Did Wayne Manor ever expand its set beyond the living room? The living room reminded me of Lex's office in SMALLVILLE; he ate there, worked out there, had his medical examinations there, held every meeting there, sat around with Clark there -- I honestly think he may have even slept there and that his bedroom was a corner of the Luthor mansion's office set with a bed shoved against the wall.
My memory of this is a struggle, but I don't remember a single scene set in Wayne Manor that isn't in that same room. I think sometimes they'd film in the other direction so *everything* wouldn't be in front of the fireplace, but that might've been their best shot at that. I also remember a Court of Owls boardroom (?) set and a Cobblepot mansion, and they might've just redressed the Wayne set.
What was up with recasting Poison Ivy? What was up with recasting her AGAIN? Did that make sense to you? And was there ever any rationale for why Pamela Isley was given the name "Ivy Pepper" in the first season?
I think the Ivy character is the most bizarre one of the series, and it had the oddest sense of course-correction when the rest of the show just went crazy in a more natural way. I haven't read any behind the scenes things, but my guess is that someone on the show (or, more likely, someone at FOX) wanted a "sexy" character and that required Ivy to be aged up. Maybe they didn't go far enough the first time and decided to course-correct?
The craziest thing is that I remember the pre-pilot advertising making a big deal about Ivy. She's in the Pilot in a major capacity. But for much of the first season, Ivy is nowhere to be seen. Even when she's aged up, she's never a regular. Even when they finally got a sexy, adult Ivy, they never really used her outside of an episode here or there.
Why they used the name Ivy? My thought is that the plan was probably to do a slower burn with her character, and since they probably planned on multiple seasons before she actually turned into Poison Ivy, they wanted "non-comics" fans to know who she was going to become. Everyone knows Bruce and Gordon. Edward always told riddles at the beginning so it was obvious who he was. Oswald is called Penguin from the beginning. My guess is it was a shorthand since there wasn't much of a way to tell the audience who she'd be.
What was up with recasting Selina Kyle for the series finale? Did that make sense to you?
It was weird because she was the only one recast. Every other character was played by the same actor. The time-jump wasn't huge, and there's ways to make a 19-year-old actress look 24. I thought the new actress was fine, but it was a bit silly to me to take away the role from Camren Bicondova. Especially since she had gained quite the fanbase.
Did Batman as played by David Mamouz work for you in the finale?
The way they used him was kinda bizarre too. He's filmed mostly in shadow, and the only good look you get at him is sorta awkward CGI. I thought there'd be more of him, but he's essentially used as a cameo. It was cool to see him in costume, but it's very Smallville in the way they finally use him.
Did you feel compelled to watch PENNYWORTH and is that anything to do with GOTHAM?
I haven't considered it, really. I thought Sean Pertwee was great as Alfred, and I think I'd watch a show where he was the lead. Like with Krypton, I don't think watching a show about a superhero's father or grandfather to be all that interesting. Building up to a few easter eggs doesn't really excite me.
If they did a Gotham spin-off with the Gotham actors (and bring back Camren Bicondova), I'd watch that for sure.
Were there any spin-off media tie in materials that you didn't consider canon?
Probably. I was thinking maybe I'd read Gotham comics, but I probably would've said the same thing about the Smallville season 11 comics and I didn't read those. Are they available on TPB?
Were their any mythology-legacy oriented cameos that you liked or didn't like (in the way Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain, Sam Witwer and Helen Slater were on SUPERGIRL)?
I don't think I remember a single mythology-legacy cameo. I don't think they had a single "prominent" actor show up in any sort of cameo. The show made its own legacy, which is something I respected about it. It was balls-to-the-walls crazy most weeks, but it owned it. I don't think it ever betrayed itself, even when it decided to fully embrace fully wacky concepts. Despite struggling with ratings, it never went for stunt casting. I respect that now that I think about it.
Was there ever any difficulty handling the sexuality of the Poison Ivy and Catwoman characters given the extremely young age of the actors playing these extremely sexualized-in-comics roles?
I talked about this a bit with Ivy. I think they wanted someone to be a bit of a sexpot, and that's why they aged Ivy. Both times they did it, they made little jokes about how Ivy was now older than Bruce and Selina. Ivy relished going to nightclubs and being an adult, and she definitely starts to manipulate men with her sexuality almost immediately.
But I guess the "sexy" characters were also filled with Gordon's various love interests. Barbara Keane and Dr. Lee Thompkins went through various "sexy" stages, and there were characters like Sofia Falcone that also filled that role.
Catwoman had a thing with Bruce, and she'd occasionally hang out in Barbara's nightclub. And as she got older, she'd wear sexier outfits and dresses to the various Gotham fancy parties. But I feel like they generally let her be a kid and even an older teenager without exploiting her as a sex symbol of any kind.
Were you happy with the origin of the Joker? What did you like? What didn't you like?
I don't like that they kept teasing it. If they were going to do it, they needed to do it. They kept saying that he wasn't the Joker, but Jerome Valeska kept being more and more the Joker. To be fair to them, it was his twin brother Jeremiah that ended up *actually* becoming the Joker.
I thought Cameron Monaghan was wonderful in the role, and I think he did the best he could. I think my biggest issue was that I thought the Joker should've been off-limits. I didn't want a teenage Joker fighting a teenage Batman. I wanted Batman and Joker to rise from the insanity of Gotham...not be born at the same time as everything else.
There was actually a really great scene where Jerome Valeska died for the first time, and he'd done this big wild display on Gotham-wide television. And when he died, they showed a variety of random Gothamites acting like Jerome. And I think the idea was that Jerome had sewn a seed into the soul of Gotham that would eventually lead to the Joker. That the Joker was out there somewhere and we'd never know where he was. I thought that was a great idea, and it made the whole Jerome story (at that time) feel like a great idea.
But like Sylar before him, Jerome and then Jeremiah kept coming back. They'd die and be resurrected. Or die and it's a fake out. I kinda got tired of that.
They embraced him in the finale, and I thought it was pretty good.
Was there ever the SMALLVILLE sense of the characters experiencing every major event of the SUPERMAN/BATMAN mythos before they ever even became their costumed selves?
100%. They did a bunch of Batman storylines (the Court of Owls, No Man's Land, etc) and I think Bruce came in contact with just about every Batman villain that's ever been. By season 3, it's essentially a Batman show without Batman. By the end, it was a Batman show with Batman but he's just not in the suit. By the finale, it was a Batman show with Batman in the suit but he's in the shadows.
I think the difference between Smallville and Gotham is that Gotham crammed Smallville's first 7 seasons into the first season and then played around with Smallville seasons 8-10 the rest of the series. In other words, they realized they were a comic book show way earlier than Smallvilled did and fully embraced that for most of the run.
Were you happy with the show?
There were times when the show meandered, and I struggled at times with how fast or slow the show was moving. But at the end of the day, Gotham was a lot of fun. It was inconsistent, and I think I always wanted more from it than I was ever going to realistically get from a show with the budget it received....but I thought it was a fun little look into a world before Batman.