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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Granted, we're talking about Catwoman here. You'd expect some measure of sex appeal where the character is concerned, but COME ON! She's not Catwoman yet, any more than Bruce Wayne is Batman at this point!

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:19 am 
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Thought I'd revive this thread, in light of all the discussion we're doing about it on Facebook.

The latest episode, S01E04 "Arkham," is an incremental step up, though there are still a lot of lingering issues. For example, the past few episodes suffered for being weighed down with too many storylines spinning their wheels. This episode eases that problem in many ways, using Arkham to consolidate the mob war, city hall corruption, and the Wayne killings. It also helps that the procedural case this week directly tied into the greater conflicts and moved some story arcs forward, which puts it far above and beyond the two previous godawful cases.

Moving on to Gordon, his interplay with Bullock was easily the strongest point of the pilot. Alas, Bullock has atrophied into more and more of a stupid unlikeable git in the episodes since, and it's painful to watch. The only reason the character is still bearable is because he's being played by Donal Logue. Compare that to Erin Richards, who continues to be a subpar actress, but at least she was finally given something to work with. Barbara and Gordon are given reasons to distrust each other, and their relationship is now on the rocks. It's not much, but compared with the absolute nothing that Barbara was given to do in the episodes prior, I'll take it.

Incidentally, I think it bears remembering that Gordon directly saved the mayor's life this week. Ten'll get you twenty that speeds up his eventual promotion to commissioner before the season's out.

Moving on, I could never understand why Bruce and Alfred were made into series regulars, since it seemed like the story of Batman's rise was a distraction from the story of Gotham's downfall. But this episode brought their involvement into sharper focus by bringing Thomas and Martha Wayne into the picture. They left behind optimistic plans for Gotham's future that are being warped by today's politicians while Bruce and Alfred can only look on. And somehow, after something like the fifth or sixth time when Gordon gave Bruce some inspirational speech, it finally occurred to me that Bruce is in this series to represent the bright future that potentially awaits Gotham. Bruce, as proto-Batman, represents hope for the future of Gotham, and so represents everything that Gordon is fighting for. Seriously, just pretend -- hypothetically, of course -- that Bruce died or became corrupt at some point in the series. You think Gordon would keep on fighting? No, I think he'd finally give up the battle for lost then and there.

In short, this episode used Bruce and Alfred both as links to Gotham's past and as a path to the city's brighter future. I don't know if the showrunners are smart enough to realize that and continue using them as such, but dear God would it make an improvement.

Moving on, Jada Pinkett Smith was fun to watch in the pilot, but her campiness is getting old quick. The blatant fan service doesn't help, either. Between that and the show's treatment of Renee Montoya (mercifully absent this week), the showrunners clearly have no idea or interest in writing lesbians in any way that isn't trashy. Then again, the show has always had a problem with subtlety.

That brings me to Edward Nygma, who appears once again this week. The obsession with puzzles and paradoxes was dialed down this episode, but considering how obnoxious it was before, that's not saying much. However, I'll take any sign that the showrunners have gotten the memo and agreed to scale back on the hammer-blunt allusions to who these characters will eventually become.

Which brings us to Oswald Cobblepot. Robin Lord Taylor does a surprisingly good job of playing this character as a budding psychopath, but I worry that the character's rise to power is going a little too quickly. The past few episodes have seen Cobblepot go from a broke exile to the manager of a mob-run restaurant, and it took some terribly lazy writing to get him from A to B so quickly.

So far, the weakest characters (aside from Bullock -- discussed earlier -- and Essen -- the captain, which is often a perfunctory and thankless role in this genre) are Selina Kyle, Renee Montoya, and Crispus Allen, all of whom were absent this week. That's just as well, because these characters are going to need at least an episode's worth of rehabilitation apiece. Selina needs something to make her interesting aside from her eventual fate as Catwoman, Montoya needs some motivation other than getting Gordon out of the picture so she can get back with Barbara, and Allen... Sweet Jesus, either kill the guy off or make him something that even remotely resembles an independent human being.

I'll give the show another couple of episodes to see where it goes. In the meantime, I look forward to giving Flash a shot and checking in on SHIELD. What say you?

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:02 am 
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I dunno if I can really say much, cause I haven't watched Gotham at all yet, but I've been following the flash.
Haven't seen episode 2, but I have it "DVR'd" (so to speak)
Can we just talk about The Flash here too? And AoS maybe?
Like a... comic book TV thread? lol I dunno.

I've been gauging fan response to Gotham, and so far I've been staying away.
If the show manages to get better, I'll give it a shot. Otherwise... nah.
Agents of Shield though. I ended up sitting through a new episode the other week, and it was really good.
Like... really good. What happened with this show? This is the fourth overall episode I've seen and it was the only one that was any kind of good.
I dunno if I should watch it from the start or what? But it's really disconcerting to think this is getting legitimately good, but I'll have to sit through
tons of shit just to follow the ongoing story.

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:05 am 
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SHIELD has its own thread, and it's probably due for a bump. I think Flash has its own thread as well. Maybe we can keep the discussions about those shows to their own threads?

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:16 am 
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For me, the biggest weak link on the show is Barbara. She's not a real character. She's a pretty woman who hangs out in an apartment all day, just so we can get the one scene where she tries to pry information out of Gordon, who, by the way, is perfectly in his right to withhold police information from. She's played by an actress with very little range, and who has zero chemistry with her leading man. And while I get that they want to make her an interesting character, as most tv wives of the hero typically aren't, making her an ex junkie who had a relationship with another woman makes the character much more tawdry than she should be. Because the lesbian angle was handled like something you'd see on a late 90's drama, back when lesbianism was included in almost every major show as a way too boost ratings. Barbara has even less chemistry with Montoya, if that's possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:42 pm 
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The thought occurs to me that Barbara could be recast entirely and nothing would change. Seriously, she brings nothing to the show but a pretty face, and those are a dime a dozen in show business. Surely the producers can find some blonde who looks just as generic and has more acting talent.

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:05 pm 
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The way she is written, it almost makes me wonder if the show could diverge from the mythology and have her be killed? Not that she's so annoying she should be killed, but her character doesn't really jive with Gordon's at all. We haven't seen anything to suggest these two would make a good couple, let alone a good married couple. She almost feels like the type of character the hero of the story is initially with, until he finds the real love of his life.

Once again, it all comes down the writing. But I feel like the show is in such a state that if you were to change one thing, everything else would begin to topple with it. McKenzie is as bland as he usually is, but it's not an affected blandness. He doesn't seem to be bland by design. But when you have him acting against a Donal Logue, or whoever plays Edward Nigma (who is way too over the top in this), the two acting styles are jarring together. I've said this on facebook, but if James Gordon is going to be played with the level of restraint McKenzie brings to the role, so too should everyone else around him. Because when you get scenes with him acting opposite Fish Mooney or Nigma, their acting seems wildly bad by comparison because of how heightened they are. I've often said this on this forum when it comes to shows, but I do believe that everyone should look and sound like they belong in the same universe. James Gordon as played by McKenzie doesn't belong on this show.

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:19 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
The way she is written, it almost makes me wonder if the show could diverge from the mythology and have her be killed? Not that she's so annoying she should be killed, but her character doesn't really jive with Gordon's at all. We haven't seen anything to suggest these two would make a good couple, let alone a good married couple. She almost feels like the type of character the hero of the story is initially with, until he finds the real love of his life.

Actually, there would be precedent for that. I understand that in the comics, Barbara was only his first wife, until Gordon had an affair with and eventually married... Sarah Essen. In this case, I'm not sure that would be an upgrade.

HOWEVER! Rumor has it that the show will be bringing in Dr. Leslie Thompkins -- Bruce Wayne's godmother -- as a love interest for Gordon. Hopefully, this will be a nice shot in the arm for the Bruce storyline and the Gordon/Barbara arc.

t3cii wrote:
McKenzie is as bland as he usually is, but it's not an affected blandness. He doesn't seem to be bland by design. But when you have him acting against a Donal Logue, or whoever plays Edward Nigma (who is way too over the top in this), the two acting styles are jarring together. I've said this on facebook, but if James Gordon is going to be played with the level of restraint McKenzie brings to the role, so too should everyone else around him. Because when you get scenes with him acting opposite Fish Mooney or Nigma, their acting seems wildly bad by comparison because of how heightened they are. I've often said this on this forum when it comes to shows, but I do believe that everyone should look and sound like they belong in the same universe. James Gordon as played by McKenzie doesn't belong on this show.
I think the problem is that by design, James Gordon is the straight man. He's the last honest person in authority in Gotham. Which isn't a bad idea in itself, except that the showrunners have apparently interpreted that as "a bland guy surrounded by larger-than-life figures." If Gordon -- and the show -- is going to survive in this environment, then he needs to start upping his game, PRONTO.

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 Post subject: Re: Gotham Tv Series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
I think the problem is that by design, James Gordon is the straight man. He's the last honest person in authority in Gotham. Which isn't a bad idea in itself, except that the showrunners have apparently interpreted that as "a bland guy surrounded by larger-than-life figures." If Gordon -- and the show -- is going to survive in this environment, then he needs to start upping his game, PRONTO.


I also think they wanted Gordon to be a bit of a heartthrob. Let's not forget McKenzie was the star of The O.C. Personally, the character is too intense. I don't mind Gordon as the straight man, but with the way the show is set up, I would have pushed the idea much further. I would have cast a more off beat actor (like Kyle MacLachlan in Twin Peaks, or David Duchovny in The X-Files), and made Gordon more of a boy scout. Someone against even the slightest profanity, someone who doesn't drink, goes to bed at the same time every night, with a glass of milk by his bedside, and a boring but loving relationship with his wife. Guy Pearce's character from LA Confidential comes to mind, the detective who everyone on the force hated, and always played it by the book. There's a scene where his superior tells him to get rid of the glasses he wore, as he couldn't think of a single man in the bureau who wore them. I think Gordon should have been someone who was super clean, with a really dry personality, who would eventually have the stress of the job begin to weigh down on him, and his home life. There is nothing to McKenzie's performance that distinguishes from his previous work.

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