Gotham premiered on Fox last month, and I have put off writing about it mainly because I have not felt the urge to write about it. It is a good show, but very underwhelming when it comes to what I was expecting.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great things about the show. The set and costume design for one. Everything looks exactly like I would imagine Gotham City to look. It has that gritty feel that I want from our Batman stories.
The writing is good, although some of the lines have been a little cheesy. Maybe they are sometimes going for that campy feel as an homage to the Adam West Batman series, but it just doesn’t feel right when some of those lines are delivered.
The acting is not too bad. Ben McKenzie tends to over-act the role of James Gordon at times. At least in my opinion. And Robin Lord Taylor should win awards for his acting as Oswald Cobblepot.
I do enjoy the monster of the week style while maintaining an over-arcing, serialized story line.
But I also do not like seeing so much of Bruce Wayne. We know his origin story and we do not need to see all the moments of him rising to power in his company and training to become the Batman.
We get it. He had a hard life. He was orphaned. He trained his body and mind for years to fight crime. But we do not need to see all of that.
Here is the one thing that should have been done different to make Gotham a great show.
Change the timing of the story.
Nobody wants to see a bunch of villains as kids. We don’t want to see James Gordon’s entire career path. And we do not need every single villain to make an appearance before the Batman. Many of these villains became who they were because Batman was present.
So make Batman present.
Here is exactly how they should have done it:
Gotham should have been set at a time when Bruce Wayne was first becoming Batman. I would say the first six months of the Batman’s career, or if you want to go all purist, Year One.
But the show should not have anything at all to do with the Batman. In fact the Batman never has to make an appearance in the show at all. Maybe we have the random cell phone picture of him jumping across the roof, or some second hand stories from criminals, but Batman would never have to be in the show. In fact he shouldn’t be in the show because the show is called Gotham, not Batman.
Bruce Wayne could be in the show. But only about as much as he is in the current show. A little bit here and there. It would make for a great scene when he is at a charity benefit or something and someone is bad mouthing that new lunatic taking out criminals on his own.
“I heard he dresses like a bat.”
The show would still focus on Gordon and Bullock and the city of Gotham. But now instead of some young detective trying to befriend a little Wayne, we have a pair of detectives suspicious of a vigilante that has been appearing on the streets at night.
There would be controversy of some costumed freak taking the law into his own hands. Some people would love it, some people would not.
And with the appearance of this new mysterious crime fighter would come some new and very dangerous criminals. Criminals that could only be called villains.
So I will still watch Gotham, but will forever be disappointed that they made the show far less incredible than it could have been.