Gotham is one of the most surprising well-received shows of the new TV season. Many wondered if Gotham, like many attempts at superhero shows in recent years (the popular ‘Arrow’ series notwithstanding) would flop hard before it even had a chance to get out of the water. But Gotham has not only been receiving very good ratings, especially for a show on the Fox network, it has also been earning generally positive reviews from critics and a very positive reception from fans. In other words: Gotham works. But why does the show work? Let’s take a closer look.
It knows how to balance Gotham’s quirkiness with realism
The trouble with most attempts at producing a story set in the Batman universe is balance. At its heart, the Batman universe is full of villains who have gimmicks—and this can easily make something go from interesting to silly and ridiculous. Gotham, so far, knows how to balance the “gimmick” of Gotham with realism that makes it feel like a cop show set in a very strange city. A recent episode where a vigilante tied corrupt officials to weather balloons to kill him was a perfect example. The act was very strange and over the top—but the show depicted it in a way that made it realistic for the setting.
The actor for Oswald Cobblepot
It can be hard to portray a well-known character, especially the character of the Penguin, who most people associate with Danny DeVito in his performance in Batman Returns. But the “early bird” of Gotham is extremely well portrayed. He is portrayed as a somewhat nervous, high strung up-and-comer who wants to make a name for himself in Gotham’s crime elite. To do so, he must hide from his enemies—who think he is dead—while gaining enough information to put him in a position of power. His slow transformation into the “Penguin”—a nickname he currently hates—will be very interesting to see.
James Gordon is a more grounded character to follow
You can only follow the story of Bruce Wayne so many times before it becomes overdone and, truthfully, the ‘Gotham’ incarnation of future-commissioner James Gordon is more relatable and grounded than Bruce Wayne could ever be. Gordon wants to save the city through police work, and does his best to be an honest cop in the midst of constant corruption.