Fox’s Gotham is promising to be one of the most unique, and potentially one of the best, comic book TV show adaptations in recent years. The show has gotten plenty right so far—from the nods to villains, to the atmosphere, and even choosing some great actors who know how to work with the material. But that doesn’t mean the show is perfect, and there are some pitfalls that Gotham needs to watch out for, unless it wants to end up in the same leagues as failed comic book adaptations that have come and gone before it. Let’s look at three things the show needs to avoid in order to stay at the top of its classy.
Too cheesy dialogue
It’s very easy for comic book adaptations to veer on the side of cheesy—the very nature of comic books makes them prone to over dramatic or over the top dialogue, especially in a franchise like Batman which has naturally gimmicky villains. It could be very easy for Gotham to veer into the cheesy side, especially if there are a few too many winks to Batman villains and other Batman media. Jokes and lighthearted nods are perfectly fine—and even welcome, especially in an age when comic book adaptations are often too dark and gritty—but they should be carefully written and not too abundant.
Focusing too much on Bruce
Gotham should be a prequel about—well, Gotham, and not just about Bruce Wayne. Although no franchise has actually covered his early childhood at great length, the show will do much better to tackle the history of Gotham as it descends instead of focusing solely on the young Bruce Wayne. Having James Gordon is the protagonist of the series was a stroke of genius, because it allows the show to explore different avenues of the early Gotham.
Being too literal with the canon
Gotham is, naturally, inspired by the many different adaptations of Batman. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a carbon copy and, in order for the show to succeed, it shouldn’t be afraid to branch out on its own and make its own twists on the Batman canon. Villains don’t have to be exactly the same as they are in the comics, or the animated series, or any of the live action films—and likewise, the fates of the characters should be fluid, too.