Early Reviews to ‘Gotham’ Pilot: Solid & Well-Made Origin Story

Published 6 months ago by

Gotham Premiere Penguin Easter Eggs Early Reviews to Gotham Pilot: Solid & Well Made Origin Story
Warner Bros. may be half a decade behind Marvel in launching a shared cinematic superhero universe based on the DC Comics properties the studio controls, but according to a supposedly leaked release schedule, the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will launch not only the expected Justice League team-up, but also standalone films for Shazam and Wonder Woman, along with a Flash/Green Lantern team-up.

Such an ambitious design is heartening to fans, but we’re still two full years out from the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-upIn the meantime, the small screen DC adaptations will have to carry the banner forward: the CW’s Arrow spinoff The Flash, NBC’s Constantine and Fox’s Gotham are all scheduled to premiere this fall.

For Batman fans, Gotham is the focal point. The Flash may tie-in and expand DC’s television universe established by Arrow, but with Gotham‘s focus on the early years of stalwart Batman ally Jim Gordon,  it’ll help fill the Bat-void for the next two years. The question is: will it be any good? Executive producer Bruno Heller is a TV veteran (RomeThe Mentalist), and the main cast is an engaging mix of familiar faces (Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett-Smith) and lesser known talent (Robin Taylor, Cory Michael Smith), but the tone of that first trailer felt a little… off.

We’ve heard a couple of positive reactions so far, but now audiences in New York and Los Angeles have attended screenings of the pilot and taken to Twitter to relay their impressions. We have some of these reactions below (courtesy of CBM).

The reactions here are universally positive overall, with L.A. Times critic Steven Zeitchik‘s reaction perhaps a good summary of the general overview:

The AP‘s Alicia Rancilio was similarly impressed:

Variety‘s Laura PrudomCollider‘s Christina Radish, and The TV Addict‘s Tiffany Vogt echoed the same:

Gotham Trailer 2014 Early Reviews to Gotham Pilot: Solid & Well Made Origin Story

Daniel Fienberg of HitFix provides perhaps the most balanced reaction to the Gotham pilot in these three tweets:

Fienberg addresses the Gotham trailer’s seemingly unbalanced tone and oddly cheap-looking production design, but it sounds like the look and feel of the pilot is much more cohesive when viewed in its entirety. The notion of “unfulfilled promises” suggest that the show’s first episode may have bitten off more than it could chew, and perhaps spends more time setting up multiple over-arcing storylines to the detriment of a focused, self-contained narrative.

Still, a pilot is a pilot, and given how easily a Batman-less prequel series about Gotham City could have flown off the rails (something many fans were likely wary of), these decidedly positive early reviews are a good sign.

It’s still unknown (though extremely unlikely) if Gotham will tie in or cross over with Warner Bros.’ larger Cinematic Universe, but as plot details, early set photos/footage and hotly anticipated casting announcements for Batman v Superman are revealed over time, Fox’s prequel series will keep the world of Batman in the forefront of our awareness in the meantime.

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Gotham will air Mondays on FOX beginning in the fall of 2014.

Source: CBM

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TAGS: gotham

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  1. Good to hear.
    This one may not be my most anticipated, that would be Flash, I am very interested to see if they can pull off such a different premise.
    Unlike most of the complainers I don’t mind trying something new, in fact I think it’s required from time to time. Whether it succeeds or fails.

    Without innovation in the live action comic book genre we don’t get:
    Great old shows like Hulk, Wonder Woman, and even Batman.
    Superman: The Movie
    Batman
    X-Men
    Batman Begins
    Avengers
    Arrow

  2. If you’re making a show based around Commissioner Gordon, and it’s not Bryan Cranston, I am not interested in the slightest.

    • So who’d play Gordon in the present, Bob Hope’s skeleton?

      Don’t worry, he’ll be in Batman films as Gordon.

    • Thanks for the link. I looked for any negative tweets I could find from Thursday’s screenings, Fienberg’s feeling about promises maybe not being kept was the only one close to it. I saw plenty of other positive reactions, but I didn’t want to clutter the article.

  3. I absolutely love when someone says a pilot episode of a new show has “unfulfilled promises”. Much like the criticism of The Amazing Spider-Man doing the same, you have to wonder if people actually saw it and realised it’s the first chapter, an origin of what’s to follow (either with sequels or more episodes).

    It’d be almost similar to watching Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and thinking “but Darth Vader didn’t die, he’s still free to rule the galaxy, what a waste of a few hours that was, never watching again, unfulfilled promises”.

    I get the feeling that if the pilot only focused on one plot thread, people would complain that the focus was only on one aspect of the potential storyline rather than fleshing out the rest of the characters that live in the city.

    • Lol. Dazz, let it go. Amazing Spider-man 2 wasn’t that awesome. We all know it was a first chapter in the grand scheme of things, but it still doesn’t forgive the problems. Personally, I think the movie just needed a half hour to flesh out the characters some more. I’m not knocking your take on the movie, just that I’ve seen you complain about people not liking it on several threads now.

      • At least he didn’t mention “DREDD” again. (^-^)

        But I’m usually guilty of that anyway.

    • Marc Webb should’ve followed the ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’ formula and introduce Spider-Man as some kind of enigmatic rumor and cut right to the whole premise of the film instead of wasting an hour on some origin story the audience is already aware of (this could’ve saved a lot of time if these were random two-minute flashbacks in between action sequences when Spidey was getting his ass kicked by the Lizard (or replace the Lizard with Dock Ock as the main baddie in order to get the whole ‘Sinister Six’ plot stirring the pot).

      As for the Amazing Spider-Man 2, it could’ve been executed a lot better and the film would’ve really sustained if they focused the first hour on the whole Electro/Rhino conflict, and focus the next hour with the connivance of the Green Goblin and keep the audience guessing that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin (have ironic/suspicious activities by the character himself) without revealing the actual transcendence … and later have Peter kill the Goblin in accident after the demise of Gwen only to unveil Harry as the ‘true’ Goblin all along (then in this way, Norman’s return would have a real hard-hitting debacle struck within him and increase the personal grudge between himself and Peter by assembling the Sinister Six while Peter is mournful realizing that he has just killed his best friend).

      All-in-all, TASM 2 was a decent film, didn’t live up to its expectations, but a decent film overall. Hopeufully, Gotham fulfills the core elements it is attempting to deliver.

    • The problem nowadays is that the studios reboot a franchise before it has a chance to play out long story lines and orgins, so if you make a crap movie, it won’t have a sequel to explain it.

      Look at Superman Returns, they said the sequel was going to be all action, but they just replayed the 1978 version and the franchise died.

      I didn’t like Xmen DOFP because it felt like all the other movies where they spent the whole movie setting up for the next one instead of being a self contained enjoyable flick.

  4. Glad to hear the pilot is good, looking forward to the show a little bit more now :)

  5. I’ll have to check this out just to see why the creator of HBO’s brilliant ‘Rome’ is wasting his talent on another Batman reboot. Hey, it can’t be any worse than Arrow or Agents of SHIELD.

    • and even if it was worse then those 2 good shows, it would propably still be a good show.

    • Shut up you pretentious dick. First of all, this is not a reboot to anything. Second, how is someone’s talents wasted by working on Batman? Third, I can’t speak to AoS but Arrow is awesome. Please throw away your modem.

      • Duuuuude, relax

  6. Although I liked what I saw thus far from Gotham. I’m a little concerned. I’m not sure how long they can have Gordon fighting criminals before it gets lame. I’d rather there be multiple characters introduced even if they are just cameos.. At least it’ll keep the show interesting. But they are the professionals so I guess they can make it work. As for ASM2, in my opinion was good. It maybe could’ve had some more action and a better character build up for Harry but overall it was brilliant nonethells. It’s a part of the bigger films to come so I won’t criticize it because it was packed full of possibilities.. I liked that it had a lot of villains and people that do become villainous over time like Smythe. Anyways everyone’s got their own opinion and I respect it:)

  7. Very much looking forward to this show.

  8. I wonder how much they were paid to say it was good? No Batman no watchy…and I hate batman…

    • They’re tweets.. They are quick, on the go, thoughts. They weren’t paid anything haha

    • How can you hate Batman?

  9. this is gonna get hate like shield got… this is not an origin story and its nothing to do with batman or bruce. its about the commissioners stroy. its like the people who expected shield to have superheros flying about every week.

    • I disagree, People do not hate Agents of Shield because of unmet expectations as such. It is simply a very very poor show. I even came back based on ScreenRants talking up the post Winter Soldier episodes and found the entire thing forced and shoddy.

      Even with the criticism of production values Gotham still looked many times better than Marvel’s effort.

      Of course some will hate it. There is nothing wrong with that nor the fact that some just will not like it. Sometimes we use the word hate or haters as if there is something wrong with people for disliking something.

  10. I don’t see how Arrow or Flash could tie into Gotham directly. All shows are set in current times, as I understand it. But Bruce Wayne is a little boy and won’t be Batman for many more years. Flash is in his late teens or early 20s I assume. And if they did tie those series together they couldn’t tie them to the movie versions of Batman. I think DC has mucked this up. But time will tell. Personally, I wish they’d continued the Smallville continuity to the movies. Then we’d have a likable Superman with humanity. Instead of a guy who kills people while battling his enemies and then kills his enemy. Yuck.

    • I don’t think “Gotham” is supposed to tie in with “Flash” and “Green Arrow”. Those two shows have a similar tone and share characters anyway. I think it’s just about keeping a DC television presence whilst people wait for DC cinematic universe to come together.

    • Nobody said they are supposed to tie into each other……

  11. Gotham or how to make a quick buck. What a easy way to lure some naive fans to a tv show which utilizes the name of batman. It’s simple as that. Make a tv show like l.a. Law and name it gotham or metropolis or mega city etc, etc.

    • …demir, or “How to sound arrogant and obnoxious”…

      Seriously, just because YOU have little interest in this show, do NOT presume to claim some kind of authoritative understanding about its supposedly ” cash-grab” nature. It doesn’t really work, except to make you seem like a bit of an a$$.

      Simple solution: If you don’t want to watch it, don’t.

      See? problem solved.

      • Tell ‘em, Archaeon

    • A quick buck? Making a tv show is not the easy way.

      And of course all shows and movies are made for the purpose of making money. Is that really something you did not know?

    • “Batman” is nowhere in or near the title of this show.

  12. I wonder if WB is using Gotham as an origin story tie in to BvS, rather than spending time rehashing it on the big screen?

  13. After the way FOX treated Almost Human, I don’t wish anything good on this show.

    It shouldn’t even been on this network.

    • 21149315…

      Wow…that’s just stup!d. If you really feel that petty and vindictive, shouldn’t you AT LEAST wish the NETWORK to suffer, not the otherwise unrelated show?

      • Archaeon

        The aim is that Gotham should go to a more reliable network or other media source.

        • 21149315…

          Fair enough.

          My main point, however, still stands: If you wish to see the show move to a more stable home, the NETWORK is what you, logically, have a problem with, NOT the show, itself.

  14. I have a good idea for a show; A transformers series that focuses on the Witwicky family before the robots arrive on earth. And how about a new Star Trek Series? It could be set 100 years before interstellar travel is discovered.
    And personally, I would like to see a series about the incredible hulk. It could take place when Bruce Banner is a little boy and has no super strength.

    I do hope though that this new Gotham series is filled with twenty year olds and their romantic relationships. And hopefully there will be an evil CEO.

  15. I want to like it but I am just so sick of police dramas right now that’s all that’s on right now please give me something new

  16. I was enjoying the series until I saw 2 female characters kissing. Does the Homo theme have to be crammed into every series even ones without a history of over-sexualized romantic relationships? Really?! Enough already my family doesn’t want or need to be bombarded with any sex let alone homo’ sex. That’s not what the Gotham/BatMan series was about.

    • my sentiments exactly! This is the second week in a row with two girls kissing. I am shocked that this is aired at 8p.m. on a usually wholesome channel. I am completely surprised that hardly no one else has commented on this subject. I am a fan of Batman, but I gotta tell ya that I am a little disappointed in the series so far for that reason alone. Not many women do enjoy these shows like I do, so I hope they fade this out. It is a good show other than that, and it doesn’t need all the garbage that everthing else is showing on t.v. I was looking forward to the breath of fresh air from a show that was different.