Holy S***, Batman.

Posted on 23 September 2014 by Mike-EL

Is this show actually worse than SHIELD? So far, yes. Mike-EL & Bex Luthor review GOTHAM.

(contains *SPOILERS*)


First, it looks like a Baz Luhrmann film; actually, the show just uses poor cinematography with the contrast jacked up to full. The soundtrack is generic enough, but the hard rock montage is embarrassing.

A first year law student could point out the flaws in the logic of the plot. Is Bullock really afraid they’ll ‘lose their jobs’ for unintentionally killing a man who evaded police, violently attacked them and FIRED A GUN at them?

The most laughable moment comes mid-way through: what could be a major plot twist falls apart when characters use dialogue that only serves to get us through the scene, without sounding ANYTHING like how a real person would talk. This is amateur screen writing at its worst (“Did you frame Mario Pepper?” “No”. Case closed, I guess.)

Besides the inherently idiotic idea of insisting that every single character in the Batman mythos knew each other in their younger days (the Flintstone Kids syndrome), the show decides to introduce EVERY SINGLE major villain in the pilot episode–including *that* one…the one they don’t mention in the trailers.

The most embarrassing of all is the pre-teen “Ivey” who actually is PETTING a plant to hit us over the head with her identity (I guess they forgot her name is Pamela Isley). Catwoman shows up at Wayne Manor for no real reason; Riddler is on the police force so we can get annoyed at another actor imitating the stock ‘Batman villain’ method invented by Frank Gorshin and expanded on by Jack Nicholson.

Jada Pinkett Smith gives us the same embarrassing riff as “Fish Mooney”, so we’re basically nowhere near reality with any of these characters.

Alfred has been turned into an unlikable jerk; Bruce Wayne speaks like no 8 year old I ever met; Harvey Bullok’s character is formless (though Donal Logue is likable) and Penguin is too hammy.

I won’t even refer to the actor playing *that* Batman villain. He’s nothing. His character is nothing. Its an insult to the legend.

This leaves us with Jim Gordon. He looks nothing like I expect, but Ben McKenzie is decent enough as the only incorruptible cop in Gotham. The future of the show lies with him. He’s good enough to carry the premise, but if there are no writers to help him, the show will die without a Winter Soldier tie-in to save it.


Bex Luthor:

So Gotham. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum here but I promise nothing.
So be prepared for that.
This is just my opinion and I’m sure fifty people will have different ones. So don’t take everything I say to heart. I’m no media critic I just know what I like.
Right of the bat (ha) I’m going to say it was about where I expected it to be. Some parts were a bit better and some were WAY worse. So maybe a tad lower than what I expected.

This is the least I’ve ever liked Jim Gordon, and he was my favourite character besides young Bruce who I thought was pretty decent. Alfred seemed off to me, but maybe I’m just used to ultra caring Alfred. Harvey, Gordan’s partner, was the most cartoony thing I’ve ever seen and I love cartoons. He was way worse than a cartoon. Like a caricature of a cartoon. The dialogue ranged from acceptable to god awful, and the first ten minutes I honestly wanted to turn it off.
I wanted to turn it off because the way they portrayed the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents was so lazy. It was probably the worst live action attempt I’ve seen. As a fan I felt so, I don’t know, shat all over. There were plenty of times where it seemed no one cared too much for the source material, especially with Ivy Pepper (which I HOPE they’re going somewhere with that because if not, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard). It just seemed like they would bend the canon to fit their plot, which is fine I guess, but often times I wondered if I was watching a show about GOTHAM PD and not just a random cop show with random white dude lead characters. At least Renee Montoya was in it.

Also apparently she used to date Barbara, so that’s pretty fucking cool if it’s true. I can see how they kinda alluded to it. Hmm. I might just have to keep watching because of that. Woo. I hope we get to see more of her.
Anyway, half the time the plot was all over the place, or just hashed in there. Characters came to conclusions for no reason other than because. Oh did I mention the dialogue was pretty bad? At times it’s pretty fricken bad. The convo Jim has with Bruce right after his parents died seemed pretty Transformers 4 dad talks between Marky Mark and Optimus Prime to me, which is never something you want. Also some of the acting was okay at best. Meh not the worst, but nothing ground breaking. Young Bruce was the best in my opinion. Casting wasn’t too bad.

Selina had no reason to be in the episode, I hope that goes somewhere too but I’m almost afraid they’re just throwing things in there. The next episode is titled “Selina Kyle” but I have no idea what they’re even doing with her so who knows. Speaking of characters, ****ing Riddler. He honestly didn’t have to be in this episode either, it seemed like such a rushed way to introduce him and as someone who’s laptop is named Edward Nigma, I was pretty upset. He doesn’t seem too bad though, but the twenty seconds of screen time doesn’t say much.
I never liked Penguin much and I liked him a tad more than not at all, but it was still all weird. It was like you had these very cartoony bad guys in this world that was trying to be realistic. It didn’t mesh well.

I’m not sure how I feel, most of the time I wish I was watching Batman Year One or Batman the Animated Series instead. Actually at one point I went “Man I wish Birds of Prey got a second season instead” which is probably something NO ONE has said EVER. So there you go.

There was one tiny gesture about 30 minutes in that made my fangirl heart flutter but that was it. At least I wasn’t bored, except for the chase scene, which whatever. I’ll probably check out the next episode because of that one part giving me hope that maybe this is going somewhere, but I won’t hold my breath. If it’s like this or worse, I’m done.

So good job DC? I mean, it didn’t suck ***. So that’s something.

Man I miss Batman the Animated Series.

About Mike-EL

Mike-EL is a Co-Producer and Founder of the Comic Book Syndicate TV series. He is an independent filmmaker, professional videographer and holds a PhD in Superhero Fun.



  • Kevin

    I was just wondering if the two of you realize this wasn’t made for fanboys?

    • Michael Poirier

      Based on the clever ‘name drops’ of about 14 characters in episode 1, I would say it *was* made for fan boys–and that’s why its so terrible.

      • Kevin

        Michael – I was at a Detroit baseball game in late September just after the show debuted. There were 8 people (4 men and 4 women) in front of me raving about how much they loved the show. They weren’t fanboys in any stretch of the imagination as I heard one say his only exposure to the characters was from the recent Nolan films. This is who the makers of the show are appealing to “NON COMIC BOOK BUYERS”
        Take the time and check out what professional TV critics are saying. Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter speak favourably of Gotham.

        From the Hollywood Reporter: “The look of Gotham is also brilliantly realized — like a dirty pre-safe New York from the 1980s mixed with the dark hues of Blade Runner. It’s a mixture of realism and some kind of brutalized patina that really sets the show apart visually.”

        From EW: “If it can hone the tone and aim higher than mere fan-service extravaganza, Gotham could be worth a long stay.”

        And from the Telegraph (one of England’s oldest newspapers) : “Sophisticated, multifaceted, glitteringly intelligent – it is a pleasure to report Gotham is none of the above. With each passing week, the Batman prequel reinforces the suspicion that it is a glorious triumph ofsurface flash over substance. Far from a weakness, breezy lack of nuance has proved the show’s great strength: it is a masterpiece of comfort telly, best appreciated with your frontal lobe powering down, critical faculties on the coat-stand.”

        Remember, this is an Englishman writing this. A country where they only know good TV.

        I hate to ruin your day but this show is going to be around for a long, long time.

        • I’ve also read the overwhelming negative reviews from fans and critics alike. EW is owned by the same company that publishes BATMAN. I’ll leave it at that.