It seems like winter has finally arrived this evening. Jack Frost is unleashing his furious vengeance across my face as I write this (I’m waiting for a bus) and the wind feels like it’s trying to dissect my coat from my back by force. The sooner I can get home and have my hot chocolate the better! Hopefully you are all tucked up in your warm homes and looking forward to evening of geek-filled entertainment.
Speaking of geek-filed evenings, I settled down last night to watch the 2nd episodes of season 1 of Gotham and Season 5 of the Walking Dead, and I could not have had more contrasting experiences. Now, I’m not one of those people who enjoys saying “X show is better than Y show” as I often feel that the people who make these comparisons are taking the shows they are comparing out of their originally intended context. I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that the aims from a storyline perspective are somewhat different between Gotham and The Walking Dead, they also exist within different genres, which comes with its own conventions from the start. Having said that, as a audience member, only one show succeeded in keeping me gripped to its climax, and that was The Walking Dead.
In a way, it’s unfortunate that both shows are broadcast at the same time here in the UK. Gotham is a fledgling show, still establishing its tone, style and plot, whilst The Walking Dead is a TV phenomenon, pulling in huge viewing figures for its 1st episode in the US and with 4 seasons of well established characters and plot so we have a certain amount of familiarity to fall back on. The show’s strength is the closeness of it’s core characters and the fact that we as audience feel we ‘know’ these people and we care what happens to them. Rick Grimes refers to them as his ‘family’ in the episode, and it’s beginning to feel that way for many of the show’s fans. The production values are particularly impressive and hearing that the show managed to attract 15 million viewers in key demographics when it aired on Sunday should be of little surprise to anyone. “Strangers” felt to me like a perfect follow up to the all gun blazing “No Sanctuary” which aired last week. In this episode, the group are making their escape from Terminus and beginning to re establish connections amongst themselves. This is handled in a moving and believable way as they deal with the aftermath of their experiences. I won’t go into much detail about the episode itself as admittedly, not a huge amount happens bar it’s shocking climax. But once again, you can’t help but be delighted by the way in which the story is handled and the performances from the cast are all pitch perfect.
With Gotham, I am able to say even less, other than that the episode felt so weak, I couldn’t even focus on the plot in any detail. The contrast in the quality of the script writing, dialogue and acting between the two shows are like night and day at this point. Gotham’s 2nd episode largely felt completely out of kilter with the 1st. Robin Taylor continues to catch the eye as Oswald Cobblepot, but when he is given such flimsy material to work with, you have to wonder just how far even he can go to re-capture my attention. Harvey Bullock spouted some of the most cliched lines i’ve heard in a while from a comic book adaptation and the whole episode felt so on even, I barely managed to survive till the end.
I dont want this to turn into a rant, so i’m going to have to give serious thought to whether I continue watching this show, as I don’t want to waste my time and yours. If things don’t evolve at a greater rate by next week’s episode, my mind will have been made up.
Anyway, my bus is here, so i’m off to warm my cockles. If you haven’t read Richard’s Man Crush monday piece yet, you can find here;
I’ll be back tomorrow with a more detailed summary of ‘The Walking Dead’ episode 2 and a post for Woman Crush Wednesday.
Until next time folks, stay warm and i’ll see you on the otherside..