His name is Detective James Gordon, and this is Gotham

Gotham Logo

So last night was the premiere of Gotham, and it was everything that I’d hope it would be.

In that Donal Logue was great and Ben McKenzie punched things.

Seriously, though, the pilot was serviceable. I’m not going to say it was great, it wasn’t. But there’s potential here, and that’s kind of the point of pilots, to show potential and then to figure out which way to go.

So here are the things that I liked:

  • Ben McKenzie. There wasn’t much chance that I wasn’t going to. But he really is a good choice. He plays heavy and serious so well, and weathers crazy better than a lot of people. And as I tweeted last night, I would watch a full 42 minutes of him just punching things. But also, he gives a sarcastic angry look better than anyone else in the business.
  • David Mazous. I like this kid. I hope they do more with him.
  • The general arc of the season being about solving The Wayne’s murders. It’s really the only way to go, and that it isn’t a random mugging is a new way in.
  • The dynamic between Gordon and Bullock, which, frankly, is what I thought the heart of this show should always be. The tension, push and pull is the best way to make this show work.
  • The look of the show. At least stylistically it seems like they’re drawing on Batman: The Animated Series, which is so much cooler than going down the Nolan road.
  • Montoya! And she’s got an antagonistic relationship with Gordon and Bullock. And some kind of past with Barbara? I kind of love all of that. And just that she’s in this show. I love that character. I’ve missed her.
  • Donal Logue and Camren Bicondova. Logue was a foregone conclusion. He’s always, really, really, really good. And even though Bicondova hasn’t said a word yet, I’m already completely sold on her Selina.

Here are the things that I wasn’t so into.

  • Fish Mooney. Not getting it. Jada’s a talented lady, they need to give her better material. But I am convinced that her club once belonged to Chuck Bass.
  • Not enough Bruce. I get that it’s the pilot and this is Jim’s story, but seriously, this kid is good. Use him.
  • Why did Gordon have to introduce himself everytime he was on screen? Seriously, EVERY SINGLE TIME.
  • Selina is stalking Bruce. I don’t really get what her deal is. I mean, I’m intrigued and I kind of hope they get into some kind of physical tussle because that’s the only acceptable meet cute for these too. AND THEY MUST MEET CUTE or else I won’t be satisfied.
  • Why, oh why, with the “Ivy Pepper?” I knew it was coming and it’s still like “Really?” That’s not even her name. I mean, maybe it’s a fake out, like Not Jimmy Olsen was.
  • So much tell don’t show. It was just everywhere.
  • Not so into the actress playing Barbara. She’s really pretty though.

Things that I’m lukewarm on.

  • Penguin. I like him. He didn’t blow me away. I get what they’re doing though, and it’s what I was hoping for. Again, the character need new context, and needs it bad. I hope this sticks.
  • Sean Pertwee’s Alfred. I like that he’s mistrustful of Gordon. Clearly he knows the score with the GCPD and he’s protecting Bruce. But I’m still not totally sure the whole brusque thing is the way to go. Alfred is Bruce’s heart that shouldn’t get lost.
  • Info dumps. It’s a pilot, they’re hard to avoid, but God are they boring and boy howdy were there a lot of them.

So that’s the pilot. I am completely determined to like or dislike this show based on what it actually is, not what I was hoping it would be, which after the first few episodes will get easier. I’m not recapping Gotham weekly. I have an idea involving the 5 network superhero shows, but I’ll have to wait until everything premiers to start doing that.

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