We’re at the mid-season mark for American television, so
let’s share some additional thoughts regarding some of DC’s comic book based TV
GOTHAM: Now in its second season, the series is building on
past success by presenting interesting, engaging characters that lay the
groundwork for the future. This season has been referred to as “Rise of the
Villains,” and with good reason. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor in an Emmy-worthy
performance) struggles to hold on to his criminal empire, while Ed Nygma
suffers a psychotic break that will eventually lead him down a path of crime.
There were hints of a Joker-like character last season, in the form of Jerome
Valeska (Cameron Monaghan). The series followed through on that earlier this
season, as Jerome became a fully-realized Joker knockoff. Mercifully, it came
to an abrupt and satisfying end. I believe the Jerome character was a poor copy
of Jack Nicholson’s 1989 performance.
Additionally, part of the appeal of a show like Gotham is
watching these familiar characters on their journey to who we know they will
become. In this case, most of the characters that will populate the Batman lore
should remain in their seminal form (for now, anyway).
Future Joker? Thankfully not.
Meanwhile, a new villain was introduced in the form of Theo Galavan (James
Frain). Maybe it was the part as it was written – a villain pretending to be
the city’s saviour – but Frain’s performance came off as flat and artificial.
Young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has begun to evolve away from the angry and
determined heir. I would prefer he be featured less, leaving his development
into the Batman shrouded in mystery. But that would also probably mean less
Alfred (Sean Pertwee), whose occasional bad-assery isn’t enough to suit me.
As for the series’ star, Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), little has
changed. He still struggles to fight the corrupt forces of Gotham City, while
straddling the line between light and dark himself. We know his journey will
take him to the commissioner’s office, but what stops and/or detours he makes
along the way remain to be seen.
SUPERGIRL: I don’t watch Supergirl, which perhaps is odd
given what a Superman fan I am. But perhaps it’s because I’ve always seen her
as a supporting character, much like Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen. Without a
Superman project to tie it to, I can’t help but feel it’s putting the cart
before the horse.
Since DC chooses not to tie its TV projects to its big screen efforts, an
agreeable solution might be to associate it with either Smallville or
Lois & Clark. There may be some continuity concerns, but perhaps given
the passage of time, those can be swept under the rug.
Nevertheless, I do hope the series comes into its own, and elevates Supergirl
as a character and a property for DC, both on TV and in comics.