Posts Tagged ‘Gotham’

The Penguin

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Character
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 Short, fat, and sometimes disfigured The Penguin is not only a nemesis of Batman, but to Bruce Wayne as well, as Oswald Cobblepot.

The Penguin has been pulling off bird inspired heists for decades at this point. Thwarted by Batman on the regular, however recently Penguin was promoted to a boss of crime of Gotham City. Which I think is great, it gives him more flavor in his character and opens him up for some new dimensions in stories, if that’s where they take it.

That aspect gives Batman more into to the seedy underbelly of Gotham, a place The Dark Knight is at his best. Busting lowlife thugs in back alleys. Now The Caped Crusader has a savage, ruthless foe that might not take the businessman like approach what a “regular” wannabe mobster boss might do.

There was also a push to have the man Oswald Cobblepot be a rival of Bruce Wayne in daylight society. Which was cool. The New 52 version of Penguin has him owning a legitimate night club,  a front to doing illegal things. Not a new idea, the animated series did something similar with Oswald,  but it’s an interesting alternative to just him being professional bird pun crimesman.

Recently, Cobblepot had some run-ins with Harvey Bullock breaking into his club and accusing Oswald of hiring The Scarecrow to kill some people.

The current television representation of The Penguin on Gotham might be the best thing about the show. Robert Lord Taylor’s characterization is spot on.

Of the many incarnations of the character, The Animated Series might be my favorite, Danny Devito in Batman Returns is the creepiest, and Burgess Meredith is fun and lighthearted.

Being one of Batman’s oldest foes The Penguin has been around for a long time, and will be there in the future to try to stop Batman.

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You know, when you see that whoever that puts television shows together decides to make a show based on the Batman universe, I get interested. When they say they’re looking to not have Batman on TV every week, a few ideas come to my mind. My first thoughts go straight to a Gotham Central type police procedural show. Gotham is almost that show, but then they go and do weird things.

First thing, the time. Gotham takes place just after Thomas and Martha Wayne met their end in an alley, and before Batman shows up. So naturally, a younger fresh transfer to a new city James Gordon and his partner who’s been there Harvey Bullock are the protagonists. Which is fine, but then every then every colorful character Batman deals with in the future should be younger, and they aren’t. Bruce and Selina Kyle are the same age. Selina was a convienent witness to the Wayne murders. Everyone else who is or could be part of the foes and allies of Batman are all older, either already plotting and scheming like Oswald Cobblepot, or in the background doing their thing like Edward Nigma, Gotham Police Science Man.

The dialogue is not good at times, and dipped with cheese in others. I’m not a fan that Bruce Wayne seems to be a part of the show, and it doesn’t help I don’t think the kid they have playing him is any good. Whatever he’s a kid, I’m sure he’ll do fine later. However the the girl playing the young Catwoman is a little bit better, and looks a lot like a young Michelle Pfieffer. That Penguin character might be the most interesting person in the whole show, and despite them toying with certain aspects of the Joker but never giving you anything concrete in other characters, it wouldn’t surprise me if they Arman Tamzarian the whole thing and make Oswald Cobblepot into The Joker. He does use a number of fake names and when Montoya and her partner were asking his supposed mother questions about him being missing she doesn’t use the name Cobblepot. (I am aware that really doesn’t mean that much I’m just thinking)

And then there’s the show.

The first episode served as the pilot episode. Which was all right. It did what it needed to do, set off Bruce down a path, introduce a bunch a players to the world, and set up the story of the show itself. So, with that in mind, the number of cameos and mention of Gordon’s girlfriend last name, just so people who know that would go, hey thats a small detail they looked into. But then, Harvey Bullock seems off, like he’s not supposed to be a corrupt cop. Harvey is a tough cop, who might bend the rules a little to make things go his way, which the show implies, but they often show him trying to look the other way, or not getting involved in certain cases because he knows it’s just going to bring him problems.

It wan’t a very good first showing, It didn’t make me want to watch the rest of the season to see what’s next, to see how things shape out. Their’s the beginnings of a mob war because the death of the uncorrupt Wayne’s imbalance the power between Falcone and Maroni houses. I just don’t care about it. The new spice of a character for this show is Fish Mooney, who seems to be trying to make a name for herself by playing Falcone, and becoming the big boss of Gotham. But really. If she’s a never before heard of character, and Batman has ties to both the Falcone and Maroni bosses in the future. The fate of Fish Mooney isn’t exactly sealed, but whatever happens isn’t going to be all that surprising either.

Gotham is five episodes in at this point, and I don’t feel compeled to see what happens next. Sure it’s kind of funny to see them use oddball characters like Balloonman, and it’s fun to see a live action portrayal of Renee Montoya, but in the end it’s all whatever, we all know what’s coming.

Gotham is one of those shows I can’t get into, but maybe once the show has it’s legs under it and knows where and what it’s doing is another story, and maybe then I’ll like it, just not currently.