I’m definitely a pessimist when it comes to Gotham. I like Batman like most people, but was skeptical about a Batman show without Batman. It really felt like a cheap ploy to capture an audience by simply setting a generic cops and robbers show in Gotham. As of writing this, we’re only three episodes into the first season, so that might still be the case eventually. However, so far so good.
The pilot episode was disappointing because, well, I didn’t see a single pilot in the show, nor did I see a single airplane. Ok, kidding aside; the first episode was a bit dry but that’s true for a lot of shows. Producing a pilot episode of a new series is a difficult task. You have one or two hours to introduce a bunch of characters, then introduce the situations and world these characters live in. Then you need you need to convince people to care about these characters and situations. On top of all that, you need a story because otherwise you’re just checking off a laundry list of exposition.
In any case, Gotham’s pilot episode felt like a laundry list of exposition. It didn’t waste any time in killing off Bruce Wayne’s parents. I find death scenes fascinating because it’s one of those things all actors have to go through at some point whether it’s in school or professionally. The Thomas and Martha Wayne death scene acting was pretty hokey, but we won’t have to see those actors much again, so no big deal. The important thing the show wants to get across is that a young Selina Kyle witness their deaths too. I think this is a great idea. It actually forms a bond between Catwoman and Batman. Thematically, Batman is a loner. As far as he’s concerned, he was the sole person to experience his parent’s murder. However through chance, Catwoman was a bystander to those murders which could provide the basic sympathy and understand she’ll have for Batman regardless if he ever learns that she witnessed his parents’ death. So, nice twists on that.
Immediately afterwards, we’re introduced to Jim Gordon and his what’s-his-face partner. It’s pretty basic goodcop/badcop stuff. Their hunt for the Wanyer family murderer is the backdrop for introducing the audience to other significant characters. I honestly didn’t care about anything that happened and found myself zoning out for the rest of the episode. That said, it’s a pilot and I had nothing better to do, scratch that, I was too lazy to do anything else so I watched the next episode, “Selina Kyle.”
This episode immediately sucked me in. First off, full confessional: I hate homeless gutter punks. So, when Lily Taylor and the dude from Field of Dreams show up kidnapping them, the show got my complete, undivided attention. Sarcasm doesn’t work too well on the internet, so just kidding about the hate of homeless kids. The episode overall was satisfying. It had a cohesive beginning, middle, end and my standards are low.
The third episode was even better. The angle with the Balloon man playing social justice, vigilante was great. Seeing young Bruce feed off the news and form his own opinions of what a vigilante should be portrayed the development of Batman like no other Batman production ever has. Also, the rapport between Jim Gordon his partner whats-his-face is settling in to a nice groove. They’re genuine mutual respect for each other, yet their core values are still at conflict. So, I really look forward to seeing their relationship continue. Whats-his-face has dead guy written all over him, but I’m assuming the show is going to make us fall in love with him before they decide to kill him off, so let me preemptively say to Gotham’s producers, assholes! And good job so far.