Showing posts with label Gotham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gotham. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pick of the Day: "After Gotham" Reviews "Knock, Knock"

"Gotham" episode "Knock, Knock," definitely delved into darker territory this week. As someone who's more a fan of atmospheric psychological drama than scenes of mass murder and gushing blood, it was a little disturbing to see a general reaction to this episode as "Most violent ever = Best episode ever!"

So it was pretty cool to find this online webcast, "After Gotham," that gets three geek guys together to dissect the entire episode and actually explain what made this a strong installment of a show that has struggled to find its exact voice. Deserved props are given to actor Cameron Monaghan as a possible-Joker, and the trio's initial reaction to the mention of Barbara (Erin Richards) hilariously sums up how I've felt about the character.

The webcast also goes over the show's comic book origins, parallels, contrasts, and recs for relevant issues. It's good stuff for "Gotham" fans, and my Night Session webcast partner Courtney Massey will be happy to know that we're not the only ones who have trouble wrapping up an episode.

Plus, there's a Christopher Walken impression. There's no beating that.

If you're looking for more "Gotham" wrap-up goodness, IGN has a good review on this second episode of the season, including an insightful take on why no Penguin this week was a very good thing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

'Gotham' -- We Want to Eat This Jim / Leslie Pairing with a Spoon

Jim Gordon Ben McKenzie Dr. Leslie Thompkins Morena Baccarin snuggle canoodling Gotham
Seriously. Look at them. They're adorable.

When "Gotham" first appeared on TV, I lamented two things about the show's lead. One was the fact that the show wasn't making full use of actor Ben McKenzie's good-guy aura and warmth, and two, that Jim Gordon's girlfriend Barbara (Erin Richards) wasn't worthy. As the season has progressed, the series has better found its tone and given us a likable hero--and an awesome new girlfriend.

Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) had some lovely flirtations back in Arkham, but we couldn't quite enjoy it because we weren't sure if she was a psychopath or not. (Just a minor issue.) Now that those suspicions are hopefully out of the way, we get an interesting, feisty partner for Jim to contend with. And now that she's the chief medical examiner, they get to flirt every day at work, too.

Jim Gordon smile happy Gotham Blind Fortune Teller episode pics screengrabs

It's tough not to love the interactions between these two. They are practically beaming at one another, wonderfully conveying that giddy feeling you have when you begin a relationship with someone and you can't believe how well it's going. Jim keeps trying to be all gruff and manly and stoic, but Leslie continues to surprise him in all sorts of ways. This turns him into a grinning, "aw shucks" pile of adorableness that is delightful to watch.

In "The Blind Fortune Teller," Leslie invites Jim on a date to the circus. He thinks it's a weird idea, but he dives in and ends up totally enjoying himself.

Jim Gordon Dr. Leslie Thompkins Gotham date circus

Of course no date in Gotham can be normal. A fight breaks out between the dueling families of the circus, out of which we'll eventually get Batman's boy wonder Robin. But for now, there's an altercation...and what turns out is also a solve.

(Check out: Why FOX's 'Gotham' Deserves A Season 2)

Leslie turns out to be very helpful to the cause, since the performers are more willing to open up to doctors than cops. She convinces Jim that she can do even more, and he keeps her involved throughout all the steps of the case. Even when she decides to follow up a lead from the circus psychic.

This is the only part that worries me. The fact that Leslie is interested in Jim's work, in solving crimes, is a good thing. She can be an integral part of his life. That's what Barbara claimed she wanted but then totally balked at. But Leslie seems a little crazily invested, to the point of only letting Jim have two bites of her home-cooked dinner before dragging him into the woods to follow a hunch.

I'm not sure if "Gotham" is just making her quirky, or if they're setting this couple up to fail so Barbara can work her way back in. Please no. So far that doesn't seem to be the case, as drug-addled Babs can't even rise to the level of street kids--who advise her to dress classy for her "accidental" meeting with Jim. "Like you've just gone sailing," Cat and Ivy suggest.

Leslie Jim make-out session kissing passionately Gotham Ben McKenzie Morena Baccarin blue dress gray suit pics

Maybe Barbara's been sailing in a cocktail dress and stiletto heels, who knows. But she gets an eyeful of Jim/Leslie canoodling that quickly squashes any idea to woo him back, no matter what she's wearing.

And we get an eyeful as well, and it's good stuff. Jim and Leslie make for a very affectionate, playful, and sexy couple. Please please please let us have more of this in "Gotham."

Gotham Leslie laugh Morena Baccarin Jim smile Ben McKenzie

Gotham Blind Fortune Teller Leslie Jim hold hands

Lovey dovey Jim Gordon Ben McKenzie loving eyes smile pics

Morena Baccarin Ben McKenzie Leslie Jim kiss snogging make out pics photos images screencaps

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

'Gotham' Premiere a Disappointment -- Is It Worth a Second Chance?

Gotham pilot Ben McKenzie Detective James Gordon soulful eyes bandaged hand hugging Barbara screencaps photos recaps review

I gotta be honest, the majority of my investment in "Gotham" came from lead actor Ben McKenzie's soulful-eyed trustworthy-guy face in the promos. The "Southland" vet has Dutch, English, and Scottish ancestry, the blend giving him the perfect blond, tough, noble bearing for those good Irish cop roles he's well-suited for. The thought of watching Gordon as a young detective, with his pure soul shining out in the dark and creepy Batman universe, suddenly seemed appealing.

And yet the premiere of "Gotham" seems to disregard its greatest asset, giving Gordon a lot rougher edges, murky motives, and moral compromises right from the get-go. He's sort of pre-jaded, and while he's definitely painted as a good and (mostly) honest guy, he lacks the warmth as yet that would make him a truly appealing central character.

Ben McKenzie angry Penguin Detective Gordon Gotham pilot screencaps

Not helping that appeal is Gordon's girlfriend Barbara (Erin Richards), who has the helium voice and demeanor of a Playboy model and of course had a possible relationship with Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena), a major crimes cop. A bit of sexual diversity is nice, but this feels more like comic book geek guys going, "Heheheheh, two hot chicks doin' it! And the guy might get a threesome!"

 Donal Logue Harvey Bullock Gotham pilot screencaps

"Gotham" is presented as a noir crime drama, and pairs Gordon with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue, taking a little side-step over from his role on "Copper"), a veteran detective who lives in all the gray areas of police corruption and mob control of the city. Jada Pinkett Smith is a bright spot in the pilot, playing her head-cracking "legit businesswoman" role of Fish Mooney with just the right amount of flash and relish.

Jada Pinkett Smith Fish Mooney Gotham premiere episode photos

Like many pilots, in its effort to make an impression, "Gotham" threw as much paint on the canvas as possible. For a 7-pm-Central show that is going to get family viewers, there was a lot of emphasis on the "noir," which the show interpreted as dimly lit scenery and vivid blood, blood, blood. Let's see Bruce Wayne's parents actually getting shot, let's see blood on Bruce's hands, let's see a guy getting beaten with a baseball bat, then another guy beaten bloody, and another guy shot, and on and on. It felt a lot less noir and a lot more "gratuitously violent monotony".

Gotham pilot Bruce Wayne parents murdererd wrapped in blanket photos David Mazouz screencaps

We also got the usual "look how many comic characters we can throw into an episode!" issue, because the Gordon/Bruce intro wasn't enough for 45 minutes. We also had to have a young Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and Poison Ivy, and probably more that aficionados will pick up on. For all the dark and soulless feel of "Gotham," though, young Selina (Camren Bicondova) lurking around the edges of Bruce's life with large, sympathetic eyes inspired a few welcome notes of emotion.

Gotham Catwoman Selina Kyle Camren Bicondova screencaps leather jacket fingerless gloves goggles

"Gotham" also isn't quite sure of its tone or style yet. While largely sticking with a traditional cinematic look, the pilot suddenly interjected a few odd close-up perspective shots of Gordon during a chase scene. While you could imagine these views as frames in a comic book, they stuck out oddly in a show that hadn't really used any stylized shots beforehand.

All-in-all "Gotham" fell flat when presenting its first impression. But shows like "Arrow" and timeslot follower "Sleepy Hollow" were a bit slow out of the gate, as well, so it's possible that "Gotham" will hit its stride as the season progresses. There is plenty of opportunity for juicy character arcs here, with the intertwining lives of future heroes and villains, and a chance to see those well-worn stories get tweaked in new directions.

The key will be for Gordon to be more engaging and likable, someone we can both identify with and cheer for amidst all of the chaos and crookedness around him. Maybe I'm crazy to wish for a smooshy moral center in a dystopian nightmare tornado, but a gal likes to have something good to hold onto in a show she invests in weekly.

"Gotham" airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

PHOTOS: 2014 "Gotham" pilot screencaps, IGN promo video, 2014, fair use.


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