What follows, after a few paragraphs, is the commentary I wrote Monday, as the “Gotham” finale neared. It describes the great/bad quality of a show that has stunned us — but only with its visuals.
After I wrote it, the finale became available to critics. It’s better (and, occasionally, worse) than I’d expected.
All the faults are there — gore … repetition … cops who can’t keep bad guys imprisoned … bad guys who can’t help babbling until their victory is snatched away. But there’s also a grandeur here.
Selena has evolved into Catwoman and looks wonderful, in action or in close-ups. Bruce Wayne has evolved into Batman; even tiny glimpses of him (which is about all we get) are stirring. In the show’s final minutes, all flaws are forgiven and “Gotham” ends grandly.
Now here’s the previous commentary:
(Written April 22)
“Gotham” wraps things up Thursday (April 25, 8 p.m., Fox), leaving us with mixed feelings.
In some ways, what this show did was remarkable – five seasons and 100 episodes of movie-quality filmmaking. On the budget of regular TV – not some lush, loss-leader for a premium channel – it gave us stunning pictures and sound.
Still, there was the storytelling …
As the downward spirals continued, things became repetitious. Sure, Batman tales have always been dark, but by now I’d imagine that even Scandinavian filmmakers are thinking, “Hey, lighten up a little.”
The villains – (Penguin and Riddler, shown here, are back for the finale) – are brilliantly played, but terribly similar. They keep holding good people hostage and preparing to kill them … but only after spending ample time explaining the schemes.
This show definitely needs a boost, a savior, It needs …
Ah yes, Batman may be coming. The finale jumps ahead 10 years, with Bruce Wayne finally returning to town. We’re hoping he’ll rescue us from a cascade of gorgeous sameness.