Gotham” (2014-19, Fox), which aired its final episode Thursday – and will likely draw more fans on Netflix in this age when shows are perpetually “new,” so I’ll discuss it in present tense — won’t be remembered as a top-shelf superhero franchise in this decade of superheroes. But I have to give it credit for being its own thing. It’s one of very few shows where if I hear someone say it’s horrible, and if I hear someone else say it’s great, I agree with both. Sometimes the quality wavers that much within one episode, and also, a lot depends on your mindset when tuning in.
Gotham” (8 p.m. Eastern Thursdays on Fox) starts its fifth and final season in bats**t-crazy fashion (pun intended). In a way, that’s par for the course with this show, but it intends to go out in an especially big way. It’s doing the same risky thing “iZombie” did last year: expanding the scope beyond the city to a national scale (even though the events are contained in the city).
The “Gotham” Season 3 (8 p.m. Mondays on Fox) premiere showed again why it’s one of the best shows on TV – packing in lots of story and stylized comic-book intrigue while staying fairly faithful to the lore. As the “Mad City” arc begins, it’s a good time to look up the “Batman” comic histories of some of the new characters while also checking in with an old favorite who is about to undergo a major change.
Part of the fun of watching “Batman: The Animated Series” after school in the ’90s was waiting for the title card to come up, as it usually revealed the featured villain in the episode. Sometimes as an episode wrapped up and Batman delivered a bad guy to Arkham Asylum, we’d get glimpses of many members of the rogues gallery in their cells, and sometimes multiple villains would star in the same episode.
A couple of milestones: My 1,000th blog post and the start of the fall TV season. This season got started with a show that’s not necessarily the best on TV, but is quickly becoming one of my favorites: “Gotham” (8 p.m. Eastern Mondays on Fox).
“Gotham’s” first season was popular among mainstream audiences (an 8.0 rating on IMDB), although Entertainment Weekly and the Onion AV Club gave it mediocre reviews throughout the year. My opinion falls somewhere in the middle: I love the style of the show, and I appreciate that the writers faced the challenge of telling a slow-burning origin tale while also peppering in juicy fan-baiting characters like the Joker.
With an impressive 8.2 IMDB rating through 10 episodes, “Gotham” has achieved the challenging feat of making familiar material fresh without alienating fans. As the first serious live-action TV take on the Batman mythos, it’s entirely possible that “Gotham” could end up being a beloved, definitive take on the saga 10 years down the road.
“Gotham” (7 p.m. Central Mondays on Fox), by far the new fall series I was most looking forward to, gets off to a great start with its pilot episode. I see the series, executive-produced by Bruno Heller (“Rome,” “The Mentalist”) and with its pilot directed by TV veteran Danny Cannon, as a live-action version of “Batman: The Animated Series” from the 1990s, only set 10 to 20 years earlier on the timeline.