Thumbnail Reviews: “Gotham” and “The Flash”

Superheroes are always ‘made for TV’, and there are almost always some around on the nets.

As a science fiction and fantasy fan, I’m always ‘up’ for some good make-believe and I sample, but I’m hard to hang on to as a viewer.

I like “The Flash” (aka, Barry Allen) okay, and it’s showing some promising twists. It’s lo-calorie fun, but it’s not must-see TV for me. Tom Cavanagh plays an interesting, creepy Dr. Wells who is not what he seems. The pilot shows Barry Allen’s mom dying in some sort of weird indoor cyclone. For those familiar with old “Flash Comics” canon, it looked like [SPOILER ALERT POSTED IN WHITE TEXT] she was somehow killed by ‘Reverse Flash’, a character who is costumed in yellow with red trim. (The reverse of Flash’s red with yellow trim.

I can only watch so much DVR in one day, though, and we’ll see if “The Flash“continues to make the cut for me.

“Gotham”, though, is … Amazing! A prequel in the Batman legend focused on then-detective James Gordon, it’s dark, intense, smart, well-acted and well-written. All the starring roles are well-cast (some better than others), and even the small parts are competently acted.

Sean Pertwee is the darkest “Alfred the Butler” you’ve ever seen. He’s definitely one of the ‘good guys’, but they’re hinting at a past. I’m starting to bet on UK Special Forces

A standout is Robin Lord Taylor, and this may turn out to be his role of a lifetime; a tough thing when you’re still a young actor. (His age is not disclosed in his bios, but I would guess middle-ish 20s…Unless that’s what he WANTS us to think!)  Taylor has created a Penguin character that is uniquely engaging; an obvious psychopath that you still find yourself wanting to like. (That is, after all, what successful psychopaths do.) This is the first time that I have ever found the Penguin to be something other than a ridiculous character. Others have said that Taylor’s Penguin is the dark, bloody heart of “Gotham”, and I agree.

If Taylor doesn’t get at least an Emmy nomination, then TANJ! (Or as Larry Niven often notes in his books, There Ain’t No Justice)

I don’t think  that “Gotham” will be triaged from my DVR any time soon.

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