Given the backlash to the Batwoman trailer, it seemed that this show would be in for some trouble. While the series premiere went off okay, we still find ourselves wondering if Batwoman can survive the fan-hate. Today’s controversy is that Batwoman has only an eight percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, but is it a targeted campaign by trolls. The Rotten Tomatoes system is very easy to game, as those who followed the review drama around Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Despite mostly positive comments on Twitter and Instagram, angry fanboys (yes, boys) spend hours trashing this series in YouTube comments and (probably) places like 4chan.
Our own review of the Batwoman series premiere described it as an imperfect show with plenty of promise. Yet, according to the Rotten Tomatoes audience score, Batwoman is the worst show CW ever made. (Though it’s the highest-rated premiere in two years for the network jointly owned by CBS and WB.) So, what makes us think this is a targeted campaign from angry trolls? Let’s walk through the reasons.
Batwoman and the Review Bombs on Rotten Tomatoes Reek of Targeted Attention
Image via CW
The series first premiered this week, so Batwoman has been in the world officially for just a few days. Now, it’s not unusual for CW series to end up with a “rotten” score on the site. The first seasons of acclaimed series like Supergirl and Black Lightning earned low audience scores. Yet, none of them dropped into the single digits. It seems that the majority of negative reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are giving Batwoman a single-star review. Also, the numbers of audience reviews seems suspicious. Batwoman already has more reviews than the first season of Arrow has gotten over eight years. Supergirl attracted about 1,000 more reviewers for her first season in 2015, though she debuted on the CBS Network.
Batwoman’s first season has the most Rotten Tomatoes reviews of any Arrowverse show’s first season, with the exception of The Flash. And unlike the other shows, Batwoman has only aired a single episode. Going through the more than 2300 reviews finds that the vast majority of negative reviews come from male reviewers, some who seemed to create their accounts just to trash this show. While the series is not above some criticism, many of the one-star reviews feel as though they are made in bad faith. They trash Ruby Rose, so dedicated she suffered a spinal injury doing bat-stunts. Many reviewers explicitly reference “SJWs” and “anti-Men” attitudes as the motivation for their review. Of course, there isn’t a single “anti-man” moment in the show.
Toxic Attitudes in Fandom Makes Everything Unpleasant
Image via CW
We are not arguing that every single negative review of Batwoman on Rotten Tomatoes is made in bad faith. Some of the criticisms (made in good faith or not) are correct. The pilot episode appeared to be trying to do too many storylines in an introductory episode. The end-of-the-episode twist seemed a little sudden, and the sort of reveal they could have sat on. Yet, the show also had some very high points as well. The sets are great, especially the Batcave. The action scenes are impressive, including some classic Bat-maneuvers like grappling up the bad guys. For better or worse, Batwoman is very much the same as other Arrowverse shows.
Yet, for whatever reason, angry men on the internet have decided that this series is the new greatest threat to their masculine egos. From trashing the trailers on YouTube to review-bombing on Rotten Tomatoes, Batwoman gets an outsized amount of hate from people who can’t seem to stop talking about it. If you like the show (as I do), good for you. If you don’t, then do all of us a favor and find something you do like to occupy your time. Trying to artificially lower the audience score for Batwoman on Rotten Tomatoes is just silly and a waste of time.
What do you think? Are the Batwoman reviews on Rotten Tomatoes sincere? What did you think of the show? Shout us out on social media or leave your thoughts here in the comments.
Featured image via CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.