When CW’s “Gotham Knights” released its first trailer in 2022, DC fans everywhere cringed. It looked cheap and had the exact same aesthetics as every DC/CW Arrowverse superhero show that has been airing since the beginning of the last decade. However, viewers who watched every CW DC show starting with “Arrow” are now tired of seeing the superhero soap opera formula.
Also, with the Arrowverse ending with “The Flash” show soon, subpar content isn’t welcome anymore. However, a few pockets of hardcore Arrowverse fans held out hopes for the show. But it looks like their hopes have been crushed, as the first batch of critic reviews are out, and most are calling the show various synonyms of awful.
Critics Bash CW’s ‘Gotham Knights’
Multiple critics got the chance to review at least the first two episodes of “Gotham Knights,” and almost all of them pointed out the lackluster character and plot development. Many even mention cringy dialogues that don’t do the show any justice. Comic Book Resources (CBR) said that this show was beyond saving and was dead on arrival unless it improves drastically. GameSpot mentioned that the show is a mess, and to make matters worse, it is coming out at a time when we have multiple different Batman-related media to compare to it.
Murphy’s Multiverse said that the show is populated with uninteresting characters and unthreatening villains. The outlet also trashed the plot for being predictable and compared it to “Riverdale.” Geekly Goods declared the show rough with shoddy acting and a plot that is disrespectful to the iconic dark knight. Another outlet, Streamr, remarked that DC fans should thank God for ending the DC CW era. The site said that the show wasn’t good, but it could have been better if the makers of the show had cared about it.
However, not every site hated it. ComicBook professed that the show wasn’t perfect, but it was different from anything CW DC had tried before. The outlet also said that the show has an interesting Batman-adjacent and Gotham-centric storyline with enough mystery to keep it going. TV Pulse Magazine mentioned that the show has unique elements that, if embraced by the makers, will help it stand out from the Arrowverse shows we have seen so far. The Cosmic Circus also surprisingly said that even though “Gotham Knights” is messy, it is still fun to watch and has a great cast.
Looking at all the reviews as well as the trailers and clips released so far, the show doesn’t have much in it to inspire audiences to tune in every week. However, if the show turns out to be fun and climbs the viewership charts every week to become a surprise hit, it can score a renewal. But realistically, the chances of that happening aren’t very high. For one, when James Gunn was asked about “Gotham Knights” at the DCU slate reveal, he decided not to comment on it. In fact, this was the only DC live-action show the co-CEO of DC Studios decided not to mention.
Now, this could mean multiple things. Fans are already speculating that Gunn’s avoidance means that the show isn’t good at all. As such, instead of getting a second season, it’s going to be canned. Others think that it will be a hassle to incorporate “Gotham Knights” within the DCU, so Gunn might cancel it immediately after the first season gets over. Of course, it could get a place under Gunn’s “Elseworlds” label with other projects like “The Batman” and “Joker,” but that seems like a distant dream.
After all, it looks like the projects set in “Elseworlds” will be of even higher quality and standard than the ones set in the DCU. As of now, “Gotham Knights” isn’t inspiring that kind of confidence. Also, there are rumors that the main thing Gunn wants to ensure is quality in future DC projects. He allegedly doesn’t want shows that follow the Arrowverse formula anymore. To make matters worse for the show, it has come at a time when not only is the Arrowverse train ending, but the CW, where all of the DC shows traditionally aired, has a new owner, Nexstar. They are overhauling the channel to become more about sports than scripted content.
As a result, plenty of DC CW shows have been canceled in the last year. Even the days of “Superman and Lois” are numbered, and that’s one of the highest-rated and most-viewed live-action DC shows. As per James Gunn, “Superman and Lois” will last for only a couple of seasons at best. Presumably, the show will end when Gunn brings his DCU Superman to “Superman: Legacy.” As such, hopes aren’t high for “Gotham Knights,” and most fans are happy to hear that the DC brand won’t be tarnished with subpar content any further. However, it remains to be seen if it can impress fans when it premieres on March 14, 2023.
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