TV Review: Gotham (Season 1 – 2014/15)

(vague season one spoilers only)

Being a casual batman fan, I was intrigued by Gotham’s premise but I kept away from anything to do with the show because the last thing I needed was to start another TV show only to be stuck waiting for new episodes week on week. So now with Season 3 of Gotham almost entirely released I decided to give it a shot.

Violent. Gotham City is violent, how could it not be with some of the craziest ‘people’ alive fighting for control of its streets? I don’t think even the Dark Knight Trilogy portrayed the city as the living, breathing entity Gotham City is supposed to be. Being given the ability to see the city from street level, business to business, mob to mob was refreshing. Crimes and characters with much more personal incentives and implications crossing between 4/5 recurring heroes and villains. Creating new gripping drama in an unfamiliar time-frame with familiar characters.

Matching this with unique interpretations of many character’s origin stories including Catwoman, The Riddler, Penguin and so on provide insight to someone like myself who hasn’t looked past the movies and video games for Batman lore. Interactions between The Riddler, currently named Nygma (he’s not evil yet. Strange and weirdly likeable in fact)) and James Gordon are interactions you never even thought existed but glad they are and there are many different examples through season 1. There is a particularly funny scene between Nygma and Penguin, as one tries to escape the other nonchalantly. But fails to do so. Comedic moments like these are rationed out, but generally hits the mark. And shouldn’t really be your reason behind starting this show.

Taking away the multiple batman references you’re challenged to catch during every episode, you’re left with a good crime-drama with the great dynamic between Gordon and Bullock. Each episode typically sets them out to solve an often disturbing crime or catch a serial killer with odd motive and ends with them having solved that crime. Crimes which are smaller scale, similar to Marvel’s shows Daredevil and Luke Cage. Cleaning up the streets rather than saving the world. Inter-spliced are all of the doings of Fish, Penguin, Cat, Bruce Wayne to create the arc of the whole show. Predictable but saves face with it’s deeply intriguing characters with their varied and conflicting motivations. The battle for Gotham is a good watch for a drama fan, (probably) a great one for a true Batman fan.

Rating: 8.5/10

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