‘Gotham’ Casts its Silver St. Cloud

FOX’s Gotham is gearing up for a season full of over-packing characters from Batman that have ever existed.

Case in point: Silver St. Cloud.

Natalie Alyn Lind of The Goldbergs will play the debutante. The show, per usual, seems to be taking liberties with her character. St. Cloud will introduce Bruce Wayne to her rich uncle, Theo Galavan, who also happens to be running for Mayor. The release also mentions that St. Cloud may not have the best intentions with Bruce.

While I believe the introduction of the rich uncle is a valid plot line for the shake-ups in Gotham, it seems like it will be more of a “let’s make Selena jealous” plot device. I don’t really care about young teenagers being jealous of one another.

Also, in the comics, St. Cloud wasn’t ever bad. When she and Bruce dated, they were adults. While she was a debutante, she was also smart enough to figure out Bruce’s alter ego. You can read more about her here.

Gotham returns to FOX September 21st.

Source: EW

Gotham Review – “Rogues’ Gallery” S1E11

Oh thank you, Jesus; TV season is back. Right out of the gates, Gotham is back with a variety of new things going on. Jim Gordon has been demoted by the mayor himself to work security at Arkham Asylum, where he will meet Doctor Leslie Thompkins and all hell will surely break loose. While we were very welcome to have Gotham come back, the show is still plagued by the same issues that have done it a disservice all season long.

Pros:

The Freak Show: Gotham can be laughable at times, but there is absolutely nothing fun about a looney bin. There are a few scenes here that set the tone for a darker and scarier rest of the season. Just like it should be.

Leslie Thompkins: There’s really no stopping me from turning into a drooling fanboy when I see Morena Baccarin on screen, but I will attempt to stay level-headed. The newest addition to the show has big shoes to fill in from comic book lore, and has been solid so far.

By himself but not alone: I jumped for joy when Gordon’s former partner Harvey Bullock showed up. Their once-awkward partnership has gained quite a bit of chemistry, and will be one of my favorite components of the show going forward.

Butch starts earning his nickname: In what could have been a very lame twist, Fish Mooney’s fight-hand man ends up getting a lot of brownie points for being a soldier.

Speaking of Fish Mooney: It could be the off-season drought of TV, or it could be the lack of screen time she got, but I found Fish’s character to be much more palatable (haaaa….) this episode. Let’s hope the trend continues.

gotham rogues gallery 2

Cons:

Penguin is not a peacock:  After Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot became our hand-down favorite of the show, it was a little disappointing to see him put in his place so abruptly.

Spoil the mood tunes: Every time that a legitimate threat is formulating, Gotham feels the need to let us know just how dark and suspenseful it is – with some Danny Elfman-esque effects. Severely corny and outdated 25yrs later.

Barbara is a FLOOZY: This episode broke whatever attachment I had to Barbara. Not only is she slummin’ it up with Montoya, but she’s added zero value to the show and was dumb enough to believe that a little girl who answered the phone is sleeping with Gordon. What a winner, Jimbo.

Shiiiiiiiiit: Isiah Whitlock, Jr., known to most as The Wire‘s Clay Davis, makes a cameo here as the Director of Arkham Asylum. He must have not learned a damn thing from those federal inditements, because his quick exit was a major let-down for me.

No Waynes: While the Bruce Wayne and Alfred angle had a lot of progression before the break, they were noticeably absent from “Rogues’ Gallery.” I could do without Bruce, honestly; I just want to see Alfred crack heads.

gotham rogues gallery 3

Easter Eggs:

Tempest: The beginning scene has the inmates performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the plot of misdirection and deceit is quite relatable to the events in “Rogues’ Gallery.”

Jack Gruber: The mastermind being all the different ECT experiments is, thanks to next episode’s preview, the Electrocutioner, most recently an Arkham Origins villain. He sure doesn’t look the part, but whatever.

Aaron Helzinger: Poor guy – ya try to do the right thing and what happens? Bam, lobotomy. Helzinger is a very minot character from the  early 90’s, a man with spontaneous fits of rage after having his amygdala removed.

 

Hugo Strange: Quite… strange… how this Gruber is so much like Hugo. From the electro-compulsive therapy to the need to want to play with the inmates’ minds, even down to the black gloves and the way his face looks, everything about this Gruber guy screams Hugo Strange.

Leslie Thompkins: Every TV Asylum needs a sexy doctor, and Leslie Thompkins fills, no… floods, that position. Seriously though, Dr. Thompkins is one of Batman’s most trusted civilian allies. In the comics, an aged Thompkins offers asylum to all those in need of help, good or bad. She’s the poster-child of the Hippocratic Oath, and with any luck, the best damn rebound that Jim Gordon could ever hope for.

gotham rogues gallery 5

Predictions:

Don’t be a (Hugo) Strange(r): Gruber’s escape from Arkham will have serious repercussions, from Gordon’s position at the joint to the series of murders Gruber will surely commit before being apprehended.

Sparks fly between Thompkins and Gordon: If you are not rooting for them to hook up, then I don’t know what are you doing.

Bye, Bye Barbara: After her latest outburst of stupid, I have every reason to think that she will be stuffed in the metaphorical refrigerator sooner than later.

Butcher’s block: After Butch’s latest show of loyalty, and emergence as kind of a badass, Fish Mooney will eventually thank him in kind with cement shoes. That’s just what bosses do.

Selina doesn’t actually know a damn thing: This future Catwoman is an absolute USER. Like the kind the Eurythmics used to sing about. There’s no way she actually has anything relevant to say about the Wayne killer.

gotham rogues gallery 6

Hush Comics gives “Rogues’ Gallery” a C+ for being unable to rid itself of the laughably implausible plot devices when there is a perfectly good drama waiting to be fleshed out.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Harvey Dent” S1E9

Last week’s Gotham introduced a few new characters, and it continued to lay on the soap opera plot of Barbara and Renee. While this week’s bad guy of the week was a blast to watch (pun intended), and Alfred continues to be the best mainstay character on the show, the rest felt lacking in development.

Harvey Dent, professional coin flipper.
Harvey Dent, professional coin flipper.

Pros:

Finally addressing that sweet crib: When Gordon brings Selina home with him, she comments on his apartment, saying he must be “one rich cop.” Turns out it’s Barbara’s place, which doesn’t clear anything up. But at least we know that it didn’t come from Gordon’s money.

Ian Hargrove, crazy bomb maker and best character in the show to date: This week we were introduced to insane bomb maker, Ian Hargrove. He is a brand new character, just for the show, and to date, he is the best character yet. A bomb maker using his own sense of justice in Gotham to take out companies who make guns? Pretty cool. Plus he is smart. Putting an indicator in the bomb he was forced to make by the Russians was a brilliant move, knowing it would lead police to him.

Nygma the Nerd:  Forensics specialist Edward Nygma did add a lot this week’s episode, but his nerd out about video games and trivia made me smile.

Alfred Pennyworth, butler by day, badass by night:  Alfred is quickly shaping up to be the only character with balls on this show. He is unafraid to question authority, teach youngsters how to be Batman, and telling others exactly what he thinks of them. And all that happened just in this episode! My favorite Alfred moment this week was saying that Selina is a tricky little minx. You tell ‘em!

The Ringtone:  When Butch called the Russian’s truck to blow it up, the ringtone was “The Final Countdown.” It’s just funny.

Cons:

The Title:  Gotham really needs to work on its titles. This episode, titled “Harvey Dent” had a total of three scenes with the newly introduced character, and poorly introduced at that. He seems conniving, contradictory to him being a good lawyer according to Gordon. I was confused about if we were supposed to like him or not. Between his fake charisma and his anger outburst, it seems Dent will be a bad guy sooner than later.

“Cat” and her teenage romance:  Selina Kyle, who is going by Cat (ugh) gives James Gordon’s sketch guy a description of the man who killed the Wayne’s There is only one problem with that: he was wearing a mask. How could she have seen his face? I wonder if the audience is supposed to go with this or if she will be revealed to be a liar. Also, the teenage romance between Bruce and Selina is supposed to be sweet, but I think it’s (Jimmy Fallon voice) “ew.”

James Gordon, the detective who is still learning the ropes:  James Gordon is still a better cop than Bullock, (although arguably not this week), but he did a few questionable things. I understand he wants/needs Selina’s help in the Wayne case, so he needs to keep her in close vicinity, but putting her up with the son of the Wayne’s seems like a conflict of interest. Also, when the Russians and Gordon were about to have a shootout in the street over Hargrove, he tells Hargrove his brother and family are in protective custody. Not a good idea to say when the gangs run the town and the police work for them. They can easily find Hargrove’s family and use them for leverage.

Other ridiculous things:  -The “Penguin” music.  -The line by a guard that goes, “Sounds like ticking” and then he leans into the ticking as if it couldn’t be a bomb.  -Jada Pinkett Smith.  -And the fact that she is up for a People’s Choice award for best actress when she is terrible.  -The weird strippers who are always at Mooney’s club, but no one ever goes there, so they must be poor strippers.  – Using the only two women on the show as a lesbian trope to gain viewers.

Put 'em up, Wayne!
Put ’em up, Wayne!

Easter Eggs:

Harvey Dent and his coin:  Harvey Dent was introduced in this episode. We know he is a lawyer, he has a two-headed coin, and that he has an anger problem. This all seems to be pretty spot on with the Harvey Dent of the comic lore. He will eventually be Two-Face, but before that, he’s on the side of the good guys. I don’t’ get that feeling from him quite yet, but time will tell.

Blackgate Penitentiary:  Blackgate Penitentiary has been the prison on Gotham Bay since the early 90’s. Before that, the main prison in Gotham was… Gotham Prison. Blackgate has been the predominant prison used in the lore for years now.

Lovecraft?:  Dick Lovecraft made his first appearance as Gotham City billionaire. Was he in the comics? In short, no. It could be a reference to Justice League villain Dr. Lovecraft; however this character has none of the same characteristics other than just being bad. And really, who in Gotham isn’t?

“You move quiet.”:  Selina tells Bruce that he moves “quiet” when he sneaks up on her as she about to sneak out of Wayne Manor. It was a nice little nod to the grown-up versions of themselves.

Predictions:

Gaytham: Babs didn’t really leave to get away from Gotham, but instead to indulge in Gaytham.

The future of the betting man: Will Dent be instantly bad? Will Maroni throw acid in his face? This season? I think so. His character is young, but introduced as shady from the start. I don’t think we will have much time to like the attorney before he becomes Two-Face.

Hargrove in the bigger picture:  Will Ian Hargrove return? A lot of time was spent on him this episode. Granted, he is locked up in Arkham now, I feel like he was so well written, it would be really cool to bring him back.

Hush Comics gives “Harvey Dent” a B for the introduction of Ian Hargrove, exploring the depths of Alfred Pennyworth, but not spending enough time on the title guy himself, Harvey Dent.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “The Mask” S1E8

After Oswalt Cobblepot took center stage in last week’s “The Penguin’s Umbrella,” this week’s “The Mask” continues to impress with Black Mask being our villain of the week. Black Mask is another one of those ideal Gotham City villains that exist just on the right side of supernatural themed bad guys that operate through fear, force and numbers. While Black Mask does get a sizable amount of attention in this episode, the comic book lore spills over several different scenes in the episode that excite us for future events.

“The Mask” starts out with a Fight Club meets Hunger Games office brawl – and why shouldn’t it? If you’ve worked for a corporation, then you know that this is just another day in the life of somebody looking for a promotion. The scene is extremely brutal, and the crime scene that it results in demonstrates that quite well. It’s not every day you find a dismembered thumb in some dead guy’s mouth. There isn’t a lot of detective work that goes into finding the person responsible for the office brawls. I mean – black ink, ski-masks, SUSPENDERS?? It had to be Black Mask. The mystery surrounding Richard Sionis is enough to make the episode engaging. Obsessed with the warrior spirit and encouraging his employees to literally kill each other for promotions, this is as much social commentary as it is good writing; none of these selfish a-holes are forced to into “applying” for this high risk job.

gotham the mask sionis

The elements of this episode that we really enjoyed were the side stories. When judging the success of the show, it all comes down to show & tell. Gotham is doing an exponentially better job of showing the growth of James Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the eventually come-around of the GCPD. Harvey’s speech early on in the episode to Essex about how ashamed the rest of the police department is of Gordon’s heroics really resonated with us, and humanized the police department that we had been resenting this whole season. Harvey Bullock is a much more lovable person when he’s the jerk that’s on the right side of the argument.

Fish Mooney, on the other hand, continues to become the worst part of the show, and I am counting down the days before Penguin pushes her off the end of the pier. Her plan to put an impressionable sheep of a mole in bed with Falcone is completely dumb, and will undoubtedly backfire right in her face. And what was up with that old lady on stage? And why is nobody ever at Fish Mooney’s club? Fish isn’t the only annoying character in this episode. After quite possibly the worst attempt at “saving” her man (which led to her being kidnapped and ruining any leverage Gordon had on Falcone), Barbara has finally decided that Jim not answering his phone was the final straw. Barbara’s character could have been so much more, but was really reduced to a bi-sexual token and pretty face. We’ll see how this plays out – if she’s gone for good, or just long enough for Gordon to find another love interest.

gotham_108__emptylot_12310_hires1

Speaking of love interest, thank goodness we get to dive deeper into the infinitely creepy relationship between Oswalt and his mother. It could be the most disturbing element of Gotham, and that’s saying a lot if guys like Victor Zsasz are carving tally marks into their arm for each kill. Mommy issues aside, Penguin is shaping up to be quite the crime boss. His precise strikes and power moves are very clever, and it’s only a matter of time before he arises from the rubble of the Falcone-Maroni feud in control of the underworld.

The outliers were have in Gotham so far are Edward Nygma and Bruce Wayne (weird, huh?). Nygma is struggling to find himself a meaningful member of the Crime Scene Unit, and although his methods are grating, he has proven time again that he is the smartest person in the room, especially when the other people in the room are corpses. Word to GCPD, they better give him something more productive to do before he decides to entertain himself. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, is trying to move on after the murder of his parents, but is having issues with cruel kids picking on him for it. Alfred handles the situation like any parent figure would; he will teach Bruce to beat the snot out of everybody, which is strongly reminiscent of Batman: Earth One. Who is Bruce’s first victim? Tommy Elliott, none other than Bruce’s close childhood friend turned arch nemesis Hush. Yes! HUSH! We don’t know if Tommy will show up again or become friends with Bruce after Bruce tried to “kill” him (wuss), but it’s anybody’s guess.

gotham the mask bruce

A couple of subtle things I’ve noticed:

  • While the black mask that Black Mask wears is definitely more of a skeleton in the comics, the one the show uses is decidedly more Japanese-influenced. In fact, it looks a lot like the Mask of Tengu from Knightfall that Bruce Wayne used while training with Lady Shiva.
  • Bruce was quoted as saying to Alfred things like “I enjoyed hurting him” and “I’m so angry all the time.” It looks like this might be a recurring theme for somebody destined to beat the crap out of bad guys for years to come.

Hush Comics gives “The Mask” a B+ for finally giving us the portrayal of Gotham City that we wanted. We’re finally on the police’s side, and while we know they are still a bunch of cowards, at least they know it, too. The Bruce Wayne story is continuing to build from what began as a weak attempt to draw in familiarity. And while Fish Mooney continues to disappoint, there are no hard laughs made at her expense like there were at the beginning of the season. It looks like Gotham has been realigned itself with our original expectations. All it needed was a swashbuckling session with a paper cutter.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Selina Kyle” S1E2

After the pilot, “Gotham,” it was clear that this show had a high ceiling. With plenty of Easter Eggs and a promise of what is to come, Gotham has passed the initial test. The continuity is out of whack, but there are enough shout-outs to keep hardcore fans engaged. Yet, there is enough (even too much, at times) explanation of what is going on to hook new viewers, as well. Two weeks in and it seems as though Detective James Gordon is making no friends whatsoever at the GD GCPD. For us  at home, however, it is a different story altogether. Already, Gotham has dramatically increased in quality. The tone is much closer now to a Sopranos episode than last week, which played out like a Kung-Fu flick without martial arts. It has already established itself as the best comic book related show on the air right now (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only other comic book-related series on the air right now…until next week); however, there are still a few lingering poor qualities that keep Gotham from reaching its full potential.

Yes, this
Yes, this lingering poor quality.

This episode follows Gordon and Bullock as they try to take on a mysterious kidnapper, who turns out to be one of Gotham’s most terrifying villains! THE DOLLMAKER! Now that you’ve been thoroughly let down, I’ll explain what that means for the show. For one, we don’t even get to see The Dollmaker in this episode, although his name is heavily dropped throughout the show. Unfortunately, it looks like DC is still relying on masked maniacs and gimmicky goons to add some flavor to the show, but it’s really not something they need to do. Kidnapping homeless children off the street (which was eerily reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Anne”) makes Gotham look frightening enough on its own. You don’t need to tell us that “bums get shot here all the time” when you are walking people off the pier and Waynes are getting shot all over the place. We get it; it’s a bad place.

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Selina Kyle

I’ve tried to put up with this two weeks in a row, but I can no longer give Jada Pinkett Smith the benefit of the doubt. I thought decades of marriage to Will Smith, that she would have learned a thing or two, but no. As arguably the biggest “star” on Gotham, I expected her performance as upcoming crime lord Fish Mooney to equate to more than focused, off-camera glances and exaggerated screams of fury. If a mob boss like Fish Mooney existed in real life, it would be in a junior high acting class. The bad acting isn’t isolated to just her either. I have been extremely put off of the whole Wayne situation. Bruce, who insists he is not self destructive but is, and his humorously irate butler, Alfred, are a constant distraction to what Gordon is up to. The relationship between Alfred and Bruce is very eyebrow-raising. While there is an unmistakable Earth One influence here, the way Afled man-handles Bruce, I can’t help but wonder if Bruce gets beat off-screen. Maybe that’s why he’s listening to such angry music and drawing Bat-caves. Good going, Alfred. #NOTMYALFRED

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Gordon, Bullock and Mayor

On the other side of the coin (aww, look at that convenient Two-Face reference that I will have to save for later…), Oswald Cobblepot has become a big player in Gotham, and is easily one of the most interesting characters thus far. The preview showed Penguin murdering a couple of people kind enough to give him a ride, but it didn’t tell the whole story. The two frat boy douche rockets that gave him a ride were constantly disrespecting him before using the trigger word, saying he looked like a penguin and incurring his murderous rage. Now, the producers could have chosen to make the people who picked him up a normal family that accidentally set Cobblepot off by talking about Happy Feet; rather, there was a distinct and deliberate decision to make him a likable character by killing unlikable people. His character is intriguing – oddly charming and cordial until he loses it. We also learn, through a visit with Oswald’s mom, that he was once a fairly handsome and respected young man. What series events created the tweaked out, waddling psycho that we saw in this episode?

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Cobblepot's Mom

The GCPD dynamic is getting stronger, too. Gordon has stepped up and is fighting authority every step of the way. One of the best encounters is when he tells a patrolman that he’s “not a bad guy, just a bad cop.” That statement more or less sums up the entire GCPD. Harvey Bullock is supposed to outrank Gordon, but I think a chain of command like in the comic books had would be better suited for a lone wolf cop situation like the one Gotham is aiming for. Not only are they as crooked as a question mark (Nygma reference thrown in there, too!), but when they do decide to do the right thing, they are usually so inept that they cause bad things to happen anyway – like say handing busloads of untraceable children to a human trafficker. Thank goodness that Gordon is on the case. Ben McKenzie is really a great choice as leading man. He is the model officer, risking death to be an honest cop in a crooked city, and carries with him a sense of dry humor just good enough to keep him charismatic to the audience. The only thing holding him back is his (and really any characters in the show) tendency to get uncomfortably close to everybody he has a serious conversation with.

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Bus Full of Kids

Meanwhile, though, Captain Sarah Essen, who seemed to be totally clueless in the pilot, is all of a sudden criticizing Gordon for not “being with the program.” Not only is this a major cop-out to building her character, but all but removes the likelihood of a Gordon-Essen affair, which was a BIG deal in the comic books. After seeing what Barbara looks like, would you leave that for a crooked police Captain like Essen? No, you would not. Behind every good man is a strong woman, and that is no exception with Barbara Kean. She is a great supporting character with strong convictions – the perfect match for James Gordon.

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Cobblepot

Barbara is not the only female to get some screen time, though. Selina Kyle, who prefers to go by Cat – oh! I get it; because she’s Catwoman (eye roll) – finally gets some love. Although, and I’m not sure I would have even noticed if it had not been pointed out to me, it took FORTY minutes of the episde before the character that the episode, “Selina Kyle,” had any dialogue. She’s a spunky character, and we get early traces of her acrobatics to be, but there is a scene later on in the episode that kills any chance of me liking her again. When trying to get an officer to get Gordon for her, Selina threatens to scream that the officer touched her inappropriately if he does not do her bidding. Especially with “Yes Means Yes” gaining so much traction, it is bullshit that scenes like these are making rounds on public television, where many impressionable young women will undoubtedly watch and see this as an admissible way to get what they want. Ugh. Getting back on track, Selina seems to have a valuable piece of information concerning Joe Chill and the murder of the Waynes. Knowing her angle, it’s fair to ask, on a scale of 1 – Selina Kyle, how full of shit is she?

Gotham - %22Selina Kyle%22 Gordon, Bullock and Mooney

Gotham has improved over two episodes in almost every way, but writer Bruno Heller really needs to stop holding our hand through every little tidbit of fanboy information we come across. For example, if I see Selina Kyle will be in an episode and I have read the comics, then by hearing her insist they call her “Cat,” I am, assuming that you either think I am an idiot and cannot figure the subtlety on my own, thinking that calling the future Catwoman “Cat” is gimmicky and lame. FOX should not be afraid to assume that their viewers can read between the lines. This is a detective show isn’t it? Stop assuming your viewers have the intelligence of your average GCPD beat cop and give us something to satisfy the need to solve cases right along with Jim Gordon.

Hush Comics gives “Selina Kyle” a B+ for it’s continual improvement, notably in setting a dark tone. The acting is a mixed bag, with main players like Cobblepot, Gordon and Falcone outshining the rest of the cast. If Gotham can get over the speed bumps of spelling out the entire story for viewers and avoid being too corny, it has the potential to keep us glued to the screen all season long.

All pictures in this article belong to Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment

Gotham Review – “Gotham” S1E1

Did they really just cram SEVEN rogues from Batman lore in the 45 minute premiere episode of Gotham?  Plus one that never existed until now?  Seven!  In case you missed it, there was: Joe Chill, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, The Joker, Poison Ivy, and Carmine Falcone.  Then you can throw in Fish Mooney, and for that matter Butch and Frankie, who by the way is terrifying.

Back to the original rogues, though.  The episode was only 45 minutes (ok, ok, it was 48 minutes and 51 seconds) and they felt the need to cram that many characters in?  There is a difference between Easter Eggs and the Full Monty; Gotham could benefit from toning down its Full Monty.  Even Batman Forever was more subtle.  And then let’s talk about Fish Mooney.  Not only were here lines over-the-top, but so was her delivery.  I love Jada Pinkett-Smith.  I do.  But her performance as Carmine Falcone’s lackey was so ridiculous, it was almost laughable.  Added to which, it turns out her character had almost no point once Falcone appeared, undermining everything she had done the entire episode.  But I’ll get to Falcone later.

 

So many characters, so little time.
So many characters, so little time.

As for the rest of the villains, Catwoman, who is really just Catgirl at this point, had the most screen time other than Falcone and Oswald Cobblepot, but didn’t have a single line.  The explanation of her obsession with Bruce Wayne is the only decent twist to the story they made; she witnessed the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne.  Aside from that story line, though, her role had little substance.  I am hopeful that since next week’s episode is titled “Selina Kyle,” her character will be more fully realized without the distraction of all the other baddies.  Oh, and Edward Nygma is the forensics guy for GCPD?!  That department must be in more trouble than we thought because who in their right mind would let that creepy dude handle ballistics?  Then there is Poison Ivy.  I really have a problem with her.  Maybe not her, but the writers.  They had to spell it out so much for the audience that they named the girl Ivy?  Come on, now.  Fans of the Batman story know who Pamela Isley is, and if they don’t, they will catch on just because she has red hair and is playing with plants.  I really have a problem with how Gotham was so willing to give things away to the audience instead of us just figuring it out on our own.  As for Joe Chill, at this point the unnamed murderer of the Waynes, it is clever to have him out in Gotham still; something that could culminate into a great plot point, but I just hope that it isn’t a constant theme in the series.  The villain who does seem to be driving the plot at this point is Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin.  I really liked him.  He seems like a formidable scary baddie.  The actor who plays him, Robin Taylor, can do crazy really well; he was insane without being over-the-top, but the writing for his character was still something to be desired for.  He claims to be clever, but goes to tell on Mooney to the Major Crimes Unit’s Montoya and Allen in BROAD DAYLIGHT!  Clearly, The Wire does not exist in the Gotham Universe.  Somewhere Bubbles is shaking his head.

I guess it is about time I get into the actual plot of the Gotham‘s pilot episode.  The episode starts off with the murder of Bruce’s parents.  It was abrupt and ill-fitting.  If I was an alien from outer space and I had never heard of Bruce Wayne or Batman or Gotham City, I would have absolutely no connection to this story line.  There was no build up, and Bruce’s reaction seemed strange with that muted scream.  I believe there should have been more background on the Wayne family in order to get anyone to care about their deaths.  Perhaps this is because this is James Gordon’s story and not Bruce Wayne’s; however, the two are so interconnected that instead of James comforting young Bruce with the story of how his parents died, the show could mirror the two characters by using flashbacks.  Arrow uses flashbacks extremely well to push a story forward.  I said before that Gotham was too willing to feed us information instead of showing us – the flashback technique would take care of that, and in the meantime give the audience more insight into Gordon since he is the main character.

Hey Girl... I'm too pretty to wear glasses.
Hey Girl… I’m too pretty to wear glasses.

While I am a fan of Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, his partner, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, seems out of place. Logue’s resume is impressive, so it is difficult to pinpoint if it is his portrayal as Bullock, or if the writing for Bullock isn’t stellar.  It could be both, but I did not like this version.  If he will continue to be second billed, his character needs to be much stronger.  Bullock has always been his own man – the type who breaks the law, but for the greater good a la Jimmy McNulty (again, The Wire must be referenced)  This Bullock seemed like a whipped house cat.

As for Barbara, Gordon’s girlfriend, the biggest story line for her is that she is a former lesbian.  FOX really knows how to be progressive – by making the gay couple two overly attractive women.  The good thing about this is that it started the #Gaytham trend on Twitter and brought us this wonderful piece of wisdom:

Other than her sexuality, Barbara’s character didn’t add much to the story.  Her dialogue was terrible, which makes me sad because this is the most attention she has ever gotten in a story.

Finally, let’s talk about Carmine Falcone.  The best part of the episode was the last 10 minutes.  But it was a enough for me to want to come back.  Falcone, the mob boss of Gotham, saved the day.  Not only for Gordon, but for me as an audience member.  The tease of some history between Falcone and Gordon’s father is a very interesting twist on Gotham’s history.  And Falcone had the best line of the episode – “You can’t have organized crime without law and order.” Brilliant!  It’s hard not to be impressed with Falcone, though.  After all, he is played by John Doman, Rawls from, you guessed it, The Wire.  His acting prowess is superb.

John Doman as Carmine Falcone
In Bocca Al Lupo

Speaking of The Wire, I saw so many instances where Gotham could be a version of the HBO classic, but ya know, with Batman.  There are many opportunities the show could explore when it comes to crime, criminals, the police, and our society as a whole, especially because we are involved closely in the world of the Gotham City Police Department.  It was hard to swallow the changes to the story.  I am trying to be open, but it is hard to fight the nostalgia for some of the “original” stuff. While the majority of the episode was overdone, there were some glimmers of light for the show, particularly Gordon’s and Falcone’s individual moments.  The end was predictable, but the “rivers of blood” thing that Penguin yelled about was laughably intriguing.

Hush Comics gives the Pilot episode of GothamB.  While there were many eye-roll moments, and too many characters introduced at once, the dynamic between James Gordon and Carmine Falcone will keep me interested in what happens in Gotham.

all pictures in this article belong to Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment

Batman Day – Best Batman Theme Songs

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

batman day logo

 

Top 10 Batman Theme Songs

You can usually tell a person’s age depending on the Batman theme song they identify most. The tunes may have altered throughout the year, but the spirit of them is still the same. You could be at at your daughter’s recital, or giving a presentation to your boss, when that Batman ringtone goes off, people smile. Aside from Superman and a few Marvel characters, Batman is part of a select few that have gotten even one theme song, let alone enough to do a top ten. So rejoice in the sound of the Bat, and let us know which ones you liked the best.

 

10.) Batman Forever

This theme, composed by Elliot Goldenthal, was a distinct departure from the Danny Elfman-produced themes of the Tim Burton films. It’s one of the few good things to come out of Batman Forever. We wish we could count Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose” on here, because that would have instantly shot this up the charts. The use of big, brass instruments gives the theme that epic Batman feeling.

 

9.) Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, “Molossus”

Composed by Hans Zimmer, this theme was actually slightly introduced towards the end of Batman Begins, and expanded upon in The Dark Knight. The harsh drums and cello is the call to action Batman deserves. In fact, the entire scores to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are worth a listen if you need to get pumped up for that job interview or test.

 

8.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold

When The Brave and the Bold first aired in 2008, I was skeptical. All I needed to see was the opening credits to know that this was going to be a clear homage to the Adam West days with a modern twist to it. The upbeat and very short theme song got its point across without much variation or flare, but it was all Batman.

 

7.) Adam West’s Batman series

Speaking of Adam West, the classic theme from the TV series, which was also used in the Hanna Barbera animated version, is full of butt-kicking goodness, punching sound effects strewn within. The shrill “Batman!” cry heard throughout is the work of an eight-member chorus. It’s the reason the we all sing “Na na na na na na na na…. Batman!” – a true classic theme song in American history.

 

6.) Arkham City

The 2011 video game, which is heralded as the best Batman game yet, had its own score and “Music Inspired By” soundtrack, headlined by this main theme. It was a blend of Zimmer’s The Dark Knight and Elfman’s whimsical woodwinds, creating a truly awesome mixture for us to glide through Gotham to. Good job by Nick Arundel in using the best elements from two of the greatest theme songs in Bat-history to create something new and exciting.

 

5.) The Dark Knight Rises

When Christopher Nolan closed out his trilogy, he left us with a lot of questions – and a lot more unexplainable plot holes. That wasn’t the case for Hans Zimmer, who gave audiences the definitive theme song worthy of ending the epic journey. The theme goes through multiple uplifting phases of the heroes journey. Like The Dark Knight before it, Zimmer’s score is a complete package, one that you can listen to the whole way through, with enough variation to feel like a complete experience.

 

4.) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Mask of the Phantasm was a 1993 animated film about Batman’s tangle with a villain who took justice into their own hands, often leading to death for their targets. The theme has a more dynamic feel than the usual animated series theme song, using gospel themes, and more prominent orchestral tones. It may have been a bit too dramatic to be the best theme, but Shirley Walker’s theme fit this film perfectly.

 

3.) Batman Beyond

Ushering in a new generation, the theme song to Batman Beyond was just as futuristic as Terry McGinnis himself. It’s a far departure from the theme used in Batman: The Animated Series, and that’s what made it work so well. Most people can’t even tell that this Kristopher Carter track is Batman-related at all, but fans raised on the series instantly jam out to the theme. This was certainly not their father’s Batman; he belonged to them.

 

2.) Batman Returns

The year was 1992 and Danny Elfman was beginning to make a name for himself in the film score circles with great work on movies like Dick Tracy and Beetlejuice. Elfman’s sound was distinctly gothic, fitting the terrifying story of Batman Returns to a tee. As the opening credits roll, we are treated to a look at the sad journey of Oswald Cobblepot that Burton had created for us, amplified by the frantic pace of the theme song in the background. Since then, Elfman’s has reproduced the same style in almost every theme song he’s done, turning it into more of a cliché over the years, but after twenty years, his Batman theme is still practically untouchable.

 

1.) Batman: The Animated Series

The famous theme song, accompanied by one of the best introduction sequences of all time, of Batman: The Animated Series takes the title of Best Batman Theme Song. Taking clear inspiration from the aforementioned Burton films, TAS theme song was created by Shirley Walker – who, coincidentally enough was Burton’s conductor for the films. The student definitely became the master, and together, the two perfected the Burton theme. The brass is more pronounced, and the subtleties of the film theme were lost in favor of a more crisp overall sound.