The biggest problem facing Gotham has been its inability to decide whether it wants to be a police procedural drama or a superhero origin story. According to Gotham star Ben McKenzie, this has been the area the show’s creators have concentrated on the most with season 2. In fact, as McKenzie suggests with his own words, it seems Gotham has been completely revamped for its second season.
“I think we made a mistake relatively early on in trying to introduce a villain and take care of that villain in one episode: catch them, send them to Arkham, do whatever,” Gotham‘s McKenzie said. “That was just a mistake. We should’ve never done it.”
It wasn’t just content that affected Gotham‘s ratings. Ben feels that the irregular scheduling of Gotham, which stemmed from the network dragging their heels with the decision of whether or not to order additional episodes, has also led to a drop in viewers. McKenzie says fans may have had a hard time trying to stay current due to so many unscheduled breaks.
“We were ordered for 16 [episodes]. We were going to have one break and come back and finish the rest of them in terms of the airing, and then we added six more, so we had to break again and then we had to come back again,” Mr. McKenzie said. “And it’s hard for the audience to follow that many changes in a series in terms of when it’s airing and when it’s not.”
“It’s challenging right now,” the Gotham star said. “There’s so much competition out there.”
It’s certainly a shame that the creative team behind Gotham took so long to correct the faults so readily recognized in season 1 of Gotham. There were some villains that many fans would have liked to see in longer-running story arcs. Who wouldn’t have loved to see more of The Ogre, played by Milo Ventimiglia? While there may have been some missed opportunities in season 1 of Gotham, all is not lost, promises Ben McKenzie. His enthusiasm is contagious, even as he talks of a second season filled with new villains and longer arcing storylines.
“The audience really wants to understand who these people are and live with them, sit with them and enjoy them. Whether they’re evil or good, they are entertaining,” said the Gotham actor. “So that’s what we’re doing in season 2. [It’s] really kick ass. I think it’s exactly what the fans want to see.”
Gotham will premiere its second season on Monday, September 21 on Fox.
[Featured image: Ben McKenzie courtesy of Fox/Gotham]