Season 1 of Fox’s Gotham is over. Boy, was it rough! Like most Batman fans (and, really, who isn’t these days?), I had high hopes for this show and, to put it nicely, they weren’t met. The first few episodes started out strong then just got worse. In the middle, it’s like the show has lost its direction. It knew where it was headed but just couldn’t find how to get there. But I plowed through all 22 episodes of the show because, maybe, just maybe, it would get better at the end. Honestly, I have to say it did get better… but it was still pretty awful.
If I were going to review the entire Season 1, I’d say it was… okay. But that’s only because of the performances of Gordon, Bullock, Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot, Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Carmine Falcone and Sal Moroni. But everything else? Either those things are just okay or just plain suck (I’m looking at you Fish Mooney!).
But with Gotham being renewed for a second season, I have hope that they can remedy a lot of the problems the show had. I already wrote a piece detailing my issues with the show. This time, I’m going to try to be more specific on some of the things they can do to make Season 2 (and show overall) a much better product.
Subtley introduce some of the lesser known DC characters
One of the things I really hated about Gotham’s first season is how they hit you over the head regarding the identities of the characters. Oswald Cobblepot may not be the umbrella carrying portly gentleman criminal we know in the comics but, right in the first episode, everyone calls him Penguin. When Selena introduced herself in the earlier episodes, she doesn’t give her name. No, we have to call her Cat for some strange reason.
With Season 2, I’m betting they’re going to include more of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. It’s already been confirmed that Mr. Freeze will be appearing. I’m just hoping they reveal him in a more sophisticated manner. If he makes one cold related pun like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s version of the character, I’m going to facepalm the heck out of my head!
I do think, however, the producers are focusing too much on the popular Batman villains. They really should take the time to give us the more obscure ones. I would really like to see their spin on Garfield Lynns (Firefly), Maxie Zeus, Jervis Tetch (Mad Hatter) and Dr. Kirk Langstrom (Man-Bat).
But, please, Fox. Be subtle about it. Don’t have Garfield Lynns have jars of fireflies on his shelf or have Maxie Zeus wear a toga during his first appearance! Let us slowly figure it out. You don’t have to hit us over the head with their identities!
Give everyone their own story arc
Remember the two copes from the Major Crimes division that were in the show during the first few episodes? They were Detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen. And, really, what happened to them? It’s like they were buried in the avalanche of characters the writers kept on shoveling onto the show. I guess they were forgotten. I mean, really forgotten! They didn’t even appear in the season finale when the city was in the middle of a mob war! Isn’t that a job for Major Crimes as well?
And it’s not only these two that disappeared. Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy) and Harvey Dent (Two-Face) also disappeared from the show like Chuck Cunningham in Happy Days. The writers really need to give everyone time to shine. Before they introduce anyone, they should first work out what their backstory is and how it fits in the Gotham universe. Make them interact with the world and give them some level of importance.
Take your time with each story and make sure they lead somewhere
Remember that entire subplot with Fish Mooney on Dulmacher’s island? Yeah, that was just awful. Oh, and remember when Carmine Falcone and Sal Moroni were fighting about who gets control of Arkham? Well, that didn’t lead anywhere! That’s one of the biggest problems I have with the first season of Gotham: useless sub-plots. It would’ve been okay if they did lead somewhere by the end of the show but a lot of the times, they’re just forgotten.
I think a part of the problem was Fox originally ordered 16 episodes and the writers just had enough content for that number. Then Fox expanded the order to 22 episodes and they writers scrambled with how to fill the time! Hopefully, that shouldn’t be a problem with season 2 as they already know they have to write 22 episodes worth of content.
Make sure it’s a good script first before thinking of canon
In all honestly, Gotham has been doing a pretty good job of veering away from the canon Batman mythos. There have been some good ideas, actually. I actually like the thing they did with the Red Hood storyline. However, these flashes of brilliants are few and far between. A lot of the stories are hit-or-miss… with a huge emphasis on the latter rather than the former. And that’s not good for a show that’s supposed to weave a myriad of stories and juggle all of these characters.
The best way is to do this is to really get creative and veer out of canon territory a bit. They should try to put some interesting twists with the characters and even touch on things they never did in the comics. However, they shouldn’t go totally crazy and make totally weird changes to the official storyline. Essentially, Fox should turn Gotham into an Elseworlds universe. Make it its own thing and surprise us with a new twist on the Batman story.
This for me is the biggest issue the first season had. It was too serious! Yes, I know that Batman is probably the most serious of all of the comic book superheroes and Fox is just following suit. But really, they ave to inject some levity now and then! My favorite characters are probably Bullock, Cobblepot and Nygma. Cobblepot and Nygma are great characters in themselves because they are the most interesting (damaged?) of the cast. So, why do I like Bullock? He’s not crazy like the other two.
the reason why I like Bullock because he’s funny. While both Cobblepot and Nygma have some humorous moments, Bullock probably got them beat. Gotham doesn’t have to be all grim and dark all the time. Some lighthearted moments is acceptable to break the monotony. Like when Star Trek had the Trouble with Tribbles episodes, I would like to see some one-off comedic episodes in the future.
The show’s been renewed already and they’re already talking future storylines. I do hope Fox gets its act together for their sophomore year. Like I said, the show has a lot of potential and I still do think it does. I just hope Fox learns from the mistakes they made and not repeat it for a second year.
What did you think of the first season of Gotham? What would you like to see in the second season? Let me know in the comments section below!