Turn on the Bat Signal: 6 Things Gotham Can Do to Improve


I have issues with Gotham. Yes, the show is still young, but I refuse to clear the room no matter what Fish Mooney says. I'm not scared to look into Richard Kind's beady eyes and tell him what's up. Trust me, I won't be swayed. I'm like "Saint" Jim Gordon in that way. Just call me Saint Nick.

The show is just getting its sea legs, and I'm going to try to respect that, but there are a few things it's going to have to start doing—and quickly—in order to pass my administering of the TV.com 4-Episode Test. Gotham is a ship that can be righted, but first it must get out of its own way. Here are six ways it can do so:


1. Find a balance between camp, cartoon, and pulp

MaryAnn touched on this in her review of Episode 2Gotham is trying to walk a fine line between being gritty and airing at 8pm so that six-year olds in Batman footie pajamas can witness the rise of Bruce Wayne. However, I'm not sure many parents were happy to see a man's bleeding eye socket after he was attacked by a post-tween, or the child version of a hero engaging in self-harm (Alfred even referred to the pop culture darkness that is "cutting").

I'm suffering a bit of tonal whiplash due to the placement of the gore and morally tense scenes—Cobblepot being led down a pier so he can be sacrificed is heady stuff—alongside the campier stuff, which includes almost everything Fish Mooney does. Jada Pinkett Smith has been watching Scandal and taking notes from Joe Morton on how to chew every scrap of scenery. But she certainly isn't the only contributor to Gotham's campiness, which also stems from the show's casual sociopathy, quirky villains, and bold, widespread corruption. We understand that Gotham City isn't a town full of do-gooders, but did we need the one-off cop extorting protection money from local businesses? Is Jim Gordon really going to be the only person on the show who's not a crook? Developing the characters and the city will help resolve some of these issues (providing a better sense of their motivations will dial back the unintentional comedy in their over-emoting and tedious exposition) but the show needs to pick a mood and stick with it.



2. Read the dialogue out loud before approving the script

Before you let me have it in the comments, I know that there are multiple times during the pre-production process, from pitch to table read, where the script is read out loud. But it doesn't seem like anyone on Gotham is saying anything. While the dialogue was better in Episode 2 than it was in the pilot—I was embarrassed that Donal Logue had to actually say those lines out loud—the show needs to make sure that it's working within the confines of television. What works on the comic page for character interaction doesn't necessarily translate to the screen.


3. Don't rest on the laurels of the comics

Unfair though it may be, I can easily imagine a situation where Gotham depends too much on our collective familiarity with Batman and his nemeses to inform each character's motivations. Ed Nigma is probably the best current example of this; I know who he becomes and you probably know who he becomes, but what about the person who doesn't necessarily understand why the GCPD's forensics guy has to phrase everything in the form of a question, or why he has to be so over-the-top weird? 

Meanwhile, while Episode 2 was called "Selina Kyle" and offered a whiff of backstory about a "dead" mom (Selina's quotes), it didn't say much about her unless you already know that she grows up to be Catwoman. Though, how could you not, since every move she makes is so ridiculously feline that I expected her to cough up a hairball while she was making her deal with Jim Gordon (did you catch her playing with the locket like it was a ball of yarn? Yikes). Point is, the show needs to do some actual character-building instead of just burning through a bunch of pre-established traits and plot points and expecting viewers to connect the dots.

Same goes for the city of Gotham. From the many iterations of Batman that we've seen and read over the years, we know that "Gotham City" is synonymous with "criminal's paradise" and "institutional corruption." But I'm looking forward to the show breathing life into this city as a character. So far, it's been very tell, not show. Let's start looking into the lives of the citizens who aren't future baddies. Why do people stay here when there are so many clean-cut street urchins committing petty crimes all over the place? How do Gotham's residents deal with living in a town that's so obviously run by organized crime and vengeful sociopaths that it touches their lives pretty much every week? If that means we lose touch with Cobblepot for a few episodes while he's off running his kidnapping racket, I'm okay with that (see below). Gotham needs to build out its story world instead of using the mythology as a crutch.



4. Trim the character roster

I like recognizing names of future Batman villains and players as much as the next guy, but the cast is already getting unwieldy. Between the Major Crimes unit and its interactions with Barb/efforts to chase down Cobblepot, the weekly visits with Bruce Wayne and his newfound interest in speed metal (???), Fish Mooney and Gilzean, the mayor, the chief, the detectives, and the baddie of the week, there's a lot of going on at once, which puts the show at risk of diluting several of its storylines. I understand the desire to pack in a bunch of references and characters in order to set tables for later in the season or series, but I'm hoping to see some focus on Jim Gordon and his day-to-day.


5. Watch a noir movie

So far, the dialogue and detective procedural elements of Gotham have been less Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep and more Toby Cavanaugh in the "Shadow Play" episode of Pretty Little Liars. The show's desire to be gritty is palpable; there is, in fact, a war veteran coming home to play detective in a corrupt town. The show's cause isn't helped by its kid-friendly timeslot, but one of the reasons the original noir pictures are so special is that they flirt with nihilism, which as far as I know, isn't part of the Nielsen ratings system yet. Gotham needs to learn what makes a film noir tick, and that'll be a good place for the heart of this show.



6. Really sell that Jim Gordon/Bruce Wayne relationship

If we're going to continue to follow Gordon as he drops in on Lil' Bruce like a beleaguered Danny Tanner checking in with his damaged, borderline-deranged teen and tween girls, that chemistry is going to need to happen quick. Smallville was able to do something similar between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent early on, and they built a good rapport. While there are plenty of reasons for why Bruce has a connection to Jim, I find myself rationalizing their connection rather than feeling it on the screen. Gotham needs to invest some actual quality time in that relationship. 

Also: Are we just going to watch Bruce find new ways to test his fear, resist pain, and cultivate a sense of vigilante justice in every episode? Because that approach has a limited shelf life. In every other medium, Batman becoming Batman is usually reduced to a montage of some sort; if we see him make weekly gains on that front, he's going to be donning the cowl and cape by Season 2.


I know it's early and we're just watching this baby horse stand up. Maybe it's a little unfair to call out its wobbly knees, but sometimes the only way to fix a problem is to address it head-on. And call me an optimist, but I'm hopeful that Gotham will start to follow the directives listed above as it progresses. I'm looking forward to seeing what the show can do.


What are some of the things you're hoping Gotham will turn around sooner rather than later?

Comments (94)
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Mar 20, 2015
What should be really done is to stop using cameos of what Batman villains should be and instead stick to the comics. Also, get the characters right.
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Nov 17, 2014
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Nov 17, 2014
Well said. I started screaming at the TV set on the second and third episode when I saw no storyline developing as of yet for the metamorphosis of little Bruce Wayne to Batman. Call this part of the story a little premature and like the author has expressed, its still early, however....c'mon PLEASE grow Bruce up already!!! I'm rready to see batman, sadly though, I think they're going to drag it out for at least this first season unfortunately. The writers KNOW we are all watching and waiting for this change into Bat man. WHERE THE HECK IS BATMAN??????? The little boy is cute and all but I'm at least ready for a teenage or 20 something Bruce. This 10 year old has to go.
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Nov 29, 2014
Uhm, you do realize this is supposed to be a prequel show, right? So, we aren't supposed to see Batman in episode 5 or even in the first or second seasons. This show tells us how Bruce Wayne came to grow up into the man we all know him as, and how all these supervillains cam to be. It's not a Batman movie in TV format. And it isn't meant to be.
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Oct 22, 2014
The Bruce Wayne character is written for someone who is 18 and not for a 10 year old boy. Why isn't he in school? He obviously isn't home schooled or tutored. Let's assume for the moment that it's always sunny and summer in Gotham and school is out.
When did he become emancipated? in this universe, Alfred as his legal guardian asks permission, takes orders, allows him to do as he will and occasionally makes suggestions? I think it is more likely that he would grow up to be a Goth Kid than the Dark Knight.
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Oct 13, 2014

I like the show overall, and look forward to each episode. However, I do have a few critiques.

I don't have as much a problem with tone as I have with the jumping around showing as many characters as possible in a single episode. I don't mind some jumping, it's necessary in a character-heavy universe, but there's a bit too much in this show.

Slow down the villain introductions and development. If they were to show the less successful villains, with the more successful learning those lessons, then there would be more of a build-up for later seasons. Too many well known villains developing too soon will mess with Batman storylines.

I agree with #6, there should be more Gordon/Bruce interaction. But even more than that, Bruce should be showing some sort of interaction with bats and/or a fear of them.

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Oct 11, 2014
I want them to eventually introduce and build on the relationships of Black Mask and Hush (the kid forms) as they start out as close friends of Bruce's childhood.
Also, Barbara Gordon is almost too attractive for this show, it is out of place.
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Oct 10, 2014
I really like the actors and what they are doing with the characters. And the show is watchable and entertaining enough.
But I do agree with points 1 and 3 especially.
They need to find their tone and they need to ease up on the references. Because while it is OK for an episode or two it will become too much pretty soon if they keep it up.
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Oct 09, 2014
Crikey is that the bloke from Orange County? He's an actual "man" now, That was such a shock!
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Oct 09, 2014
It's 2014, this is a huge brand-name, and already explored territory - in almost every single format of entertainment. Not hitting the ball out of the park straight away is unforgivable.
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Oct 09, 2014
Can we please mention the AWESOME acting of the Penguin's actor. That guy is awesome.
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Oct 08, 2014
Enjoying it much more than Season 1 of Agents Of Shield. Plenty of time to turn it around.
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Oct 10, 2014
That's what I think, too. There've only been three episodes. Lots of time.
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Oct 08, 2014
You can't say anything bad about the beloved Batman.
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Oct 07, 2014
I agree especially with point number four and six. We know that Selina will become Catwoman and Bruce will become Batman. So all the scenes in which these kids are featured are unfortunately unnecessary. They don't add anything to the story, they don't contribute with anything. Why would I care about watching an angst-filled teenage Bruce deal with the death of his parents? What I'm interested in is what happens with him after around ten years. The kids hanging around just gives the show a Glee vibe. So they should reduce the time spent on following the kids, and if they want to make something out of Bruce and Gordon's relationship, make something out of it. Otherwise, cut it loose.
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Oct 07, 2014
I think this article suffers a bit of tonal whiplash due to the complaint about Gordon as the only cop who is not a crook being followed shortly thereafter by the inclusion of Montoya and Allen, two honest cops, in the section suggesting the trimming of
characters....
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Oct 07, 2014
And I especially love the part where you claim that widespread institutional corruption is campy. Bravo, sir! You are a much more sensible writer than the folks who work on this show, for sure!
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Oct 10, 2014
Why, thank you! That's so nice of you tosahey wait a minute. Is that sarcasm? Dang it! I fall for it every time!
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Oct 07, 2014
Also, you say that the series should be more show than tell with regard to the corruption in Gotham, then complain about a scene in which a cop extorts protection money? Yeah, okay.
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Oct 07, 2014
I can't really agree with this list becuase I feel it's already doing most of them right anyway.

I feel they have stuff like the balance of the tone and the relationships between charactes pretty much bang on (especially considering how early in the shows life it is).

Also trimming the character roster sounds daft, there aren't actual that many charactes on this show... Just because they have shown a few future batman villians does not mean they have too many characters. It has no more characters than any other show like this...

In fact I have changed my mind... I don't agree with any of your points at all, none of your complaints have much weight to them at all IMO. You just seem to have picked 6 random things to moan about.
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Oct 10, 2014
"Random" seems unnecessarily pejorative. These are definitely things that the show is trying or should be trying to do. To say they're random means that I could have just plucked these from 100 monkeys writing on 100 typewriters or consulted some kind of wizard. Cases are made so they can't really be random. I didn't talk about how I think Gotham needs a sunny day every once in a while. That'd be weird.

The number of characters on the show isn't so much about quantity as it is about quality. If they were doing a better job at establishing these characters (rather than leaning on past knowledge of them in the comics), it wouldn't feel like there were so many. But, because they just assume we'll know who they are when we see them, it seems like a lot, particularly when they're trying so hard to name drop. If they only had a few characters for us to study and for them to establish relationships with, it might not seem as daunting. That's what I was trying to say. If they did a better job with building these characters, the number wouldn't seem so high. But, since I don't know anything about Jim Gordon except that he's a hero caricature (barring my knowledge of him from the comics, etc), it feels like maybe there's too much going on for them to strengthen all of the characters. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough.

It should also be noted that I say that I'm optimistic these things will happen. While they've been shaky thus far in the series (including episode three), I'm hoping they'll get on their feet by the quarter pole of the season. That would be what my conclusion paragraph is.
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Oct 07, 2014
I agree with you 100%, rmoxon!
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Oct 07, 2014

I think how much you like/dislike this series depends on what you expected going in. If you love the atmosphere of a Batman spinoff comic ---set in Gotham, yet barely involving batman--- then you probably see this series like I do ---sort of a “CSI:Gotham,” a crime drama set in the DC Comics universe--- and hopefully like me, you are having fun watching it so far.


To be fair, Arrow had a similar start, albeit with less well known characters so oddly enough it got away with it. They could toy with name dropping like “Hey his ex’s full name is Laurel Lance…wink, wink!” and nobody was like “if Arrow doesn’t meet Black Canary RIGHT AWAY I’ll scream!” What characters did Arrow meet in the first episodes? Deathstroke…? Black Canary? Nope. He defeated mobsters, seedy businessmen, and crooked politicians. Wow! Why can’t Gotham follow the exact formula? Oh, wait…


Look; if you expect the next episode to suddenly star an adult Catwoman, Batman, and The Joker, please stop watching this series now. This is a police drama set in the Batman universe, LOOONG before Batman was around. If you’re expecting Batman and all his well known villains to come into play ASAP, pack a lot of lunches and hope this series pulls a “Simpsons” and lasts over 25 years, because it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, kids. What will happen, however, is a crime drama with the look and feel of a dark and twisted Batman spin off comic, and so far, I think they’re doing a good job at that.

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Oct 08, 2014
You have only addressed half the people's concerns. Half the people on this article are complaining that there is not enough of batman lore and the other half is complaining that there is too much batman set up. At the end of the day, that is EXACTLY what is wrong with this series. It does not know which way to go.

The article mentions how it doesn't know whether it is a 8 pm show or a 10 pm show. The show also doesn't know whether to set up batman in the future (like smallville did for superman) or to just do a simple crime drama set in Gotham with Bruce Wayne hanging around in the background. The show is confused and therefore doesn't know its target audience and ends up disappointing most viewers. I honestly dont think anyone's expectations will be met unless the writers stick with a single theme instead of hanging around on the fence like this.
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Oct 07, 2014
I have enjoyed the first two episodes..Its not as bad as I thought..I just have a couple of issues..
(1) Jim Gordon as lone beacon of light! I know the two major crime characters are presented but they barely get any screen time..Maybe they will come together down the line?
(2) If your gonna keep Bruce Wayne in this show..Don't tease him..use him
This show is gonna be tough keep fans AND non fans happy. but so far not terrible
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Oct 07, 2014
Montoya & Allen have been introduced now, so that when Gordon starts building alliances to fight the corruption in GCPD it won't feel like those two have just been pulled out of thin air.
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Oct 07, 2014
I think Gotham is doing great, and the second episode was even better than the pilot. But the better the show gets, the more I miss Batman isn't in it. Why can't we have a decent live-action Batman show anymore? (And I would also ask the same about a Superman show...) Why have these major DC properties become a forbidden land on TV? Oh, well, at least Gotham isn't on the CW, because then I don't know what we would get: either something as good as Arrow or as bad as Smallville.
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Oct 07, 2014
A lot of it boils down to rights issues unfortunately. Using Smallville as an example, the whole reason that Green Arrow was introduced was because they couldn't use Batman because of the Nolan movies that were being filmed at the time. There was something similar with the Flash, but they skirted around that by having him be Impulse instead.
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Oct 07, 2014
Interesting.
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Oct 07, 2014
1. Cancel the show
2. Cancel the show
3. Cancel the show
4. Cancel the show
5. Cancel the show
6. Drop an nuke on Gatham and make it post-apoclyptic
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Oct 06, 2014
#6 is easily rectified with an amoral mentor getting in the mix... it would force Gordon to step in and help show Bruce right (justice) from wrong (vengeance).
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Oct 06, 2014
They should just embrace the campiness , get Gordon to grow a nice thick 70's mostache . I love Jada's approach to Fish Mooney, she's been loud , larger than life and at times just down right cartoonish but it makes for some fun viewing. Full camp is definitely the way to go, people are bored of dark/gritty it's overdone these days ever since the success of the Nolan trilogy.
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Oct 06, 2014
You forgot 1.


Cancelled!
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Oct 06, 2014
number 6 is happening pay attention
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Oct 10, 2014
I'm waiting for the relationship to (1) have some chemistry and (2) be less pedantic. They always feel more like soapboxes for the writers themselves to speak to the audience about Batman's future rather than better establishing their relationship. I'm hopeful that'll change, though.
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Oct 06, 2014
its been 2 episodes. slow your roll
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Oct 06, 2014
The off tone/mood of the show has been obvious from the start, but that can be easily fixed. What the show needs to do first and foremost is stop launching main characters in our faces.
Yeah we get it, they exist. We just don't need to see them all at once. It should have put some serious thought into just releasing one or two (future) main villains each season, and spend more time with unknowns.

Also with the overly fast transformation of Bruceboy into Batman I think that could be ok if around next season or something they let Bruce create a vigilante alter ego before Batman that might be too extreme, so Gordon could then step in to help him tone it down/keep him focused and that would give some more justification to him being the main focus of the series.
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Oct 06, 2014
Great article! The show is just as I expected: Another moneymaking machine with the depth of an empty bottle... Heres a list of expected (now confirmed) and pathetically used tools to get you to tune in whoever you are:

*Emo Bruce (NEVER EVER been depicted as emo before, maybe confined or enclosed, but NEVER emo) - so they cover those Teen Wolf watchers who would be out loitering otherwise or "hanging at the mall".

*"Comedy" - so they can cover kids and the comic readers (which are mainly kids)

*Poundering with well established villans - So that the retards who actually dont care cause they know nothing of it but have some faint interest because of all the hype (movies games etc) still find a way to tune in somehow so they can stay up to date when their friends talk about it. I mean god FORBID we see one of the 50 (yes there are almost 50 villans in the "batman universe") other villans.

*Calling it Gotham - Ok I know you can say "geez the city is called gotham, its pretty logical" but it still rubs me wrong. What should it be called? No idea, SRY... But not Gotham, its pretty clear they are trying to ride the Boardwalk Empire train and even suck some of those watchers over to "dis Gotham"...

*Showing you EVERYTHING you already know without actually showing it or ever moving on - I touched on this 2 asterisks ago, Nick explains it PERFECTLY in 3rd section.

*Generally creating drama out of thin air where there actually is NONE to be had at all - Not much to say here, seems to me the last few years have been all about creating drama in shows, no matter the show's category. Sorry for not coming up with a better example than Attack on Titans:( This show literarelly created 10 more episodes in a season out of NOTHING by just showing you arbitrary interactions (often of ppl uninteresting to the main story) and mainly creating drama/fights, again out of nothing. Very bad example but you get my drift, "maybe" someone has a better one?? Is this whats called camping?
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Oct 06, 2014
We need to cut the show an episode or two of slack as it was hamstrung at the start. It committed to the Wayne murders in the pilot, that chewed up a huge chunk of the first episode. On top of kicking off Batman's origin it did Gordon's and seeded Penguins. It also had to establish the GCPD pecking order, etc etc. So yeah, bit of a burned episode.

Ep 2 it was mostly just establishing that there are bigger players afoot, and set the stage for the season-long arc: The real Waynes killer and why. it also hinted we could see a gang war develop, Falcone vs Marone? with a little Penguin side action. And made a stab at the case-of-the-week format. As to him being the only honest cop, it seems pretty obvious that Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen from Major Crimes are straight arrows, it's why they are shown as relative outcasts. Batman has always had two Knights- the Dark Knight and the Right Knight (Gordon). Gordon represents the rules of society: law, justice, personal boundaries and Batman the rules beyond society: good vs evil. it only makes sense we would see each evolve and define each other. We will see that Gordon's rules of society does not completely counter the lawlessness of villainy and both Bruce and James will see that something needs to balance the scales in a place of gathering Villainy like Gotham.

As to the shows layout, personally I think decent pacing would be first half of season is case of the week interwoven with clues to the Wayne killers then have that lead directly into it being part of a power struggle vs Falcone for the second half that would end with Penguin gaining a minor personal stake and Gordon achieving a major collar.

Case of the week with comic book villains was done well in Gotham Central (Hell they had Mr. Freeze even) so if they use that as a format guide they will be fine.

The fact is, this show has a zealous baked-in audience and instant recognition of the fiction world it is based in, which means they will feel a need to do a lot of pandering until they get their narrative feet. Any fans of the Batman universe will probably do what I did and commit to the first season before passing judgement. I did it with Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and it paid off by the end.
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Oct 06, 2014
Gotham needs to focus on Batman instead of James Gordon, because let's all be honest here: Batman/Bruce & Gordon.

Who cares about original stories anyway. Look what Arrow's doing on the CW.
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Oct 06, 2014
Uh, Arrow did start as an origin story.. It covered it through both flashbacks and linear progression in the present. He was the hood throughout season 1.
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Oct 09, 2014
Wtf cares? Like its not obv youre only watching that pathetic excuse of a show for all the nice chicks...
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Oct 09, 2014
Well pathetic excuse of a show is a matter of opinion. But as it so happens, yeah. I like hot chicks in the shows I watch. Keeps me grounded in them.
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Oct 09, 2014
answerrating: like a BAWS:D thats the only reason I watched it a couple of times too ;)
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Oct 06, 2014
How about trying out new villains who are now deceased in Batmans era, this would free them a bit from the confines of the Batman lore and create something really original while not crapping all over Batman because they would be deceased/locked up by then.
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Oct 06, 2014
Do you know what's wrong with Gotham? Nothing! It just started,be patience and see where the writers go and then after the season ends,we can talk about what needs fixing.The series is only in it's freshman year,it's still developing as it goes.If people are already wanting things fixed,it's best to dump the show now.
I still think there's tons of potential here(it's not a perfect series) and I am going along for the ride.Let's have this discussion,maybe,after the Christmas Holidays.(this is like watching the first 5 minutes of a movie and declaring you hate the movie already)
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Oct 06, 2014
Really? The norm now is that we wait for a WHOLE season to be done before we start fixing stuff??? I guess thats why The Cape managed to finish off a season.... Cause of zombies like you
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Oct 06, 2014
Its actually like watching the first 40x5=200min of a movie where the end hasnt been decided by the writer(s) yet while youre still watching it. Would you finish it if it rubbed you the wrong way too many times during those "first minutes" and you knew there are tons of others with better potential? If you wait til christmans before critiquing youre playing right into the writer's hands: Getting paid for half a year doing "nothing". Anyone can tell/make a story, if you wanna get paid for it I suggest you actually come up with something not so generic a computer couldve made it...

Sorry for doubleposting!
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Oct 06, 2014
They're doing fine already, and don't need to make any major changes, except slow down the rate at which they introduce known Batman villains. The suggestion I dislike the most is the one that they should make it more childish because it's on at 8. That's just silly.
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Oct 07, 2014
The suggest was actually the opposite. Or rather, it was more saying that it needs to decide a tone and stick with it, because its currently a weird mix of brutal/at the same time trying to stick to "normal" airing at 8 standards. I agree that it is jarring and would personally rather see it go the more serious route.
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Oct 06, 2014
I though the 2nd episode was a lot better than the first, which I thought was a bit ham-fisted. Not perfect, but hardly a train-wreck. Comparing it to things like LA Confidential or even the Nolan trilogy, is always going to make it look like a poor relation, they are unfair comparisons. I think if you compare it to Arrow or SHIELD, especially in their opening few episodes, it's not that bad.

I think it is an interesting point tonyr822 made, that they should focus on Gordon more, the back story of all the villians is leaving it with a lack of focus. The way they told the Selina Kyle story, for example, withe her as a character in Gordon's investigation, was better than the constant cutaways to Fish and the Penguins stories. Even if it was one or the other as a B story, it may have been better, but we were cutting all over the place and it seems a bit more like a soap opera of the city rather than focussing on Gordon as a character
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Oct 06, 2014
The writing on this show was so lazy and cliched that I gave up on it after 15 minutes. The reviewer's right, you don't do noir by copying copies of noir.
Have any of the writers seen LA Confidential for example or other grown up crime stories?
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Oct 06, 2014
My problem with Gotham and all the Batman movies are the focus on the villains. The villains are secondary and should not be the focus. Gotham should focus on Jim Gordon, his investigations and his struggles in GCPD. Treat it like 24 or Blacklist where the interest lies in the hero not the bad guys.

My other problem is Alfred and the interactions of Bruce and Alfred. He is written completely wrong. He is Bruce's only support structure, someone he can completely trust. The actor is fine they just need to rewrite him.

Fish Mooney is weak, penguin is weak. Both need to disappear for a while.

Also Bruce needs to begin training now to get mentally and physically into Batman shape. They should show him studying to gain knowledge, learning detective skills from Gordon. Show him learning gymnastics and self-defense. Same with Selina, if she can hold her own against Batman she needs to be training now.

Bruce needs to mentally begin to move away from being Bruce and become Batman in his mind. Batman is who he became after his parents were killed, Bruce is now his disguise.

Do attempt to make this like the Nolan films or any other Batman live movie where Batman is always whining about being Batman. Make it like the comics, the 90's cartoon and the Arkham games.

Just my 2 cents.
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Oct 06, 2014
If you're looking for other shows it could draw on, Golden Boy wouldn't be the worst well to dip into even though it was short lived. This is Gordon in x years time, this is what he's like now and hightlight the differences.

And I don't have a problem with Alfred, because we don't know this versions history. How long has Alfred been the Wayne's butler? The answer is we have no idea, and an Alfred that's been buttling for 12 years will have a very different relationship to Bruce than an Alfred that's only been buttling for 2 years.
Some versions of Alfred have him as being ex-military, and this version feels like he could be not long out of the military and has absolutely no idea how to handle a 12 year old kid, let alone a recently orphaned one.
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Oct 06, 2014
I really identify with what you say about trimming the charachter roster. I mean, I don't think these villains interact with Bruce until he's already Batman, but their storylines are already so connected to Bruce via the Waynes being murdered, that I feel it's going to be a short time until Bruce wants to become a vigilante. It's been two episodes and we've already watched about 80% of the charachters we would be rooting for to appear if they hadn't appeared already. I mean, these writters are not doing a good job when it comes to leaving us wanting more, to the point that 2 of the villains almost have their alter ego name already stablished (3 if you count "Ivy").

I also wouldn't mind some of these charachters disappearing for a few episodes to focus on just one of them, and the main storylines (Gordon, Bullock and probably Wayne). I mean, in superhero movies, 3 villains is already a lot for the writters to handle. Lose a few.

I perfectly understand not every villain in a superhero universe has to appear when there conviniently is already a hero to fight him. I understand these city could be full of villains for there to be a superhero and not the other way around. But I feel that their stories are developing so quickly that they're not gonna give enough time for Bruce to develop facial hair before it's time for him to fight against them.
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Oct 06, 2014
My biggest issue with Gotham is the constant and vocal reminders to Gordon that Gotham is a corrupt place. It insults the characters intelligence it insults the viewers intelligence because we all know itis corrupt and frankly it is a waste of writing and time on the show. Allow jim and thusly us as viewers discover the corruption. It is only been 2 episodes and a dozen people have literally told Jim about the corruption.

That at is pretty much it. Oh and kill off Fish. Pickett isn't a good actress and her wannabe Ertha Kitt impersonation or whatever she is trying to do isn't good at all and drags every scene she is in down.

I pi would focus on Logue and McKensie both are good actors and I would like to see the Ying Yang of their character styles and personalities play out more.
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Oct 06, 2014
They could be teasing us with more hero or villain antics but they aren't and maybe that's a good thing. But having Bruce draw a bat or two (because, heck he's already drawing fucked up things) as a joke would be welcome.

Strangely, they haven't grazed his fear of bats. In Batman Begins he already had a brush with the hordes of Microchiroptera before his parents got shot.

One more thing that irks me... why didn't they cast Linus Roache as Bruce his dad? Not as a nod to Nolan's film, but just because he was very good at playing Thomas Wayne.

And I know they are in age worlds apart but Sean Pertwee can't hold a lighter (let a lone a candle) to Michael Caine his performance of Alfred Pennyworth. He acts and sounds so gormless that you would think it's a comedic parody.
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Oct 06, 2014
6 things they should do to timprove?

Easy:

1. another Alfred actor
2. kill Jim`s partner as soon as possible
3. kill will smith`s wife`s character as soon as possible
4. recast penguin
5. please no harvey dent yet, are u all crazy???????????
6. make bruce grow up faster and show Batman ffs

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Oct 06, 2014
So basically,you want Bullock killed off,a character that's been in the Batman comics for over 30+ years.That's a really good way to piss off the Batman fans.While we're at it,maybe they should kill off Gordon too!!!Maybe Catwoman and Penguin could be next.Hell,Riddler should meet his maker too! Then they can change the name of the show to Law and Order.
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Oct 06, 2014
I dont want the character killed, only the actor. But Niobe must die LOL
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Oct 07, 2014
So you are wishing death on an actor.
Stay classy.
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Oct 07, 2014
U understood what i said...
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Oct 07, 2014
Wow,so you don't like Donal Logue.LOL
Okay,here's a question......Who do you think would be a better actor to play Bullock then?
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Oct 07, 2014
so many, i will sleep on that, tomorrow i will give u a list of TV show actors that could have played a better Bullock, Alfred, Penguin, Fish, etc
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Oct 06, 2014
Well I guess 1 out of 6 isn't all bad.

I agree introducing Harvey does seem like a bad move but I think you are way off the mark with the rest. The actors are doing a good job with what they are being given, it's what they are being given to work with that needs improvement.

As for making Bruce grow up faster? Oh dear Lord. The show is called Gotham because it is not focused on Bruce Wayne but on Jim Gordon and the bits of Gotham City that have never been explored on TV before. If you can't understand that, then stop watching the show right now.

Also I think you should be docked a mark for not understanding the premise of the show, so that's 0 out of 6.
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Oct 06, 2014
Well, after watching Nolan`s Trilogy, that EVERYONE should watch or at least 99% of people who will watch this crap already watched nolans trilogy and we look at the acting of some actors, its so bad it makes me vomit. It has nothing to do with the lines they are given, Jim`s character also receives the same garbage and his character is decent. The other supporting cast IS BAD period!!!

Alfred is the worst. they should have casted much better supporting actors, that thing is so bad it needs to be canceled. FFS, even with ALfreds lines i can see Michael Caine do a much better job saying them in a more convincing and dramatic way.

Finnaly, There is no gripping scenes, no intensity, no suspense. Everything is made in a hurry and the only few good scenes are when Jim`s character is on screen.

Finally, i compare this show to The Cape in terms of storyline, but The Cape had much better actors.

Easiest cancellation of the year
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Oct 06, 2014
PLEASE STOP!Stop comparing this little series to Nolan's epic Batman movies and comparing the TV actors to the legendary Michael Caine.(and Christian Bale and Gary Oldman)
TIME FOR SCHOOL
Movie = a huge budget with A-list actors and is filmed over several months and has a production team in the hundreds.They have plenty of time to get things right.
TV Series = a smaller budget with smaller actors and has a short amount of time to do things before moving on to the next episode.It's a much more fast pasted process than a movie and a TV series has a smaller production crew.
Stop comparing apples and oranges.
*side note*If you really want this series to be cancelled,quickest way to do that is stop watching Gotham.

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Oct 07, 2014
@DrXabregas(about your comment below)
Ah ha!Now we're talking.Absolutely agree that Arrow is miles ahead of Gotham but my comment above was pointing out that you were comparing a movie to a tv show which is on two completely different levels.But now Gotham is on the same playing field as Arrow,and yes,Arrow is more enjoyable.
But having said that,I still like Gotham and think they will stumble at the beginning before it hits it's stride and becomes the engaging series it's meant to be.But I'm patience,I'll wait till the X-MAS holidays and see where I am with this series.Because of my love for Batman comics,cartoons and movies,I will give this series a chance to find it's groove and direction.
By the way,Beware the Batman is cool! ;)
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Oct 06, 2014
this show compared with Arrow or Smallville is a joke. Completly garbage.

I prefer watching Beware the Batman
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Oct 06, 2014
This comment has been removed.
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Oct 06, 2014
Who cares about that show or any show, as we have now officially heard it; Twin Peaks is returning in 2016!

Can we take a moment to discuss this please?
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Staff
Oct 06, 2014
Sure http://www.tv.com/shows/twin-peaks/community/post/twin-peaks-reboot-showtime-david-lynch-141261339900/
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Oct 06, 2014
Thanks! :)
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Oct 06, 2014
I think they need make a clear the “show’s statement” for I’m having trouble understanding what FOX was thinking.

They decided to create a prequel to the Batman story. Yet, instead of focusing on young Bruce and maybe have him solve crimes and mysteries from this age, the hero of the series is Gordon and his police work. Gordon and his police work, a work that is doomed to fail – for if it was effective there would have been no need for Batman to exist.

So, we have a show that is inspired by a legendary hero (Batman), a show that is trying to write his childhood history, and at the same time a show whose hero (Gordon) will never be THE hero or ever be justified for his struggle. That’s contradicting.

I don’t think that it’s a bad show. They are doing a good work in telling the story of Penguin and Catwoman, and hopefully they’ll do the same with the rest of villains. And that’s also part of problem, as we find the villains more compelling than the show’s hero – Gordon!

Fox is trying to create an original story - that we already know its end! Police work fails and Batman enters the scene! The must improve their storytelling and character weight. They must find the means to serve the end!
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Oct 06, 2014
Oh… and if they tried to produce a neo noir show, then they’ve epically failed. We see no antihero characters, none of the characters introduced (so far) acts on a nihilistic moral system, we see no unusual camera placement and no light/shadow contrast.

Poor lighting and cloudy Gotham sky, doesn’t count as film or neo noir visual elements.
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Oct 06, 2014
I think their spin is that Jim Gordon is supposed to pretend to be an antihero here while struggling to maintain his humanity. But he's surrounded by unlikable people who are all future villains or vigilantes. They're not antiheroes; they're rotting apples.

You're right, for a town that operates in an ocean of gray, there is a lot of earnestness and sincerity. There's very little nihilism here. Even the criminals think they're doing things for the greater good (see Falcone in the pilot). That might change as the super-villains come into their own but there's a line between nihilism (coming to an understanding that there are no rules or order) and sociopathy (never understanding those in the first place).

The lack of chiaroscuro isn't that big a deal to me because I don't want them to exactly replicate noir or neo-noir. That would be overkill. But they need to work on making this gritty and finding a way to do it the old-fashioned way because their time slot works against them. They can't be The Wire and they can't be Homicide: Life on the Streets (for a lot of reasons). They need to tap into something that would play fine at 8PM on Monday while communicating the horrible state of things in Gotham.
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Oct 06, 2014
don't count*
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Oct 06, 2014
The show had always been marketed as Gordon's (and Gotham's) story - the fact that reviewers and fans wanted it to be Batman's early story is not the fault of Fox... Bruce is there - but he is a supporting character - and that is what was expected after all...
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Oct 06, 2014
Yes, I’ve read FOX’s page on Gotham. So, they created a show with a hero who’s always going be a failure?
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Oct 06, 2014
He's not going to be a failure. He's a cop. His job is to bust criminals, and I bet he will bust a lot of them. He just can't put an end to crime all on his own, or even bring the crime rate down by a lot. The problem is that he's just one guy. By your logic, the best cop in the world is a constant failure.
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Oct 06, 2014
The town or the detective? Because none of them are really a failure. I understand that you want the show to be something else -- but it is not Smallville for Batman - not in the first season anyway :) It is the beginning of the universe that will ultimately create Batman... And you cannot get upset with a show for not being what it had never claimed to be. :)
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Oct 06, 2014
I actually wish that Bruce was removed from the main story entirely and reduced to cameos, glimpses of his origin story as they intersect with Gordon's. This is Jim Gordon's show. There's no mistaking that. They just need to make sure the show is going somewhere other than a mediocre case-of-the-week with name checks to characters established in other media. It needs to be its own show with its own feel, separate from the comics and separate from the Nolan-verse. That's where the Smallville comparisons come in. It's not about seeing the Bruce Wayne origin story. It's how Smallville was able to translate the Superman mythology and, more specifically, the characters that populate it. They made it their own and quickly. Gotham hasn't shown shades of that yet.
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Oct 06, 2014
Iam a Little bit confused about this Tv Show first of all the week role of Gordon then the Black Gangsta Girl and the Suspicious role of the Waynes and the Underworld of the Mop and other Criminals Individuals first of all i never read a comic book that the Waynes and the mop was in a quiet arrangement to control Gotham city and then Gordon as a Week Police Oficier ho has to suffer Harvey Bullocks behaviour sorry people that Serial didn't convince me at all i cant understand why DC Comics allowed them in a very week scenario to produce such an consignment.
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Oct 06, 2014
Tween: unnecessary neologism meaning preteen.
Post-tween: unnecessary bastardization of English which translates to post-preteen. Cancel the post with the pre and the meaning reduces to "teen".
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Oct 06, 2014
On most days I would agree with you. But tween and and post-tween are categories specific to our current understanding kids aged 10 to 14.

The connotation of the word "teen" usually presumes someone in the middle of their high school years: on the precipice of driving if not already driving, surrounded by new freedoms and impulses, mostly escaped from the awkwardness of puberty and slowly discovering what their body has done to them.

"Tween" is meant to attach meaning to the middle school years which is drastically different now than it was just a few decades ago. It's the stage of life when kids are growing from children to teens, rejecting the juvenile while still having trouble shedding it. It's something advertisers addressed, them being lost in the shuffle between children's advertising and acne medication, neither of which appeal to them. Now they know how to manipulate that drilled-down demographic and have made it an entity of its own, disparate from children and teens. While "preteen" includes the ages denotationally, "tween" hits on an attitude specific to our time.

Post-tween drills down even more specifically as a 13-14-year old who is groggily making her way out of the tween mindset and moving on to more grown up things. Selina Kyle, though obviously aided by a hard life on the streets, is a good example of that post-tween-ness of having finally shed that juvenile thinking (if not the look) and sitting on the brink of teen problems. It's a specific kind of awkwardness because Selina Kyle would be treated differently if she were 8 or if she were 17. It's unique. Thus a unique term.

Nice use of neologism though.
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Oct 06, 2014
The biggest problem with Gotham is that it is trying to hit you in the head with comic book references while trying to play out as a gritty crime drama. The two unfortunately don't go together because most comic book villains are too cartoonish to belong in a gritty crime drama.

I think Gotham needs to cool down and should take it slow. The scene of "penguin" beating up that guy in the pilot and not liking being called penguin should have been the only parts of his story in the series so far. They could have pursued the betrayal, Jim Gordon's gunpoint scene and eventually psychotic behaviour for later in the series.

I think they did a brilliant job of introducing Selina Kyle in the pilot but an entire episode focused on her in the second episode was again too much too soon.

I actually like the way the series has handled Ed Nigma, keeping him for a few scenes here and there to pursue his story arc later. If only, they had done the same with the other two. In that regard, they have done well with poison ivy, hope they don't ruin it now by following her around every episode.

This comment itself has made me realize that Penguin, Catwoman, Batman, Riddler and Poison Ivy in only two episodes is way way too much. Like I said, focus on the crime dynamics in the city (how everyone is corrupted in the form of organized crime) and they follow supervillian and superhero arcs.


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Oct 06, 2014
7. Have little Bruce start saying "bat". A LOT.

Knock-knock. "Young master? It's time for afternoon tea."

"God damn it Alfred! Can't a guy bat-sturbate in peace around here?!"
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Oct 06, 2014
I think I want to really underline that last point, other than losing their fathers, there needs to be some connection between Jim and Bruce to make us keep going back there. Or just have check ins with Bruce actually keeping tabs on Jim. Right now the only dynamic I am on board with is Jim and Barbara and she just stops in once or twice an episode so far.

I must admit during the Dollmaker episode, I was kind of distracted by the fact that I think Arrow did the Dollmaker better. Maybe that we actually met the Dollmaker. I even think Gotham nodded to it a bit (this is before he was caught and sent away and Arrow was after he escaped) but it might have been okay to show some of what the Dollmaker does. But like if you don't know, then it was really unnecessarily cryptic. And if you did, it kind of seems not his m.o. If maybe he had focused strictly on Selina that would make sense. And heck that she comes to his attention because she is overly nosy (curiosity/cat thing it you insist).

I would be fine if the show decides to maybe parallel Jim and Oswald. Like have them taking similar journeys but make different decisions. But also remember you made Bruce Wayne 12. While the Penguin was always an older guy and Joker was more his contemporary, or at least closer, you have to slow him down a little. For those of us familiar, Bruce has to take off for some undetermined period of time. I have no idea when that time was in Bruce's life and I don't know if it is always Nanda P' (crap, I can't remember how to spell it) but he has to get some training somewhere in all iterations I'd think. But like, again, I am going to go cite Arrow here, Oliver was like between 23 and 25 when the boat went down (I swear he was 25 in the first season, but then Tommy appeared to be two years younger than that on his grave and I don't know why they would have been friends if they weren't the same age), and then he was gone for 5 years. I think we are about two years in on Arrow time going into season 3 (maybe three, the show likes to make the hiatus actually be reflected in the time on the show) so Oliver is between 31 or 33. But say you are on similar timing for Batman, you have almost twenty years to tread water for, so the Penguin doesn't need to be starting his war now unless you are just removing him from the Batman legacy.

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Oct 06, 2014
I feel like relationship needs more time actually build up. Episode 2 sort of acknowledge Gordon has no experience with kids (he told Alfred he hasn't raised a kid either), so to him Bruce is a kid he wants to help, but he hasn't necessarily bonded or made a connection yet. While Bruce checking in on Gordon seems akin to hero worship over a guy who was honest with him about his parents killer and vow to find him. These aren't basis for a super deep connection yet, but I agree as time goes on they should find more common ground and a deeper connection. It's just as it is now it makes sense.

I'll admit I'm ignorant of the Dollmaker, but we know very little about the Gotham version yet. He may become a recurring villain where more of his plan, motivation, and his place in Gotham can be revealed. Whereas the Penguin shouldn't be rushed either. The summary for episode 3 has me worried since he's returning to Gotham so soon. I do like his character journey in first 2 as a crime boss wannabe who fails. He tried to get over on his boss got beaten and almost killed for his troubles. He kidnaps someone who happens to have a rich mother, tries to ransom him, but mother doesn't believe him and hangs up on him. If the season focuses on Penguin's journey as slow, ineffective, but slowly learning that it will work out. Other characters like Riddler could be dropped.
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Oct 06, 2014
Yeah, the relationship does need more time. You just hope that they figure out how to build the dynamic that Jim is sort of an uncle role to Bruce, but almost an idol to Bruce/Batman.

I just worry the pace of the villains. Penguin in general is fine for the recognizable one from Batman lore because he was kind of age contemporary of Jim Gordon anyway. And Catwoman (who I don't think exactly falls into the pure villain category, she's a criminal sure, but doesn't have evil intentions and is kind of anti those anyway) being around Bruce's age totally makes sense. But the Riddler, I thought we might take an interesting path that he, like Penguin, actually likes and respects Jim. It might be interesting to find them being friendly with each other so there is something still connecting him to the real world. Dollmaker is pretty twisted, he turns people into dolls in a very sort of Hannibal way of doing it. I am unfamiliar with his early work (which timeline wise we would be in now) and he'd been in prison for long time by the time the events of the first season of Arrow released him from prison.
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Oct 10, 2014
The Riddler has potential, but the series should lay off him until they have a plan for him. The riddles can and to some are tired and only exist to as foreshadowing of his criminal identity. They have to give more to his character like they did Penguin and Selena. At first I disliked Selena's role in the first episode because it seemed like blatant and pointless Catwoman foreshadowing without much purpose, but the second episode won me on the character, because she showed signs of her story and a role that both foreshadows her Catwoman future, but shows more of the character herself. The Riddler needs that IMO. He's intelligent character who goes beyond riddles. He has potential to be a good character, but they need to tone down the riddles.

Part of me doesn't want judge Eddy too badly because its only 3 episodes in and the series could easily fix my problems with him like they did with Selena. The series has room for improvement, but largely I think these are all problems that can be fixed as the series progresses.
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Oct 10, 2014
I almost want Jim to get a few more of his riddles just to get his respect factor up and maybe that is the entrance into more of who he actually is (I haven't watched episode 3 yet), like do a riddle, Jim answers it, he's dismissed and the camera follows him as opposed to staying in the room with Jim, Harvey and the Captain.
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Oct 06, 2014
Well, while I generally liked the show more than I'd expected to, I also kept asking myself: is everyone in Gotham insane? Why do people even live there?
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Oct 06, 2014
This is a real world phenomenon. Visit Detroit at any point in the last few decades and you'd have found yourself thinking the exact same things.
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Oct 06, 2014
I have always had that impression of Gotham. Crap weather, always dark, high crime rates, and corrupt everything. In the Batman era, constant threats and mass public attacks (for example Joker toxin) on the population. I would move!
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Oct 06, 2014
See Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, etc....
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