September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
The new season of TV is upon us and here is my review of Monday night’s offerings! The 8PM slot in my viewing block was filled by FOX’s comic book adaptation of “Batman.” I’m not a comic book reader, per se, so I am approaching this show from what I know from being in close proximity to them via my academic association with popular culture and film. Gotham centers on James Gordon as a freshly minted detective who has caught the murder of the Waynes. Gordon makes young Bruce a promise to catch the culprit, which doesn’t go too well. Along the way we meet a pre-teen Cat Woman, who witnesses the murder and begins her fixation with young Bruce, a very young Poison Ivy, a Riddler who works forensics for the police, and the character I think is the best re-invention of these DC staples: the Penguin.
The Penguin is a low-level figure in the city’s organized crime syndicates who is ambitious despite his lack of obvious physical strength or even being smarter than his boss. He is an orphan raised by the syndicate and the viewers see how he gets his characteristic limp. His slimy charm and ruthlessness are going to make for watching this sociopath worth tuning in to see. Gotham , from this first episode it feels like a Law and Order series, except that the who is who to provide the law and order is blurred to an extreme degree. I will be watching, especially since it leads off Sleepy Hollow.
Also on FOX, this combo of Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle starts its second season with the obligatory cleaning up of last season’s cliffhanger. The stand-off until apocalypse is maintained with the bad guys getting another Horseman to pick up the slack of the Headless one, who seems too busy wooing his old girlfriend to actually go and cut heads. Missing from this episode was the excellent Orlando Bloom, whose presence as the police captain was an excellent role, one whose name, Frank Irving, is an homage to Washington Irving. This episode seemed like it was probably John Cho’s last appearance as well, which is a shame as well. Despite what I think was a slow start for a show I really enjoyed last season, I have hopes it will pick up the intensity going forward.
For my 10PM viewing I move to NBC for The Black List, which I think is one of the best, if not the best thriller on TV right now. James Spader, as usual, rocks the role of Red with a performance that should win him an Emmy, in my opinion. This season’s addition of Mary-Louise Parker as Red’s ex-wife is going to be interesting, tragic, and bloody. The show finds interesting ways to continually twist without becoming formulaic.
This week’s twist: (SPOILERS) A terrorist who really IS an evil twin without the hokum and a twist that is terrifying when you really think about the ramifications if it were real.
Monday nights are going to be great, I only regret that CBS moved NCIS: LA to Monday to face The Black List. I will stay with Red and watch LL and Chris when I can.