Gothatm's First Trailer Jumps the Shark

5/13/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


When news that Fox would be airing a Batman show that didn't feature Batman first dropped, I was fairly positive, because there's a lot that can be done in that sandbox.  Frank Miller's Year One and the Gotham Central comics already showed a taste of the world that existed in Gotham when you don't make Batman the focal point, so there's a lot of great directions this show could take, but unfortunately, the first trailer appears to take it in the exact wrong direction.

This is a show that should be about Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and the rest of the Gotham PD in a crime drama that shows the corruption in the government and influence of the various organized crime families such as the Falcones, Maronis, Bertinellis, and the Yakuza, theneventually start to bring in some more quirky villains from the rogues gallery with crime family connections, such as Black Mask, as well as including some smaller street criminals, like Victor Zsasz.

Throughout the show, there is a natural escalation that can occur that easily justifies the development of super villains with Penguin, Riddler, and others naturally coming out of the woodwork.  This provides a structure that doesn't only justify the existence of extreme villains, but also the eventual creation of Batman.

But that's not what the first trailer says we're getting.




Everything starts off fine, suggesting the show covers many elements I outlined above, but it quickly devolves into what appears to be an attempt to name drop every main character in the Batman mythos.  Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Batman.  That covers almost every Batman movie made in the 80s and 90s in one fell swoop.

Don't get me wrong, it's cool that these characters have a part, but this is a trailer for what is likely a pilot/first episode.  Maybe there's a couple episodes worth of footage in here.  These characters should all be Easter eggs at most.  Sure, Dr. Pamely Isley, Selina Kyle, Edward Nigma, Oswald Cobblepot, and Bruce Wayne can (and should) all make an appearance, but what does it mean if all these characters are in this trailer?  Is Joker just around the corner?

The slow burn decent of Gotham this show could (and should) chronicle is almost entirely thrown out the window with the enthusiasm  that they throw around the name drops in this trailer.  I realize they have to be a little more overt in order to attract the attention of casual viewers who aren't as familiar with a Gotham City without Batman, so hopefully the trailer is not an accurate snapshot of the entire show.

Of course, I'm going to watch it anyway, and regularly praise--or bash--it, depending on the quality, but this trailer mostly served to confirm my fears that the show will end up being a long Batman tease where every episode has a "Get it? He's going to become Batman" or "Get it? She's going to be Poison Ivy" moment.

Fox as an opportunity to put together a much higher caliber show than something like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but so far, both of those shows--despite their flaws--are much smarter than Gotham's first trailer suggests it will be.

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