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Tori B.'s picture

For a series like Gotham it's easy to predict that its main audience will likely be fans of Batman, or at the very least those who are familiar even with just Nolan's The Dark Knight Series, so you'd think that its opening shots would begin on a young Bruce Wayne, but it doesn’t. In fact, they choose a more appropriate character, who better than one who has seen the most of Gotham than its very own Selina Kyle. While following the young Selina (played by Camren Bicondova) it’s immediately apparent that Gotham has a high production value. The quality of it is one I’d be willing to see in a movie theatre even, I’m rather impressed with it. What’s also impressing is the rendering done post production to give Gotham a very edgy vibe without making it too dark, which is smart, and will keep it accessible to less familiar fans as they drop in for the remainder of the season.

And even though Selina shows up often throughout the episode, giving us a new look upon the city of Gotham and it’s grand expanse, the story does naturally fall back to its main allure, the young Bruce Wayne. The story of how Batman became Batman. It’s a story many are familiar with— the murder of Bruce’s parents Thomas and Martha Wayne. For the episode Detective James Gordon finds himself on the hunt to find the murderer— making a promise to Bruce to find the man responsible and to bring him to justice. This is Gotham’s biggest challenge, to take stories that some of us are already familiar with and expecting, and to keep it fresh enough to keep us on our toes.

Luckily they’ve done well on not only production, but nabbing themselves a strong cast. Ben McKenzie plays a cool and collected Detective James Gordon, but as Fish so correctly states it later in the episode, there’s a danger in his eyes, and it’s the subtleties of how McKenzie portrays the detective that makes him interesting, knowing that there’s so much more to him that we’ll continue to see throughout the entire season. Fans may already be familiar with Gordon, but Gotham has found a way to keep fans on their toes as well, by bringing in an original character Fish Mooney (played by Jada Pinkett Smith) who at this point is a complete wild card that no one knows about beyond speculation. Smith has made the addition of Mooney into the series an incredibly smooth one, her performance is absolutely riveting. Even for the characters that we are already familiar with though, some of the excitement comes from just knowing who they are, and what they’ll eventually become— this rings mostly for our eventual villains of Penguin (Robin Taylor) and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) who have so far been nothing but charismatic in their portrayals of Gotham’s populace with questionable morals. And of course there’s Bruce and Selina and Ivy— nitpick nerd alert, it was absolutely not necessary to change her name from Pamela Isley to Ivy Pepper, because fans know, and even if they didn’t the audience isn’t as dense as to not be able to figure it out— red hair and constantly surrounded by plants hmm I wonder.

So Gotham isn’t perfect. As much of a fan as I am for the cinematography of what I’ve seen so far, there were a couple of moments that didn’t fit in smoothly with the rest of the tone of the episode and they felt a little jarring, but no episode is totally perfect. What was done well certainly outweighs the questionably less than up to par, and I have a feeling that Gotham will be reigning onto that for the rest of the series, it’s clear they have a very strong sense of where they want the series to go. I’d definitely consider this Pilot a win for Gotham.


I enjoyed the pilot for "Gotham."  It looked good on the HD big screen and it's cast well (it would get the checkmark for that anyway since it stars Ben McKenzie).