“Gotham” | Season 1, Episode 2: “Selina Kyle” | Date: Sept. 29, 2014
The ratings for “Gotham” are decent. The critical praise is there. What are people seeing that I’m not?
This show strikes me as campy as the 1966 “Batman” TV series or one of the Joel Schumacher films with nipples on the costumes. (OK, that’s going too far. Nothing is that bad.) But all I see is the brightly colored sets of 1966 painted turd brown, gray and black. The hammy acting remains untouched.
I mean look at Camren Bicondova. She plays Selina Kyle, who will one day become Catwoman. She runs round wearing goggles in her hair that look like cat’s ears. And she’s chosen the nickname “Cat.” This isn’t really a character. It’s an echo of a character, a shadow of something else.
Donal Logue steals a lot of scenes as Det. Harvey Bullock. He’s trying to be Vic Mackey. But this is a 7 p.m. show on a network. Not even Fox has the guts to let a cop be really dirty in prime time, where the Society of Mommies Who Hate Fun are ready to pounce at any sign of people enjoying themselves.
Robin Lord Taylor plays Oswald Cobblepot, better known as the Penguin in DC Comics lore. I admire, at least, an effort to make the Penguin, a rolly polly villain remembered for his umbrella gags and bird squawks. But this Penguin redux is no Heath Ledger remodel of the Joker.
There’s a reason why stories take place at certain times during events. That’s when the most interesting thing happens. Gotham City isn’t interesting without Batman. An emo Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) who is burning himself and getting nagged by Alfred (Sean Pertwee) in a cockney accent isn’t doing it for me.