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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Gotham Fails To Impress

I have been a Batman fan all my life.  I've been running Legions of Gotham for 11 years and never have I had to give such a grim review of a Batman related property.

I went into Gotham with high hopes. I was looking for a dark and gritty crime drama that centers around the universe and characters that I know and love. What I got was some pretty poor acting, unnecessary character changes and and overall sense of confusion about why we even need this show at all.

I have seen other reviews criticizing Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney. In my opinion she actually delivers the best and most believable performance in the cast. I had high hopes for Donal Logue as Bullock and was very disappointed with his lackluster and rather empy performance.  I saw him play a shady creepy in Sons of Anarchy and it was amazing.  He clearly phoned this one in.  James Gordon is intense and noble, sometimes overly so, but also lacks likability.

The show tries to have a hard edge with some cursing, lesbian lovers and a few instances of blood and violence, but it comes off more like Smallville in an overcast city setting. If you stuck with Smallville through thick and thin you will have no problem with this show whatsoever. If you felt critical of Smallville at times because it was a bit hoaky and over the top, then Gotham won't be your cup of tea.

I guess my overall question is why? We haven't had Batman in a series on the air since the 1966 show.  I feel safe in saying that we're long overdue for an actual Batman show, but they seem to be determined to deny us. Why don't they think Batman needs his own series? I'm baffled by this idea. I remember back in the day they wouldn't allow Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul on the cartoon "The Batman", because they were due to be in Batman Begins. WB felt that viewers would become confused. Thats honestly how they feel about us, like we're all so stupid we can't tell the difference between the television and film versions of the character, thus we get Gotham..a story about everyone but Batman. Bruce is in the show, but so far he's an afterthought.  If we had already gotten an amazing Batman show I would say sure, give us a prequel..let us see how it all began, but we haven't even gotten that yet.

I love these characters, but I only love them in relation to their interactions with Batman. I don't care about James Gordon, new cop in town...I care about James Gordon, new cop in town that will work with Batman. The gap in time before that happens just isn't that interesting to me. I will continue to tune in and hope for the best. Smallville did get better the last few seasons, but that took a decade.  This show might have flown previously, but next to epic television ventures like Arrow, it just pales in comparison.