I am a big believer that artists should have full reign over their interpretations of an existing character or franchise. The art piece/movie/actor should receive their opportunity to stand on their own feet with as little pre-judgement as possible. Which is why I gave Gotham an honest chance. I was very excited to see a show that chose to focus on the supporting characters of Gotham City and watch their rise and falls before the era of the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, what we got was a mishmosh of EASTER EGGS that thought they were being clever (her name is Ivy, and her house is COVERED in plants! Get it? GET IT?!) and bad story telling.
However, after having heard showrunner Bruno Heller‘s recent comments at the Edinburgh TV Fest, it is starting to make a little more sense to me. He said, “I don’t think superheroes work very well on TV…” I picture the Luke Cage trailer played on a giant screen behind him as he said this. Heller continued that he thought superhero TV shows do not work due to the costumes and, “TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things.” The success of many “supernatural” shows aside (i.e. Supernatural), I find this wrong across the board and confusing, at best.
Television shows that capture our imagination come down to two things: a good story and compelling characters. Time and time again, TV audiences have proven they will accept ANY premise as long as they care about what is happening and the people it is happening to. Heller created and ran HBO’s Rome, so the man knows how to tell a story, just not this one.
What do you think? Is Gotham a better show than the credit I give it?