The general consensus is that Fox’s new show GOTHAM is pretty good. But, as I watch week after week, all I can see is what needs to be seriously improved upon. So, let’s take a look at some of the issues and some possible solutions and make GOTHAM a better show.
Let me start off by saying I know, for the most part, that I’m the minority here. Most people like GOTHAM. Fine. But, I’m sorry, this show is a freaking train wreck. When I first heard about the show, it was supposed to be a show about James Gordon as a young detective. Of course hearing this, I’m thinking of something along the lines of Batman:Year One combined with Gotham Central. While those core stories are there, it’s so far removed from many of the key elements, as well.Fine, I can accept change, but what we have with GOTHAM is just a mess. The two biggest problems with the show are the following:
- Creator Bruno Heller can’t seem to determine who his audience is – Heller is no novice to TV. He created both ROME and THE MENTALIST. Both are pretty good shows, and knows the target audience. The problem it seems, is that there have been so many version of Batman in media, Heller can’t seem to decide which one he wants to focus on. He’s trying to make everyone happy, and failing epically. GOTHAM has elements of Batman ’66, Tim Burton’s era, and Christopher Nolan’s era, just to name a few. It’s all over the place. Pick one an era and stick with it. If the story is good, the audience will come. Plus, we’re talking about Batman here. He’s a worldwide cultural icon.
STOP SHOVING EVERY BATMAN MYTHOS INTO THIS SHOW! – GOTHAM is trying way too hard to fit just about every myth from Batman into this first season. Hell, not even the first season. The first 10 episodes. It all feels shoehorned in. I also think that producers are trying to fit so much Batman myths in because they’re afraid there won’t be a second season. This is where the producers need to look to ARROW. The ARROW staff does an amazing job putting in comic references. Some are obvious and some are subtle. Either way, they work in the story. Not forced at all.Easter eggs are a big thing, but this is a case where too much is not a good thing. This is exactly what was the problem with the GREEN LANTERN film; too many Easter eggs. GOTHAM needs to take a step back and work with what they already have for a while. At this rate, I’m expecting to be introduced the Waynes neighbors the Drakes, and their little baby boy Tim.
Those are the biggest problems, as I seem them. They aren’t the only problems, though. I’m not a fan of the era of the show, which is unknown. Everyone drives around in cars from the 70’s and dresses that way, too. But…they use cell phones from 2004. Tim Burton’s Batman also used the same eraless background, so I guess they are trying to appeal that crowd. Personally, it’s not my thing. I always hated Burton’s Batman. But, that’s an article for another day.
I’m also not a fan of Fish Mooney, at all. I don’t think Jada Pinkett Smith does a bad acting job. It’s just she’s working with bad material. And don’t get me started on the name “Fish Mooney”. It’s too goofy. I just can’t take her seriously at all.
I don’t like how David Mazouz portrays Bruce Wayne, but I think that’s more an issue of mine, and not necessarily the show. Whenever I think of a young Bruce Wayne, I keep thinking back to Detective Comics # 574 (May 1987). Written by Mike Barr and drawn by Alan David, it showed an angrier Bruce, who didn’t give into his fears. The story explained that Batman was truly born on the night the Wayne’s were killed. I would have liked to see that Bruce Wayne instead. You can see what I’m talking about below:
That being said, there is some great talent in the cast. Robin Lord Taylor does an amazing job as Cobblepot/Penguin. When I first saw Taylor I, like a lot of people, had doubts. Taylor is taller and skinnier than what we are used to seeing when with Penguin. He looks more like he should be the Joker instead. But what he lacks in “looks”, he more than makes up in performance. Taylor is the Penguin from the comics. The personality is all there. This character has stolen the show so much that it could be said the main focus of Gotham is no longer Jim Gordon, but the rise of Cobblepot.
Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon and Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock are great. Both are very close to their comic counterparts. And even play off of each other better.
But now the big question is how to improve GOTHAM.
Well, don’t worry, I got some ideas.
Tune in, same Bat Time…etc….etc. You know the rest.
One final thought: If you’re offended by the name of this piece, then go back and watch Tim Burton’s Batman. It’s a homage. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.