Happens all the time in the Bat-verse: The bad guys get all the best material. And so it was in the beginning, or at least in the origin story as presented by Fox's stylish, vividly hardboiled Gotham (8/7c), an exercise in pulp-noir chic that, to be enjoyed properly, should be considered more Dick Tracy than Batman in approach.
As Robin might proclaim, if he were around (which he isn't): Holy corruption! The sordid Gotham City on display here reflects executive producer Bruno Heller's time spent on HBO's Rome rather than his sunnier stint with The Mentalist. This city of menace boasts a retro sheen cluttered with jarring contemporary details, projecting what's intended as an out-of-time (or timeless) quality to frame this iconic story. You know how it goes: Young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz of Touch) is orphaned when his wealthy parents are murdered in a back-alley robbery, inspiring a lifetime devoted to vanquishing Gotham's most-wanted goons.
But that's another tale for another time, because the focus of Gotham is on clench-jawed, strait-arrow Detective (future Commissioner) James Gordon, played with a pugnacious dour solemnity by Ben McKenzie.
ABC's new drama Forever isn't breaking any mold, but it sure is a lot of fun! The series stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, an immortal medical examiner trying to find a way to bite the dust once and for all. But until he finally figures out the solution to his predicament, Henry puts his extensive knowledge of death to use by helping Det. Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) solve New York City's toughest cases.
Before you roll your eyes and write the show off, check out these seven reasons why Forever is more than worth your time.
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Question: I'm a fan and read your column every week. I've watched the pilots for Forever and Red Band Society, and have added them to my list of shows I'll be watching. I hope they do well. I was wondering if you have seen them, and if so, what did you think? I found Red Band Society to be a feel-good show. I can't help but wonder, though, if it shouldn't be on a younger TV station like MTV, and the fact that it isn't makes me worry about its chances, as it is geared toward a younger audience. Forever is very Sherlock Holmes, which is right up my alley, and I love it whenever Ioan Gruffudd is on my TV screen. Do you think making the pilots available early hurts a TV show? What are your thoughts? - Carmelita
Fox paid big money for its Batman-prequel series Gotham and touted its September 22 premiere all summer via billboards, transit posters, and on-air promotional spots. According to research that measures viewer interest in the new fall shows, the effort is going to pay off. Research firm Ipsos MediaCT surveys viewers each week throughout the summer and asks if they are familiar with the name of a new show and whether they plan to watch it. The results of the company's TV Dailies Study from the period of Sept. 1—7 were provided to TV Guide Magazine and show Gotham with the highest awareness score of any new show and the second highest score in the intent to view category.
The fall pilots just keep on coming.
Following in the footsteps of other new shows like Red Band Society and Selfie, ABC has made the pilot for its freshman drama Forever available online to Hulu Plus subscribers.