This may be my most punctual review ever as I had nearly a month’s head-start to get it done! In December I attended “Meanwhile, Back in Gotham: Preview Screening and Discussion” at The Paley Center. The last time I went to an advance screening of a season premiere it was for Doctor Who season six (in reboot numbering), & I got Steven Moffat to sign my sonic screwdriver. (PHRASING!) This time I was unable to obtain any autographs & it cost more, but I did avoid stress induced vomiting connecting to writing a monograph whilst waiting on line for hours. So I’m counting it as a success!
The two times I’ve attended NYCC, the Gotham panels were always on another day. Last year’s didn’t even announce there’d be one until the week before when all the tickets were sold out. With the series ending, this Paley Center event seemed like my last opportunity to see them. They finished filming literally the day before. I feared the entire cast would be executed after the finale wrapped (That’s what they do for TV shows. The trend of reviving long dead shows is due to conceal a spate of zombieosis.), yet they did not fall into a pit of fire or revolving blades beneath the stage. This cast has excellent camaraderie, although I’ll never be able to tell whether it’s genuine or the thespians are contractually obligated to keep up appearances. It’s pretty surreal to hear them discuss how they’re all suddenly unemployed.
This is one of those relaxing weeks before the new TV season starts up. So I’m going to regale you with some random Batman musings that didn’t fit elsewhere. I repeat “Gotham” a lot even though it won’t return for its swan song until next year like Game of Thrones. (Get a jump on those mash-up videos now, YouTuberrs!) There’s also a bit about that Joker movie that is still happening for some reason & the Doom Patrol show that might be good. This may be a good opportunity to read my Preacher season three review if you prefer a tighter theme. Everybody loves Batman, however, so this is a must read post! After all, utility belts are just organized fanny packs. Pay no mind to whatever Captain Marvel news is happening!
Weeks ago, I teased my final Toys R Us receipt. What did I buy? Another Barbara Kean! I just felt so bad these were warming pegs as TRU closed down. She would’ve sold better had they gone with a less passive costume & some accessories she could wield. It was a good motivator for me to finally customize her into a better outfit. Barbara is one of Gotham’s best surprises, but to explain why is a spoiler if you’re not already watching. (My sister said only weirdos watch Gotham. I can’t argue with that. It’s just science.) So watch for me to divulge various season secrets as I show her off below. All I’ll say now is that she’s Gotham City’s Cheryl Blossom, which would make Tabitha Galavan its Toni Topaz. (This analogy will be on the SAT!) So none of this makes sense if you haven’t seen Riverdale either. Ms. Kean puts the arch in arch-criminal. She is as the youths say “EXTRA AF.”
Half of the CW comic book shows (Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash) just had their season finales, as did Agents of SHIELD & Gotham. It’s gonna be a long spoilery one!
A movie I really liked won lots of Oscars this year! And the Award for Best In-Universe Commercial goes to… Gotham’s The Sirens Club! Collect your trophies, Danny Cameron, Hanelle Culpepper, Erin Richards, Jessica Lucas, & Camren Bicondova! Despite its excellent club scene, the cast wisely wouldn’t live in Gotham City.
Since the season left off, I’ve found myself in Gotham withdrawal. As a show I begrudgingly sat through during season one, how did it come to this? Is (Green) Arrow so unwatchable this season that it makes Gotham look great by comparison? (Sometimes I think season six is punishment for me being the only person that hated season five.) Whilst perusing clips online, I came to the conclusion that it has progressively blossomed into a legitimutantly good show just like Agents of SHIELD! Gotham is nonsensical in a kookily entertaining way, whereas (Green) Arrow doesn’t make sense in an infuriatingly dull manner. It’s so despicable now that the boxing glove arrow not being a quiver staple no longer even makes my top five complaints. (The writers threw everyone under the bus in the worst Civil War ripoff because they were too stupid to notice that Black Siren didn’t have an opportunity to personally withdraw the extortion fund for herself! AAARRRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!) Instead of breaking my keyboard in fury, I’ll thoroughly review the one I don’t currently loathe.
In addition to not feeling as formulaic, Gotham is a better directed series overall than The CW’s DC shows. For instance, “Pieces Of A Broken Mirror” began with with four separate plots geographically converging. We don’t yet learn if Sofia Falcone is managing crime better than Oswald Cobblepot, but there’s lots of other stuff going down. Even underused Lucius Fox gets in on it.
“Although if you pop a cap in Lee, that’d be just peachy.”
Since last we saw Gotham, it won an Emmy for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role! Presumably it’s returned earlier than usual because it needs a head start on all the hiatuses it’ll be taking. It’s also moved to Thursdays so we can get double-header of Batman-inspired shows once (Green) Arrow follows it this season. Gotham seems to be a very polarizing show despite it embracing comic book-iness while taking liberties with canon to the same degree as the CW’s DC shows. (If you dig Gotham, I highly recommend you checking out Preacher.) Weirdly Telltale’s Batman games get praised for doing its own altverse take on the Caped Crusader but this show is hated for the same principle? I’ve heard Zoo is even more bonkers, but my credulity has its limits. Irregardless, Gotham’s fourth season is off to a great start!
“Pax Penguina’s” wedding Rickroll with Mr. Zsasz was comedy gold! Oswald Cobblepot licensing crime is peak Penguin! (Studying Discworld’s Lord Vetinari the Social Justice Tyrant was a wise move.) You can tell it’s Gotham City because the nameless new Mayor & Police Commissioner eagerly agreed to his scheme. (I love that this Gotham City is a venal villain factory instead of Nolan’s insistence that it’s a regular city with Batman being responsible for all its supervillains.) He even told reporters he froze The Riddler until his terminal illness could be cured as if Nygma was the late lamented Nora Fries! Despite his lax security, Cobblepot is a way better kingpin than dull Carmine Falcone. Kingsmen has made weaponized umbrellas hip again, so how long until this series hooks him up? If I ever meet Robin Lord Taylor, I’ll probably end up calling him Lord Robin Taylor. (It puts his initials in alphabetical order!)
This season of Gotham actually ended on a optimistic note? They made an exciting finale that didn’t rely upon toothlessly threatening to blow up the entire supporting cast? Many of its big threats were overshadowed by legitimutantly satisfying character developments? WHAT IS THIS DEVILTRY? I shall attempt to elucidate with SPOILERS.