Geek Girls Rule! #309 – Review: Gotham

Yup, so dark you almost can't make out the background... So spooky it farts bats, but it's still pretty damn good.
Yup, so dark you almost can’t make out the background… So spooky it farts bats, but it’s still pretty damn good.

I did not want to like Gotham.  I went into it already looking sideways at it, pretty convinced that I was going to be mildly interested in it if at all. I mean, how much “gritty realism” can the superhero genre take in general, the DC Universe in particular?

Saturday night the Geek Husband What Rules and I binge-watched the last three episodes.

Yeah, I’m hooked and I didn’t want to be.

Now, I’ve said before that I’m pretty easy when it comes to entertainment.  I WANT to be entertained.  I WANT to believe.  I have one of the most promiscuous willing suspensions of disbelief I’ve ever seen.  I’m that friend that if everyone else hates a movie, will genuinely be all “Well, *I* was entertained…”  That said, there are limits and Prometheus crosses every single one of the them.  Anyway…

I’m really enjoying Gotham.  I like the actors, especially Donal Logue as Bullock, he cracks me up.  And Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney is fucking SPECTACULAR!!!!!  Love her, and when you realize that they included Renee Montoya AND they kept her a lesbian!!!!  Eeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!  And yes, I know the timeline is all fucked up, don’t care.  And three women of color in major roles?*  For network television that’s pretty progressive.  Seriously.

For anyone saying Fish isn't a believable character, she has a real life analog from Harlem in the Jazz Age, Stephanie St. Clair
For anyone saying Fish isn’t a believable character, she has a real life analog from Harlem in the Jazz Age, Stephanie St. Clair

So, I’m enjoying the acting and writing.  I’m very curious to see where all these little threads of fan service are heading.  We’ve seen little Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy), and Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin), Edward Nigma (The Riddler).  Part of me wonders if this last week’s “Viper” episode isn’t presaging Killer Croc.  We’ve heard about the Toymaker.  And all this fuss over Arkham.  I have to admit, I’m really excited to see where they go with this.

The one real criticism I have is that I’m pretty sure knowing that she’s going to be fridged soon after she has a child is keeping them from fully developing Barbara Gordon’s character.  I mean, we know she’s kind of a do-gooder, and that she had a relationship with Renee Montoya before she met James Gordon.  And she’s relatively wealthy, because damn, they ain’t affording that apartment on his salary, but other than that we really don’t have a lot of character development for her.  And that’s too bad, because even though the storyline means she will almost certainly BE fridged, there is so much they could do there to make her character have more impact for the audience.  At least they haven’t turned her into some high-maintenance stereotype.  Let’s be grateful for small favors.

I like that the girl they chose for Selina Kyle has a facial structure very similar to Michelle Pfeiffer’s, that’s a nice call back to the Burton movies.  And I like her, I find her goggles and her penchant for dramatic entrances, poses, and smart remarks to be very appropriate to a thirteen year old girl.

The show is really good at building tension and suspense, in part because even though we all know the outcome of this, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, none of us really know how he fully got there, the Nolan films not withstanding.  It’s a nice look at the external forces that shaped the Batman we know from movies, TV and comics.  And t least once an episode, I find myself holding my breath, even when I’m reasonably sure I do know what’s going to happen, as in episode 2 with the two guys who pick up the hitch-hiking Oswald Cobblepot.

So, yeah, it looks like our Hulu Plus membership is safe for awhile, because I don’t think either of us are ready to quit watching this show, nor will we be anytime soon.

*OK, maybe I’m pushing it counting the Captain as a major role, but she is in every episode.  

If you like the blog or the podcast,  please, please, please donate to keep us going, and fund my Fish Mooney fan club.  Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.

Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want.  We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly.  Check it out (we’re track 16).


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