If you were to ask me who my Batman is, i’d say Michael Keaton, maybe even Val Kilmer, because ‘Batman Forever‘ wasn’t that bad, ok! But it was Christopher Nolan‘s ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy‘ that re-invigorated the Batman series and paved the way for Fox‘s new drama, ‘Gotham.’ The show gives us an origins story that is actually interesting because it focuses more on the world that created a superhero, rather than the future hero himself.
Little Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) watches in horror as his parents are gunned down in a dark alley. We’ve seen this play out numerous times in the movies, and you have to wonder, as rich as the Wayne’s were, why didn’t they have a car taking them everywhere? A new detective by the name of Jim Gordon (‘Southland”s Ben McKenzie) promises Bruce that he will find the man that killed his parents, setting up a life long pursuit of justice for the both of them. Though we don’t see a lot of him in the episode, Mazouz is a cute enough kid, and he has good chemistry with McKenzie. Alfred is played by Sean Pertwee, who plays Pennyworth a lot less sarcastic than previous incarnations. Then again his employers just died and he’s been left to care for a young boy, who has time for jokes?
Gordon quickly learns that everyone in Gotham is corrupt, and being the “good cop” might get him killed. His partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) straddles the line between good and bad, as he leads Gordon to Fish Mooney and her group of goons, which includes a peculiar man named Oswald Cobblepot. Bullock is a character only familiar to fans of the comic, but viewers will likely remember Logue from a number of television and film roles. He plays sleazy really well, but you also can’t help but like the guy. Jada Pinkett-Smith purrs her lines like Eartha Kitt as Mooney, and seems to be enjoying every scene where she gets beat someone with a baseball bat. Robin Lord Taylor makes the perfect Penguin. Equal parts depressing and terrifying, i’m sure he’ll be a fan favorite and I can’t wait to see his rise as one of Gotham’s most heinous villains.
There were also very quick introductions to Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) who will later become The Riddler, and a very young Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), whose dad Mario Pepper takes the fall for the murder of Bruce’s parents. The feline like Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) actually witnesses that murder and even follows Bruce home, not before stealing some milk to feed a couple of stray cats of course. As adults, the two have a pretty tumultuous relationship, so seeing the beginnings of it before she becomes a full-fledged thief and he starts dressing up as a bat should be a treat.
‘Gotham‘ is by no means perfect, but it is good. There’s tons of room for it grow if it develops it’s characters slowly instead of throwing out everything they may think Batman fans want. So don’t expect to see Selina in cat ears, or Oswald eating raw fish just yet. The sandwich he took from that guy might have been tuna, though. It’s a great lead in for the hit ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ but it is on during a pretty crowded Monday night.
So will you be checking out the ‘Gotham‘ or is your DVR devoted to other shows for the 8 p.m. hour?