Gotham Season 1 Blu-ray Review
“Gotham” fails to deliver on its potential.
For those hoping that “Gotham” was going to be a Batman TV series, well, you’ll have to keep on hoping for one. Instead, viewers get a series that revolves around a fresh faced Detective James Gordon and his shady partner Harvey Bullock as they try to clean up the crime ridden Gotham City. Of course, there’s more to the series than just that. Other key subplots in the 22 episode inaugural season involve a kid Bruce Wayne, a bloody mob war between Fish Mooney, Falcone, Maroni, and the meddlesome Oswald Cobblepot (AKA The Penguin), Arkham Asylum, drama between Barbara and James, romance between James and Dr. leslie Thompkins, a conflict at Wayne Enterprises, serial killers like The Ogre, and plenty of villains such as The Dollmaker, The Scarecrow, and Balloonman.
After a promising pilot, “Gotham” never quite lives up to its potential due to poor writing across the board. The main problem with the series is that it is created and established in a way that makes the universe these characters inhabit feel small. Do we really need to see the adventures of a young Bruce Wayne? Do we really need to see Poison Ivy, Selina Kyle, and Hush in their youth? The answer is no. They add nothing to the series and feel needlessly shoehorned in. The same goes for most elements of “Gotham.” Nothing feels genuine here. It feels as if Bruno Heller and company are forcing characters and plots down our throat and it’s just the wrong way to go about the series. It does’t help that the series succumbs to networkitis either with the villain of the week format and the drawn out story arcs (I’m looking at you mob war).
In terms of the cast, it is really hit-and-miss. Robin Lord Taylor steals the show as Oswald Cobblepot (AKA The Penguin) as does Cory Michael Smith who impresses as Edward Nygma pre The Riddler. Unfortunately, Ben McKenzie (Gordon) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Fish Mooney) put a damper on the show. McKenzie is woefully miscast as James Gordon. He simply doesn’t have the charisma or range to be the lead for an epic show like this. As for Jada Pinkett Smith, she’s done fine work in the past (see “Bamboozled” or “Collateral”), but she is completely over-the-top as Fish Mooney.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Even better than the televised HD broadcasts.
Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The DTS track handles the quiet character moments and the action exceedingly well.
* Digital copy.
* Deleted scenes for episodes 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 19.
* Character profiles for Detective James Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Alfred J. Pennyworth, Detective Hravey Bullock, Fish Mooney, Oswald Cobblepot, Dr. Leslie Thompkins, and Killer Characters.
* A 5 minute bleep filled gag reel.
* “DC Comics Night At Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine, and Arrow”- A half-hour of highlights from last years San Diego Comic Con.
* “Gotham Invented”- A 3 part extra that contains featurettes titled “Building Our Gotham,” “Paving The Way For The Caped Crusader,” and “Fractured Villains of Gotham.”
* “Gotham: Designing The Fiction”- A featurette on the visuals/sets of the series.
* ‘The Game of Cobblepot”- A 26 minute featurette that spotlights the character of Oswald Cobblepot.
* “Gotham: The Legend Reborn”- A behind-the-scenes featurette that contains cast and crew interviews, story and show discussions, set footage, you know the drill.
Overall Thoughts: Unless you have to watch everything connected to the Batman universe, you’re better off investing your time in a far superior comic book based series like “The Flash” instead. Note: If you’re ready for more “Gotham,” season 2 starts September 21, 2015.
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