The tale of the Batman has been remade and revamped in every direction possible, but Gotham delves into the secrets of the corrupt titular city, prior to, and assumedly so, leading up to, the caped crusaders emergence.
In the excitement and anticipation leading up to its premiere, Gotham was a show I placed in my pile of ‘been there, done that’ fiascos, as another addition to the DC Comics family of adaptations. Despite standing as a prequel series, rather than the ordinary, borefest remakes, with another talented director and just a new face for Bruce Wayne, the appeal did not sink in. Although still harnessing an influential impact within the story, and legacy, of Batman, Wayne is but a child and thus the torch of protecting Gotham resides with an honest, recently promoted police officer. So, we are now relayed the story of that ‘passing on’ in this prequel television series, and admittedly I watched it, and I am still watching.
Branding the show as inherently based on the trials and tribulations of the crooked, urbanized complex, that is Gotham City, series creator, Bruno Heller darkens the DC Comic stories and characters, with a realist grit of injustice and deceit. A projection of crime and vice within mafia-dominated city streets, Detective Jim Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), the heroic officer of the law and a young, yet determined Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), demanding answers for his parent’s death, constitute the thematic qualities of a real life comic. You are emotionally satisfied with the portrayal of Gordon and Wayne’s familial bond; you are absolutely not disappointed with the crude, yet entertaining banter of Gordon’s meandering partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and I personally love Alfred Pennyworth’s (Sean Pertwee) rough-and-tough, yet affectionate parenting regime, derived from his typically British demeanour.
But, to top them all, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) epitomises a feisty, ruthless woman you do not want to mess with, and if you do, expect your imminent death and most definitely your replacement within the snap of her fingers. She provides a dangerous sophistication to the role, controlling the bodies of Gotham in her own twisted puppet show, where the grand finale is her overthrow of Don Falcone and his dominating patriarchal rule, garnering prime position of the ‘Boss’ for herself.
My favourable opinion of Gotham is merely based upon the first four episodes of the first series, determining the impact it has created among its viewers. Credited as “antidote to superhero fatigue” by Indiewire, I believe it has overcome the issue of being placed within a group of futile remakes, in our somewhat unoriginal film and television industry. Though, an abundance of creativity outplays this lack of original material, illustrating individualism and personality within Heller’s homage to the Batman comics.
Now there is a long way to go before we can completely conclude our views on the first series of Fox’s Gotham, but we can applaud its explosive debut as a distinctive television show.