So, where does Batman live?
Bruno Heller’s new series, Gotham, which is based on the mythology and characters of DC Comics’ Batman, premiered on September 22, 2014 on FOX. And it was about time I checked it out. Gotham focuses on Detective James Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) early years at the Gotham Police Department, as well as the origin stories of several villains and the formative years of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz, who will grow into Adam West/Michael Keaton/
Val Kilmer/ George Clooney/Christian Bale/Ben Affleck; yes, I’m giving the Batfleck the chance to prove himself).
For the record, McKenzie wants you to know he can pull off a mustache (Note: Just watch Junebug (2005). It’s a great film…). Pretty, but not nearly as alluring as Gary Oldman. Now that I’m thinking about it, McKenzie’s Junebug co-star Amy Adams (pictured; right) played Lois Lane in Man of Steel (2013) and a villain of the week on Smallville’s first season, and auditioned for Superman Returns (2005). Quite a coincidence, uh?
While I’m not a hardcore devotee of comic books, I totally dig Batman. I definitely have a soft spot for the Caped Crusader and all the other fascinating characters that populate Gotham City. So, seeing a new, well-written adaptation of their stories seemed attractive. So, here are the thoughts that flew through my mind while watching the pilot, just for fun:
CANCEL REIGN NOW! Okay, seriously. I know it is highly improbable that someone with the power of canceling Reign would come across this article or take advice from me, but hey, it’d be just better if it got canceled and its budget went to a more deserving series. Even though I wouldn’t wrap my head around it too much since it seems like the type that gets canceled early (but we’ll see about that). Anyways, for the uninitiated, Reign is an American television series that focuses on Mary, Queen of Scots’ (Adelaide Kane) early life. And not only it is underwhelming in its very own self-designed guilty pleasure way, it is also plainly historically inaccurate.
This fits with the CW’s problem with adaptations, since it is adapted from HISTORY itself. Historical fiction is by no means always bad, but it’s definitely better if it retains at least a certain amount of factual history. The key for this type of story to succeed would be finding a healthy balance between the depiction of real events and the more fictitious, fantastical elements, so not to betray and disrespect the realities and spirit of the real-life tale that is being told. But in true CW tradition, Reign throws factual history out the window and lets loose with all kinds of implausibilities worthy of the teen-geared CW brand.
Sometimes, when I’m working on my laptop, or cleaning my bedroom, or other stuff, my eye falls on the TV. And sometimes, ahem, it falls on the CW’s teen-oriented programming. The CW is characterized by its hot-color-looking, ultra-smooth moving series that try to look cinematic, very much like soap operas. And that says something already. It also has a penchant for objectifying and sexualising all of its characters, regardless of their gender, to the bone, often depriving them of any function other than “eye candy”. Even though now it is trying to work out a more varied schedule also in order to reach out to a broader audience, for many years it was dominated by television series aimed at adolescents which suffer(ed) from varying degrees of quality (mostly low quality, actually). While there are storytelling issues also with some of the network’s recent series targeted at adults (I’m looking at you, Hart of Dixie, starring that girl formerly known as James!), the past and present teen-centric programming comes off as particularly heinous for a number of reasons, and here they are: