So Gotham finally reached the UK last night, with the first episode airing on channel 5. I’d been looking forward to it since it had been announced; I’m a huge Batman fan and yes, I know that in this universe it will be a very long time until Master Wayne dons the cape and cowl, but as a fan of the graphic novels I was certainly on board with the idea of digging into the backstory of James Gordon, as I think he’s a very interesting character. I also thought that Ben McKenzie was a very good choice from the outset and he seems to me to be a good fit.
Overall I thought it was a solid enough, enjoyable opener and my only real gripe relates to pacing; it was a full on first episode with so many members of the Batman universe thrown in or alluded to that it ended up deviating a little from my expectations.
The Batman universe is something that is a big enough part of the cultural fabric I think to to have warranted a real nice slow burner type of a show that really invested in the psyche of Gordon; something that was a little more introspective, a little more cerebral, focusing on a characters descent into despair at what the city is and what it is becoming; a show about urban decay, about corruption. Sure, the corruption elements are certainly there, but an arc focused on a character’s mental state unravelling as the city does so around him, building in the characters we know from the Batman at a slower, more considered pace, is something I think could’ve really worked. It’s not that I don’t think these elements will be addressed, I just hope the right mix is achieved with the more action oriented style it looks like it might take.
I did think the interactions between Gordon and Bruce were wonderfully pitched. In fact I think the casting of David Mazouz is very good indeed and captured the vulnerability and nascent rage brilliantly. The part where Gordon travels to Wayne Manor to ask Bruce for a second chance to catch the killer of his parents, and he finds Bruce standing on the roof, who later explains he has to learn to conquer fear, leads me to believe that seeing Master Wayne’s journey is going to be very enjoyable indeed.
Tonight saw the return of one of the very few reality shows I enjoy (I’m also a sucker for MasterChef). The first time I ever came across this show was watching the American version with Donald Trump and amidst all of that traditional American glitz and production values I found myself quickly hooked. It wasn’t a surprise that a British version was developed and ten years on – and I don’t know where those ten years have gone – The Apprentice is back.
What is it that makes it such addictive viewing? Well, that’s an easy question to answer: The Candidates; their cringe-worthy sound-bites, their over-inflated sense of self worth, the arguments, the mess-ups, the boardroom take-downs by Lord Sugar and his two cronies (I actually do miss Margaret.) The Apprentice is genuinely entertaining and every year it doesn’t disappoint in providing characters, and this year we already have Steven, who is simply a law unto himself.
Seriously, in the first few weeks you do end up wondering if they’ve just thrown in a few stooges, especially considering the performance of the project manager of team decadence, who tried to flog this lot for £350 –
as well as having some rather dated views on sales techniques and how to utilise the female form to increase said sales. With it being week one, I can’t actually remember her name right now, but sod it, Steven was the star of the opening week anyway.