Gotham: Don’t Think About the Future! (The Cons)

So, I sunk my teeth into Gotham a week or so back.  After a bit of a shaky start, the show seems to have found it’s footing.  I am liking the show, but I figured for me first post on the topic, I would express my concerns.

First, the show needs more Fish Mooneys.  I do not mean clones.  But simply, important characters, new to the world of Gotham.  It needs characters we can be uncertain about.  Characters who might die unexpectedly, turn on people unexpectedly.  The fact that this is a story about Batman’s world and city before Batman means the big names  cannot give us to much of a surprise.  Harvey Dent cannot die.  Nor can Jim Gordon or Harvey Bullock.  Not without a major change to the mythos.  If all your new characters are one offs or low, low level thugs (basically Red Shirts) it is hard to provide a sense of the danger in Gotham.

The show needs to focus less on the hints of…the future.  The entire cast cannot, and should not be comprised of Batman’s rogue gallery.  The Penguin works.  Having young Riddler work in a crime lab works.  Introducing Leslie Thompson and Harvey Dent?  These make sense.  The idea that they populate the landscape of Gotham before Batman enters the picture is a pretty solid idea.  I am sure it is tempting to put hints and references all over the place.  The showrunners and their team need to fight this desire.  Use what works.  Hold back on what does not.

This means…never, ever introduce the Joker.

This was, of course, the problem of Smallville.  And trust me, when you are bringing in Doomsday, you are going overboard in your comic book references.  Smallville had Superman meeting everyone he would ever deal with before he adopted the name of Superman.  It got downright silly at some points.  And since they were introducing characters imortant to the future, when they tried to be dramatic?  It ended up becoming stupid.  If there is one thing I do not want to see happen on Gotham?  It is the death of Penguin…followed by the audience secretly meeting the previously never mentioned little brother Ozzie Cobblepot, who will someday grow up to be the REAL Penguin.

Second?  It was a mistake to open with the death of the Waynes.  I get why they did.  It is an iconic moment.  But truthfully?  I think it was a wasted opportunity.  We should have gotten to see the Waynes in action.  The Waynes, the most powerful and rich family in Gotham.  The one family hated by their peers, loved by the common man.  The Mafia hates the Waynes because Thomas and Martha run the risk of bringing hope and courage to the poor of Gotham.  They are unafraid of Falcone or any other Gotham Mob Bosses.  The Elite in Gotham want to stay in the good graces of the Wayne Money, but despise their generosity and unwillingness to play the social elite games.  The Gotham PD don’t care for them because they feel the Waynes interfere to much.  Nobody likes the Waynes, but they want the opportunity to have access to the things the Waynes have.

We could see a few meetings between Gordon and the Waynes, where it is clear they like this Gordon guy and the heroism he represents.  He sees them as key to healing the poisoned Gotham.  And then?  They are brutally murdered.  I think this would have been best served as either a mid season or season finale moment.  Gordon’s hunt for their killer and the blockades he hits challenge his morale.  It is a perfect setup for a second season.  But enough with the could have beens.

Finally?  Alfred is kind of off.  The actor seems right, so I am not challenging casting.  But the dialog…there are moments where I feel like he is to impatient with Bruce.  That he has a tough side is unquestioned, but it is always tempered by compassion and patience.  That said…I did like the moment in last week’s episode where he looks at Bruce’s classmate and says, “Remember that I let him.”  That is all the context I will give.

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