GOTHAM: Season 1 (2014)

I recently discovered why I lost interest in The Mentalist after season three. Bruno Heller, the creator, was busy conceiving an idea where he could present an alternate method for a comic book adaptation. I never thought that taking on Christopher Nolan and Nic Pizzolatto together would be a wise decision but then Bruno had his own plans. The notion appealed good to me but its implementation was tricky. So I figured that I had to look what Bruno has been up to.

Gotham was created to predate The Dark Knight. We all know how The Batman took on Gotham but never really saw what was there before. Movies were never made to reveal much and hence failed to build the characters. Christopher Nolan, however, did make an attempt with his Batman trilogy. But asides Joker, he really never pondered deep into the characters. And thus the entire Batman franchise went down exploring only a single central character, Bruce Wayne. Moreover, we never had a chance to see Gotham from the perspective of a normal policeman. Bruno did pull something extraordinary. He developed his own version of the tale and that too by keeping the series protagonist different to what we are used to. He dedicated an entire season for building up a negative character so strong that could reflect its psych more clearer than ever. In fact, he emphasized on two different criminals and gave them the slots they deserve. He dedicated the first three episodes to the Penguin played by Robin Taylor and reserved the last three for the Riddler played by Corey Michael Smith. Meanwhile, he made a clever move to introduce Joker and Scarecrow right in the middle of the season. I believe others will have their chance in the upcoming seasons. The entire plot was so cleverly written that gave each of these characters ample time to demonstrate their psych and cynicism. However, the season one was dedicated to James Gordon (Jim) played by Benjamin McKenzie and his friend (well supposed to be one), the Penguin. Nonetheless, Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue (a true sidekick) was indeed the most psychotically normal character I saw in the entire season.

For some of you who might be wondering how he ever messed up with Nic Pizzolatto. Let me remind you about Jim and Harvey. The duo took charge of the GCPD as True Detectives and that’s where I believe Bruno showed Nic the way a dark and twisted tale should go. Nic Pizzolatto just brought the mindless Hollywood crap that is supposed to be the ultimate intellectualism for some.

The city of Gotham was explored in such a way that portrays more than a real picture of an actual crime ridden city. Don Carmine Falcone made it clear that in order to have an organized crime, you ought to have the law and order in place. It was imperative that Gordon and Falcone survive in some way or the other. Thus only an anarchist would disrupt the proceedings and Bruno had all his plans in place to put Penguin forward for the premise.

The series background score was developed by Graeme Revell and David Russo. Graeme is known for his style similar to Hans Zimmer. And I believe that Bruno has hearts for Zimmer style of music. Some of us know that he brought Blake Neely for The Mentalist just because he learned music from Mr. Zimmer.

Despite exploring so many characters, Bruno made it utter clear that the series protagonist will remain Jim Gordon and not Bruce Wayne. However, there were moments where I saw Bruce juggling with his life and exploring Gotham with his intellect. It was indeed important to show how he figured the city and its corruption. I remember how Nolan emphasized on “It is not who you are underneath, it is what you do defines you”. It may be possible that Bruce will undergo a lot of understanding first by way of his actions aided by his guardian, Alfred. And then we may have the making of a true Dark Knight.