*********This Review Will Contain Minor Spoilers*********
“Gotham” Season 1 was a very different take and spin off of the Batman universe. The pilot episode starts with the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne at the hands of a faceless criminal. Bruce is left weeping on the streets of crime alley which kicks open the door for the story. The whole premise of “Gotham” is not about Batman or in turn a Batman show, but it focuses on the GCPD and the rise of Jim Gordon, the police commissioner who eventually becomes one of Batman’s greatest allies. However, when “Gotham” begins, Jim Gordon is not yet the police commissioner. He is just an average detective, new to the force. So the show focuses on Gordon and how he becomes who we know from the comics but there is more to it. The show also focuses on the rise of the villains and how these iconic enemies of Batman came to prominence in Gotham City.
It makes for an interesting spin. This series explores the inner workings of the Gotham City Police Department, the corrupt and the criminals as well as exploring exactly what Bruce Wayne does before he becomes The Dark Knight. Now there are a handful of things to mention about “Gotham” as a show. First, the pilot was fantastic. It was dark, gritty and just had such an engaging idea and premise. However, the next handful of episodes are very mediocre and the fault of the show is trying to shove down every villain in your face to satisfy comic book crazies. I felt like I was being beaten over the head with Easter Eggs and I didn’t like where the show was headed. But I will say that around episode 5 or 6, a lot of my fears were subdued and the show became exactly what I wanted it to be. In fact by the season finale, I was so into this show that I couldn’t wait for season 2, which goes by the subtitle: “Rise of the Villains.” “Gotham was an exciting show with great characters. I loved the rivalry between the Maroni crime syndicate and the Falcone syndicate. The fact that these two crime bosses were literally trying to kill each other all season was brilliant while a young Jim Gordon is caught in the middle.
The best thing about “Gotham” is the casting. Every actor fits their roles perfectly. Ben McKenzie is brilliant as a young Jim Gordon. He is ruled by his passion and desire to eradicate to corrupt in Gotham City and will do whatever is necessary to make Gotham a better place. Donal Logue is also perfectly cast as Jim’s partner Harvey Bullock. Logue is the perfect iteration of his comic book counterpart and fits this show perfectly. There are many other great standouts here such as Sean Pertwee as Alfred, David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as a young Selina Kyle, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney and Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins. But the best actor in Gotham is without a doubt Robin Lord Taylor who plays a young Oswald Cobbelpot, or Penguine from the comics. He is brilliant in this show and it’s interesting to see his gradual rise to power. He looks the part, he acts the part and he embodies the part. Every casting choice for this show was spot on and every actor and character are believable.
“Gotham” rises to be the best new cop drama on television and I think it is one of the best. The episodes are engaging and it’s really cool to see the years that Bruce Wayne spent not being Batman. We see the relationship between Bruce and Gordon grow as we know they will become great friends and allies in the fight against the corrupt. I think my biggest criticism of the show came from those early episodes but the show really picks up steam in its second half and it becomes not just a great behind the scenes Batman show, but an engaging crime drama with cool villains that are soon to be on the rise. This is one of my favorite shows on television right now and if you are a hardcore Batman fan, you might really dig this awesome backstory into the Batman lore.