I Can’t Stop Watching Gotham


Gotham is one of the cheesiest, eye-rolling, waste-of-time shows on TV right now. I can’t even recommended it to people. If I try to explain the show, I refer to it as “Batman Forever: The Show” because, like Batman: Forever, it doesn’t know what it wants to do and is very corny. But, all that said, I can’t stop watching it. (Some spoilers follow.)

So, how can I break this down?

The Premise

Bruce Wayne is 12 years old during the first season. That’s completely fine. It’s an origin story, and he was young when his parents got killed. I mean, we’ve seen his parents die multiple times in multiple ways.

But here it is — again. He’s young, and he seeks the killers of his beloved parents, Thomas and Martha “Why’d You Say That Name?” Wayne. The difference is that there’s usually a time jump after we see them die. With Gotham, we see what happens next: Bruce, uh… looks for the killers, I guess?

That’s a decent premise, but it’s not the focus of the show. The focus is on Jim Gordon, played by The OC’s Benjamin McKenzie, who tells young master Bruce that he will find his parents’ murderers. Yet the story isn’t primarily about that either. The first season plays like a “monster of the week” serial, where little segments build up to a whole story. The second season has a good thing going with Jerome (we’ll get there), but that too is all over the place — sort of like this paragraph.

The Problem

So is the show about Jim Gordon or Bruce Wayne? Is it about Gotham without Batman? Is it about the villains? I really don’t know what it’s about, and that’s a problem. Right now, it’s whatever happens, happens, and we’ll see where it takes us.

So with all that said… why do I keep watching this?

The Good Stuff

Honestly, there’s not a lot of good in it. The performances are not that great (Firefly is awful), Jada Pinkett Smith over-acts, and everything in between feels like there is no heart. Other than top characters like The Penguin and Alfred, everyone else is one-dimensional.

There are a few standout scenes, like what Penguin does to his step-siblings. But Jerome Valeska is a fantastic proto-Joker, and he’s really sunk his claws into me. That scene where he points a gun to his head and keeps pulling the trigger is nuts!

Or how about when he went all Heath Ledger on us?

The GCPD are awful, the villains’ timeline doesn’t make sense, and there’s no tie-in with other DC shows. Bruce Wayne is a wiener, Alfred is badass, and Jim Gordon is an asshat. It takes everything I love about Batman, stuffs it in a bag, farts in it, quickly zips it up, and delivers it to your mom. It doesn’t respect its source material, it doesn’t respect its audience, and it definitely does not respect your time. And I cannot wait to see what Season 3 brings.

Also this:

Article by contributor Kevin Sousa.

6 thoughts on “I Can’t Stop Watching Gotham

  1. How do you describe Gotham to someone who never watched it?
    It’s like a day time drama for mothers who dont know anything about Batman.

  2. Season 1 was very much “meh, s’okay”. Season 2, however, while undoubtedly not superb is still a lot more fun. Basically they’ve gone “fuck it” with the supervillains and started introducing them far too early, because it makes the show more fun. And yet… they still kinda work.

    Penguin is just great and has superb highs and lows. He’s the highlight of Season 1 and slightly less in 2, but still good.

    Riddler is mostly weird but doesn’t go full Riddler until near the end of Season 2, where he suddenly becomes superb – and it works because he’s a major character. It’s like if Caitlin in The Flash turned into Killer Frost now, that would be both tragic and awesome – and it’s exactly what’s happening with poor Edward Nygma, and it’s a change that has had immediate ramifications for the show.

    Jerome, the proto-Joker, is amazing. He seems to channel every single version of the Joker at once. With Arrow struggling to introduce their own Joker with the lacklustre Count Vertigo and Anarky, and The Flash just going straight to Mark Hamill, it’s obscene how the “lesser” DC show Gotham struck gold with hiring Cameron Monaghan.

    Finally we have the best in the second half of Season 2 – Hugo Strange. Casting BD Wong was a masterstroke, and he utterly nails the part. Strange exudes cold, calculating menace in a way that I wish Vandal Savage on Legends of Tomorrow did, and I’m glad that Strange’s first live-action appearance is such a great one.

    I’m actually really enjoying the show now that I’ve caught up, and while it’ll still be trailing behind the CW DC shows like The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl I’ll definitely stick with it come Season 3.

  3. One of the biggest reasons to watch the show is the reason no one should watch it, it doesn’t respect continuity, the characters, the premise, the universe, or anything the show itself established… which makes it one big hot mess.
    It’s a real car-crash of a show and sometimes it’s impossible to look away. Like when season 2 started and the show went full-retard.

    But for a show where literally anything could happen (I really would not be surprised if Thomas and Martha Wayne get resurrected at some point) it’s surprising how dull the show can be sometimes.

    It’s tone is incredibly uneven and the episodes range are all either good-bad, dull or bad-bad.

    It’s hard to recommend but it really is fascinating to watch and discuss.

  4. A good write up dude, a show you could never recommend but love to watch. The villains are a good laugh and the writers seem to know they could get cancelled anytime so just throw everything at it. You are not alone in watching this my friend.

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