It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in months!
Batwoman is so bad it’s hilarious. From the groaningly awful, ‘you go girl,’ dialog. To the terrible CGI. We get to see incompetent screenplays being brought to near life by utterly wooden performances, under the watchful eye of an apparently comatose director.
We all knew that this was going to be something special when we saw the trailer and Gozer the Gozerian…
…is told that Batman’s “suit is literal perfection.”
And she replies, “It will be…when it fits a woman.”
My wife crossed her eyes and rolled her head around like she’d been hit in the grape with a brick when she heard that howler. And that isn’t just a one-off clinker, so far there has been one line like that in every episode. “I’m not going to let a man take credit for a woman’s work.” Even though she is stealing everything that belongs to Bruce Wayne including his neutered manservant and the ‘bat’ in Batman. This week it was, “I’m not Batman…I can be better.”
No. No, you can’t. Because you are a terrible character with awful motivation.
The pity of the CW DC heroes is that at first, they were really good but this is a dynasty in terminal decline and with Batwoman they have reached Charles Hapsburg of Spain levels of inbred degeneration.
This show is Woke Marvel comics brought to the small screen. It’s all there. The weak characters generated by a checklist. The massive entitlement complex that engulfs every aspect of character non-development. The utter contempt for the core audience and the clear desire to attract a new Diverse and Intersectional one. Plus, the constant parade of deus ex machina writer’s contrivances that defy all logic and reason.
There is no aspect of this show is not so bad that it’s funny.
Let’s take a look at the pilot episode.
It starts out with a voice-over exposition and that is almost always a very bad sign. The audience is going to be getting a big helping of “tell don’t show.” I will grant there are exceptions to this here and there. Like the opening scene of the Flash (back when it wasn’t horrible). “I need you to do something. I need you to believe in the impossible. Can you do that?” That is a great opening line for something as fundamentally silly as superpowers. Formally asking the audience to suspend disbelief. And they never did voice-over again for the rest of that season.
But this wasn’t that. Batwoman is talking about stories and how she didn’t think this would be hers. This was done while she is swimming in arctic ice in a bare one-piece, trying to find a key to her leg shackles on what I assume was a lake bed. She finds the key. Swims up and the hole she dove through in the first place is covered up…BY A MAN (but he’s Inuit so that’s probably alright). She takes off the shackle and punches her way through the ice. Breaking through a physical glass ceiling if not a metaphoric one.
This is the stupidest opening scene, in television history.
In later exposition it is revealed that Kate Kane (put a pin in that name we are coming back to it) has been traveling the world training with elite combat and survival specialists so she can join the CROWS, (an elite security organization that is supposed to fill in for Batman who went missing three years ago). And her father is the commander/CEO of it. Okay, at least they gave her training that is more than the whamen usually get these days but it’s profoundly stupid training.
Look I’ve done arctic warfare school and the only time you go into the drink is to conduct emergency survival drills for accidentally falling into the drink. You have no idea how painful that shit is unless you do it. Not to mention how much heat instantly gets sucked out your body. My Blue Nose ceremony involved me swimming under ten feet of ice in Norway and my god, it nearly killed me. Performing a fine motor task like say, unlocking shackles will be pretty much impossible within fifteen seconds. This is the level of dumb this show’s action indulges itself in. I think their research consisted of glancing through Reddit posts by guys with names like SpecialForcesNinja007.
This show couldn’t get the green light for any major or even minor Batman villains.
So the SJWs that run the show are having to invent their own villains and it’s going about as well as you’d think it would. The chief antagonist is Batwoman’s…sister (Dun-Dun-Dun!!!). She is a bad Joker ripoff named Alice who is the leader of the Wonderland Gang their specialty is domestic terrorism, archaic verse structure (and presumably closeted pedophilia). When they were little girls, there was a bad traffic accident, involving Batman. And he didn’t stick around to rescue them. Kate got out of the car, abandoning her sister and the car went over the edge and into the river.
As origin stories go that is a decent setup but it needs follow-through. It needs a twist. Something the SJWs all get wrong is Peter Parker’s motivation. They all believe that it was Uncle Ben’s murder that drives him to be a hero. But that’s not it all, it’s because he blew off apprehending a random thug, who later that night murdered his beloved father-figure. It wasn’t the loss that drives Spiderman, it was his moral failure.
This origin story is almost close to good. Kate Kane does have some motivation but ultimately it’s “girl wants to be a hero. Something bad happens. She becomes a hero.” There is no logical progression. There are no “if-than” consequences of her actions. For the story to have real bite, the car should have been balanced, albeit precariously on the edge. Alice is clutching frantically to Kate’s ankle. Alice is still trapped in the car, and shrieking, “help me, Kate! Help ME!” Kate panics, kicks Alice’s hand away, the car’s balance shifts and it goes into the river, taking her sister with it. Her life long desperation to find her sister would have a real drive behind it.
But ultimately no SJW can write a story like that because all of their heroes have to be Mary-Sues. Everything has to stay shallow and on the surface with them. They can’t write a character that has big flaws because that would involve them looking inside themselves and no SJW could survive that journey.
Kate’s ex-girlfriend is kidnapped by the Wonderland Gang for reasons. She is desperate to rescue her. She immediately deduces that her cousin Bruce was Batman and goes looking for his gear. Some people are claiming it’s deus ex machina but the fact that the billionaire playboy and the Batman disappeared on the same day should have clued in everyone in Gotham City if not the World. The headline reads, Where is Batman? And underneath that Where is Bruce Wayne? Beneath that a column header that is titled, Wait a Minute…
Her name is nearly a perfect metaphor for this show’s sense of entitlement. Kate Kane is meant as a tribute to Bob Kane.
Bob Kane stole every ounce of credit for Batman from the poor sucker who had the misfortune to be sitting at his desk when his “friend” Bob came around asking for help on a new project of his. A bat-themed superhero. He just couldn’t seem to do anything with it. A vague idea was the only thing Kane ever brought to that party.
Bill Finger created everything else. And I do mean everything. The costume, the Batcave, Alfred, The murdered parents backstory. The Joker. Everything. Bob Kane spent the rest of his life making sure Bill Finger regretted helping a friend.
Anyway, while the origin story almost works, the writers are so frantic to get all on to the screen and show their cleverness, that this show has shot through an entire season of character progression in its first two episodes. The big reveal has happened, Alice is arrested and being taken to jail. Then as part of Alice’s…plan? The Wonderland Gang attacks the paddy wagon she’s in. Blowing it up and sending it into the river. Where Batwoman finally pulls her sister out and saving her at last. Then the cops shoot at the paddy wagon and it blows up a second time. Separating the reunited sisters and making my entire family roll on the ground laughing ourselves sick.
There was no part of that scene that wasn’t funny but I should give special mention the godawful CGI in this show. When CGI is this bad there is usually a reason for it. There is cheap. There is rushed. And in this case there is, why should I give a fuck? That is clearly and obviously the level of care that the intern assigned to do these effects had for this project.
Then there is the acting. Normally, I’m the guy that will reflexively defend actors. I may dislike them personally…sometimes intensely…but a bad performance isn’t usually their fault. They are more often than not the sole inheritor of a tontine of fail. The director is just getting a paycheck, the writer has ground out barely coherent sausage and the actor is usually the guy who is left desperately trying to polish a turd.
But not always. Ruby Rose is bluntly a bad actress. She has no range whatsoever. I will grant that she has screen presence but that’s as far as it goes. She has three expressions and that is the extent of her repertoire. She can’t handle the action scenes either and that is integral to the role. Given the physicality of the part, I could understand why the producers might choose a female Ray Park and just build productions around her that cover up for her weak acting.* But she can’t do the fight scenes either.
I am one hundred percent certain the casting process was, “Batwoman is a lesbian so we need an activistress gender fluid lesbian.” After ascertaining that Cara Delavigne was too expensive, they went with this minor player from Orange is the New Black.
Finally, the actions scenes. They are as weak as the rest of the show but a lot more funny. Batwoman finds out the Batsuit is bulletproof by getting shot. It was clearly news to her that she was now projectile resistant. Everyone has their own priorities but am I now bulletproof? Would have been the first thing I wanted to know about. Alice’s thing is flick knives. Flick knives are the epitome of stupid showy shit. And she can do so many over the top things with them that I think they must have imported their flick knife advisor from Tamil Nadu. Guns just make noise in this show, kind of like the A-Team. And then there was paddy wagon’s diesel tank exploding underwater when the Gotham City police decided that instead of calling for help from the Fire Department it would be a lot more fun to empty their magazines into a truck that had just crashed and might still have live policemen still in it.**
In summary, there is no part of this program that does not reek of SJW incompetence. It started life as a vanity project for people who have no idea how to be vain with style. The writing is bad. The acting is bad. The special effects are bad. The action scenes are dull but funny as hell.
This show really is so bad that it’s hilarious.
Cataline Recommends with (some fairly obvious) Reservations.
* A stuntman once told me, the guys he prefers to work with aren’t martial artists or athletes, but dancers. I was pretty surprised by that but he explained to me that dancers are great at spotting and working with everyone else’s rhythm. And they never miss a beat. “It’s my job to make the lead look good when he’s beating me up. That’s easy with a dancer. It’s what made Hugh Jackman so great to work with.”
** In fairness; this is the same police department that decided to hire Crazy Clown Catering for Commissioner Gordon’s birthday party and had the nerve to be surprised when Guess Who popped out of the cake.