The Good and the Bad from Gotham: Season 1

The first season of Gotham has finished and it is safe to say that Fox has a hit on its hands. I could see this series being a mainstay on the network for years to come. But just because I was pleased overall with the series doesn’t mean that there were some things I didn’t like. As a matter of fact, there were a few issues I had with the show. So I am here now to list my top three likes and dislikes from the first season.

The Good:


1. James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are a perfect pair.

The James Gordon character, played by Ben McKenzie, is phenomenal. It is great to see the classic character in his younger days. For years we only saw the Gordon character who was older and had to work with or against an adult Batman. To see this younger version of Gordon make his mark in Gotham was refreshing and enjoyable. And McKenzie is perfect in the role.

Harvey Bullock, played by Donal Logue, began the season as the dectective that Gordon despised. But as the season moved along, Bullock became more straight and worked with Gordon to clean up the police department and the city. Bullock also gave the show a touch of comedy when needed and was a favorite of this viewer.

2. Gotham is grittier than I expected.

The city of Gotham has always been portrayed as gritty and dirty, but the show took it to a whole new level. Seemingly every shot of a skyline or alley is dark and dreary. Fog literally covers the city like a blanket. It damn near looks like the city of Silent Hill! But the look of the city is only a part of it.

The inhabitants of Gotham make it even dirtier. Gotham gave the viewers a host of villains unknown to most. Before there were the rogues we all know, there were other villains that reeked havoc on the city. Not to mention Falcone, Maroni, and the other criminals that littered the streets.

3. Slow build of rogues that we all know and love.

The series gave us a little of what I’m sure we all wanted. There were a few episodes that showed us a young Scarecrow and why he becomes the villain we know. We also see a young Poison Ivy throughout the show. And we even had an episode that revealed the Joker as a teen, already displaying his murderous ways.

But throughout the series, the one character I enjoyed watching develop was Edward Nygma, also known as The Riddler. Nygma, played by Cory Michael Smith, is a coroner for the Gotham City Police Department and slowly fell into madness as the season progressed. In the last few episodes, we finally got to see him transform from weirdo to criminal and it was great. I thought his character was developed great and was fun to watch.

The Bad:


1. The Penguin was a bit of a letdown.

Oswald Cobblepot, played by Robin Lord Taylor, is the Penguin, a double-crossing villain who weasels his way to the top of the criminal world. His actions are exactly what fans expected from the villain, but at moments he seemed like a whiny baby. I don’t remember the Penguin being such a wuss. Maybe it is just me, but I was waiting to see a harder edge from him but it never came. Maybe it will come next season. Only time will tell. But this wasn’t my only complaint about the Penguin.

I know it is a small thing, but the Penguin is supposed to be a bigger guy. It was hard to watch this thin as a board Penguin waddled around. I’m not taking a shot at the actor, I just always expect a larger man in this role. Maybe he would be taken more seriously as a threat to the criminal underworld if he didn’t look like the lost member of One Direction.

2. The character of Fish Mooney.

I was never a fan of Fish Mooney from the start. And I felt like the character got even worse as the season progressed. Money, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, was a mob leader underneath Falcone and ran a nightclub at the same time.

But the character just seemed like an extra person to throw into the loop. And I’m not sure she was ever needed. I know that she played a major role throughout the season, but I don’t think it was that critical. And towards the end of the season, I really started to not like her even more. I guess the only positive is that I won’t have to worry about her next season.

3. Alfred’s character is not what I expected.

Maybe this is just a case of not having a clue what Alfred, played by Sean Pertwee, would be like when Bruce Wayne is younger. I guess that I always pictured Alfred as a relaxed, older man that just looked after Wayne after the death of his parents. I didn’t expect a rough-around-the-edges type of Alfred.

I always thought Wayne learned his fighting ways from others, but this series makes it seem like his training started with Alfred. This may be more of me not thinking of how a younger Alfred would act, but only time will tell as the series moves along. But for now, I’m not too thrilled with the overbearing Alfred.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.