This post contains spoilers from the Batwoman series, so make sure you watch the show before you read further.
This is a one shot blog post, mainly because I don’t think the story is working and I’m not sure if they will be able to fix it in the series given the path the writers have chosen to go down, so I probably won’t watch the rest of the series.
I had high hopes for this series. I enjoyed Gotham. The Batman universe is very iconic. There was a lot of possibilities, so I gave the first episode a shot.
Here is the wikipedia blurb:
Three years after billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego Batman disappeared, his cousin Kate Kane sets out to overcome her demons and become a symbol of hope by protecting the streets of Gotham City as Batwoman.wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batwoman_(TV_series)
So, I assume this will start with an origin story. It starts with future Batwoman getting survival training by diving into an iced over lake, retrieving a key to her handcuffs, and un-cuffing herself and then using the handcuffs to break through the ice. I liked this scene. Batman had often searched out mentors during his career, when he started and also to reset when something went wrong. I didn’t have a problem with this.
But I do have a lot of other problems.
Here is the trailer on Youtube, in case you missed it.
The first big thing that bothered me was all the Deus Ex Machina moments:
Beyond that, My second biggest problem with this episode/series is when Kate and her girlfriend get kicked out of a military academy for being lesbians. This is sooo stupid. The military has been nothing if not the most open armed supporters for LGBQ movement in the last years, if nothing else than in their rules. This is so mis-representative of any military organization, I really can’t believe they put this in there. The military completely allows same sex marriage and benefits to both parties. Ridiculous.
Anyway, that’s my initial rant. Here are my 5 commandments for the first episode of Batwoman.
Kate Kane is conducting cold weather survival training under a shaman when she receives a call from her sister telling her that her old girlfriend has been kidnapped, so Kate returns to find her
There are a number of progressive complications, just to mention a few: Kate’s father is in charge of a contract security force called the Crows that guards Gotham City since the Batman disappeared 3 years ago; Bruce Wayne has also disappeared and no one has seen him for three years; Alice is a new threat to the security of Gotham City; Kate has a troubled relationship with her father.
The turning point for Kate is after she confronts Alice and loses, basically her first strategy to rescue her girlfriend has failed.
Kate’s crisis question then is what does she do? Does she give up or not?
Kate decides that Bruce is in hiding and that the security guard at Wayne Enterprises probably knows where he is, so she goes to find Bruce in order to get help
As a result of searching for Bruce, she finds the Batcave, re-designs the Bat Suit, and becomes the Batwoman in a matter of minutes.
The Value shift for this episode is -/+. In the beginning, Kate’s girlfriend is kidnapper and at the end she is safe. In the beginning, Gotham has no knight since Batman has gone missing, by the end they have anew hero, the Batwoman.
It’s hard to determine any Obligatory scenes or Conventions without knowing more. We have an inciting attack by the villain, Alice, where she threatens Gotham and kidnaps Kate’s girlfriend, but it remains to be seen if she is a ‘Master Villain’ or not. It appears that the villain’s MacGuffin is to bring Kate to the dark side. There has been no speech in praise of the villain yet.
For an action story, I really hate that everyone knows fighting techniques, but that is tending to be the norm for the Arrow Universe. At least in Arrow and some of the other storylines they have a good backstory for how they got that way, and maybe, given time, Batwoman will too. Overall, I’m not to pleased with the series (if you can’t tell).
Well, in my opinion, Batwoman has fallen prey to some lazy writing and the Me Too movement. I liked that Kate was narrating in the beginning because I was hoping that we had jumped into the series at the middle, that she already was the Batwoman, or training to be the Batwoman, and she was going to tell us the backstory. However, that was not the case. I liked that Kate was mad at Batman for what happened to her mother and sister, but she got over it too quickly when she learned that he was tormented over it. I hate that the villain is her sister that didn’t die in the car accident. I imagine her mother might come back too.
I really don’t know how to salvage this story to tell you the truth, I think they would have to scrap the whole thing and start over.
I hope the plot shapes up, I want to see something great, but right now I’m not getting that.
If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:
Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.
My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.
Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!
If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.
These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.
For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.