As hesitant as I may be to embrace the new Gotham TV show on FOX, I can still admit that it could be an amazing show. Gotham will be loosely based on Gotham Central, one of my favorite comic book series of all time, and one I have been praising as a potential TV adaptation from the very beginning. Any true Batman fan will tell you that Batman is only as cool as he is because of the world in which he inhabits, and Gotham City is one of the greatest settings in all of fiction.
The potential for Gotham to be a great show is through the roof!
The producers and writers could still mess it up big time. Weren’t we all giggling with glee at the potential behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? That show is only mostly OK more than halfway through it first season, when we all expected it to be Firefly reborn (or at least I did). Gotham could go either way. Brilliant or bupkis. Glorious or garbage. Well if the good people at FOX want Gotham to be a success, they should take my phone calls and listen to the 6 things I want to see in the show!
I don’t know why I haven’t been covering all of the news and casting coming out of the new TV show Gotham. There have been several times where I’ve sat down prepared to say something about Donal Logue being cast as Harvey Bullock, or meeting the new young Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, but nothing comes to mind to write. It’s especially strange considering I think the comic Gotham Central is perfect for a TV adaptation. This new show should be a dream come true.
But it’s not.
Because it’s different. And I think I’m afraid they’re going to mess it up.
Hopefully my regular readers will know that I am not picky when it comes to comic book adaptations. I firmly believe that some changes must be made between the page and the screen, and I really don’t mind when those changes are aesthetic, like using Ultimate Nick Fury in the Marvel movies instead of regular Nick Fury, or not having the Hulk get his powers from a Gamma bomb. The only thing I really have a problem with is when TV and network executives (whom I hate on principal) get their grimy mitts on a beloved property and warp it into something hideous and nonsensical, all in a quest for ratings or viral web clicks or whatever repugnant buzz words they’re spouting next.
I can’t stand it when these adaptations have no soul.
And for some reason, I’m kind of afraid that’s what Gotham is going to be. In everything I’ve seen or read about this series, which is currently in production and will definitely reach our TV screens, I just get this overwhelmingly dreadful feeling that all of this is a sham.
Join me after the jump to see why.
This is exciting news, because it once again means someone out there in TV Land is reading my blog. It seems that FOX has committed to producing Gotham, a series about Commissioner Gordon as a detective on the mean streets of Gotham City. According to Deadline, the show will focus on Gordon and the early lives of Gotham City’s famous super-villains. I’m also just going to assume that the show will include other members of the GCPD, essentially making it Gotham Central the show!
For those who don’t know, Gotham Central was a short-lived comic book series from DC a few years ago that told the story of the Major Crimes Unit in the GCPD. It focused on the detectives who investigate all the super-crime in Gotham, and the trials and tribulations that come with living in Batman’s shadow and going up against guys like the Joker. According to the article, the show is not going to include Batman, which, of course, is insane. Why would you not include Batman!? What is this ridiculous belief that viewers won’t be able to tell the difference between TV Batman and movie Batman? Or is it a legal thing? Isn’t Batman owned by Warner Bros? Why can’t they rule for themselves that Batman can appear in both movies and TV shows!?
One of the best parts of Gotham Central was that Batman (and Robin) were always out there in the shadows, as if looking over the detectives shoulders. But, of course, that’s not the only draw of Gotham Central. The terror that comes from investigating guys like the Joker and Two-Face was really a major part of the comic. Hopefully they can infuse that into this new show.
And I would just look to point out that I had Gotham Central at the top of my list for Comic Books that Should Become TV Shows. So once again my blog is at the cutting edge of pop culture ideas. And any studio executives who want to use some of the other suggestions on my list, go right ahead. I don’t mind.
Hopefully, if Gotham is a success and leads to multiple seasons, DC and Warner Bros. will understand the benefit of introducing Batman. And if they did, I wouldn’t really want them to show Batman anyway. Imagine a whole season where Gordon and his people are haunted by some shadowy vigilante and strange claims of a man who looks like a demon bat. Now that would be good television!