TELEVISION REVIEW: “Gotham” puts new spin on Batman story, focuses on the criminals

Jay Serrano, Editor-in-Chief

“Gotham,” Fox’s new sort of Batman prequel, is one of those shows that gets better with each episode.

The show begins as all Batman stories do, with Thomas and Martha Wayne, Batman’s parents, being shot to death in what appears to be a mugging gone wrong.

The case is assigned to idealistic rookie detective Jim Gordon and his cynical partner Harvey Bullock.

A series of corrupt investigations, betrayals and refusing to look the other way at some of the Gotham Police Department’s illegal practices gets main characters Gordon and Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot in trouble with the Falcone crime family.

After Gordon is ordered to kill Penguin, but disobeys and fakes Penguin’s death, their fates become intertwined setting up some of the show’s greatest scenes and plotlines.

The first two or three episodes of “Gotham” were good, but it quickly devolved into a police procedural that failed to stand out from all the other cop shows.

In the last few weeks, it managed to set itself apart again. Part of the credit goes to the show’s amazing villains and part of it goes to the set design and cinematography crew.

Penguin, played by Robin Lord Taylor, depicts pure evil: A power-hungry sociopath who will kill or betray anybody he needs to in an attempt to make a name for himself in the Gotham crime families.

Eddie Nygma, later known as the Riddler, played by Cory Michael Smith, manages to be quirky, funny and awkward all while proving he is always the smartest man in the room.

The set design crew, cinematographers and writers created a city that is more than a boring backdrop for the main characters’ adventures.

In the show, Gotham City feels just as alive as any of the characters. The characters even refer to it as they would a living being.

There are references throughout the show to ideas such as: Gotham is always willing to devour its rich, Gotham doesn’t want to be saved and Gotham doesn’t care if you’re a good man.

The last one is a central theme of the show: Can a good man make a difference, or even survive, in a city so corrupt?

The show’s theme is dark, because viewers know Gotham won’t be saved until Batman comes along. In the show, Bruce Wayne is only about 12 years old, a long way away from becoming batman.

Because we know the city won’t be saved for years, all that’s left to do is sit back and watch it fall apart.

Watching a losing battle has never been this much fun.