I, Will Eventually Be The Night

I'm back, motherfuckers!  Now let's talk about Gotham.





I'm a little late with this, since FOX put this trailer out a couple days ago, but bear with me here.  I'll give the creators of this series credit: my initial opinion of this was that it would just look a lot like Criminal Minds.   Whether or not that's actually true remains to be seen, but I do think Gotham does manage to capture that feel of being apart of the DC Universe, and the oh-so-iconic Batman mythology.

Here's my problem, though: the other thing I suspected about this series is definitely accurate.  The trailer is all "This city's going to hell!", but we all know the city doesn't get really bad until Bruce shows back up as an adult.  So there are two possibilities that could happen with this series going forward:  Either the series is in a weird holding pattern where very little advances are made, or Gotham will become increasingly like Batman's Gotham, but there won't be a Batman.  We'll see an early Joker, an early Two-Face, and so on until it's another Smallville, where all these references will be made to events before they logically would have happened.

While we're on the subject, can I just say that the idea of having Bruce as a main part of Gotham bugs the hell out of me.  I've always been a proponent of the idea that within a year of Bruce losing his parents, he gets the fuck out of Gotham to start training to become the thing he will eventually call Batman.   If he's just chilling around making CW-esque googly-eyes at teenaged Selina, it's just going to piss me off.

What it breaks down to is they really should've just made this:



Gotham Central, a comic book series from DC's golden era of the early to mid-2000's.  Set in a very much post-Batman world, it follows the lives of the police force that has to live in a city with some of the scariest, most hardened criminals that ever lived, and how they deal with those criminals when they have to actually abide by the law and don't have virtually endless resources and no social/family life to speak of.   Batman would make occasional appearances, but even when he did he was more like a force of nature compared to the very normal police cast you see here.   With the ability to pick and choose from Batman's vast rogues gallery to make the characters' lives hell, the potential for drama and action would be off the scale.   And, you wouldn't have to bend over backwards to explain how this or that character even exists.

I have to assume the primary reason they aren't going for that is because this way they can get a series on the air that takes advantage of the Batman property, but doesn't require them to have Batman actually show up.  This means they don't have to explain why the Batman on television and the one in films aren't the same person.   This is a sound business move given their current direction on film slates...

But the reality is, they should've gone a different direction entirely with their film slate.  Superman vs. Batman (which I'll be discussing later) looks like an absolute mess and it's not even due out until 2016.   And while Man of Steel is nowhere near as strong a movie as I would like, it still sold more than well enough for Warner Bros. to bank on Superman for awhile.  So this begs the question....why the rush to get Batman back to the big screen?  Nolan's trilogy ended only two years ago.  If anything, why not grow the brand of your other superheroes?   Where's Wonder Woman?  Green Lantern?  Aquaman?  Flash?   You could've gotten films (and sequels!) for all of these guys off the ground, two per year in the Marvel-style. 

During that time period...I mean, a decent television series runs...what, five or six years?  Usually after the sixth season most people want a show canceled, at least.  We could've gotten a decent Batman show out around the same time as Gotham, and then rather than force Batman onto the big stage again, let the other heroes share the spotlight for awhile.  Then, after a five to six season run that's more than enough to put into syndication on other networks?  You bring the Batman television series to a close and bring out a new Batman film the following year.  

Instead, for now we appear to be stuck with Gotham.  And even that won't last long.  It's on FOX, which cancels shows if they even look like they might have bad ratings.  WB is throwing a lot of their weight behind this show, but until they make it past the first five episodes that means a whole lot of nothing to me.   Now I'm not discounting this series yet--the public is far more forgiving of continuity issues than even the most casual comic book fan (because they don't know there even is a problem), so this may yet have a chance. 

Still, FOX's record with canceling series is so bad, that I actually think it's not too early to start putting in work to keep it on the air.  If Gotham seems like the kind of series you can get behind, it airs this fall on FOX and I suggest you tell your friends to at least give the premiere a chance.

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