Quick thoughts on the first two episodes of Gotham (TV Review)

The first two episodes of Gotham have given me a feel for the show as it is and where it can go from here. So far… I’m on the fence.

The show’s biggest problem is there are too many commercial breaks. Episode Two ("Selina Kyle") could barely get through a scene without pausing for a commercial. It was driving me crazy, and I was watching it on DVR, so I could fast forward through the breaks. If you didn’t have this luxury, watching this episode most of have been extremely frustrating.

I’m not in love with the visual style. I’m already sick of the panning shot of the buildings and those digitally altered establishing wide shots. Meanwhile, the city features the cleanest grit you’ve ever seen… there’s something very disingenuous about… I don’t know, maybe it’s the set design or the lighting or both or how they work together… I don’t like how the show looks – that’s what I’m trying to blather out.

I’m not all doom and gloom – I love the casting. Benjamin McKenzie is rockin’ the hose as James Gordon and I like the interplay with Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. I also like the young actors, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne and Camren Bicondova as Catwoman. Robin Taylor’s doing a nice job as the young Penguin, but I feel that the direction they’re giving to him and to Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma is too similar. Along those lines, I’m not in love with the way they’re writing Alfred Pennyworth – maybe Sean Pertwee could soften the character a bit with his portrayal… he’s scaring the shiz out of me. Alfred shouldn’t make me piss my pants, but here we are.

I do wonder how I’d feel about this show if it wasn’t stocked with character I already know and love. You’re sitting there, watching the show and you say to yourself, "That’s The Riddler! Squeeeeeeeeeeee!" I do wonder if I’d like this show as much if it wasn’t based around Batman lore.

There are problems with the writing – I really hate the shock moments, like when they revealed what Catwoman did to that guy’s eyes and when Penguin stabs the kid in the passenger seat (both incidents from episode 2)… it just came off as a bit silly. I feel like they’re trying to shock me instead of letting the moment speak for itself. On the other hand, I do like the idea that the Wayne’s deaths cause the creation of all of Gotham’s worst villains – in most Batman stories, they feel like a byproduct or, as we see in The Dark Knight, the direct result of Batman’s assault on crime.

Right now, this is feeling like a poor man’s SHIELD, but then, the first few episodes of SHIELD weren’t exactly gold as far as I can recall.

I’m going to stick with Gotham for now and I’m sure I’ll give it a long leash because Batman, but right now, I’m not sure I believe this is ever going to evolve into classic television.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on September 30, 2014, in Batman, tv review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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