Topic: Gotham: Rise of the Villains (Spoilers)
Maybe we never archived our last discussion.
I've only seen the premiere of season 2 of Gotham (subtitled Rise of the Villains). The show is definitely becoming Batman without Batman as opposed to a prequel. Penguin is already (the main?) boss in the Gotham mob. Two-Face, Riddler, Joker, Zsasz, Catwoman are just younger versions of their eventual-villain characters (with Riddler, Two-Face, and Zsasz we're just talking about slightly younger). We're basically already ready for Batman to show up, which makes the Bruce story seem slower than usual.
It's a fun show to watch, but I think it's so far from what I was expecting/hoping it to be. Would a fairly-standard police procedural set in Gotham just not work? Young veteran of the police force Gordon working with younger Harvey Bullock who dabbles in the occasional fit of corruption trying to take down the traditional mob in Gotham. The only villain character around is Cobblepot, who is young and reckless. His story has been good, but it needs to have been slower.
The way I see it, Bruce is in the first episode as a catalyst but doesn't show up for years. Every season takes place over the course of a year or two, with Gordon taking down crime and corruption. As soon as he takes one guy down (Maroni), another is shown to be pulling his strings (Falcone). When he gets to Falcone, corruption in his own precinct prevents Gordon from doing his job. Season 3 is Jim fighting the police themselves as Falcone gets desperate. With Gordon/Dent decimating his ranks, he starts turning to lunatics as his soldiers. And those soldiers become lieutenants.
Meanwhile, Gordon doesn't notice any of this. By season 4, he's risen to almost-commissioner, he's cleaned up the department, and he's ready to go after Falcone. He finally gets his man by the end, and there's a big celebration. He's taken down the mob in Gotham.
But then he looks around. The new head of the Falcone family is that weird-looking guy named Penguin (maybe an old CI of his - that angle is interesting). Around the city, there are crimes attributed to guys named Riddler and Freeze and Scarecrow. In cleaning up Gotham, he's exposed a layer of madness that no one knew was there.
Season 5 either introduces a 21-22 year-old Bruce Wayne ready to fight this maddening city, has Gordon investigating a masked vigilante (that ends up being a never-seen Bruce), or ends with Gordon wondering whether or not taking down Falcone was worth it.
To me, it'd be procedural. Gordon takes down random criminals, all tied to Maroni. And then Falcone. To get the crime-side of things, Penguin slowly rises up the ranks, learning things with Gordon about how deep crime goes. And while Gordon is too focused to really notice, the weekly crimes start becoming a bit more elaborate. Laughing gas. Fear toxin. Booby traps. Henchmen in costumes. Fewer men Gordon catches are going to jail - more are going to Arkham.
The main characters would be Gordon and Penguin. The side characters like Riddler/Dent/Catwoman would show up as one-off/recurring characters that serve a logical purpose (criminal informants, allies to Penguin or Gordon, one-off criminals). Bruce doesn't appear at all after the Pilot until he's grown or already Batman (although Alfred could show up every once in a while too).
The main character in my Gotham would be the city. It's sick from crime, but the sickness is covering up the insanity that's underneath. And as Gordon cures the city of crime, he exposes the insanity. Season one would be Law and Order: Gotham. Season 3 would be closer to season one of our version of Gotham. It wouldn't be until season 5 that we'd even get close to where we are in "Rise of the Villains"