Gotham. The crime filled and decrepit home to one of America’s favorite crime fighting superheroes: Batman. But what did the city look like before the age of the Dark Knight?

That’s exactly the story Gotham aims to tell. The show follows a young Detective James Gordon who, upon his arrival in Gotham, is partnered up with veteran detective Harvey Bullock. Almost immediately Gordon is plunged into Gotham’s underground world of crime and politics after accidently involving himself with the investigation into the Wayne (Batman’s parents) murders. The rest of season one follows Gordon as he tries to solve the Wayne murders and sort out the mess he’s put himself in by investigating them.

The show effortlessly combines a crime thriller with the iconic world of Batman, providing origin stories for many of the Dark Knight’s most famous nemeses, while simultaneously mixing in aspects of criminal intrigue and politics. A normal episode follows Detectives Gordon and Bullock as they attempt to solve a crime on Gotham’s dangerous streets, but also will include pieces of the main story arc about the Wayne murders.

The acting in the show is amazing. Gordon is played by Ben McKenzie, who has experience with the Batman franchise (he actually voiced Batman in one of the cartoons), and nails the part. Throughout the show he portrays the virtuous and stoic Gordon perfectly. Every other character is played equally well, from the often disconcertingly creepy Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) to the distinguished crime lord Don Falcone (John Doman). All of this great acting is centered in the city of Gotham, the perfect place for a crime show, which is characterized extremely well by the show’s sets.

Overall Gotham is one of my favorite shows of the year. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good crime show or to anyone who loved the Dark Knight series of movies.