Fox has only aired two episodes of Gotham’s second season, but the improvements in the direction of the show have drastically changed the feel of this take on the origins of Batman.
Gotham’s first season had difficulties separating itself from the lot of procedural cop shows that large networks tend to run. Besides the setting in Gotham City, there was very little unique about the case of the week show.
Direction seemed to be an issue and characters tended to be floating along without some overarching story to tie them down and allow them to grow or change. One of the biggest problems of the first season was its lack of a go-to evil that matched the hero, Detective Jim Gordon, with evil.
This season, there are villains aplenty. Introduced by dropping citizens off of a newspaper building, the Maniax, should come to provide a chaotic threat that will take most, if not all, of the season for Gordon to sort out.
The group is a combination of mentally ill inmates headed by a Joker archetype named Jerome and includes some murderers and cannibals for good measure. To combat the criticism of a lack of villains, Gotham’s second season has doubled down and plans to bring in well known villains like Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, and more.
With the defeat of organized crime in season one, it appears as though Season Two will begin to fill the city with more crazies that comic book fans have been asking for.
The incredible energy that Jada Pinkett Smith brought to the show as crime boss Fish Mooney has been replaced by Cameron Monaghan and his portrayal of Jerome. The same witty, unpredictable, and downright fun to watch style of acting that Smith brought last season has been matched so far by Monaghan so far.
Jerome and his group, the Maniax; provide this season with a much needed long running problem that was largely in the background of Season One. Threats would come up and be dealt within the same episode and it appears that this season has already set itself apart.
The most important thing that Gotham can do is to take itself less seriously. Realize that the material is based on comic books which can range from the absurd to the serious and make sure to do both of those things.
To the show’s credit it appears that the defeat of the mob in last season symbolized a departure from a more real world crime system into a more fantastical and comic book approach.
It’s too early in the season to tell, but the expectation for this season is high. With all the pieces starting to come into play this year could prove to lift Gotham over other beloved superhero shows Arrow and Flash in terms of appeal.
Season One of the show has just been put on Netflix so anyone looking to catch up finds themselves with the episodes at their disposal.
Gotham is a good superhero show where the hero is simply a police officer looking to do his job in the face of a growing evil that will soon require Batman to stop. Until then, however, Detective Jim Gordon and the villains he must face are making it one entertaining ride.