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Andrew Kimery
Gotham
on Sep 23, 2014 at 11:14:47 pm

Anyone check out the premiere of Gotham last night?

Some scenes felt forced, others felt heavy handed, a few were pretty contrived and the producers shoved way too many character cameo's into the first episode but it wasn't that bad overall. I'm going to give it 3 or 4 episodes to find its feet. Hopefully they'll get going on the character development 'cause right now everyone seems like a one dimensional stereotype.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Gotham
on Sep 24, 2014 at 3:30:13 am

Over the past 10 days we have watched both Amazing Spiderman movies, Iron Man 3, Captain America the Winter Soldier and Gotham, with Man of Steel sitting on the DVR. This roster has been led by my wife, which is music to my ears!!

We have been struggling through Legends, starring Sean Bean opposite a roster of character actors who are a little too glossy for anything starring Sean Bean. I felt the first couple of scenes of Gotham showed better writing, directing and editing than the first four episodes of Legends combined.

Gotham feels a bit like a WB superhero show (I watched every episode of Smallville, and could accept the silliness of the Metropolis episodes (every scene seemed to take place on the WB back lot NY street, and Metropolis is about a 1 hour drive from Smallville KS and is on some large body of water, and things were obviously very comic book like)). However the opening scenes of Gotham are very similar to the death of the Waynes scenes in Batman Begins, to the point of casting a young boy who looks a lot like the young boy in the Nolan film.

Likewise the vehicles and sets seem like an amalgam of Nolan and Burton, especially the police station interior set which also seems to be paying homage to the police station in Blade Runner (which I believe was filmed in the LA train station), the vehicles and props also have a timeless feel to them. You are not sure if it is present day, the 70's or the 30's - and I think this is by design, since the comics are sort of timeless.

I do agree that they should not have crammed every future villain in the pilot episode, unless they shot the pilot without knowing if it would become a series. But within the first hour we meet at least four future super villains, or at least see them around a crime scene. If Gotham is a city of millions of people it seems a bit implausible these folks would all be directly associated with the main characters, though it is a comic book so it is forgiven.

Playing Det Gordon is Ben McKenzie, who has years of experience playing a beat cop in the excellent Southland series which hopped networks before finally checking out. He looks like Ed Norton at first glance and seems a good fit for the part. He and J Gordon Levitt have some similar features which makes me wonder if the future Nightwing/Robin will appear as a young orphan or whatever.

There is a co-detective named Harvey Bullock who apparently is a character in the comics, but has never appeared in a movie version, though he dresses and talks like he walked out of the 1989 Burton film.

Jada Pinkett Smith has a role as a female mob boss, Fish Mooney, also a character from the comics. While perhaps not well known by the general Batman-viewing public, it is obviously an effort to add a strong female character, and add some diversity to what is generally a monochrome universe.

I have high hopes for this series.

Luckily Bruce Wayne is a good 10+ years from donning the tights and cowl, and hopefully Fox does not rush things to that inevitable conclusion.

Maybe Mark or someone more versed in comics can chime in with how much back story the comics reveal about the villains, or if it is open to interpretation.

Mike Cohen


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Gotham
on Sep 24, 2014 at 5:26:19 am

[Mike Cohen] "I do agree that they should not have crammed every future villain in the pilot episode, unless they shot the pilot without knowing if it would become a series. "

That's a good point. Since it got picked up hopefully the rest of the episodes give more breathing room between new character additions.


[Mike Cohen] "There is a co-detective named Harvey Bullock who apparently is a character in the comics, but has never appeared in a movie version, though he dresses and talks like he walked out of the 1989 Burton film."

In the Burton film there is is a character named Lt. Eckhardt that is very much like Bullock. I actually thought Bullock was the character's name until I checked myself on IMDB. I really like Donal Logue (Bullock) and I hope the writers give him a chance to really flesh out Bullock into a complex character. Bullock also appears in Batman: The Animated Series but he's not corrupt in that show, he just thinks Batman is a costumed vigilante that should be in jail.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Gotham
on Sep 24, 2014 at 6:14:23 am

[Mike Cohen] "Gotham feels a bit like a WB superhero show"

Except not nearly as good as Arrow, and The Flash both looks terrific and is getting the terrific advance reviews that Gotham didn't. Not that I was a fan of Smallville, mind you, but the whole urban corruption / things falling apart vibe in Arrow has it all over Gotham.

I was so looking forward to this, and was really disappointed. I rarely make decisions based on first episodes (people need to stop calling them pilots unless they're pilots -- this one was not), but I barely made it through this. You fellers will have to tell me if I need to watch again.

Sleepy Hollow, though - DANG. One of the top 5 shows on any channel last season, and while it will have a tough time holding that position, it got off to a nifty start....which needs its own thread, but the comparison did Gotham no favors.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Gotham
on Sep 24, 2014 at 1:49:45 pm

Re; Gotham, there was a lot of fan chatter that liked the portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, who eventually becomes The Penguin. There's also some sentiment that this is like a muppet babies version of Batman:-)

It's because of panicky writers and producers that they felt compelled to cram all the possible villains into the first episode, in the hopes that network and the audience will find one or two characters they like.

Agents of Shield was last night, and had a very wheedonesque character/plot advancement that hit hard, so I won;t spoil it for you. This show has finally found its feet after having to pace itself vs. The Winter Soldier movie last year.

The Black List is back. It is fun to watch Spader in this, but damn, the plots get thinner. The gal who played Pinkman's girlfriend in Breaking Bad was in this, and she was awesome.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Gotham
on Sep 24, 2014 at 2:41:49 pm

[Mark Suszko] "There's also some sentiment that this is like a muppet babies version of Batman:-)"

Haha! Yea, I agree, they crammed way to much into that show. It really needed some breathing space and some time to set up the thread with the big encounter at the end. It really felt like they originally wanted to do a big two hour premiere and then cut it down to one. I love the set up to the show and the Gotham they created, it has so much potential. I just hope they get the ship corrected.

If anything I think this show has convinced me to finally watch Arrow.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Gotham
on Sep 25, 2014 at 6:39:41 pm

I watched the first block of scenes (until the commercial break) On Demand last night, didn't think the acting was all that great. Little Bruce's scream was laughable. I'll report back again when I get back from the trip I'm on and can watch the full episode on my DVR so I can fast forward through the commercials. But based on the first scenes, I don't have super high hopes for this show being amazing in the long run. Holy skepticism, Batman!

This is very relevant though:

http://video.vulture.com/video/Batman-s-Parents-Dying-The-Supe



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Tim Wilson
New season stuff, Re: Gotham
on Sep 25, 2014 at 7:20:58 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Agents of Shield was last night, and had a very wheedonesque character/plot advancement that hit hard, so I won;t spoil it for you. This show has finally found its feet after having to pace itself vs. The Winter Soldier movie last year."

I think the show found its feet just past the midpoint of last season. The last handful of episodes outlining the destruction of SHIELD very much worth backfilling via your favorite On Demand vehicle...but yes, this season kicked it up several notches. Any Marvel fan will enjoy dipping in...

...but I'm afraid for me it still fell a mite short of what I'd call whedonesque. I just watched The Avengers again (not NEARLY as tedious when watched in pieces at home in my jammies), and have been dipping back into some favorite Buffy episodes. This isn't close. For that matter, his very literal picture of As You Like It felt more whedonesque.....

...but I also don't want to let my downgrading of that serve to keep anyone away. This is in the classic ABC tradition of sci-fi entertainment that's far better than widely-beloved favorites including Six Million Dollar Man and Wonder Woman. (Season 1 anyway. It flipped to CBS for its last 2 seasons.) I recently saw an episode of WW was nearly unwatchable. I literally cringed a couple of times, and had to look away once. Agents is just plain fun, very well done, and deserves all the credit in the world for continuing to improve.

Not a spoiler because it's been in the news for over a year now, but a flashback teases the introduction of the Agent Carter mini-series, 8 episodes that will air in the mid-season break of SHIELD. That one also looks to be a lot of fun, and sounds just about right.

Remember the NBC Mystery Movies? Those were a group of shows in rotation, so that you'd wind up with, say, one episode of Columbo and one episode of McCloud a month. I'd actually love to see this idea of 8-episode interludes for Marvel every season. Not necessarily just for Agent Carter's character. HOW ABOUT ONE FOR FREAKING LOKI???? The worlds (plural) of Marvel are more than rich enough for it.


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Mark Suszko
Re: New season stuff, Re: Gotham
on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:04:30 pm

"Remember the NBC Mystery Movies? Those were a group of shows in rotation, so that you'd wind up with, say, one episode of Columbo and one episode of McCloud a month. "


I can still whistle the theme tune. But it will make your dog howl.

:-)

That same rotation idea was used in the PTEN network Paramount pout together, to give a handful of sci fi and fantasy shows each a shot at finding an audience, all in the same time slot. The branded it "the Action pack!!!"

It included Babylon 5, Tekwar, Hercules (or was it Xena?), and maybe, Brisco County, Jr.?

Anyhow, Babylon 5 was the biggest breakout from that rotation of shows, though i also enjoyed Tekwar.

I think your idea of a rotating Marvel showcase is a great one.


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Stephen Smith
Re: New season stuff, Re: Gotham
on Sep 30, 2014 at 3:46:01 pm

[Tim]

I was so looking forward to this, and was really disappointed. I rarely make decisions based on first episodes (people need to stop calling them pilots unless they're pilots -- this one was not), but I barely made it through this. You fellers will have to tell me if I need to watch again.

Sleepy Hollow, though - DANG. One of the top 5 shows on any channel last season, and while it will have a tough time holding that position, it got off to a nifty start....which needs its own thread, but the comparison did Gotham no favors.


I agree and agree. I've only watched the fist episode of Gotham and will watch the 2nd when I have time. My prediction is I think James Gordon will end up getting his life spared by the Penguin. And yes, great start for Sleepy Hollow.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Andrew Kimery
Re: New season stuff, Re: Gotham
on Sep 30, 2014 at 4:29:04 pm

Second episode of Gotham is more 'meh'. We are still being introduced to new characters/henchmen and there are so many subplots going on it's like watching a Jack Russell Terroir on crack frantically running around a park full of squirrels. Maybe I've watched too many shows like House of Cards or The Killing but Gotham feels like it's trying to cram two seasons worth of characters and plots into a single season.

So far the biggest crime is we are in a rich, established universe populate by rich, established characters but the show never takes a moment to breathe and let the audience bask in the gloomy glow of what's before use. The characters feel very one dimensional and many plot points feel completely forced (ex. Gordon and the young Bruce Wayne). I'm still going to give it a couple more episodes but Gotham seems like a show that's about the snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.


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Mark Suszko
Re: New season stuff, Re: Gotham
on Oct 1, 2014 at 2:41:38 pm

I watched Gotham 1 and 2 back to back on HULU. The kid playing Selena Kyle/future Catwoman is gonna be a huge star, she's preternaturally cute. The overall plot arc isn't bad, but really, they need to taper off on trying to bring along so MANY future villains so quickly, and develop the core characters more.

The "dollmaker"'s henches were awesome.


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