So here’s the disclaimer, since I haven’t said this publicly in a couple years: whatever DC and/or Warner Brothers do now, I’m OK with it. The genius Christopher Nolan has already told my story better than I could have possibly imagined. Now, if I see something that I consider a Schumachery of my franchise, I’ll still call out the necessary parties. But all Bat related stories now, no expectations. Just enjoying them for what they are.
Which brings us to the series premiere of ‘Gotham’. Not much to be spoiled for guys like me (we’ll get to that), but the general conceit here for those that don’t know is telling the origin story from the point of view of Jim Gordon (played by Ben Mckenzie of Southland fame, one of several good casting choices).
So naturally, the story begins where it has to, with the murders of Thomas and Martha
Aziz Wayne. I was given a heads up there were a ton of easter eggs and twists the TV show would take with the core mythology. Again, I accept this. But still, from a storytelling point of view, I’m expecting this has at least a 13 episode arc, and they threw a LOT of ‘wink winks’ at the hardcore fans for one episode, pilot or not. Some of them were really cool (hey, there’s fine ass Renee Montoya; oh, they’re setting THAT up too? Nice!). Some of them felt like ‘I know there’s going to be a ‘villain of the week’, but that could have been anybody and not the father of a future well known Bat Villain. I was really 50/50 on all the nods early on, to the point of distraction: Alfred sounding like he stepped out of a Guy Ritchie film? Meh. The nameless stand up comedian with no self confidence? You know that very well might become… And on and on. I’m half surprised we didn’t somehow get roped into a trip to Wayne Enterprises to meet a young Lucius Fox working in that lab.
Wait, no! I take that back! That part is important down the line, you have to get that casting right. Has to be a brother old enough to be believable as a friend of Thomas Wayne, but ALSO intellectual and with the gravitas to ALSO be believable as a young Morgan Freeman. Who could play that?
(coughing back a smile as I find my notes…) Where was I? Oh yes…
Once the pilot settled down in the second half hour and stopped ‘over-introducing’ everybody, THEN it got going. The relationship between Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donald Logue here) is always great in the comics, and it looks like it’s going to provide the tension every week here. And my affection for alumni of the Wire aside, John Doman is already the PERFECT television version of Carmine Falcone. My sucking up aside, the casting is already off to a great start.
So what’s the official Prince of Gotham opinion? For the pilot on its own? I’ll give it a B minus. Could have been better but not a Schumachery.
Does the Prince of Gotham believe you should give Gotham a chance to see what it grows into?