An Original Origin

I’m not the biggest superhero fan.  Well actually maybe that’s not true.  I like some of the stories. Okay here’s the truth, I don’t love the Disney/Marvel movies.  They kinda suck. And by kinda suck, I mean you wish you had a vacuum cleaner that could suck up all the dirt in your carpet the way Marvel movies suck up all the joy and creativity out of movies.

Now you may disagree with me.  I’m okay with that.  I can totally appreciate your desire to be wrong. And if you think that any of this Avenger films have shown originality you are wrong.  Sorry but someone needs to shatter your illusion. Amazing CGI effects yes, creativity, no.

Now I’m not anti-Marvel.  I appreciate the X-Men movies. Even their worst, X-Men: The Last Stand (I choose to live in a world where the Wolverine Origin thing doesn’t exist) is better than any of the Avenger crap.  The Amazing Spideman was a decent flick. And I’m holding out hope for Ant Man with Paul Rudd. So it’s not all Marvel.  Really.  

I do however like DC Comic Superheros.  Especially the TV series.  Arrow is great.  The Flash shows great promise.  The old Smallville ran too long but was wonderful its first twenty years. And I may be in The minority but I love Gotham.  It’s a totally new take on the whole superhero thing.  It takes place in the world of Batman, but there is no Batman.  The hero is Jim Gordon.  Not Commisioner Gordon, Just plain old police detective Jim Gordon.  See it takes place before before Batman existed.  It’s an origin story.

The show focuses on Detective Gordon, Benjamin McKenzie in his best broodingly tortured way, and his drive to clean up the streets of Gotham.  The police force is corrupt.  Heck, the entire city is.  Richard Kind, an amazing character actor who you all know but don’t know you know, was amazing as Mayor James. He always plays for laughs, but this time plays it for dark laughs.  Donal Logue, another well known character actor plays Gordon’s partner, Harvey Bullock. Bullock is a corrupt cop who wants to be an honest cop.  This works well since Gordon needs to tap into the corruption to clean it up. McKenzie and Logue play well off each other and their opposition banter is fun.

It features a bunch of the villains from Batman’s world, but before they were super villains.  Robin Lord Taylor is stealing the show as Oswald Cobblepot, an up and coming mobster who happens to remind many people of a penguin.  At first glance he appears to be a hapless lackey, but the more we see him we find out he may be called Penguin, but he should be called Fox, because he is cunning as one.  We also meet Selena Kyle a juvenile cat burglar, Edward Nygma, a crime scene technician who just wants somebody to appreciate his riddles, and Harvey Dent, an ADA that struggles with his desire to do good and his desire to be powerful.  They’ve also introduced us to Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and the Joker

The show focuses a lot on the mobster scene in Gotham and the mob wars between Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni, both characters that have a past, or is it future, history with The Bat.  Jada Pinkett Smith plays Fish Mooney, a new character to the Gotham World. She’ s a lady mobster trying to find her own power base in Gotham, and except for her flirtatious scenes with Logue’s Bullock, I couldn’t care less about her.  She’s better at acting like her and her real life hubby are happy, than she is as a Gotham mobster with maybe a fun accent.   

The only real weak point in the whole show is Bruce Wayne.  I guess they feel the need to include him in the show so we get that this is an origin story.  But it drags the whole thing down. I guess the kid playing a pre-pubescent Bruce is a good actor, but the character is just not interesting.  The show kicked off with the killing of Mommy and Daddy Wayne.  So the kid is already in a bummer place, and from there it just gets more morose.  His only friend is his Butler, a much less polished Englishman than the Alfred Pennyworth we are accustomed too.  I mean let’s face it, even in all the other incarnations of Batman, Bruce Wayne is not the intriguing part. Hopefully they’ll send him off to boarding school for season 2.

Now if they can just convince all the die hard fans that this origin story doesn’t need to focus on the superhero but on the other characters, this show could be worth sticking around for a while.


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