'Gotham' Detective Jim Gordon & 'The O.C.'s Ryan Atwood Have A Lot in Common — Besides Ben McKenzie

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Actor Benjamin McKenzie arrives at the 16th Annual GQ 'Men Of The Year' Party at Chateau Marmont on November 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I don't know about you guys, but to me, Fox almost seems worried. Day after day I keep seeing these promos for their Batman origin story, Gotham, and I'm like, "OK, OK, you don't have to twist my arm around. I'll watch, I promise." I feel like they're really nervous none of us are going to watch it, so we're bombarded with more and more promos reminding us to watch it, and this in turn just makes us more excited. Maybe this is the television circle of life.

I'm also excited for another big reason. 11 years ago, someone special came into my life. His name was Ben McKenzie and he played the brooding Ryan Atwood on FOX's The O.C., which instantly became my favorite TV show. Ryan had this serious and sometimes mysterious quality to him, which only made fans love the reformed bad boy more. He started off in a white tank top with floppy, sandy colored hair and he got punched multiple times in the first episode. Be still, my heart.

Now McKenzie is back on Fox with Gotham. Detective Jim Gordon might be a far cry from troublemaker Ryan, but I think the two are a lot more alike than they initially seem. Both of them are good people on the inside, whether partying hard with doomed Marissa or bonding with a tiny Bruce Wayne.

Need more proof? Here's why Ryan and Gordon are both the kind of hero their city needs. 

'Gotham,' September 22, 2014

First, here’s a very quick reminder that Gotham premieres on Sept. 22, so clear your iCalendar right now. Series creator Bruno Heller called the series a “noir,” and remember how much you loved that PLL black and white episode? This will be the same, but with Batman! Sort of. Maybe. 

Image: FOX


'The O.C.,' August 5, 2003

Now let’s travel back in time 11 years, because California, here we come, right back where we started from. Californiaaaaaaaaaaaaa. McKenzie was so young back then. His hair was so perfectly floppy.

Image: Fox

Gordon & Bruce Bond

On Gotham, we’ll first meet Gordon way before he meets Batman. Back then, he was only a little guy. Here we’ve got Gordon bonding with a li’l Bruce Wayne after his parents have been murdered. Clearly, Gordon is a friend to all those in need.

Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Ryan & Seth Bond

On The O.C., Ryan also became best friends with his newly found bro, Seth. They first met over the simplest of exchanges, when Seth invited Ryan to play video games with him.

Image: Fox

Even Though He Got Into Trouble, Ryan Was Always Good

Ryan was more than willing to help others in need, if only because he knew how much help he needed sometimes. Though he displayed a “tough guy” persona and basically never smiled, he was always compassionate to those around him. 

Image: Fox

A Darker Side of Gordon?

For anyone who’s seen even 10 minutes of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, you’ll know that James Gordon is also always willing to help people. His character hasn’t changed much over the years and he’s always been a friend to those in need, and often times a confidant too. Something tells me that Gotham will show Gordon as a little rough around the edges, though.

Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Lone Wolf

One of the huge themes of The O.C.’s first season was that Ryan was uprooted from his life in Chino and dropped into Orange County. He was an outsider trying to fit in. He needed to figure out how to adjust to this new life, and always tried his hardest to prove himself to others.

Image: Fox

An Older Lone Wolf

I imagine that this theme will be carried over to Gotham, but for different reasons. We’ll have Gordon who is also treated as an outsider, if only because he’s on the right side of the law… right? He’s not so much trying to fit in, but bring some peace to the chaotic world around him. That’s how he’ll prove himself .

Image: FOX

Fighting Bad Guys, Part 1

Ryan often found himself in the middle of fights. Sometimes including actual cage fights. This honestly seems like something that we’d find in a twisted Gotham episode, not a lighthearted episode of a TV show about kids who live by the beach. 

Image: Fox

Fighting Bad Guys, Part 2

Instead of fighting inner demons and romantic rivals, Gordon will fight actual bad guys on Gotham, like the future Penguin here. I guess he’s always going to try to right all the wrongs he can. Deep down inside, underneath those brooding exteriors, both Ryan and Gordon are always good guys.

Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX