As fall fast approaches, DC has four shows on prime time television. You would not think that, seeing the underwhelming press that Gotham is getting. The campaign for Gotham primarily is online through social media, Fox, and The Gotham Chronicle; apparently the iconic Gotham Gazette was already claimed. Perhaps, they are unsure what to do with the show, and hope for it to ride the coattails of The Flash, The Arrow and Constantine. But, it really does have the potential to be the fall’s dark horse.
Gotham loosely chronicles the youth of Bruce Wayne from when his parents die. However, this is not just another Batman origin story. Instead, it focuses on the origin story of the characters of Gotham and Gotham itself. More focused on the figure of Officer Gordon, Gotham chronicles the descent into darkness. After all, haven’t you ever wondered how Gotham got so bad? Crime is rampant in the city, yet millionaires… ahem, billionaires, stay there and live nearby. The iconic Arkham game series even decided that Gotham was so far gone that they may as well make part of it a prison than deal with it.
Why does Gotham have staying power? If the show is done right, it will answer the questions we have always had. Like, why does Bruce Wayne stay? There has always been something slightly unbelievable about Batman. As a young boy his parents are murdered before him and vows to avenge them, which is fine. But some twenty years later and he is a caped super hero; how? Why? The paltry answers such as ‘he wants to avenge his parents’ or ‘he wants to make sure it never happens again’ do not fly.
Perhaps in the original Batman series where he was a detective it made sense; he grew up to become a detective wanting to solve the crimes of the city. But, as a multi-billion dollar CEO, it seems flimsy. He was still removed from the everyday crime and poverty. It would have hurt, sure, but been the impetus to become a super hero? What else happened? Why didn’t he go off to a boarding school? I hear Andover and Exeter are nice schools for the rich and elite. Alfred loved Bruce as a son, why was that not enough to heal over his wounds? I have always felt the story needed more answers.
Most importantly, why does Batman want to save a city which is falling into decay when it has given him nothing but pain? It would seem that there is much more to the story that is untold. Produce/Writer Bruno Heller aims to tell these stories from the corruption of Gotham to the origins of its greatest villains through the eyes of James Gordon. In the first season, we will meet the newest DC character, Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, a crime kingpin on the rise. Along with her, other iconic villains such as Oswald Cobblepot, Selina Kyle, Edward Nygma and Ivy Pepper will all begin their origin stories in the first season. Ivy Pepper is the new name of Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy. Other famous characters such as Flass (Arnold John) Barbara Kean, and Crispus Allen will be in the first season, though the extent of their actual characterization is unknown. There is no mention of the traditional Joe Chill who originally murdered Bruce’s parents.
The show has promise to be a good alternative drama and bring to life the beginnings of Batman. And perhaps, we will finally understand why Gotham fell.
What are your thoughts on this upcoming series? Voice your opinion in the comments below!