25 January 2016 | hgdybecker
A different take on the Batman universe - but a very good one
As a pretty engaged Batman fan (I read the comics, played the heck out of the Arkham games, saw all the movies, the first Animated Series and I even play the tabletop miniature game) I was apprehensive about this show.
After all, what could be good about a Batman show without Batman? Not to mention the fact that all the rumors mentioned different takes on characters, etc?
I tried it anyway... and I'm glad I did!
There is an awful lot to like here. First of all, the characters are interesting: interesting enough to make you forget all about Batman! You root for Gordon, you're annoyed at Bullock, Fish gives you the creeps and Penguin... let's just say he's moved up in my favorite villains list (and he was near the bottom, let me tell you!).
The acting is great (again I must mention Penguin) and while some have said it's over the top... maybe it is, but it's never distracting and fits within the universe that we're presented with.
As I mentioned above, the series has its own take on the universe - you'll soon recognize certain characters, even though they're introduced in ways that are different than what you knew from the comics - and yet, even as a seasoned Batman fan, I was never bothered by the differences and enjoyed the fresh perspectives on familiar characters.
Also, don't worry about the writers shoe-horning in characters, just to get them on screen. Every character I've seen makes sense within the series.
The first season (which I'm basing this review on) has overarching plot lines, but occasionally has "freak of the week" episodes. I was never bored, though (as I regularly was when watching Flash or Arrow) and it's obvious the writing went towards longer plots when it was clear the show was doing well. It never steeps to "cop show" levels, which is an achievement.
Finally, I must commend the "atmosphere" of the series. It all feels very "Gotham", including the shots of the city skyline, the sets, the extras... it all comes together feeling very Batman, without actually having Batman in the mix...
Do I have any criticism? Not really, no. I would love it if they do a Batman series to tie into this one... there's so much they could work with.
Go see it and enjoy it!