Gotham Certified

Have you ever got the question, "I like this show you like, what else should I watch?"

This is me as a Gotham fan trying to answer the question.

You probably don't need to tell someone who likes Buffy to watch Angel. You don't need to tell someone who likes The Flash to watch Supergirl, you don't tell someone who likes Daredevil to watch The Punisher, and you shouldn't need to tell someone who likes Gotham to watch The Dark Knight or Batman: The Animated Series. My aim is to come up with interesting and less obvious recommendations that people might not think of for themselves, and to tell you why you should be watching.

So, with no further adieu, let's get on with the list.


Bronze medal: 'The Gifted'


If you enjoy your Gotham with your popcorn, metahumans and likable cast, the new Fox show 'The Gifted' is a decent match. It's pretty light fare and there's nothing of the dark comedy and gore, but you get a serviceable character gallery with a diverse age range, and the show spends a lot of time on the "devil within" theme so prevalent on Gotham.

It's not the best show ever made but it's eminently watchable, and as an added bonus, you get both Natalie Alyn Lind ('Silver St. Cloud') and Jamie Chung ('Valerie Vale') from Gotham as main characters with a lot more to do.


Silver medal: 'The Borgias'


If what floats your boat is the "bitter rivalry between morally ambiguous characters" and the twisted love affairs... 'The Borgias' has it all. The whole series sort of hinges on the conflict between Cesare Borgia and his brother Juan, as well as the love between the first and his sister Lucrezia. In the latter, inexplicably, the show manages to create what I consider both the darkest and sweetest love story ever shown on television. The cast is so good it's almost surreal - this is a show where Jeremy Irons arguably only makes for the fourth-most-compelling character.

Like my top recommendation, this is a show I'm sad we haven't covered at Doux Reviews, but it was cancelled before I joined and I haven't gotten around to it. And, that's the main strike against it – it ends on a kinda-sorta-cliffhanger after season three, leaving many heartbroken fans in its wake.

However, I wouldn't call it a dealbreaker – the cliff isn't that steep, and since this is a historical drama centering on the papacy of Alexander the Sixth, you really know most of what's yet to happen. It's just a damn shame we never got to see it.


Gold medal: 'Black Sails'


The one show I know sharing the most surprisingly large audience overlap with Gotham is 'Black Sails'. Perhaps it's not so strange – it's a prequel to a popular myth, it's got tons of gore and violence, it's sorta-Gothic-noir (if you think pirates are Goth, I don't know) and it's got loads of great characters and even greater character development.

The last point is what makes it my top recommendation for fans of Gotham. Black Sails is a masterpiece of five seasons with few weak links, a fantastic ensemble cast and a satisfying final act, and the development of Long John Silver is one of the few character arcs that really challenge the very best parts of the realization of Gotham's Bruce Wayne. In its first episodes, hell, its first seasons, you can't help but wonder how anyone's ever supposed to be scared of him. Black Sails shows you how.

So, that's my list. The gauntlet is thrown, Agents. :-)

2 comments:

An Honest Fangirl said...

The gauntlet it thrown? Those be fighting words, Thomas ;P

Billie Doux said...

That's a really fun format for an article, Thomas. I'll have to start thinking what to do with that gauntlet.