Fox's "Gotham" is, as most know, a Batman prequel, with Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in the lead, abetted by his questionable partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). Gordon is reminiscent of Gary Oldman's version in the "Dark Knight" trilogy: compassionate, tough and particularly intolerant of corruption: an admirable, television feature in light of what most cable television prescribes. Yep, no sympathy for the devil here, and yet the devils do certainly rear their insidious heads in this ambitious prelude.
The first episode features fledgling versions of Catwoman (Carmen Bicondova), the Riddler (Corey Michael Smith), Poison Ivy (Clare Foley) and the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), with a pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent and Hugo Strange on the possible horizon.
Tragic, young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is also in the mix (how could he not be?), and one can naturally presume that the seedy workings of Gotham (and Wayne's steely thirst for justice) will only perpetuate the ultimate Dark Knight's rise. Of course, faithful Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) will also be a recurring character, thus solidifying the Wayne legend.
"Gotham" looks promising, even if it's more a standard cop show when compared to what we've come to expect from Batman lore. Still, it seems more honest than most recent (and often overly praised) crime series, implying at least some form of Steve Ditko distinction between good and bad. It also has a cool, no-nonsense "Mob City" sensibility to it, further distinguishing it from its current counterpart let's-root-for-criminals mush. Indeed, so far, so good. Let's see, though, if it can at least exceed "Birds of Prey'"s brevity, though that seems more than likely...
On the heels of "Gotham", Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" triumphantly returns. As you may recall, I was quite smitten by Season 1's surreal, parallel-realm finale (see Jan '14). The Season 2 premiere admirably continues the concept, with a supernatural key that links to Purgatory. Indeed, as evidence by the season kick-off, and for a loose Washington Irving knock-off, the series remains a fine, modern equivalent to "Kolchak: the Night Stalker", with a distinct (albeit revised) historically patriotic context.
It's also sure nice to see Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abby (Nicole Beharie) back in investigative swing, and now with John Noble's Sin Eater, ersatz Henry Parrish, revealed as--whoops, maybe I shouldn't spoil it for those not yet in the know. I'm only hoping we'll get some Clancy Brown cameos this season. Such would be most welcome.
As far as monsters go, it's obvious more will appear this season, with the Headless Horseman, of course, remaining in the recurring forefront and the power-hungry Moloch in the driver's seat. Also, the series' perpetually autumnal atmosphere is lovingly reinstated: a perfect place for the otherworldly creatures to infiltrate.
I'm sensing a strong chance for renewal well in advance of the season close. Without question, this one appears destined for longevity.