Viewer’s Cut: A bus ticket out of Gotham

(Source: FOX Networks)

(Source: FOX Networks)

Yes, there will be spoilers.

There was this episode with a guy that may or may not have acted very close to the Joker. There was this episode in which Jada Pinkett Smith takes out her own eye. Then there was this episode with a lot of filler until we get to this particular scene that seems to be taken out of a comic, except that it really doesn’t justify an entire episode – and there you have it, that’s the way the entire first season is going.

If you want a reason why a Tim Burton style of filmmaking should not be used for a television show, you ought to look no further than Gotham. For the record, I have been known to enjoy the style of Tim Burton in movies. Dark, emo, goth-like, fairy-tale-gone-bad, but sometimes it misses a bit of substance at end. It can grow stale, specially towards the end. But in Gotham, it keeps going. And we get so many scenes that should’ve end in the cutting room floor that sometimes we could cut away entire episodes because nothing really seems to carry on to the next one.

Jada Pinkett Smith’s character is Jada Pinkett Smith. She wants to have an intense look that even when armed with a knife in front of people with guns she still seems to command respect because… there’s a reason somewhere. I’m not sure if it has to do with her overacting every scene over the top. A James Bond supervillain seems plainly down to earth compared to “Fish Mooney”. Her scarce shining moments are few and far between. Now she’s away from Gotham working with the dollmaker- oops, I mean Dr. “Dulmacher”. Did she have trouble with the rest of the cast or was the intention from the start to have her exiled?

I really ask myself those questions because the alternative is to believe that the showrunners are really just throwing blind punches trying to hit paydirt every show. We’re not sure what to do with Bruce and Alfred. Selina is still running around with nothing to do. Nobody knew what to do with Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) so she’s literally in the wind. Montoya has all but disappeared. New love interest, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) was brought in, but all the charisma in Gordon’s new relationship is coming from her. Did the show squandered all the potential it had from Barbara and Montoya’s characters?

I’m getting a real deja vu vibe, very much so as when I was reviewing Agents of SHIELD. Except that this time I really didn’t wait until Gotham finished its first season to pull the plug on the recap/review. I can’t really keep up with the constant plot holes plus each trama seems to be stalled waiting for the other to catch up. I like the characters, sometimes even Gordon. But it’s not enough. It’s drama and scenery without long lasting effects. The show needs to be turned on its head, to suffer a major rehaul and be reined in. Gotham is missing the thing that the city in the comics has in spades: a soul, a heart, a personality that will not be denied.

Try something different with the narrative. Ideas, not saying that they’ll work. Transfer the POV to Bullock for one episode. Put a voiceover from the older Gordon. Go black and white. Stop foreshadowing everyone’s future and create conflict in the present. Kill a character (bring it back to life later). Make an arching mystery that will carry over three episode. Make someone mention Joe Chill. Have Bruce receive a letter from someone called “Matches Malone” or “Henri Ducard”. Do a freaking car chase across the entire city. Have Gotham lose power over night and put the time on the screen as each character deals with a challenge made worse.

I’m not saying any of those ideas would work. I’m not saying do something drastic but do something palpably different. And please, have Gordon actually do something heroic FOR his fellow cops rather than against them. I really wish this show will see better days, but for season one, I’m done. I’ll keep watching to see if I want to jump back in next season.

That will do for now.

(Source: FOX Networks)

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