This review is part of the feature DC TV-U Summer Break 2016. We recommend you to read the introduction first.
FOX’s bold move brought the world of Gotham to the TV. It came to us as a surprise since Arrow had premiered on The CW and we knew the Flash would arrive soon. Still, FOX reveals to us that they’ll also be involved in the DC Universe, and the stories of young James Gordon and little Bruce Wayne will come to our screens. I was skeptical at first (yes, it’s a habit). But I had good reasons, so had the fans. When you retell the past history of iconic figures, such as Batman, his enemies, and his friends, we already know what happened – who lives, who dies. So when Bruce or Alfred receive death threats in the series, we already know they won’t die. The writers would need to pull off incredible things in order to maintain the suspense and tension despite the outcome being known. Did they succeed ? Yes, definitely so far!
The main character of the show is James Gordon. A young and hot-headed detective who wants to deliver justice and be fair in Gotham, even though his partner and almost everyone else in the city are not. The rules in Gotham are based on corruption, money and power; rules that Detective Gordon refuses to follow. So through the TV show, we learn how he survived and evolved to become the commissioner we know nowadays. This was FOX’s first will. But they’ve decided to focus on the young Bruce Wayne as well. Right after his parents die, we see how he manages to get through the pain. At the same time we have Alfred who struggles raising the boy. He is a Wayne, and despite his young age, he will investigate to know who has murdered his parents. He also wants to become stronger and be able to make a change in Gotham. On top of that, we have the delightful surprise of discovering many and many iconic characters in their younger age.
The cast is perfect. James Gordon is excellent, Selina is impeccable, Pinguin and Riddler are both fabulously twisted, Alfred is brilliant. I found Bruce Wayne somehow boring at first, but he started getting much better lately and way more interesting. One that deserves credit is Fish Mooney, a new character who has been specially created for the TV show and who is absolutely astonishing. Jada Koren Pinkett–Smith plays the character so well that she pulls you into her world and leaves you on the edge of your seat. For all of this, I think this character deserves to be brought to the comics. On top of those recurrent/main characters, it’s great to discover new villains from the DC Universe on each episode. In Season 2, we had the chance to see many of these, from Mr. Freeze to Hugo Strange through Firefly, the list is endless. There was only one character that held me back. The Joker, of course. As complicated and mysterious as he is, I wasn’t thrilled about him. But the way they pulled it off in the end was amazing. In the end, the Joker is not a person, but an ideology. Brilliant.
Gotham is one of the best DC TV Shows so far. It’s the only ‘outsider’ since it belongs to FOX and Supergirl has been bought by The CW, but it somehow makes sense to leave it that way. FOX gave the accurate feeling of the city that we all like. It’s dark, corrupted and twisted. There are many different plots, including James Gordon’s personal story, torn between his professional and personal life; then Bruce Wayne with his will to train and become stronger while investigating his parents’ murder and handling the Wayne Enterprise. Not to mention all the backgrounds of criminals and other characters. We have everything, independent stories but connected to each other as well. Despite the amount of content, it doesn’t feel overwhelming. The whole story feels smooth and follows its natural course. We are never bored, and the tension and suspense are kept all along. They’ve managed to tweak some bits from the original comics, but without changing major plot lines. It’s thrilling, well written, and it always make sense.
I’ve heard Season 3 will incorporate important changes. But so far, the quality is increasing episodes after episode, and I can’t wait to see what they are going to bring to this new season.
To me, this is Gold.