I seem to have gotten behind on my reviewing. I blame the election.
Yes, this is indeed last week’s Gotham review, so if you’re hoping for my usual navel-gazing lead-in, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed (Nobody is going to be disappionted at that, trust me -Ed).
Does anyone actually know why Gotham decided to take a month-long pause, with four episodes to go?
I’m being serious. This first series of Gothamseems to have gone on for bloody ever, and whilst I’ve enjoyed it (So that’s not particularly a complained -Ed), it started back in September 2014, meaning it’s gone on for nearly eight months already.
I’ve already mentioned that I think 24-episode seasons are a relic of a bygone era of TV, and that actually shorter, more intense bursts of around 13 episodes fit much better with how people watch shows nowadays, but Gotham didn’t need to go an emphasise that by putting in break after break in the broadcast schedule.
But it’s back now, for the tail end of season one. So if you can still remember anything that happened in the last epiosde, then come with me and explore “Beasts of Prey”.
Gotham feels, at this stage, more like an epic than a TV series.
It’s hard, as I’ve said before, to remember that this is only the first season. It has already succeeded so much in creating a world which lives and breathes. Gotham feels like a real city, and its citizens feel like real people.
There’s a larger story at work, not just the development of Gordon and Wayne, but the whole Batman world in embryonic form. Already we’ve had major milestones, and big moments.
And we’re still a few episodes away from the big finale.
If you’re interpreting them, then you can either get it right or wrong. You can either make a good job of it or you can cock it up.
When you’re inventing an origin story, though, you’re risking something else. If you make a bad job of it, you’ll either lower your version of the character you’re originating, or you cheapen the character itself.
The reason I raise this is the claim that Gotham will give us a Joker origin story. Possibly in this very episode. Now, I’ve never yet met an origin story for Mr J that I actually liked, and part of the fun of the character is that he’s an enigma, a whirlwind of chaos without a past.
I’ve enjoyed Gotham a lot, but this…this might be a step too far…
Gotham has proved itself, I would say, a good investment on Fox’s part. They clearly thought so too, when they bypassed the pilot process and ordered a whole first season straight off the bat. I haven’t loved everything about it, but it has broken out of the mythos which might have been a prison.
It is still undeniably a part of the greater story of the Batman world; more, even, than I may have expected, but it has cut its own niche into the greater canon.
Last week’s episode of Gotham, viewers or readers of my reviews, went all bang-bang shouty crackers. And it was glorious.
The problem now, though, is dealing with the aftermath. The typical (Disappointing -Ed) option would be to carry on without acknowledging that anything even happened. The show suffers collective amnesia, and no one references anything which went down. I’d certainly hope Gotham wouldn’t attempt that; this series has thusfar been based on a running, gradually developing story arc.
But more than that, it would do the bravery in the writers for the last episode a huge disservice, by basically nullifying it completely.
My apologies to those studiously avoiding spoilers, who have read that detail-less non-specific waffle. But then, if you’re not going to read the rest of the review, why read the lead-in?
One surprise from Gotham in the first four episodes, has been the number of appearances from Bruce Wayne. The young actor playing the role is good, don’t get me wrong, but I hadn’t been anticipating such a focus on someone who is some ten to twenty years from being Batman. So nobody — surely — can be expecting an appearance by the Caped Crusader.
Unless they go down the flash-forward route… (As in the opposite of flashbacks, not the Robert J Sawyer novel. And let us hope they do not take the former option -Ed).
The point is that, if they have made such an effort to keep referring back to the boy that we certainly haven’t forgotten about, then something is looming which is going to involve him doing more than moping.
The one most remarkable thing about Gotham so far (What, all two episodes? -Ed) is that it feels like its own show, and not simply a Batman prequel.
Which is a pretty stupid thing to say, because it is, of course, a Batman prequel. But it is a decidedly different sort of beast to Batman in a number of ways. Most notably, as a pointed out in last week’s review, it has much more of a “crime/mystery” feel to it than certainly the Batman films have done.
In that way it harks back to the character’s origins as a 1930s detective, who wasn’t shy about killing people. There’s a joke in there somewhere about the Batman Gotham deserves…
“Having just emerged from an epic, gritty trilogy (courtesy of Christopher Nolan) the Dark Knight’s cowl should not be passed on the next the line of chisel-jawed actors, but rather the (film) franchise should be stowed away in some dusty Warner Brothers/DC Comics archive, and permitted to lie fallow for a while.“
Ah, Batman. You’ve been on the big screen eight times, by my count, played by five different actors. Your franchise has been taken in all directions, from the camped-up gothic of Tim Burton’s films, to the gritty “realism” of Christopher Nolan’s rebooted trilogy, to…well, let’s not dwell on Batman and Robin.
And now Ben Affleck is going to get a go. Most of the internet seems to be up in arms over this, despite that it’s not really the end of the world. I’m not terribly bothered about Affleckper se, though the whole Batman vs Superman business seems a little questionable. (It does seems a somewhat odd casting decision, since Affleck was the lead in one of the worst not-Batman and Robin superhero films of recent times: Daredevil)
No, my contention is a little more controversial than Mr Affleck. Frankly, I’m not sure there should be any more Batman films with anyone wearing the cowl.