Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gotham - looks better than it really is.

Even though I have never been that big fan of the Batman series itself, I was still rather excited about seeing these familiar characters on my tv screen again. I thought it was about time that we'd get an update on what's happening in Gotham city nowadays.

One of the biggest reasons that I liked the idea of getting a new show about 'Batman' characters is that 'Gotham' isn't that much about Batman's character itself. Instead, the show primarily revolves around commissioner Jim Gordon and his police department.

In essence, Gotham is a show about what happened before Bruce Wayne became Batman and before those other characters, heroes or villains like Catwoman and Penguine became who they were. This "origins" concept seemed pretty interesting to me.

I have now seen the first two episodes and I think I have a pretty good idea what the strengths and the weaknesses of Gotham are.  There are a lot of good things about the show, but there are unfortunately some really big problems that one simply can't overlook.

So let's start with the good things about Gotham. I have to be honest and say that the show looks pretty darn good. The production values are high, so you get the feeling that those who were responsible for the 'look' of the show did a good job.

I also like the casting in most cases. I think Benjamin McKenzie is not only pretty believable but also surprisingly likable as commissioner Jim Gordon. He's definitely a good actor who has evolved and grown over the last decade. McKenzie's definitely not an "O.C" actor anymore.

I also thought Donal Logue is pretty good as detective Harvey Bullock. He brings toughness to his character. Also, the child actors who play Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle seem pretty solid too (some people haven't liked her at all). 

Nevertheless, I think pretty easily the best character so far has been Oswald Cobblepot who will eventually become the penguin. I think this character played by Robin Lord Taylor is genuinely fascinating. Here's a character that you either hate to love or love to hate.

Then there's the writing, which so far has been Gotham's weakest link by far. I found the lack of quality writing to be weird, because almost everything else about Gotham has been pretty good. There's really no reason why the scripts couldn't be really solid too.

There are numerous problems with the writing as far as I'm concerned. For instance, too many things happened in both episodes that I managed to see. They crammed as much plot as possible which made the episodes feel rushed. They story just kept jumping forward.

Too many characters were introduced in my opinion too. I'm not sure but it seems that they introduced like four different villains already, which felt so unnecessary.  It's as if we have almost seen every single character already.

Then there's also the problem with things not making sense. For example, I didn't like how they went after the person who supposedly murdered Bruce Wayne's parents. I also didn't like when Gordon's wife contacted the reporter. That was just too implausible.

You also tend to get the feeling that the story drives the characters too much and it's not the characters that drive the story. They are sacrificing character development in order to keep the story moving forward.  The penguin character is the one that has suffered the most.

When you watch the show, you get the feeling that there's so much potential here. This show could be really good, if only the scripts were a tad better. It shouldn't take that much effort, but it really depends on whether those in charge have the talent to pull it off.

All in all, 'Gotham' is a show that I'm very likely going to keep watching. The flaws are a bit too apparent,  but there are still a lot good of things about the show. Hopefully the scripts will get better because that's pretty much all that's missing.

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