EDITORIAL: How GOTHAM Managed To Be A Very Flawed But Fascinating Show

EDITORIAL: How GOTHAM Managed To Be A Very Flawed But Fascinating Show

Gotham has been off the air since last April, but as a proud fan of the show, I'll always check out clips and re-watch old episodes from it here and there. So here's my overall thoughts on it...

When it comes to DC TV shows in the past five or six years, Gotham has always been the "forgotten middle child" of the pack. With the likes of The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl gaining so much fandom on the CW; Gotham was isolated on its own little island called FOX. That being said, it did have its fair share of success. It stayed on TV for five seasons, which in this day and age is an accomplishment on its own. However, even though it stuck around for awhile, it constantly felt like FOX would pull the plug from it every season finale. 

Regardless of the ratings, the quality of Gotham was a bizarre one. Simply because of the fact that when the show was good, it was excellent. On the other hand, when it was bad, it was putrid. There was almost never a middle for Gotham. Which is why I want to explain my love/hate relationship for it.

First of all, if you're not familiar with Gotham, basically the show was a new origin take on Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and the majority of Gotham City's characters. Villains like The Penguin, The Riddler, and The Joker all had time to shine while getting new spices mixed into their origins. Meanwhile, Gotham mostly revolved around a young Jim Gordon and an even younger Bruce Wayne, as they scratched and clawed their way into becoming the heroes we all know and love. 


The biggest things Gotham got right was the acting, cinematography, and their villains. The whole cast for Gotham were exceptionally top notch, giving such a breath of fresh air into these comic book characters. Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney (who was a made up character for the show) was the only one I felt that lagged behind everyone else. Which is funny, because she was supposed to be the big name to bring in viewers. David Mazouz was an amazing Bruce Wayne, while Camren Bicondova was nothing short of stellar as Selina Kyle, as the two of them had great chemistry. Robin Lord Taylor killed it as The Penguin, giving a creepy and edgy performance. Last but not least, Cameron Monaghan as Jerome/Jeremiah (The Joker) was some of the best acting I've ever seen. 

Villains wise, Gotham always knew how to make you care for their criminals. You wanted them to win and lose at the same time, because they were just that entertaining. I didn't think The Riddler was cool, until this show made him cool. Although, the only villains they couldn't get right was Poison Ivy and Bane. I feel they didn't have a clue what to do with them, so just added them in for fan service. 

Also, what made Gotham feel different from the other DC TV shows is that it looked like a movie every episode. The camerawork and scenery was really one of Gotham's high points, along with the epic music they'd use in the background. 

However, that's enough praise, because Gotham had its low points too. For instance, they made The Joker's origin story needlessly complex. Sometimes the show would just get too campy. And Bruce Wayne could've used more screentime as well. Not to mention, season three as a whole was a mess, while season one had a hard time finding its footing. The writing was very hit and miss as well. But even with all of that, I still came back to see what would happen next. 

Overall, Gotham had such a unique charm to it. It was horrifically dark, but laugh out loud hilarious. It was brilliantly portrayed, but sometimes wasted its own potential. In other words, it was unpredictable in the worst and best ways. And I'm glad I stuck with it from pilot to series finale.


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