Gotham premiered with a great deal of buzz and hype and, for the most part, it has succeeded in establishing a pre-Batman world. While the pilot felt a little bit clunky and on-the-nose with many obvious references, subsequent episodes have been more effective in establishing the tone and the overall plot of the story. Plus, the cast is very good and there is something amusing in watching a Gotham that is crumbling without the Cape Crusader. Nonetheless, the series is still far from becoming "must-see" TV and it still has some growing pains to do before it can really justify its existence. Just like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. struggled in its first season, Gotham is still finding its footing and, with the recent news that Fox has ordered a full 22-episode season order instead of the 16 that were originally planned, I have to ask: Is this a good thing?
Nowadays, networks are favoring shorter and more compact seasons which gives characters more meaty stories rather than releasing multiple episodes with nothing more than filler. Many TV shows sink halfway through the season with middling episodes just to rebound in the final ones. Gotham's original plan seemed more adequate as it gave the writers a chance to write a more focused story without having to retort to useless subplots that just hurt the story. Shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Hannibal have proven that 10-13 episode seasons can tell superb, tight stories without sacrificing any important element. In those cases, each episode counts and audiences get the most of each one. With a 16-episode order, Gotham had the chance of telling a much more substantial story and now I'm afraid they will have to create subplots that may end up being completely disappointing.
It's nice to see Fox giving Gotham a vote of confidence but I'm not sure if this extended order will benefit a series that it's still figuring things out. A shorter season would have given it a more focused storyline and a chance to end the season on a high note. That may still be the case and I hope that the writers find a meaningful way of filling the longer season. I like Gotham but I don't love it yet. Let's see if this full season run will change that.