The Ninjabot

GOTHAM is ‘Not a City for Nice Guys’ – Series Premiere Review

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm by Lacey Gilleran


It’s hard to imagine the city of Gotham without Batman, but that’s what FOX is attempting with the new show Gotham. The whole premise of the show is about the time leading up to the caped crusader. How did villains overrun the city? Who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents? Was the city always filled with ruthless killers? Most importantly, does the show deliver great characters and plot without Batman?

The show does feature a young Bruce Wayne, but focuses around the life of a young Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his challenges in a corrupt Gotham Police Department. He becomes partners with the rough and difficult Detective/Mentor Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), an important part of his growth as a young detective. From the beginning the two don’t see eye to eye, foreshadowing future issues within their partnership dynamic


Their first case is the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents; murdered in front of the boy in a back alley after a play. It appears to be a robbery gone wrong, but Gordon is suspicious that something more is afoot. He follows Bullock to a sketchy club the next day, where he digs for clues and is ultimately introduced to Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). From the beginning of his conversation with Bullock, it’s clear that they are friends. One can’t help but wonder – should cops befriend evil criminals?

Throughout the rest of the episode, we are introduced to so many different characters that it becomes hard to keep up. There is young Poison Ivy, Young Catwoman, Alfred, Barbara Gordon (Who used to be in a relationship with a lady cop?), and Young Penguin. Without giving too much away, Gordon soon finds out that Gotham is exactly how Bullock described, “Not a city for nice guys”. He sees how corrupt the city really is, and battles between what is right and what is needed to keep the city of Gotham in order.

I think that if the series develops important characters within its own world, rather than just replicating those featured in previous Batman movies, it has a chance to be something great. I think it’s trying too hard to say “This is how Batman started”, “This is how Poison Ivy started”, taking away from the storylines of Gordon and Bullock. The creators need to be cautious when trying to reinvent the wheel. This show has a great premise in the opportunity to develop lesser known (or new) characters – why make it about Baby Batman and Baby Catwoman? I’m interested to see where the show can go, but for now I think it’s off to an ok start.

Gotham Series Premiere – B+

Gotham, Season 1 Episode 1, aired September 22, 2014 on FOX.

You can follow Lacey and all her geekiness on Twitter at @laceygilleran.

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