Gotham – Who Was This Show Made For?


Seriously, who is Gotham‘s target audience?  It’s definitely not for fans of Batman.  And the way it’s written, it certainly doesn’t hold up as good television.  The acting is cheesy and the overall storytelling is filled with cliches and plot conveniences.  I’m also questioning how Rotten Tomatoes has a rating of 90% for the first season.  To put things in perspective, Netflix’s Daredevil has a rating of 98% and AMC’s Breaking Bad stands at 95%.  To say that Gotham even approaches the level of sophistication of these two critically acclaimed series would be a flat out lie.  So I ask this question again: Who was Gotham made for?

More from TV

This week’s episode, “Knock, Knock,” basically destroyed the Batman mythos for me.  Barbara Kean, who in the comics will be Jim Gordon’s wife, became an accessory to murder by purposely leading Jim away from GCPD while Jerome and the Maniax gang infiltrated the station and killed Essen.  The worst sin was having Bruce Wayne not be the controller of his own destiny by having Thomas’s influences mold him beyond the grave.  The characters have strayed so far from the comics that it’s basically to the point of no return.

Why would you change the origins of Bruce developing his Batman identity?  His conclusion to go after criminals and create an arsenal are the philosophical foundations of the whole myth.  In the comics, the murders of Thomas and Martha were virtually fate.  There was no way for Bruce to control it.  The creation of Batman and coming up with the idea of a secret lair was Bruce’s way of controlling destiny.  He made himself fate — the author of his own future and path.  That’s why the Joker is such an interesting foe.  The Joker represents chaos while Batman represents order.

RELATED > Gotham – The Riddle Of Nygma’s Characterization

We’ve seen Gotham do this already in Season 1.  A glaring example was the show’s origins for Scarecrow in “The Fearsome Dr. Crane.”  They made Jonathan Crane’s inspiration for his villainous persona come from his father.  And yes, I had a lot of issues with that.  It seems that Gotham has a strange fetish in giving everything some type of paternal root.  It’s as if the writers don’t want to develop their characters as three-dimensional beings who are capable of making life-changing decisions.

These problems are only the tip of the iceberg for Bat-fans.  So if the creatives behind the show think that fans of the comics will love what they’ve done, they seriously need to reevaluate everything.

For now, let’s give the writers the benefit of the doubt and say that they wanted this to be some parallel universe Elseworlds story.  Fine.  But it still doesn’t hold up as great television.  Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was essentially a crime drama.  If you took away Batman and the more fantastical elements of the films, you still have quite a compelling film with compelling characters.  Every week, Gotham‘s episodes lack conflict and the plot drives the story.  Events happen which, somehow, allows the story to easily stray in a certain direction.  The characters are not driving the story.  Unlike the Nolan films, there’s no underlying theme or real meat to the story.

RELATED > What Can Gotham Learn From The Flash?

“Knock, Knock” was filled with examples of plot conveniences: Bullock telling Gordon to look into the shipyard murders which lead to the GCPD finding the Maniax terrorizing a school bus; Bruce willingly going after Alfred after he told him to leave for good; and Gordon, who’s supposed to be a smart cop, goes after Barbara when it’s blatant that she’s luring him out.  None of the characters did any work in creating any type of tension or conflict.  It all seemed a bit too simple.  And because of that, the story and characters became extremely flat.

There is no way that Gotham was made for people who love Batman.  The various origins and characterizations are borderline blasphemous.  And there is no way someone who just wants to watch some compelling television would want to sit through a viewing of Gotham.  So who’s it really for?  After all, it got a coveted second season after other shows that had better writing were cut.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  I really want to know who’s propping this series up.

Fox’s Gotham airs on Mondays at 8:00PM EST.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a review of Knock, Knock

More from Bam Smack Pow