Tag Archives: Gotham

A Day Late Review of Gotham

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Fall is officially here, which means primetime TV is back.  One of the strongest new contenders this year is Gotham. In one of my earlier posts, I referred to Gotham as Batman getting the Smallville treatment.  I watched the premiere last night (thank you Fox Now app on Apple TV), and let me just say I was wrong.  Gotham is so much more than that.  First of all, the quality is leaps and bounds better than what we saw on Smallville.  By quality, I mean that it just looks nicer, the acting is just better, and the writing seems stronger.  Smallville always felt like a teenage soap opera with super heroes thrown in.  Gotham does not feel like that at all.  I think one of the big reasons is the fact that the main character is not Bruce Wayne.  From what I can tell, this is not the story of how Bruce becomes Batman.  No, this is the story of how James Gordon becomes Commissioner Gordon, and how he cleans up the police force in Gotham City. Jim Gordon is the main character, and also happens to be the only good guy in the whole city.  All the cops are corrupt and under Falcone’s thumb.  Gordon, alone, is trying to do the right thing and it gets him in trouble.

Spoilers: Bruce Wayne’s parents get shot.  If that really is a spoiler for you, then obviously, you know nothing about Batman, so chances are you are not going to watch this show, so chances are, it’s still not really a spoiler for you.  This leads to the best scene in the whole episode: Jim Gordon meeting and then comforting the traumatized Bruce Wayne.  It is well shot, well written, and well acted.  This is the moment that endears the viewer to both characters.  That’s a good thing, because the rest of the characters in this show are not endearing at all.  There is nothing likable about Fish Mooney, Oswald, Nigma, Bullock, or Falcone, or anyone else for that matter.  At the end of the episode, I was exhausted, just thinking about how much work Gordon has to do.  It is going to wear him out.  It’s going to wear me out as I watch it each week.

The final verdict for me on this show is a solid thumbs up.  I am not a Batman fan.  I am familiar with the basic story of Batman, I’ve read some of the essential Batman books out there, but I have never cared that much for Batman.  I know, I may the lone geek out there who feels that way, but I have just always felt that for a hero, Batman is just too dark and sinister.  I prefer my heroes to be less dark and sinister.  All that being said,  really enjoyed this show.  I think the big reason why was James Gordon’s character.  He is a good guy.  He is not dark and sinister.  He believes that light can overcome the darkness of Gotham, which makes him a better man than Batman/Bruce Wayne, who thinks the way to go is to fight the darkness with more darkness.  Gordon drives the show, and it feels more like a gritty cop show than a super hero show.  That just seems to work for me.  I would definitely say this is a must watch.

Marvel vs. DC: Small Screen Edition

Fall is just around the corner.  Ok, for all intents and purposes, it’s here.  That means that new TV is on the air, and right now, geeky TV is all the rage.  A big portion of this new geeky TV is a bunch of shows based on material from comics, mostly superheroes.  The two big comics publishers are presenting quite a bit of new material this fall, and a lot of it looks pretty good.  While Marvel seems to own the summer box office, the small screen seems to be up for grabs. Here are the offerings from each company for the Fall:

DC

Arrow

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This may be the best superhero themed show ever.  Notice what I wrote there.  Not just going on right now, or in recent memory, but EVER.  It is well written, well acted and well produced.  When this show premiered a couple of years ago, it took me a couple of weeks to really get into it, but once I was in, I was in.  I like the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow character.  He’s like a grittier, somehow darker version of Batman.  Plus, even though he’s filthy rich, like Bruce Wayne, he seems more relatable.  Plus, the growing supporting cast is pretty good too.  This has a lot going for it, and as it continues to succeed, more money will go into it and it will only get better.  Plus, Ra’s al Ghul. This is worth checking out for sure, and until I see something better, this is the champ of the comic book shows.  Arrow: Season 3 premieres on the CW on October 8.

The Flash

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Want to know if a show is doing well?  One clue is if the studio behind it decides to make a spinoff.  Enter The Flash, featuring a Barry Allen that we meet for the first time in Arrow during Season 2.  This is the second full on super hero show that DC is bringing to the masses on the CW.  It looks to be of the same quality as Arrow, so let’s hope it holds up, and maybe there are more shows coming down the pipe for us, based on more characters in the DC multiverse.  The Flash is about a guy, Barry Allen who gets struck by lightning near some chemicals and this gives him super powers, as he becomes “the fastest man alive.”  I love the Flash character in the comics.  He was always upbeat, positive, a genuinely good guy, and I think this Barry Allen looks the part.  Another interesting thing is that the show introduces us to the term metahuman, which is the DC version of people with super powers. I am excited to see where this new series takes us, and I hope it does well.  The Flash also premieres on the CW on October 8.

Gotham

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Gotham brings us the story of Gotham City and James Gordon before Batman.  It gives us a glimpse of life in the city before Bruce Wayne grew up.  It seems like we are going to get the back stories of some pretty nasty characters and see what life was like for a young Bruce Wayne just after his parents were murdered.  From all of that, I feel like this is basically giving Batman the Smallville treatment.  However, this has been getting rave reviews from critics, and geeks everywhere are anxiously anticipating the premiere of this series.  One major difference between this show and Arrow and the Flash: Don’t expect to see the Dark Knight in costume, similar to what we saw with Smallville.  The show still looks interesting, with plenty of very disturbing and fascinating supporting characters in the Batman universe.  Gotham premieres Monday, September 22 on Fox.

Marvel

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents returns for round 2.  This was a runaway hit last year for Marvel.  Many people wondered how fans would respond when Marvel tried to bring their big screen world to the small screen, and people loved it.  Of course, most of the season was partially building up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, helping people to get excited for the new film.  In return, the film rewarded the show by destroying the titular organization, S.H.I.E.L.D.  I imagine that this season will deal with how these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. go on in a post-S.H.I.E.L.D. world.  The biggest draw for this show is the connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It builds on that hype, but really delivers little in the way of actual super powered people.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 premieres on Tuesday, September 23.

Agent Carter

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Agent Carter from Captain America will also be getting her own series this fall.  Late this fall.  No trailer on this one, and not a lot of information, except that this series will follow the adventures of Agent Carter and Howard Stark.  Fans have been excited about this idea for a while now, so there is a lot of buzz.  The series, though, will not be starting with the rest of the fall bunch of shows.  Instead, it will be premiering during Agents of SHIELD’s mid year break.

Lots to look forward to from the big comics studios.  In addition to the shows listed here, DC’s Constantine will be premiering on NBC this fall, and the productions for Marvel’s NetFlix shows are moving forward.  IT’s too bad that we have to wait for Daredevil and Ironfist on Netflix before we get a Marvel show about actual super heroes.

What do you think?  What are some of the shows you are looking forward to this fall?  Share your thoughts in the comments.