Published on September 29th, 2014 | by gareth0
5 Mistakes Gotham Must Avoid To Be Successful
Last week, Fox premiered Gotham, one of the most anticipated new shows of the Fall season. The series was promoted heavily at the recent San Diego Comic Con and details the origins of many iconic characters from the Batman universe.
In the premiere we see the murder of young Bruce Wayne’s parents which as fans know sets the stage for his eventual transformation to Batman.
Along the way we are introduced to Poison Ivy, The Penguin, The Riddler, and other characters before they became their infamous selves, as a young Jim Gordon in his pre Commissioner days attempts to solve crimes that arise in the city.
While the look and premise of the show is good, there are plenty of pitfalls the show must deal with as Fox is a network known for pulling the plug early and knowing how fickle fans can be, it is vital that Gotham grab them early.
First, the show must be careful not to play fast and loose with the established history of the characters it portrays. Enterprise did this and saw Star Trek fans fail to embrace the show which caused the mission to be ended after four seasons despite making great strides with the show in the final season.
We know how the characters become who they will be already; you can retell it and do some fresh new twists, but tread lightly.
Secondly, do not turn the show into a police procedural. We have enough of those on tv as it is and knowing how many of the characters are at least 10-12 years away from turning into their more famous alter egos, how the series addresses this will be key.
Third, do not become a Monster of the Week show. I am not ready for another Night Stalker where each week Gordon has to solve a new crime with a supernatural twist where his corrupt and skeptical bosses question his every move. Yawn, X-Files did it best, do not need another one.
Fourth, maintain the drama and interest by clever introductions and plot development. We know there are good, bad, and in between characters, we know Gotham is wracked with corruption and crime, let’s see more of the why and how and how the city shapes the younger versions of the characters.
Fifth, do not take the fans for granted. Do not think just because you cloak a show in an iconic setting with characters people want to see, does not mean fans will come. Case in point Smallville. There were many good things about the show but they also strung things out so long that people lost interest and stories took some really odd twists down the way.
Keep the show fresh, interesting, and above all true to the source material.
While this can be easier said than done, it is sound advice. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had some growing pains before it addressed fan concerns and improved itself. With Arrow doing well and the pending Flash series, not to mention Constantine and Agent Carter, fans have plenty to be excited over, but also have plenty of options to turn to should a show not deliver. The ball is in your court Gotham, do not blow it.