Last week, the Television Critics Association named Fox's "Gotham" the most promising new show of the fall TV season. But does that mean you're going to tune in tonight? We were lucky enough to catch the pilot of Fox's new Batman dark and twisty prequel and we have to admit -- this new series has a lot of promise.

Here are 5 reasons "Gotham" is worth watching:

1. It Appeals to More Than Just Comic Book Fans
There's enough jam-packed in the "Gotham" pilot to make it work for even the non-superhero obsessed or those Batman novices out there. Sure, there are comic book elements and familiar faces to satisfy those looking for the DC connection, but this is a cop show about the crime-addled city of Gotham at its core. Detective James Gordon's quest to track down Bruce Wayne's parents' murderers is the focus here -- Batman isn't a part of this story yet. Showrunner Bruce Heller even said that the show is "about real people and people trying to overcome real problems versus trying to learn how to fly" at the TCA tour panel back in July. "If there is a superhero in the show, it's Gotham."

2. The Cast Doesn't Disappoint
Ben McKenzie, who you may remember from his days as troubled teen Ryan Atwood on "The O.C." or Ben Sherman on "Southland," seems to have just the right balance of grisly, naive, and morally committed to play a young Jim Gordon. Donal Logue appears to be a great choice for his temperamental crooked cop partner Harvey Bullock and Jada Pinkett Smith is delightfully wicked as Fish Mooney.

3. It's True to the Mythology In A Lot of Ways, But It Also Does Its Own Thing
Speaking of Fish Mooney ... Fangirls and fanboys looking for everything to line up with the original material will have to deal with the fact that mob boss Mooney is an entirely new character. But will it stay true otherwise? "It's not a whole new mythology, but issues of chronology we will play with in a fun way," Heller admitted in the TCA panel. "This Gotham, it's a timeless world. It's yesterday, today, tomorrow, all at the same time. That's the world dreams live in," he explained of the ambiguous timing.

4. You'll Get to Know the (Sometimes Very Scary) Villains
You won't have to wait long to meet those famous DC villains you're probably hoping to see in action. The pilot is peppered with appearances by Catwoman, the Riddler, and Poison Ivy and spends a good chunk of time with an incredibly creepy version of the Penguin. We should also expect to learn the backstories behind many well-known Batman characters as this show goes on.

5. It's Great to Look At
There are cinematic-level visuals at work here. The filming style wavers from your typical TV crime drama -- there's a lot of creativity with color and movement that makes it pop. It definitely achieves the comic book come-to-life feel that amplifies the experience, and hopefully the directors can keep that aspect of the show up week-to-week.

"Gotham" premieres Monday, September 22 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Photo courtesy of Fox
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