batman fandom (and the nature of this blog) into account, I worried this could send the series into procedural land, thereby pushing the characters and mythology to a disappointing B-story status.  Not the case.  I can say that with the “The Balloonman” Gotham has found its footing.

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‘Gotham’ – Pilot / 1.02 Selina Kyle

Site: Setup: The levels of fandom as they pertain to the Batman/Gotham mythos are about as varied as Christian Bale’s adaptations of an American accent.  So… very.  There are the classic comic book fans, the animated series fans, the Tim Burton fans, the Christopher Nolan fans, the Batman: Year One fans, and so on.  With each reimagining, multiple creative freedoms have been taken, thus making the term “Batman canon” somewhat ambiguous.  Here again with FOX’s new Batman prequel series, Gotham, showrunner Bruno Heller has rebuilt the Batman mythology piecemeal.  So prequel, okay, that’s kind of cool, but then again… Smallville.  What seems to set this series apart then is its protagonist, the small but bright beam of moral enlightenment within Gotham’s underbelly of corruption: Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie).  But by no means is this a one man show.  In fact, what could put some viewers off (while reeling others in) is the smorgasbord of Gotham characters and settings presented all at once in the Pilot.

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