(Spoiler Warning For Season 1 of Gotham)
I've just finished watching season 1 of Gotham, and while I'm somewhat on board with the story, characters and vision the writers are going for, I can't help but notice many major problems already. Problems which can be fixed in some regard and others which are blatantly here to stay for the long run.
1. Age Differences Of Characters
Here are the issues that arise when attempting to make a Batman story without Batman. You have all these amazing characters to work with, but at what cost?
You're forced to tweak and tweak the traits that made these characters great until you've ultimately created a new character. Here's an example of what i'm talking about.
Edward Nygma is already around 25 years old. Bruce Wayne is roughly 12-14 years old. So when Bruce puts on the cape and cowl, presumably in his mid 20's, Riddler will already be around 35. By the time Batman becomes the experienced and seasoned "worlds greatest detective", Riddler will be so old. Do we really want villains with gray hair in Batman's prime? Well I guess it doesn't matter, since Gotham will never bring the Caped Crusader into the story. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Key Characters Have Been Killed Off Pre-Batman
Salvatore Maroni and Carmine Falcone are all already dead or gone. These crime lords are the main reasons Batman got started. All the villains in the Dark Knight's rogues gallery came after Batman, through either his own creation in the case of the Joker, or his creepy presence attracting the freaks out of the shadows.
Why is Batman needed when the villains end up killing each other off anyway?
3. Too Much Too Quickly
Edward Nygma is already crazy and obsessed with riddles. Gordon is already making progress on turning the GCPD from their corrupt nature. Arkham Asylum is already up and running. Oswald Cobblepot is already working his way up the crime ring. Even Bruce Wayne, who is only 14 at best, is already training for some reason that we're never told other than that he's going to be Batman.
Gotham is a perfect example of a Year One story gone wrong. In Batman: Year One, Gordon is the main protagonist and is only beginning to learn the corrupt nature of all in Gotham City. The cops are dirty as well as the streets. He struggles throughout the story to correct these issues. Then Batman appears. He is the reason Gotham City stands a chance. He's the symbol that not one person can kill. He has no jurisdiction. He can mess with anyone. Because of Batman, Gordon is able to break the system and revive justice.
In Gotham, we have the same style of setup, but it will never conclude because at this rate the story will end with Gordon already Commissioner and all the problems rectified long before Batman ever shows up.