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October 22 2014

Morena Baccarin joins 'Gotham' cast. Can't have too much Morena on TV!

That's great news. Gotham isn't half the show SHIELD is, but I will admit to having watched it all so far, and I'll continue to (especially now).
Wonderful! Gotham seems to be improving and I can't wait to see what it develops into. The addition of Morena makes it even more compelling.
The fifth episode was good and held my attention so I'm glad I didn't give up on it.
I've been enjoying it too.
Yeah, they keep the pace brisk and the Penguin is a fine villain.
I know should be excited that Ms. Baccarin will be joining the cast of Gotham, but the show is such a mess that it's really hard. I don't like to see great actors participate in crap and right now, Gotham is pretty crappy.
I've had problems with it as well. Gordon hasn't liked the way Gotham is run from episode 1, but what has he done to even try and change anything thing about it besides a speech to Bruce? Why should I care about Barbra leaving him if they never seemed like a a good couple in the first place? Since we know Bruce, Gordon etc. all survive to the future why she I be worried when gas is near Bruce or other cops start investigating Gordon? Fish, Penguin and the others are generic baddies wanting power which is repetitive and dull. That can't hold for long if they want to be more then a sometimes-campy-cop-show. The campyness is also at war with the gritty tone they also have so it creates a tonal whiplash. The fact that this is all going to lead to Batman also makes me wonder how they would give Gordon a victory in the first place? He wants to clean up Gotham but Gotham's being broken is what creates Batman so Gordon cannot fix things too much. It feels somehow directionless and trapped in the direction of Batman's shadow at the same time.
@dharmakirti I agree with your appraisal but if Buffy, Angel, Arrow and Agents of SHIELD have taught me anything it's that superhero shows start out episodic and really crappy. And then they get really, really good in season 2. I'm kind of expecting the same from The Flash and Constantine actually.

Gotham does have a few things going for it: showrunner Bruno Heller did a solid job with Rome, Ben Edlund is a member of the writing staff and the cast (which Morena will make even stronger) is mostly solid. Except for Jada Pinkett-Smith's extremely campy performance. I get that she's trying to honor Eartha Kitt's iconic Catwoman, but The Penguin needs to kill Fish Mooney already.
Dusk, I totally agree about the tonal whiplash.
@JesusSavedIn01: Bruno Heller's Rome was pretty damn good, and I've liked the few episodes of the Mentalist that I've watch. So far, for me, Gotham doesn't hold a candle to either of those two shows.

For me, the problem with the show isn't the episodic nature or even the actors' performances (they are working with what the material they've been given) it is the poor writing and the inconsistent tone and what I think is a lack of vision from the creator(s) of the show.

Edit:
I really want to like Gotham, so I will stick with it and hope it gets better.

Regarding Jada Pinkett-Smith, I have problems with the way Fish Mooney is written and I hope the writers are able to flesh out the character give JP-S better material to work with. That said, I kinda like her camptacular performance.

[ edited by dharmakirti on 2014-10-22 19:37 ]
I've never watched Rome, but The Mentalist is pretty terrible. It's really, really formulaic.

As for The Flash, it's actually doing a great job. It seems fully-formed right out of the gate and doesn't really have the growing pains I saw in SHIELD and Arrow.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2014-10-22 19:46 ]
I agree with most of the commnets about the show. I know shows take a little while to hit it's stride but I just don't get what this show is about. I feel like it could be one of 5 things; Gordon trying to clean up Gotham, the gang wars, Bruces story, case of the week, or the wayne murder mystery. I feel like none of those are particulary well developed or fit well together. The only thing that has me going back is that they hopefully pick a direction. Dollhouse, SHEILD and Arrow showed me to wait 5-6 episodes before giving up.

I'm excited Morena joining the show. It'll give me a little bit more of a reason to keep watching.
@dharmakirti besides them being episodic I meant that the first seasons of Buffy, Angel, Arrow and Agents of SHIELD were poorly written and waaaay too campy also. The only reason I'm hopeful for Gotham, The Flash and Constantine is because their showrunners are talented writers that have quality track records. Same thing with Agent Carter, Daredevil (although I'd prefer Drew Goddard over Steve DeKnight) and Jessica Jones. Supergirl, Titans and Lucifer on the other hand have lackluster showrunners that will probably ruin the solid source material and never recover, unfortunately.

Edit:
To be honest, I'm on the verge of skipping the rest of the year and just waiting for season 2 myself. As for The Flash I still have to timeshift it. Between being busy and Hulu/The CW having that "eight days later" policy I've only seen the pilot so far. I really liked it, but I'm basing my (admittedly biased) opinion of the first season on my previous experience with genre shows in general (and superhero shows in particular).

I'm loving what Marvel, DC and 20th Century Fox have planned and, for the most part, who they've picked to make these film and TV projects. As for Sony, if they're going to make a rushed hail mary make-or-break superhero project Drew Goddard might be one of the few people who could possibly pull it off.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2014-10-22 20:47 ]
All CW shows are available next day at cwtv.com, fyi. There is no reason to wait 8 days to watch The Flash. Gotham is also available next day on regular Hulu. The only show that seems to lag is AoS and that is entirely a ABC decision.
@IrrationalTV, thank you so much. I've been time shifting Gotham on regular Hulu with my brother, but Arrow and The Flash were only available next day if you had Hulu Plus. I assumed they were only available next day on the CW's website if you had a cable or satellite subscription (which I don't) like with ABC. You know what they say about people who assume. They...shouldn't. Thanks again. I know what I'm doing this weekend.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2014-10-22 21:19 ]
I've only seen the first three episodes of Gotham, but really not been impressed so far. It has had its moments of being passably entertaining, but I've mostly been finding it rather dull and directionless.

I don't agree that the tone is really the problem for me though; I would love a show in which they combined the camp and gritty, because, quite honestly, they really aren't that far apart. For example, it might have sounded absurd that the creators of Glee would go and make a hardcore horror show, but the first season and a few high points afterwards of American Horror Story show that it actually makes sense. I would also say my favourite moment of Gotham so far has been the opening of the third episode, in which someone gets whisked off by a weather balloon; absurd, but joyfully so.

The main problem I have had is just that it is badly written, with so much on the nose foreshadowing (insert now cliched Riddler joke,) and a police force that doesn't seem to give a damn about anything. They really should be watching some of The Shield and see how they handle corrupt cops there; still want to stop the crooks, but not opposed to pocketing some of the evidence when pulling them in - and keeping enough crime going on to still profit from it.

I also think that they start off on the wrong foot. For a show that is meant to be not about Batman, starting with the death of his parents seems ridiculous. The constantly cutting back to Bruce Wayne means that the focus always ends up being about Batman and how he came to be, with his presence hanging over the show constantly (the same goes for the none stop referencing to the classic villains.) We are always having that reminder that we are watching a Batman show, not a Gotham show. I would personally of had the death of the Waynes as the closing moment of the final episode. Bruce Wayne's father is a pretty intrinsic player in the shaping of Gotham and he should have been a central character throughout the series, with his death marking the final tipping point of the city. Bruce would likely still at least be in the background, but I don't think he should have as prominent a role as he does. (Having said all that, the best parts of the show and where the strongest writing seems to be is actually with the relationship between Bruce and Alfred. I don't think that negates the point though.)

I am sure I will try a few more episodes, but I can't see it turning things around, unless there is a big shift in what they are doing and how the characters are written. It is shame, as I thought the show had potential to be something really great.

Edit - Thanks for the info IrrationaliTV. I knew Gotham was available next day, but didn't know about The Flash. Watched the pilot of that and quite enjoyed it. Really wish ABC would go the same direction, mainly for the selfish reason of wanting to be able to join in the episode discussion here :)

[ edited by Vandelay on 2014-10-22 21:30 ]
I think Gotham had a decent but little rough start.But these last two episodes have been working for me.Most shows usually needed a half a season or full season to find their footing.Agents Of SHIELD did.It tood Arrow a bit too.Both shows though found that footing with the start of season 2(Agents of Shield really found their footing in the last part of season 1)Gotham will proably be the saem.Even Buffy and Angel didn't really find their footings until their second seasons.

Out of the three new comic shows(and Constantine premieres this Friday so I can't tell anything yet),The Flash is the exception IMO.It exploaded out the gate for me.Part of that is probably because it's a spin-off so some of the heavy lifting was already done.It alrady had its universe setup on Arrow and three of its leads already introduced there.The other factor is that The Flash knows what tone it's going for off the bat.

Gotham I think it's still feeling its way.I get Nolan vibe but then Burton vibe.
@ Vandelay-Fish in particular gets a bit more wacky in episode 4, but episode 5 actually had a brief and for this show-subtle moment with Riddler enjoying suffering. The Ballonman thing was too dumb for me, but I did enjoy a line delivery in episode 5: "What's altruism?!"

Part of the problem I also have is that I've seen a good story about Gordon without much Batman already. Check out the animated film Batman: Year One from 2011. With our own Eliza Dushku voicing Catwoman! It's not for kids but it makes me understand Gordon as a person and how he makes Gotham better without Batman's help a lot better then the show has so far. It even uses Falcone in a much more effective way!

And funnily enough, the actor who plays Gordon on this show was the voice of Bruce in the animated film!

[ edited by Dusk on 2014-10-22 22:04 ]
Still somewhat underwhelmed by the show, I wished it was more universe building Gotham, rather than the adventures of Young Jim Gordon, which is still the sense I get from it.

But it's cool that this casting reunites her with Ben Edlund who's a writer on the show.
I've always liked Leslie Thompkins in the Batman comics so I'm pleased Morena is playing her.
Awesome news! The good doctor has long been a favorite of mine (was absolutely stoked when I first made the connection while watching Batman the Animated Series.)

As far as Gotham is concerned I'd say that, on a 1 - 10 scale of relatively recent superhero tv offerings (with 1 being The Cape levels of awfulness, 5 being Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. levels of flamboyant mediocrity, and 10 being Person of Interest levels of awesomeness) it ranks at at least a 4.5 - with loads of room for improvement, depending on how things go (fingers crossed.) And that's without having seen the latest episode...

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2014-10-23 00:59 ]
It's almost unfair to compare other shows with PoI that show is so amazingly good it distorts the scale.
And Amy Acker is once again showing that when the writing is there she is too.
My one central thought regarding Gotham:
It won't stay interesting for over a season unless they jump ahead in the timeline. Not to become a Batman show, but to become a show set in Gotham.
Season 2: Who is the Bat-Man?
Season 3: Gordon has been working with Batman for years. Batman takes a young vigilante under his wing to keep him from making mistakes, and Gordon is starting to doubt his methods. Meanwhile, his daughter is trying to become a cop...and getting rejected for reasons like height. Over the course of the season, she takes on the persona of Batgirl, and eventually meets Batman and Robin. Basically, a season-long loose adaptation of Batgirl: Year One.
Season 4: It's now a straight up Batgirl show.
Season 5: Grayson "graduates" and becomes Nightwing.
Etc.

There's a way this show can work in the long run, but not if it stays "realtime". The really interesting stuff happens later, and the show needs to get there. Nobody wants to watch Bruce Wayne be a kid for years. Jar Jar Binks wasn't the only reason why The Phantom Menace sucked. Nobody cares what the guy in the black cape was like as a kid.
Meanwhile, TV Guide reports this news the way its meant to be reported:

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Morena-Baccarin-Gotham-1088340.aspx
Am I the only one who's been enjoying Gotham from the beginning? Quite a lot more than I enjoyed SHIELD from episodes 2 to 5 or so.
It won't stay interesting for over a season unless they jump ahead in the timeline. Not to become a Batman show, but to become a show set in Gotham.

Could not disagree with you more - the minute they bring the Batman character into it is when the show stops being about Gotham (since there is no way it could not be - let alone why any sane person would want it not to be.)

There's a way this show can work in the long run, but not if it stays "realtime". The really interesting stuff happens later[...]

Unless they come up with interesting stuff that happened earlier...

Nobody wants to watch Bruce Wayne be a kid for years.

With almost any other character I'd agree with you; however, the thing that makes Bruce Wayne (and, by proxy, Batman) such a truly fascinating character is the fact that he is eternally trapped as the kid-self who witnessed his parents' deaths - a very mature kid who is good at faking it around others, but a kid nonetheless. That is why the worst mistake you can make in coming up with Batman stories is focusing on an adult Bruce Wayne as Batman (I'm looking at you, The Dark Knight...) since (a. Batman isn't an actual character - he's just a front for adult Bruce Wayne, and (b. adult Bruce Wayne isn't an actual character either - he's just a front for child Bruce Wayne (I mean - dressing up in a Bat costume to fight crime?..) In this one instance there is absolutely no difference between between what the kid was like and what the "adult" crime-fighter is like since they are exactly the same.

Jar Jar Binks wasn't the only reason why The Phantom Menace sucked.

There are exactly three reasons why the Phantom Menace sucked, and, much as diehard Star Wars might be loathed to admit it, Jar Jar Binks wasn't one of them. In order of critical mass:
1. Bad writing.
2. Bad casting.
3. Bad directing.

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