Report Card: Did ‘Gotham’ season 1 prove to be a hero?
We remember how excited we were back when we first heard that “Gotham” was going to be coming to Fox. It was a chance to tell a Batman prequel! It had Donal Logue in it! What’s not to like?
Then, we found ourselves six episodes in starting to get a little disillusioned with the series, mostly because we could see so much of its potential still underneath the surface. There were questionable decisions and characters who just weren’t working. Luckily, the show did adapt somewhat on the fly, and added some new elements while twisting others. By the end of season 1, we had a much-improved show that gave us great hope for the future … but we have to in this report card grade mostly on what we’ve seen versus what we could see.
What worked – How about Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot? To us, he was easily the breakout star of the show. Logue was also great, and we particularly enjoyed some of the late-season arcs when it comes to entertainment. The Ogre was terrifying and compelling, and we also found the disintegration of Barbara Keen to be very interesting.
Also, cheers to the introduction of Leslie Thompkins! She helped to add a certain lightness to Jim Gordon, who at times was a hard hero to get a hold of in terms of an emotional connection. Bruce Wayne at least had a solid season; we understood his story, and we like that the show did not always shove him down our throat.
What didn’t – Early on, “Gotham” was a bit of a mess. The writers felt it necessarily to shoehorn in far too many obvious references (especially with Edward Nygma), and the characters of Barbara and Fish Mooney went through long periods of time where they just did not work. The same goes for some of the various mob-oriented stories of the week that we no longer even remember. For a time, “Gotham” was struggling to be its own thing, towing the line between superhero show and crime procedural.
Final verdict – Thanks to giving Barbara something to do, the rise of the Riddler, and Oswald being awesome, season 1 closed very strong. Sure, we never loved Fish and Selina Kyle still needs work to make her fully developed, but we feel like this is a show with great potential going into season 2. It hasn’t met that potential yet, but we at least feel it is capable of it. Grade: B.
If you do want to see our other entries in our Report Card series, head over to this link. Also, you can sign up here to score some further TV updates on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Fox.)