My Initial Thoughts on Gotham

Gotham City in all its dark glory
Gotham City in all its dark glory | Source

With the series premiering last week and the next episode slated to come out tonight, I thought that I’d share my honest thoughts on this promising series so far. I am barely going to touch on the plot, but there are some minor spoilers. So SPOILER WARNING!

The pilot was very serious in nature and had a fair share of action sequences and drama. Characters are well written and you can already tell that careful attention will be paid in further developing them, as the series progresses. If you are an enthusiast of the Dark Knight, then there certainly will be many familiar faces, along with some new. With the plot centering around a young Jim Gordan (later one of Batman's closest allies), I was worried of how this series would operate. However, I no longer hold any of these particular hesitations, as the show does not feel like a mere cop drama set within the Batman mythos. The utilization of nearly every other perspective, other than the young Bruce Wayne, brings a fresh outlook on the events surrounding the pre-Batman Gotham.


Let’s talk about the setting itself. After all, the series title is named after the city itself. Thus far, the show does a commendable job of depicting Gotham. While only flashing a few brief shots, it does boast some of the surreal and gothic architecture we're all accustomed to, with an infusion of a modern cityscape. This grounds the city in reality, while still containing some elements of the comic source material. Although I would have preferred to see a little more of the familiar in this regard, this was only the first episode.

The Waynes gunned down in Crime Alley
The Waynes gunned down in Crime Alley | Source

I don't think that anyone would agree that choosing to have the murder of the Waynes occurred only minutes into the pilot was essential, as we have seen it far too many times already. However, it is portrayed in far more gruesome realism than ever before, similar to show's other action sequences. I'll give it to them. Never before have I been like "holy shit," when watching the Waynes get gunned down, as you always know what is coming when they start down that alley. But the graphic depiction really invokes a response from everyone I have talked to, who also watched the pilot.

The show purveys extremely serious and dark tones that we’ve all grown accustomed to expect within Gotham’s corrupt soul. As loyal to the source material, the series is already showing how rampant the corruption has spread through the dark metropolitan. Cops and criminals alike are at home within its unhallowed limits. Gordan’s partner, Harvey Bullock, is a prime example of how lenient the police force is when it comes to allying with Gotham’s underbelly and just how far each is willing to go, for personal gain.

The cast of "Gotham"
The cast of "Gotham" | Source
Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordan
Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordan | Source

The cast looks promising, even the dweeb, Eddy, who we all know will inevitably become the Riddler. I was not initially sure about Oswald, but he started to grow on me as the future Penguin took a turn at interrogating a prisoner with glee and his brutal act at the episode's conclusion. Although seen only momentarily, Bruce and Alfred were believable, although the latter is a little too brash, when compared with what we have seen in the past.

But let’s discuss Gordan next, as he’s the central focus. The character is likeable and is convincing as one of Gotham’s only incorruptible cops. The scene where he shakes hands with a broken juvenile Bruce Wayne demonstrated the epic potential that the show possibly holds. One of the most promising and intriguing characters is the teenage Selina Kyle, who introduces us to the streets of Gotham and seems to have acquired an interest in the troubled adolescent Bruce.

Camren Bicondova as a teenage Catwoman. She mysteriously perches on the outer wall of Wayne Manner at the pilot's conclusion.
Camren Bicondova as a teenage Catwoman. She mysteriously perches on the outer wall of Wayne Manner at the pilot's conclusion. | Source

Similar to other adaptations of the Batman mythology, a select number of individuals shine through the perpetual darkness and cast a ray of hope amongst the unrelenting crime. I was initially worried at rehashing the origins of Batman once more, but the pilot has given me hope that this series could explore a period of Gotham history that we know very little about. It has officially sparked my interested and has me excited to see where they take it.

What do you think of Gotham so far?

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