Of the new shows debuting over the next week, “Gotham” (8 p.m. Monday on Fox) is one of the ones we’re most excited about.
“Gotham” is a prequel to the Batman stories we know from the movies and television show, picking up on the life of young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) just as his parents are being murdered. The detectives assigned to solve the murder of Gotham’s most prominent millionaires are rookie detective James Gordon (that’s right, the future police commissioner) and his more experienced partner, Harvey Bullock. Gordon is played by Ben McKenzie, who was fantastic in “Southland,” and Bullock is played by Donal Logue, who was great in “Terriers” and everything else.
Thad Ogburn reviewed this for Happiness is a Warm TV, and he calls it “‘Batman Begins’ without Batman.” Thad writes, “Sometimes the dullest part of all the previous Batman incarnations was Batman himself. It’s the villains who are the most interesting characters. That’s what this enjoyable show gets right.”
Speaking of villains, Jada Pinkett Smith plays mobster Fish Mooney, a new character in Batman lore, and Robin Lord Taylor is absolutely menacing as the Penguin – an assistant to Fish who is itching to shed his subservient duties and be the top boss. In all honesty, the Penguin kind of steals the show, and makes you crave more episodes. But he isn’t the only villain in town – the pilot offers glimpses of some future nemeses, in their pre-villain states.
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The best thing about this effort, as Thad points out in his review, is that “Gotham” doesn’t require the viewer to bring any previous Batman knowledge to the table. It’s an entertaining hour, whether you’re a newbie to this dark comic world or a DC Comics connoisseur from way back.
For more on what to watch, visit newsobserver.com/warmtv.