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ElectricBoogaloo

S01.E01: Pilot

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Lt. James Gordon, newly arrived in Gotham, sets out to fight the crime that threatens to overwhelm the city despite corruption both inside and outside of the police department. For his first case he must solve the murder of socialites Thomas and Martha Wayne... and help their orphaned son Bruce cope with his loss.
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Well this pilot gets points from me for having two alumni of The Wire pop up (Rawls and Maurice Levy). Otherwise, I have mixed feelings. I am mostly watching for Ben McKenzie, and he didn't disappoint. He was great and manages to make the straight man interesting, which is not an easy feat. Donal Logue was also great, and they already have a good rapport. I'm not familiar with the actress who plays Barbara but I thought she was lovely and I'm curious to know more about her. The overall vibe and look of the show is good too, dark enough to be effective but still fun to look at.

 

My major issue with the show is unfortunately Jada Pinkett Smith. She was just too much. Too over the top, and the only one in the show that felt like a cartoon. She was the glaring weak link in what was otherwise a very good pilot. I will watch again, but I hope she is toned down or used much less in the future. I was all for having a female villain and a woman of color at that, but she just didn't work. Hell, let Penguin take over. He was effectively creepy and much more interesting.

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This was a decent start. I have always liked Ben McKenzie. He is a strong leading man and can act. The scene with James Gordon and Hank Bullock hanging upside down in the slaughter house was hilarious.

 

Jada Pinkett Smith was better than I expected. She really did come off menacing and scary. I have always liked John Doman plays who Falcone. Hopefully, we get more of him. 

 

What is Barbara's mysterious relationship with the cop, Montoya? 

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I think this is among the best pilots I've seen.

 

The acting is first rate, even the secondary characters.  Its a contest between who will shine brightest rather than who is the weakest link.  It was filled with perfect little moments like Oswald doing a little penguin shuffle as Gordon led him down the dock.

 

The show has the feel of a gangster movie with modern touches that makes it other-worldly and moody enough to be Gotham.

 

The person that thought up the idea of setting up a crime drama in the world of Batman and then was smart enough to make sure most of the super-villains and super-heroes were cast young enough that we don't need to worry about some CW nightmare has my eternal thanks.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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Impressed, that about sums up my feelings about this show, pretty damn impressed. I like how darkness always seems to be waiting to engulf the city, since it eventually will and from that rises the Batman, eventually. 

 

I wondered about some of the acting choices but they all seemed to work for me, Jada's one bad ass of a boss lady.

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I have to ponder this some more.  I liked the cinematography and certain of the characters were appropriately creepy.  However, to my eye, Ben McKenzie looked like a young Sean Pertwee and it kept weirding me out. 

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Really enjoyed it! Slick and sleek. High production values don't always mean good but I think it set up the show nicely.

 

Loved Ben. He really nailed the naivety and the good guy look. Watched for him and he didn't disappoint.

 

Really enjoyed the other characters even if some were a little comic book like. I actually don't mind that since it's based on a comic book so the characters can play a bit more extreme.

 

I'm curious to see how it moves forward. The Penquin actor was awesome, really had the look down. I know he was praised and I can totally tell why. He's a fun guy to watch.

 

I will keep watching for sure. I'm in!

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This was a real pleasant surprise, much better than I expected.  I really liked Jada Pinkett-Smith, and there don't seem to be any weak links for me yet, as far as acting.  I hope the young actors will do as well once we see more of them.  

 

I haven't watched a network drama in ages (and certainly not on Fox), but I'm definitely interested to stick with this one and see where it goes.  I love the idea of it really being a story about Jim Gordon.

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I wondered about some of the acting choices but they all seemed to work for me, Jada's one bad ass of a boss lady.

 

I cracked up when she beat up Oswald and then made a move that I could only interpret as fixing her wig.

 

Oh and when Alfred yelled at Bruce to get his ass down off the roof.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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Guest Accused Dingo

I liked it. After all the mixed reviews i was worried but i thought the pilot hit all the right marks. A deeply dirty police force and a moment of truth for a cop who geniunly wants to make a difference. I can see why some purest won't like it. The Batman legend is just a backdrop for a larger story and not the story itself. I think it will wirk if done correctly. I enjoed the pilot..

Edited by Accused Dingo
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Well, that was . . .  wow. I mean, I'm probably going to watch the show no matter what, because I'm the sucker who hate-watched all of Smallville. But, damn, there's a lotto sift through.

 

Is it me, or does Sean Pertwee look a lot like his father? It's distracting. If Bruce gets out of line, I'd expect Alfred to whip out the Venusian Aikido on him. HAI!!!

 

It's interesting to see a "Before Batman" version of Gotham City, even with most of the characters acting as expected. Jim Gordon is a straight arrow, Bullock is slovenly and a bit corrupt, etc. That makes Fish Mooney (for serious?!?) a little more interesting. . . . does she survive into normal canon, or does she get taken out early in the game?

 

BTW . . . hey, Gotham? Don't try to bring in potential Jokers every week. I heard some joking about that, but that would get really old really fast.

 

SallyAlbright . . . I suspect the show can be as "Penguin Begins" as "Gordon Begins," meaning he can't be a boss (or underboss) right away. We need to see him as a sniveling wuss first. Also, it's fun to make "wak-wak-wak" sounds when he does anything. You can't do that if he's a boss off the bat.

 

More touched in the head . . . Selina or Nygma? The latter seems too wrapped up in being smart, but the former seems to think she's a two-legged cat. Here's hoping we get some depth to both characters.

 

This is how Dorkly sees the show ending. Hard for me to argue with that idea.

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This was the one show this season that I was excited and after that I'm...still mostly excited.  Selina (I'm almost ready to call her Catween) was mostly a non entity and Jada was a bit too much at times (but at 5"1 she's more of a badass than most men a foot taller than her.)  But I am loving Oswald so far and since I am a sucker for Ben and Donal, I am hoping that this goes the distance.  

Edited by mtlchick
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It was good, not great. I'm in for a few more episodes. I liked the Penguin and Enigma characters and Alfred was good but I like the actor. Bulluck was entertaining but I figured he would be Gordon is good but it's a fine line between Boy Scout and boring, a little development will help.

What really didn't work and felt totally unnecessary were the Selina and Ivy characters, I know this was just the pilot but they really felt unnecessary and only thrown in for Batman/Catwoman and Poison Ivy characters. Was it really necessary to tie Selina to young Bruce Wayne?

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I cracked up when she beat up Oswald and then made a move that I could only interpret as fixing her wig.

 

 

 

 

I did too, heh, the wig tug was pretty epic. I was worried she might take out the comedian kid as well just for the hell of it while she was on a roll.

 

The character is very over the top in many ways but I think that's to be expected since this is a show based off of a comic book, this isn't like a another NCIS or NYPD Blue ripoff supposed to mimic real life, thank god. These characters are fictional all the way through, you've got a crazy/creepy little girl growing plants who'll end up being Poison Ivy and a girl scaling roofs like some sort of cat hybrid who'll become Cat Woman, and the list goes on.

 

To me she's just one of the other nutballs in Gotham destined to create a world in which the Batman is needed.

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That makes Fish Mooney (for serious?!?) a little more interesting. . . . does she survive into normal canon, or does she get taken out early in the game?

 

I'm pretty sure that Fish Mooney is an original (for the show) character. I don't know why they named her Fish though. 

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Loved it. Immediate spot on the DVR.

McKenzie as James Gordon? Sandy Cohen would be proud.

The cast was uniformly strong.

I've never been a comic book fan, and the extent of my Batman knowledge comes from the films, but is Barbara a closet lesbian in the comics?

Montoya is a lesbian in the comics. Barbara has always been straight. And speaking of the comics, if you're a long time reader, the relationship between James and Barbara on this show could be a bit...disconcerting. Edited by GaryE

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Material and character-wise, they stuffed a lot--possibly too much--into a one-hour pilot.  Gordon, Bullock, Auntie Entity--er, Fish--and Oswald Cobblepot were the primary foci, but then you threw in Edward Nygma and Ivy Pepper and Carmine Falcone and whatever the hell is up with Renee Montoya and Barbara Keane and the ongoing thread about the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne and the corruption of the GCPD and damn.  This needed to be another 30m (well, 15m or so) longer to give everything room to breathe.

 

That said: if the pilot is indeed indicative of the series, it's a weird-but-working blend of the sensibilities of a comic book and, of all things, CSI: Miami (I blame that squarely on producer/episode director Danny Cannon, who worked on that show).  I'm not sold on Ben McKenzie yet, though he definitely is playing the straight man of the piece against everybody else; he seems to play well with/against Donal Logue and Jada Pinkett Smith, though.  Overall, I've certainly seen worse pilots; I'm in for a few more episodes to see where they go with this sort of uber-kitchen sink approach.

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I'm pretty sure that Fish Mooney is an original (for the show) character. I don't know why they named her Fish though. 

Penguins eat fish, foreshadowing the Penguin's (Oswald's) rise to a crime boss by overtaking Fish Mooney.

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I think my favorite parts of this episode were all the character introductions. I may have made more than a few comments along the lines of "Hey, it's so and so." I entertain myself easily. I loved McKenzie as James Gordon. Methinks he might come to regret letting the Penguin live, but I loved Gordon for faking his death.

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I'm pretty sure that Fish Mooney is an original (for the show) character. I don't know why they named her Fish though. 

Which to me suggests is anyone is expendable it's her, which may be why the cast someone with a relatively high profile like Jada to offset that preconception.  The problem is if anyone does take walk of the the pier it's going to be a major swerve, so I can't see it happening.

 

 

Montoya is a lesbian in the comics. Barbara has always been straight. And speaking of the comics, if you're a long time reader, the relationship between James and Barbara on this show could be a bit...disconcerting.

If you mean that Barbara is the name of his daughter, I see where you're coming from, but that was the name of his wife.  

 

I do wonder though if this history between Barbara and Montoya is there because

They eventually plan on going there between Jim and Sarah Essen

Edited by MarquisDeCarabas
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Pretty good episode--not great but good.  Enjoyed all the characters and enjoyed watching each one introduced going "OMG thats _____!"  very fun!

 

My only complaint is that any cop worth his weight in salt would be able to tell when someone was killed.  Come on Harvey no blood what-so-ever you should have known that Jim didn't kill Oswald.

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The person that thought up the idea of setting up a crime drama in the world of Batman and then was smart enough to make sure most of the super-villains and super-heroes were cast young enough that we don't need to worry about some CW nightmare has my eternal thanks.

 

 

From your mouth to whatever TV god or goddess that may prevent my poor eyes from seeing any sort of geometrical figure between these kids.

 

I liked it a lot, and the cinematography was so pretty. The casting was really good. Jada was a tad over the top, but that wig tug was made of pure win, so I forgive her - It is the pilot, after all. Ben Mckenzie deserves kudos for not channeling Ben Sherman. Donal is going to steal the show and I'm more than fine with that. I've never seen the actress who plays Barbara, so I'm going to wait and see. Nice chemistry overall. I'm glad it looks like the city is the main character.

 

I'm pretty sure they won't resist bringing pre-Joker on board, so I'm preemptively le sighing.

Edited by Raachel2008

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I think my favorite parts of this episode were all the character introductions. I may have made more than a few comments along the lines of "Hey, it's so and so." I entertain myself easily.

 

That was my favorite part too! 

 

Really well done pilot and already on the DVR.  The guy who play Penguin, all I can say is wow!  And Ben McKenzie has aged well from his OC days.  Still got that brooding down, I see.

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Well written if cynical and dark. If follow-up episodes keep up the quality of the pilot then this will probably become one of my "gotta watch" TV shows. And those have been few and far between as of late.

And this comes from someone who is not a comic/graphics novel fan and has been lukewarm about the Batman franchise at best.

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So glad this is not on The CW. It would be beyond bland, boring,and full of pretty white models.

 

Jada owned this episode for me. She really held her own and Fish was the right balance of comedy, seriousness, and full on bad assness.

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Still wearing the wife beater, too.

Haha! I totally laughed and thought the OC too!! That must be his trademark!

 

I was overall impressed with what the show introduced.

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I thought the pilot was great.  I was leery about a pre-Batman series but I'm definitely all in too.  The city of Gotham feels like a living character again, something it wasn't in the last two Nolan films (and I loved the Nolan films).  I like Gotham not looking like a real city.

 

A lot of terrific performances here and Ben McKenzie is a strong lead as Gordon.  I liked Donal Logue too and it was interesting to hear him speak without his Irish accent.  A few actors I noticed suppressed their nature accents.    Jada was a strong villain I thought and the guy playing Penguin was great.  Sean Pertwee definitely looks like his father but sounds more like him.

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I know very little about the Batman universe outside of what is in the movies (Batman, Penguin, Joker, Cat woman, Alfred, etc.).  I knew that Gordon turned on the bat signal and that's about it.  I don't know anything about any of the other Gotham cops.

 

So I can say that I was incredibly nervous that Gotham would follow the ubiquitous approach that most shows have seemed to adopt, where the "good" guy does very bad things, and have Gordon shoot Oswald and initiate some comic book scenario that ultimately led to his transformation into Penguin.  So glad they subverted that.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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I didn't expect to like Jada or Fish as much as I did, but she was entertaining. And as twisted as it is, I believe her when she says she cares about her people, even as she's beating them to a bloody pulp. When she screamed at Oswald that he broke her heart as she kicked his ass, I felt a twinge of emotion. Fun character.

Unfortunately, I think that her fresh and untelegraphed nature may play a large role in why I like her. The heavy-handed foreshadowing was what I was afraid of. Little Ivy calling cops bastards and Bruce spouting the dialogue of a 35 year old could get irritating if the writing doesn't gain a little subtlety going forward.

If it were just a cop show, I wouldn't watch. But since it's Batman related, I'll stick around for a while.

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Liked it, excited to see how what they do with all these characters.

 

They did pack everything but the kitchen sink into the pilot--yes, Nygma, Ivy, and CatTween® weren't needed here. For me, the show will succeed or fail on whether they can follow up on all the leads they started here.

 

I've never seen Ben McKensie in anything, but I liked him and thought he really embodied the character. As for Fish, sorry to say, but I think she can only get campier from here on out. Loved the wig adjustment, though! After all those preview clips, I needed that unexpected moment of comedy.

 

I need to see more of Cobblepot to form an real opinion. However, the little bit we saw of Alfred intrigued me. Him telling Bruce to keep his head up walking away from the crime scene tells you a lot.

 

LOVED the production values! Including the wardrobe choices. They really got the moodiness of the city down.

 

So about the plot: I'm really worried for Gordon; he's a minnow in a city of sharks!

 

P.S.:  Credit to mtlchick for 'CatTween'.  :-)

Edited by Trini
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Donal Logue! I love him! And I am still fucking pissed about Copper! Rat bastards. :-( But Donal Logue! He's going to be my very favorite, very quickly I think. :-)

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I was definitely mixed on this.  I loved the cop stuff, especially loved Gordon and Harvey (big Logue fan).  But I really hated all the comicbook easter eggs or not even in most cases. 

 

See I don't mind Oswold and Edward but the Riddler stuff was just too much for Ed (and calling him Ed Nigma is just such a silly name to hear for the next bunch of episodes, just call him Ed or Edward) and calling Oswald "Penguin" made no sense to me. Either make it obvious, explain it or just leave it out all together, I'm sure people would figure it out eventually who he's supposed to be.  Also didn't like Selina, her stalking of Bruce made little sense to me, but it seems like we might get more later.  Bruce and Alfred were okay but I'd really want to see them again, they've served their purpose for now.  

 

So honestly, I liked the clean cop trying to make it in a corrupt city angle but these comic book references just to make them seemed out of place (like Ivy for example).  I hope the show decides it's good enough to just go with them

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but these comic book references just to make them seemed out of place (like Ivy for example).

That was annoying to me even before this aired; hopefully it's just a case of pilot-itis and there's a lot less of it in future episodes.

 

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That was annoying to me even before this aired; hopefully it's just a case of pilot-itis and there's a lot less of it in future episodes.

 

I agree. That was something that annoyed me about The Flash's pilot. Too many easter eggs and every time I read about that show its stunt casting which discourages me from the rest of the season. I hope this show isn't like that.

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The Easter eggs didn't bother me but I probably missed a lot of them.  I didn't even realize that Riddler got introduced tonight.  What I really liked was that the physicality of several of the characters I did recognize really fit their future identities, Catwoman and Penguin in particular.  You could pick them out with no reference to who they were.

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I'm going to state upfront that I'm not a fan of the comic books/graphic novels.  I saw some of the movies but didn't care whether they followed canon or not; I judged them on their merits as films.  For that reason I liked Jack Nicholson's Joker and thought that Heath Ledger's Joker was an amazing example of brilliant acting and written dialogue.  (I especially liked how he kept telling different stories about how he was disfigured.)

 

So obviously, the same will apply to the TV series.

 

Which I liked.  A lot.  Dark and cynical but I felt it was well-written, well paced and well-acted.  I didn't mind some of the anvillicious moments because I'm not a fan so telling me who so-and-so is was ok by me.

 

If the following episodes can maintain even 75% of the pilot's quality, then I'll probably be making this show "must see" TV.  (A lot of time it's difficult to keep up that kind excellence.  The best pilot I have ever seen on TV was American Gothic.  Sadly, the following episodes, while good, could not keep up with the pilot, which was a disappointment.) Which would be nice because there hasn't been much in the way of that for me in quite some time.

 

Loved the fact that by doing the right thing, Gordon actually created the Penguin.  If he had capped the cringing little bugger ... well.  I love these kind of things (DS9 and Battlestar Galactica used to do these type of situations brilliantly) and hope we see more.

 

Is this version of Alfred Australian?

 

All in all, looking forward to seeing more.

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