Gotham has the odd distinction of being not the best DC show on the air, but by far the most interesting. When the show is firing on all cylinders, it’s a gleefully strange drama about a corrupt city and the insane criminals that live there. When it’s not firing on all cylinders, Jada Pinkett-Smith gets abducted by pirates and sent to an organ farm for eight episodes. And it’s made the reports of the show’s casting alternately great and frustrating.
Take the latest news; minor character Butch, played quite ably by Drew Powell, has been promoted to series regular. That’s great! Powell can play black comedy and drama in equal measure; an early episode in the first season actually gave him a small plotline that he knocked out of the park.
Then again, that means this show now has a regular cast of eleven actors, not counting the show’s ever-expanding cast of “guest” stars, like Michael Chiklis’ Nathaniel Barnes. Looking through the IMDb, pretty much everybody who didn’t die last season is coming back for multiple episodes.
It’s a problem because Gotham‘s first season suffered both from having to write six extra episodes on the fly and a lack of focus because it was just so huge. There was simply so much going on that you could see the writer’s room sprinting around to keep all the plates spinning. Some of it, like the Penguin’s backstabbing rise to power and Jim Gordon losing sight of his morals, was killer TV. Some of it… well, it made you happy whenever Gordon came back.
True, Gotham has an advantage this season in that they have a full 22-episode order and can plan ahead. And they have several strong plot threads to pick up on from the finale of the first season. Still, it would be nice to know that they won’t have to keep those plates spinning and can focus on giving their cast more to do.