I love Gotham. I think it’s a lot of fun and I think that the crazier it gets, the better. Here’s my Gotham Season 2 DVD review.
In a lot of movies, TV and comics, there is an idea that Batman created his own Rogues gallery by dressing up as a bat and lurking in the night, somehow inspiring a lot of crazy people to put on costumes and try to kill him. Gotham does not subscribe to this point of view. In Gotham, years before Batman decided on a cowl instead of a mask, the city is already completely nuts, hopelessly corrupt and the lunatics literally running the asylum— this lunatic being the excellent Hugo Strange, who comes out to play with people’s minds and turn them loose on an unsuspecting city.
Let me back up a few. Gotham is the story of a young Jim Gordon, a detective, who comes to Gotham and learns that you can’t effectively police the city by following the rules and the laws. This sets up Gordon as a future police commissioner who will, in a few years, welcome the assistance of an obviously crazy guy in a bat suit, who is somehow extremely effective at fighting crime. Jim’s partner, Harvey Bullock, has essentially a good heart, but, born and bred in Gotham, he’s not great at following rules, And he’s not above a little healthy graft. They both like their crazy with some shades of gray. Jim is dating Dr. Leslie Tompkins, who is brought in as the Gotham coroner to give her character something interesting to do.
And that crazy guy in a bat costume? He’s young Bruce Wayne, about 13, learning the hard way how the city works and getting schooled in the sweet science by his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who has a military history in this incarnation. They both hang out with young Selina Kyle, the girl who would be Catwoman, a street smart urchin who has a little thing for Bruce.
Gotham Season 2 saw the advent of Theo Galavan, a mayoral candidate looking for nothing less than the destruction of Gotham’s infrastructure and the death of Bruce Wayne. Galavant was a lot of fun and embraced just how crazy Gotham could be, right down to a secret society arranged around Saint Dumas, something something, kid killing.
There’s a lot less Fish Mooney this season, which made me quite happy. I am just not a fan. But I do love the Riddler, who starts to come into his own in Gotham Season 2, right down to killing someone. And the Penguin just never stops being fun. He even has a weird side-story, where he meets his family, who are right out of Tim Burton Batman, including Paul Reubens surprising everyone by reprising his role of Penguin’s father from Batman Returns.
Gotham Season 2 also brought on Michael Chiklas as Gordon’s by-the-book boss, Nathanial Barnes. I love Barnes and think he brings a lot of fun to the show, a mentor for Jim. But I feel kind of bad for Chiklis, who deserves his own Breaking Bad quality show to dominate. But in the meantime, watch Chiklis try to dial it down for a supporting role.
My favorite part of Gotham Season 2 was a compassionate origin story for Mr. Freeze, that had a guy doing something that didn’t make a ton of sense, but nevertheless worked. Also, Bruce actually makes some headway in the search for his parents’ killers.
The Blu-ray quality is, of course, excellent. I know that a lot of you “download” stuff now, but I think that you really can’t beat the picture on a Blu-ray. Also, the extras on the Blu-ray are a lot of fun, if you’re into that type of thing, which I am. In particular, the featurette on Alfred is a lot of fun.
If I had to complain about anything, I think that Bruce needs to start hitting the books and the gym a little more than he already is. But that’s sort of minor complaint.
If you’re a Batman fan, Gotham is made for you. Sure, Season 1 has some missteps trying to find it’s identity, but I felt like Season 2 let it’s freak flag fly. Looking forward to Season Three!
- Damned If You Do
- Knock Knock
- The Last Laugh
- Strike Force
- By Fire
- Mommy’s Little Monster
- Tonight’s The Night
- A Bitter Pill to Swallow
- The Son of Gotham
- Worse Than A Crime…
- Mr. Freeze
- A Dead Man Feels No Cold
- This Ball of Mud and Meanness
- Mad Grey Dawn
- Into the Woods
- A Legion of Horribles
- Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel: Warner Bros. Television Presents a Night of DC Entertainment at Comic-Con 2015: Gotham
- Gotham by Noir Light: Gotham is deeply cast into the film noir technique and edgy attitude. The camera’s lens is able to pick up on the subtlety for the fans to enjoy a modern update to an age old tradition, of how to paint with shadow and light.
- Alfred: Batman’s Greatest Ally: This story is about Gotham’s take on the father/son bond between Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred. The depth of the mythology from the comic books comes to life on the series. Poignant and powerful.
- Cold Hearted – The Tale of Victor Fries: The mix of cold blood and a warm heart. We examine the humanistic melt-down of Victor Fries in pursuit of a cure for his love, Nora.
- Character featurettes