The series starts with the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents and a young Jim Gordon, who is idealistic and zealous, which brings him into conflict with a corrupt police force. Many of the characters who are familiar from Batman stories are introduced but in ways we may not recognize at first. Selena Kyle (the future Catwoman) is a street kid who witnessed the murder of the Waynes and has a complicated relationship with Bruce. Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin) is a minor but dangerous criminal that slowly moves up the ranks of Gotham’s crime families. Edward Nygma (future Riddler) works in the crime lab with the Gotham police. Harvey Dent (future Two Face) is one of the good guys, who works with Gordon to help clean up Gotham.
Many of the episodes with Gordon and his partner Harvey Dent come across as a traditional police drama with just a dash of comic book fantasy. Others work hard to set up the world that will eventually give birth to Batman. By the middle of the series, I was really hooked on this show and enjoyed it thoroughly. The end of the first season really ramps up the pace, bringing characters such as Kyle and Nygma closer to their future criminal careers.
If I had one complaint, it would be how Gotham portrays mental health. To be fair, part of this is from the nature of the source material in the comics. Most of the criminals are not sent to prison but to Arkham Asylum. Many of the bad guys (and girls) are not just criminal masterminds but people whose mental illness that pushes them into violence. This is promoting a stigma that is not very helpful.
Despite this, for those who like crime dramas, and especially those who like Batman, Gotham is a show that is worth watching.