Television: Gotham "Pilot" and Sleepy Hollow "This is War"

I'm finally getting around to what's on my DVR!

I decided to start with FOX's Monday-night pairing of the new series Gotham and the returning Sleepy Hollow.

I'll admit, I had mixed feelings about Gotham. I really like Jim Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie, who seems to be channeling some young version of Russell Crowe). But I'm not a fan of Mafia/mob stories, and this sort of is one. Basically the series sets up a young, rookie Detective Gordon and his more experienced partner Harvey Bullock and shows how Gordon is introduced to the dark underpinnings of the city. Cops + crime bosses are the bedrock of Gotham. And of course Gordon's idealism rails against that.

And of course the pilot also showed the Waynes getting shot and killed in an alley. That was kind of obnoxious. I mean, seriously, the Waynes must not have been too bright. An alley? Were there no cabs whatsoever on the street they were on? Where was Alfred and the limo? And what kind of crap police officers leave a kid sitting by himself after witnessing his parents' murders? Oh, sure, they gave him a blanket, so I guess that's all right . . . Ugh.

But at least this murder gives Gotham its thru line. Gordon promises to find who did it, and young Bruce Wayne now has a purpose (and a penchant for standing on top of buildings).

The sum total of the show has the potential for exploring a lot of gray moral spaces, and for developing complex characters faced with difficult choices and conflicting emotions. But . . . I don't know yet. I'll have to watch a couple more episodes before I'm sure I'm all in for this one.

As for Sleepy Hollow . . . I tuned out pretty early on, actually. It was just an utter morass of a mess—a year skipped, but no not really, Purgatory this and that, Ben Franklin and National Treasure and a key—and I found I didn't much care. Hmm. So I've cut this one from my viewing schedule. One less show to eat up time with.

On tap for the next couple days: Doctor Who, Scorpion, and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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