Fans are eagerly anticipating the fall premiere of Fox’s Gotham – a series promising to explore a pre-Batman Gotham through the eyes of a young, inexperienced Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Yet it’s an anticipation mixed with apprehension as many are unsure of how well a series pitting Gordon against Gotham’s most infamous criminals will pan out.

The comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy are inevitable, and already the series might be trying too hard to fill the void left by excluding Gotham’s brooding protector. The marketing has made no secret of the series’ plan to introduce a bevy of Batman’s infamous rogues, with Catwoman, The Penquin, The Riddler, Poison Ivy, and most recently the mobster Sal Maroni set to appear. Seemingly, Gotham is approaching the popular mythos from the angle that the city’s most nefarious criminals grew organically out of its seedy underbelly, and were not in fact a reaction to the Batman’s early crime fighting.

The latest TV spots released for the series hint at that very idea: Gotham’s dark side is as unavoidable as Bruce Wayne’s parents being gunned down in an alley. Above, Gotham‘s Harvey Bullock, Donal Logue, narrates a teaser about the city’s dark side, and below Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney gets featured in her own TV spot.

For a show that first appeared to be taking its cues from Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka’s celebrated Gotham Central – a series focused squarely on the GCPD – Fox’s Gotham is ready and raring to begin introducing those fan favorite villains (something we noted when detailing the pilot’s strong and weak points after its premiere at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con). It’s possible the inclusion of these fan-servicing villains will come at the expense of fully exploring the interesting dichotomy between Gordon and Bullock, as Logue himself had teased previously.

However, Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney looks poised to be either a high point of the series or a huge failing, depending on how camp she plays the sadistic nightclub owner and mob boss. For a series already brimming with a cast of colorful villains, does Gotham need another scenery-chewing criminal? Probably not. However, if Fish Mooney is established as a formidable adversary and clever opponent to both Gordon and Bullock, the tug-of-war between them could form a strong center for Gotham.

Has the marketing for Gotham excited you about the possibilities of Jim Gordan facing off against the city’s infamous criminals? How about Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney? Will she be a good match for Gordon and Harvey Bullock? Let us hear from you in the comments below!

Gotham will premiere on Fox on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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