I’m going to be perfectly honest, when I first learned about Gotham being made, I turned my nose up at it, thinking it would be yet another comic book show that came and went. Thank goodness I was wrong and the series flourished, with the second season set to air on television in a mere two weeks. Now I finally get to sit down and see what made the show such a hit in the Gotham: Season One DVD set. Packed with 22 episodes across six discs, along with some nice extras, you’ll want to sit aside some time to visit Gotham City in this collection.
Set early in the Batman universe at the time when Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered, a young Detective James Gordon (Southland’s Ben McKenzie) is fresh out of the military and learning the ropes of the GCPD along with his rough-around-the-edges partner Harvey Bullock (played extremely well by Donal Logue). Their first case together just so happens to be the Wayne murders, which Gordon vows to a young Bruce (David Mazouz) that he will find the people responsible. Working together with Bruce’s butler Alfred (Doctor Who’s Jon Pertwee’s son, Sean Pertwee) who has some military/black-ops training this time around, the guys do their best to fight crime and corruption in Gotham while also getting ever closer to who killed Bruce’s parents.
Of course in this city, nothing comes (or goes) easy, as just about everyone is corrupt and/or hiding deadly secrets. Such as Harvey working along with the femme fatale crime boss Fish Mooney (played nicely by Jada Pinkett Smith) who gives him leads to follow in exchange for some questionable favors. At the end of the day though, it is the lowly but highly intelligent Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin (played perfectly by Robin Lord Taylor) that steals the show, as he knows exactly how to manipulate people into making him rise to the top of the underworld criminal empire.
Gotham is one of those shows that starts off a little slow but picks up steam fairly quickly once most of the characters have been introduced and come into play. As I stated earlier, while everyone does a great job bringing their characters to life, it is Robin Lord Taylor that really stands out and easily became one of my (as well as other fans) favorites on the show due to his humble, intelligent but crazy take on the Penguin. I enjoyed how all the different plot views from the characters come together really well, as though what if you combined Law and Order with The Sopranos, as Jim, the police, and the higher ups are doing their thing while the mob bosses are doing theirs. It’s also fun to see Batman’s rogue gallery of villains appear throughout, such as Edward Nygma before he becomes The Riddler as he works as a forensics guy for the GCPD helping Gordon and Bullock solve crimes, but not without coming across and creepy/weird and annoying them with his riddles. You’ll also see Selina Kyle, Ivy, Harvey Dent and more as you watch.
To add to this wonderful package, there are some pretty nifty special features included, starting off with some deleted scenes from the series that don’t really add or take away from the episodes they’re from. “The Game of Cobblepot” is a fun extra that goes into Robin Lord Taylor’s performance as Oswald Cobblepot, showcasing a recap of his standout parts in the season while he shares what he brought to the character and how much he enjoyed it. “Gotham: The Legend Reborn” is a twenty minute preview of the series that aired on TV not long before the season premiere that gives viewers a sneak peek into the show and its characters. There’s also some other features and documentaries that go behind the scenes of the making and shooting of the series that viewers are sure to enjoy.
Gotham: Season One is one of the best new shows I’ve seen and I’m sure others who watch will soon agree. It’s a comic book show minus the superheroes that actually works, thanks to great writing and a fantastic cast that bring the characters to life. If you like series such as Law and Order and The Sopranos, or if you’re just looking for something new and interesting, you’ll easily fit into Gotham City and join the many who are waiting for season two.