Gotham Review - Selina Kyle

Unless you have been completely and totally culturally brain dead for the last few decades (at least five-to-six), it's safe to say that you know a lot about how Gotham is going to end. 

Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. 
Selina Kyle becomes Catwoman.
Cobblepot becomes Penguin. 
Edward Nygma becomes The Riddler. 
Gothman turns into an even bigger dump.

The potentially fun thing about a show like Gotham is to see how this collection of well-known characters, who everyone knows, will become the characters we know today. It's not as fun, nor it is really all that interesting, if they're already there at the start of the prequel. And because we know the eventual ending, in theory, the writers and producers have a shit ton of leeway as to where they can take them. It's only been two episodes, but it seems like Gotham is not going to have much fun with its extended cast of characters. 

This particular episode felt long, and I'm not sure a whole lot really happened that matters. A couple of creeps straight out of the 60s Batman TV show are snatching up homeless kids who no one cares about. They have them locked up it the basement of the storefront of a guy who looks like he should be the night manager at Sex Offender Depot. We later find out that the two dipshits are working for The Dollmaker.

Wait a second, we're getting into gimmicky villains at least a decade before Batman shows up? The point of those minor, goofy characters is that they are a reaction to the presence of Batman in Gotham. And wasn't this dude just on Arrow not that long ago? I don't mind the two worlds potentially overlapping at all, but Batman has 75 years worth of lame criminals to pull from, why go with someone we just saw on another show?

Speaking of villains, so The Penguin is already a psycho? That's boring. More than that, it's disappointing. There was a real chance to have Penguin explore some second thoughts about his life after a cop spares his life and gives him a second chance to start over. Why not have him try to go straight and fail and blunder along the way? Why not have some fun and interesting sidetracks as Cobblepot tries not to become The Penguin? Nope. Some douchey frat boys tell him that he walks like a penguin and he's right back to where we know he ends up anyway. 

On that same front, The Riddler doesn't need to be in every episode. Especially when it seems like there's no real plans for him so far beyond the whole, "Hey look! It's Riddler kind of, sort of." That's the great part of having an ensemble cast: you don't have to check in with everyone at some point during every episode. The great ensemble shows like Game of Thrones and Mad Men are excellent at this. In my opinion, it should have been Riddler calling in the anonymous tip to the press, only coding it with, you know, a riddle. But they had to give Barbara something to do other than be a sounding board for Gordon.

Back to the story. We open on young Master Wayne masochistically burning himself with a flame from a candle and not showing any pain or emotion. This is bullshit. I'm repeating myself, but it appears that Bruce is going to make straight line right towards where the character is expected to go with no stops along the way. Actually, I'm done with Bruce Wayne in this show. He should have been in the pilot only as the jump start to the whole mess that Gotham City becomes. Now go away, Bruce. Go on get. Start studying your ass off and go train with some ninjas. We'll see you in Season Six.

As we make our way over towards the heroes of the series, Det. Gordon can't be too good at his job. He needs to fail a lot more than he succeeds. Whether it's him learning to fight crime in Gotham and struggling along the way or going up against the corrupt bureaucracy he encounters, he can't bring down every criminal he faces. Gordon has to have a shitty win-loss record. Otherwise, why do we need the dude in the bat suit in a few years? The point here, and the thrust of the series, is that Gordon doesn't get corrupted in the face of everything he encounters. 

And the dog barking at Selina. We get it!!!! Hey, did you guys and gals forget the fact that this girl grows up to be Catwoman? Dogs hates cats. Have we called her "Cat" enough times already? Just to be sure, let's have a dog go ape shit when it sees her, because it knows. Dogs know.

You know what happens when my dogs see a cat? They have a staring contest and the Cat usually wins because dogs are kind of stupid. They sometimes growl for a moment, but then remember that the tree over there needs to be pissed on. If you want to show Selina is Catwoman, she should have stared that K-9 down until it shut the fuck up.

The point here I think I'm trying to make is that Gotham is still trying to find its legs and figure out it's characters. Once it gets them down, I hope the show finds its way because I really want to like this show. Pretty soon, they will need to decide if it's going to be a silly and campy show full of characters like Fish Mooney and The Dollmaker, or is it going to be a gritty crime show where people get shot and held for ransom?

I'm hoping for the latter.

Gotham - Selina Kyle (Season 1, Episode 2) gets 2.5 out of 5 Murdered Parents in Crime Alley

Comments

  1. Gotham's not quite working for me yet, but not for all of the reasons you describe. Fish Mooney, with Jada Pinkett channeling Eartha Kitt, definitely doesn't work. It's like you said, the Batman mythology is vast, why not choose someone like Lew Moxon, or The Ventriloquist, or Tony Zucco, to be Falcone's Gotham Captain? I'm also not liking this Deus ex Criminal trend of: We need to solve a crime? Let's go ask our friendly organized crime boss for some leads!

    Also, as you point out, the show doesn't know if it wants to be GCPD or Batman: Year Negative Ten. Fun fact, Gotham is the show that the Smallville producers wanted to do, but couldn't, because the Christian Bale movies were coming out, and the studios didn't want any confusion. However, despite the name, that show was unambiguously about "Superboy," since there's nothing inherently interesting about Smallville, Kansas. This show hasn't gotten it's footing yet, so maybe it will gain more of an identity as it goes along.

    That being said, there are a couple points I disagree on. I like Gotham's Penguin. We can't have "Young Joker," since, if we accept "The Killing Joke" as canon, the Joker is not at all interesting until the moment he becomes the Joker, so it's nice to have a bona fide sociopath running around Gotham. At the same time, when the Joker does show up, as homicidal and nutty as Pengy is, he can't hold a candle to the Clown Prince of Crime, so he tends to be relegated to second class rogue status. Gotham gives Oswald a chance to really shine. As far as Bruce Wayne, I feel completely the opposite. You don't become the World's Greatest Detective and a Master of all forms of combat by fucking around in college until you finally decide to put your life together. I mean, this is a guy who systematically poisoned himself with every toxin he could get his hands on to build up his immunity levels. I think Bruce Wayne is obsessed from the moment those bullets leave Joe Chill's gun. If they are going to make Bruce an important part of this show, I don't think they made him obsessed enough. Whenever we see Bruce he should always be doing one of two things: A) Working out B) Burying his nose in a book. ALWAYS. Young Orphan Bruce Wayne was notoriously not fun to be around and I'd like the show to reflect that. It also seemed a little weird to me that Alfred would go to Jim Gordon for help/parenting advice. Why? Who the hell is Gordon to Alfred other than one of the cops who was on the scene?

    Anyway, the show's not there yet, but it has potential. It's only been two episodes (now three), so I'm inclined to give it a chance to develop.

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  2. If they take that approach to Bruce, I'm down!!!

    I'm halfway through The Balloonist... but man, did I cringe at that name.

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