What I’m Watching – Gotham

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Been catching up on Gotham over the last week. I’ll admit I wasn’t interested when they announced it for various reasons: mostly because a adolescent Bruce Wayne didn’t sound very compelling. Gotham, as a city, has always held a fascination for me, but I wasn’t sure a show about Batman without Batman would hold my interest. I tried the first episode a while back, and wasn’t hooked enough to return, but a friend told me to stick with it, and the show has improved over time.

One thing I’ve noted is how Jim Gordon is slowly making a difference. Here and there, his altruism is shining a bit of light into a dully lit space. Characters I’d given up on as fully corrupt are responding to him a bit, showing some good under the blanket of gloom.

The sets are excellently chosen, just the right mix of modern and classic New York. There also seems a dedication to rolling the technology back just a little: about fifteen to twenty years. Cell phones are common, but the televisions are CRTs, not flatscreens. Computers don’t play a very big role in research.

The show’s true strength is in the characters, in the ways they entangle across the city’s map, and in the way those threads get jerked along. The creators are smart to have a broad ensemble to call on, and it helps that they’ve picked talented leads. I also can’t say I’m unhappy to see Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen, characters I loved from the Gotham Central comic, included. I’ll give the show the rest of the season, if only to see how they handle the main, mob war plotline.

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