I can distinctly remember being excited for Gotham: t was July 2014, and I had just left an early screening of the pilot episode at San Diego Comic-Con. Not everything about it worked for me, but the episode was promising enough that I knew I would be willing to give the series a chance when it premiered later that fall on Fox.
Unfortunately, Gotham has failed time and again to live up to that promise, and what began as a police procedural about the early days of James Gordon’s career with the Gotham City Police Department has become an exercise in screwing up as many facets of the Batman mythology as possible. Despite the fact that Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is seemingly light-years away from donning the iconic cape and cowl, we’ve already seen a number of his most formidable adversaries menacing the streets of the city.
And judging from this first look at Season 3, things aren’t going to be changing all that much. Poison Ivy (Maggie Geha) and The Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel) are both scheduled to make an appearance, while Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong, an admittedly intriguing bit of casting) seems positioned to be this season’s “Big Bad.” And of course, we’ll continue to watch The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) build his vast criminal empire, while Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) further their onscreen bromance.
Check out the Gotham Season 3 trailer below.
Gotham‘s biggest problem seems to be its complete inability to settle on a consistent tone, often attempting to straddle the line between gritty police drama and campy superhero action, and not doing a particularly good job with either. I loved the idea of a darker, edgier series that explored the origins of crime in Gotham City, but the show never really delivered on that idea. Instead, they’ve brought in numerous villains from the comic books for an episode or two, with most of them being poorly handled – and now they’re about to introduce the Court of Owls, arguably one of the best new additions to Batman lore in recent memory, who should have absolutely no involvement with a narrative that doesn’t include a Batman.
But whatever – the showrunners have already displayed a complete misunderstanding for why so many of these characters resonate with comic book readers, so it’ll come as little surprise when they manage to screw this up, too. As long as people continue to watch, Gotham isn’t likely to go anywhere, nor should we expect too many improvements.
Gotham returns to the airwaves on Monday, September 19, exclusively on Fox.
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