Gotham Knights on The CW has been completely bashed by critics, earning an absolute slamming on Rotten Tomatoes.
The DC show's premise from the get-go had potential, especially given the plethora of Bruce Wayne's children that the cast could have included. However, the show took a different direction, putting a new character with no comics background at the forefront and teaming him up with former Robin Carrie Kelley (admittedly, one of Bruce's comics proteges, albeit in an alternate universe) and Duela Dent.
Beyond that, a video game following a similar premise to The CW series — Bruce's children and proteges coping after his death — was just released, and shares a name with the show. However, the game uses characters with established connections to Batman in Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake.
Unsurprisingly, the show has not been received very well, and it even had cancelation rumors circulating long before its March 14 premiere.
What is also unsurprising, then, is the damming Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus the show has received.
Gotham Knights Slammed by Rotten Tomatoes
Earning an 18% critic approval score on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer with 11 critic ratings, and a 54% audience approval with 236 user ratings, The CW's Batman spin-off, Gotham Knights, has garnered an extremely poor Critics Consensus on the review site: "Never send amateurs to do a Batman's job."
This consensus speaks for several negative reviews, such as when Craig Mathieson of The Age [Australia] described the show as having "some flat dialogue and a less than complementary mix of performances," adding that "there’s no spark:"
"Aside from some flat dialogue and a less than complementary mix of performances, the initial episodes are notable simply for how rote they are, whether in terms of plotting or action sequences. There’s no spark."
Angie Han of Screen Rant kept it simple, saying the show "Sacrifices character at the altar of superhero business."
Jesse Schedeen of IGN Movies discussed the show's "imminent cancellation," and called it "a thoroughly underwhelming Batman series from a network that has produced far better:"
"Even ignoring all the baggage surrounding the series and the likelihood of its imminent cancellation, Gotham Knights is a thoroughly underwhelming Batman series from a network that has produced far better."
Is Gotham Knights' Cancellation 'Imminent?'
Given the show's scathing reviews, previous pre-release cancellation rumors, and the upcoming soft reboot coming to the DCU, it would not be a shock to see Gotham Knights as a single-season series.
However, fans have truly only seen the first episode of the show. Perhaps it will turn around — though critics who have seen the first six episodes may disagree with that assessment.
It is at least refreshing to see some Carrie Kelley action outside of comics. Given her lack of utilization in much outside of The Dark Knight Returns and a couple in-canon stories, the character is thoroughly underrated, and deserves some mainstream attention.
It will be interesting to see the show's takes on other less-appreciated Bat-Family members like Harper and Cullen Row too, but given the reviews of this show so far, fans excited for their live-action debuts may be disappointed by the show they occur in.
New episodes of Gotham Knights premiere on The CW every Tuesday.