Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Watch "Gotham"

The ratings for the last couple episodes of "Gotham" have been down a bit. And it's too bad. It's really a great show. It has been renewed for a second season, so there's no danger of cancellation. But, it would be cool if the ratings picked up a bit (or a lot) as we head toward the season finale and await Season 2. Because I want a Season 3. And I don't want Ben McKenzie to be sad. He works too hard to have to be sad.

Now, I know many people started out watching "Gotham" and then quit after a few episodes. Y'all should come back. You should always give a new show AT LEAST five episodes, and probably more like seven, before you give up on it. It really takes that long for the thing to get out of the gate and get into its groove. You should believe me on this because somebody once called me a "film producer," so -- obviously -- I know about these things. Haha. Actually, you should believe me on this because I have skipped too much housework in lieu of watching a lot of TV in my life, and I have noticed this phenomenon.  And I'll tell you, "Gotham" has really gotten its s**t together. Mind you, I have enjoyed it from the get-go, but it has gotten better and better. For one thing, Ben McKenzie has truly found his Jim Gordon and is consistently "in the zone." Bravo, Ben! You are rockin' it.

I know some people also have an issue with "Gotham's" 8:00 time slot, especially parents. I have noticed that young people are pestering their parents to let them watch "Gotham," leading them to just put their foot down in a frustrated demonstration of parental authority. Thus, these poor moms and dads most likely don't even DVR the show and also -- probably -- boycott everything FOX. I have noticed that most people hate on FOX. The progressives hate on it because of the news and the conservatives hate on it because of its entertainment offerings. It's a wonder, of sorts, that FOX is even still on the air. I guess, though, that giving absolutely everybody something to hate on could make you quite popular.

Take heart, moms and dads. The violence on "Gotham," though present, is not gratuitous. It is appropriate for the story. And that story has key moral questions that your children should consider. Of course, I am not talking about 7-year-olds. But, I do think that children who are 10 years old and above could reap many benefits from watching "Gotham." The show presents to its audience the types of moral conundrums that most (if not all) of us will face in our lives. This is part of the value of a good story, which "Gotham" is. We see these fictional situations and fictional characters. We see how the characters -- some of whom we admire and some of whom we don't -- interact with the situations. We see what the results of those interactions are. There is much food for thought here, and many parallels with "real life." I homeschooled my kids for 13 years, and if "Gotham" had been on, I would have used it in writing lessons, ethics lessons, history lessons, political science lessons, art lessons... I almost want to have another baby so that I can use "Gotham" in lesson plans. (No. Not really. Just kidding. And -- besides -- I am "past the age.") The point is, though, that if you watch "Gotham" with your kids and you have any semblance of coolness about you as a parent, you can leverage it in order to teach your kids A LOT.

Also, as far as real life role models, you should want your kids to be acquainted with those involved in making "Gotham." The whole team is pretty incredible. They are positive people living positive lives. The actor who plays the young Bruce Wayne and the young actress who plays Selina Kyle (the future Catwoman) are prime examples of this. They are incredibly grounded, intelligent, energetic, joyful, engaged-with-life young people. They speak about their "real lives" and their work in a way which could inspire kids to live their own lives with both a sense of healthy fun and purpose. As they speak about the story of "Gotham," they shed light onto the creative process, which is an especially important thing for kids to understand as they navigate their way through the educational system's literature and writing assignments. Ben, himself, is a very good example for kids. He believes young people should work very hard, be very responsible, as they strive to reach worthwhile goals; and he will often speak of this. In fact, he can almost come off as a little bit of a curmudgeon. I actually told my daughter that if he ever has kids, he's going to be the world's strictest dad. ;-) What makes his message such a terrific one for young people, though, is the fact that he is a truly fun person and he has the right end-game in mind. --> He desires that kids grow up to do work that means something to them, work they will enjoy, work that will benefit both themselves and others. And he knows from experience and expresses quite effectively (i.e. in a way that kids will listen) what is necessary to achieve these things.

It seems this post has morphed from why people -- in general -- should watch "Gotham" into why parents should let their kids watch "Gotham." That really wasn't my original intention, but there you have it. And adults should watch it, too. It's beautifully crafted, well-written, compelling, thought-provoking, and a great deal of FUN! I actually think it's really all about President Obama. Or LBJ. Or FDR. Or even The Gipper. So... Catch up on those previously aired episodes and I hope to see you on Monday night in Gotham! And then I hope to see you on Tuesday night for "Agents Of Shield." We've gotta get Coulson out of that jam. I love Coulson!

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