The great thing about being a pessimist is that you can still be surprised. I was expecting to hate everything about Gotham, but despite myself, I really enjoyed almost everything about the show. Except for Ben Mackenzie as Jim Gordon. Fuck EVERYTHING about him.
I watched the pilot with Henchgirl and our roommate, the Captain. Here are our thoughts.
So Selina is still a street kid in this universe? Excellent! That makes me very happy.
Ugh, within the first second of his screentime, we all immediately pegged Jim Gordon as the Jack Shephard of this universe: the bland, boring, whitebread-is-interesting-by-comparison leading man with a chip on his shoulder and a savior complex. And just like Jack, everything—including an infinitely more interesting supporting cast—will have to serve this annoying jackass. Great. Fantastic. The entire time he’s with Bruce and talking about HIMSELF and how “understands,” I think my eyes were going to fall out of their sockets from how hard I was rolling them back.
Ah, so there’s the scene where Alfred first shows up. I know that a lot of people hated this Alfred, and I confess, I’m sick to death of Alfred being a lower-class military man since Michael Caine made it fashionable, but his introductory scene hit me right in the feels. It helps if you imagine him as being the Third Doctor coming to little Bruce’s rescue.
Ugh, Jim Gordon has such a chip on his shoulder. If there’s one thing that Jim Gordon should NOT be, it’s someone with a chip on his shoulder. Gordon is the very definition of a quiet, unassuming, humble professional, not some hotshot cop who says things like “STAY OUT OF MY WAY.”
Bullock, on the other hand, is about as great as Bullock damn well should be. Sure, it’s weird not hearing him with Robert Constanzo’s Brooklyn accent, and he’s a little too thin even by Donal Logue standards (he was the perfect size for Bullock ten years ago), but he’s still magic in every scene. At least, in comparison to Gordon. Ugh, GORDON.
I love how Bullock just casually spikes his coffee, the first indication of this version’s rampant alcoholism, another reference to Geoff Johns’ “Batman: Earth One.” Hopefully he’ll eventually trade his addictions from booze to donuts and Donal Logue can wear a fake belly so he can be as pudgy as he used to be. It’s weird to see him so well cast in a role now that he’s thin! At around the third or fourth scene of Bullock having booze, Henchgirl shouted “STOP DRINKING! YOUR VICE IS DONUTS!”
During the cheesy interrorgation montage, I may or may not have been singing this.
I hate to admit this, but I love both Eddie and Ozzie in this. Love them to itty bitty bits. They’re just so punchable in different ways. Ozzie, as predicted, is shaping up to be this show’s Ben Linus, only even more weaselly and chaotic evil. Every second the Penguin appeared was a delight. I loved his happy little “poke” right as he was preparing the beat the crap out of the guy. I look forward to seeing him get the living shit kicked out of him in a regular basis even as he slowly becomes the most powerful man in town.
I was especially prepared to hate the constant mentions of how he looks like a Penguin, but I was won over by the weaselly, pathetic whine he makes as he says “Don’t CALL me that!” He sells a moment which should have made my eyes roll. What a wonderful twerp he is! Another great line delivery: “All in fun.”
I’ve seen some people give Jada Pinkett Smith shit for her performance as Fish Mooney. These people are fools. She’s chewing up the scenery and I love her for it. Her turnaround from friendly to fierce after talking to Bullock was fantastic. She is not someone to be bullshitted.
Ugh, Jim Gordon won’t shut up. Why? Why won’t he just shut up? When he says things like “so it’ll be a pleasant talk,” I just want someone, anyone, to punch his lights out. Please? Pretty please? I even found myself rooting for Pepper (ugh) to kill Gordon in the fight. I should not be rooting for the abusive father to cut Gordon’s arm off with a butcher’s knife, I really shouldn’t.
Also, “All we need is reasonable cause.” It’s PROBABLE cause, guys. God save us from writers of cop shows who can’t even get the basic lingo down. Not a great sign.
I’m glad that Montoya is in this and that she’s gay, and I’m also ok with Barbara Kean being bisexual. I’m still not sure why the hell John Constantine can’t be bi, but whatever, I’ll have plenty of time to be pissed about that. Montoya seems pretty good so far, but hopefully she’ll soon grow out of being an antagonist for Gordon.
"You’ve got a little danger in your eye," Fish tells Gordon. Pshh, no he doesn’t. And then Bullock has to come in to save the asshole’s life! "Good," Henchgirl said. "Fuckwit."
Oh goody, Falcone is once again being played by a white-as-hell English-looking guy rather than someone even vaguely Italian. Yawn. Hopefully Fish will kill him sooner than later so we can get right to her battles with Ozzie.
Gordon’s dad was a corrupt D.A.? I wonder if that will figure into this show’s version of Harvey Dent, whenever he shows up this season.
Here’s what the girls were yelling at the screen during the whole scene with Gordon and Bruce at Wayne Manor: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TELLING ALL THIS TO A CHILD DON’T UNLOAD ALL THIS ON A TRAUMATIZED CHILD YOU ASSHOLE WHY ARE YOU GIVING HIM YOUR BADGE YOU ASSHOLE YOU GAVE HIM HIS MISSION GOOD JOB YOU MADE BATMAN HE’S EIGHT STOP STOP STOP STOP WHAT THE FUCK YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HE’S BATMAN YET WHY ARE YOU TELLING HIM ALL THIS WAY TO FUCKING GO JIM YOU JUST MADE BATMAN GOLD FUCKING STAR.”
Finally, I approve of the way that Bullock is corrupt, in that he’s just corrupt enough. He’s not a Flass-type who loves being a cop in Gotham and who gets off on being a bully. I sympathized for the impossible position he was put into after saving Gordon’s stupid ass. May he continue to be the only redeeming aspect of most scenes with Gordon.
Overall, I went into this show expecting to hate it, which probably helped me enjoy it much more than others apparently did. Some people dislike it for being too dark and gritty, but I found it to be more fun and richly colored than the Nolan films and many, many of the comics. The show almost had a garishly neon, Blade-Runner-ish look, which works for me. Despite the cliche parts, I think this show has great potential. But seriously, much as it pains my soul to say this, fuck Jim Gordon.