This latest scathing review from EW about the troubled DC-universe show lights on many flaws, but like all reviews of this show, the central problem it talks about remains the same: Bruce Wayne, and his cohort, are all too young.
The little guy is just 12. That means there is no way we can realistically look forward to the appearance of the Dark Knight during the lifetime of this show. That also means we won’t see the full-fledged Catwoman or Poison Ivy. The Joker is also usually shown to be in this age range, so having him show up as an adult now (as with the Penguin) would make him in his 50s or so by the time his rivalry with Bats is in full swing — which would be unacceptable even to people who only know him from Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, let alone full-blown comics geeks. We won’t see Drs. Harley Quinn or Jonathan Crane working with Gordon in Arkham Asylum for the same reason.
There is a solution, although it will mean some unfair pink slips for a few of the actors currently on the show. A solution that, like Smallville before it, will have viewers tuning back in to see if and when Gotham finally dovetails with the mainline Batman stories, as it will now be a true origin story. And the solution is an epilogue to the season finale, an epilogue transitioned to with the following on-screen text that revolutionizes the show with three simple words:
Seven years later.
Boom. This show is back on track.
Now Bruce and friends are all college-aged. Now we can look forward to Bruce at some point fulfilling his destiny — maybe not in season 2, but perhaps in season 6 or so. Perhaps we could be introduced to promising young med students Harley Quinn and Jonathan Crane, and a crazy young inmate of Arkham Asylum with an unsettling laugh. Catwoman’s crime spree is in full swing, even as she occasionally drops in on Bruce at Gotham University. Now, the fulfillment of the Batman legend is guaranteed instead of being forever impossible. And if the showrunners really want to show a plucky young orphan trying to get by in Gotham City, there’s always one Dick Grayson they could add to the show.
Basically, we would have a reason to watch. Because now, we sort of don’t, not when we can expect nothing but a crapsack world with Jim Gordon inevitably doomed to failure every single week (as he cannot fix anything until the Caped Crusader comes along). It would just be gangster vs. gangster the whole way through, and we’re not going to be tuning in to root for Jada Pickett Smith’s character, let alone the freaking Penguin. But this show can still be saved by going the way of Smallville with an attractive young-adult cast coming into their own as superheroes and -villains, to bring in both young female fans of Arrow, and comic book geeks obsessively waiting for the full-on appearance of their Batman favorites. Let’s see her done!