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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Mystery > Drama > Action > Prequel Series > TV > Gotham: The Complete First Season (2014 - 2015/DC Comics/Warner DVD Set)

Gotham: The Complete First Season (2014 - 2015/DC Comics/Warner DVD Set)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B- Episodes: B

Whereas I was wary about Gotham at first, it has developed into one of the best superhero inspired series on television today. Grounded mostly in reality (i.e. no magic or superpowers) Gotham follows the daily happenings of Gotham City, primarily focusing on Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and secondly on a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) after the murder of his parents.

The series could have taken the easy and expected route of (once again) shining the spotlight on a future caped crusader, but for the most part the series' creators have instead chosen to focus on the City of Gotham and Detective Gordon displaying how things went so wrong and why (eventually) a hero is needed. The series takes some liberties with established Batman lore, but for the most part these deviations are refreshing and seamlessly blend in with the Batman mythos.

Jim Gordon is a military hero, arriving back in Gotham to kick ass and take names; but it will not be easy. Jim quickly realizes that the Gotham he thought he knew is a cesspool of corruption, greed, and violence long since taken over by different mafia factions and gangs. The murder of the Waynes shows a changing of the tides and that Gotham has some tough times ahead. Whereas the city was infected with corruption and crooked cops, it seems to have been controlled chaos; but now wackos and wannabes are coming out of the woodwork to watch the city burn.

Though there are a host of characters this First Season the main players would have to be Oswald Cobblepot [i.e. The Penguin played by the brilliant Robin Lord Taylor] and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). Fish Mooney is established as Mob Boss Carmine Falcone's (John Doman) no nonsense, second in command; but has bigger dreams of her own that don't involve being bossed around by a man. Cobblepot is a sniveling, errand boy that lurks in the shadows; seemingly harmless at first, his sneaky and slimy eavesdropping places him amongst the most threatening individuals in the city. Whereas it would be easy to turn Gotham into a 'villain of the week' action/adventure/drama, the series is better than that as it intricately shows the evolution of crime and criminals in the city. We are treated to the hierarchy of a mob drama, while given a splash of comic book gold; all leading to a sensational future filled with criminally insane villains and heroes alike.

The series is well done from beginning to end. Whereas the series may have taken a few episodes to get its baring, it quickly finds its rhythm establishing it as one of the better series on TV today. With hints of what is to come (Batman fans probably catching more than casual viewers) like that of The Riddler, Two Face, The Joker, and Catwoman the series has true promise. It seems as though the writers are taking their time and exploring the devolution of the city before jumping head first into the main villains; a smart move that gives the series layers and depth.

The writing is engaging, the characters are charismatic, and style is gothic, gritty and fun to watch. Gotham has established a world full of rich and interesting characters (too many to mention here), I am excited to see where Gotham goes next.

The series was released on both Blu-ray and DVD, but ONLY the DVD is under review here. I am sure the Blu-ray is a huge upgrade in quality. The picture is presented in an adequate anamorphic 1.78 X 1 widescreen that gets the job done, but seems to get bogged down in the shadows at time. Much of the series takes place at night layered into the already established Gothic atmosphere. The picture is crisp and clean, with bursts of color. The sound is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation that gets the job done without distortion and using the surrounds adequately. For such an action packed series, I was expecting a more dynamic track, but fell a bit flat though maybe it would play better in lossless sound on Blu-ray.

The extras are plentiful (though not the longest) and include the following:

  • Gotham Invented: Building Gotham

  • Gotham Invented: Paving the way for the Caped Crusader

  • Gotham Invented: Fractured Villains of Gotham

  • Designing the Fiction

  • The Game of Cobblepot

  • Gag Reel

  • Unaired Scenes

  • DC Comics Night at Comic Con 2014 presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine, & Arrow

  • Gotham: The Legend Reborn

  • Character Profiles

    • Detective Harvey Bullock

    • Detective James Gordon

    • Oswald Cobblepot

    • Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth

    • Fish Mooney

    • Dr. Lesley Thompkins

    • Killer Character

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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