Gotham Before Batman

Fox just released a trailer for its new television series Gotham. It’s easy to see, from the moment the trailer starts, the show’s creators are striving for a a mix of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy with a dash of Frank Miller’s Year One (which if you have not read is well worth the cover price). The Hans Zimmer inspired music coursing through the trailer brings to mind epic scenes in The Dark Knight Rises.

Gotham wants to be dark, almost noir. Indeed, it has the potential to be a darker crime drama than we have seen in a long time from network television. The trailer has set up Gotham City as rampant with crime and corruption. Gotham is so fouled up both the mayor of Gotham and a shadowy type figure want to save it. A young man with blood trickling down his nose, tells Gordon, “There’s a war coming, a terrible war.” Even Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock says,”This is not a city for nice guys.” Clearly, Gotham is not a nice place to live and work.

  Gotham, even after revealing a young Penguin (the man telling Gordon a war is coming) and a young Riddler, could still be a gritty crime drama. However, the trailer also reveals a tween Poison Ivy and Catwoman (Catgirl?) This is the part where I fear the show will not be the gritty crime drama it could be.

I could get behind a young Penguin and Riddler. They had to start somewhere, right? I also don’t mind the show somewhat breaking away from the source material. Christopher Nolan didn’t adhere to the comic books and the movies that make up the Dark Knight trilogy are three great movies.

So, what is bugging me about Gotham? It’s fear. I am afraid Gotham, with the introduction of young Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Pamela Isley can easily spin into Smallville, tween romance land. It would be a shame if this were to happen.

I still have not written off Gotham (see my original rant here), but I can’t help to think this show could be so much better if Bruce Wayne and the other Batman characters were never in the series. Why can’t the show be about one man, Gordon, trying to clean up a city on the verge of destruction?

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