Short Review Roundup – Netflix MCU Edition

I am a little behind on my Netflix MCU shows, but I might actually be caught up by the time Daredevil season three drops on Friday.  Not that any of that is an exciting prospect.  The Netflix MCU shows have been getting worse, not better.  Almost every season is too long.  Which is one reason why characters tend to be better in someone else’s show (e.g., Luke Cage in season one of Jessica Jones, the Punisher in season two of Daredevil, the Iron Fist in season two of Luke Cage).  There is a definite tendency toward the writers handling themes ham-handedly.  I can say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised by season one of Iron Fist.

Also better than the title characters: the female secondary characters


Jessica Jones, season 2

Not her.

Remember what I said about the writers being ham-handed in how they handle themes?  Jessica Jones is the best example of that.  Season one used feminism very effectively as an underlying theme, enhancing the story and the season overall.  Season two uses it to sort of hilariously self-own.  One thing about modern feminism is that it slaps a high-minded veneer on low-brow boorishness.  Early in the season, several women repeatedly refuse help from men for no good reason, which is both very feminist and very realistic and stupid and pointless.  Later in the season a character brags that she could have been on the tenure-track at the University of Michigan if her husband hadn’t refused to move.  Forcing her to teach at a junior college.  In the New York metro area.  She is basically the female version of that guy who whines that he would have played in the pros if a college had given him a scholarship.  The apogee is reached when a vegan character is force to eat meat, causing my eyes to roll so hard that I now have googly eyes like Venom.

2.5 of 5 Stars.


Luke Cage, season 2

Season one of Jessica Jones is still the best Luke Cage season.  Luke Cage season two repeats the boring, lazy approach of season one by essentially having Cage fight an enemy with similar powers.  There is only a little exploration of Cage’s weaknesses (with the kryptonite from season one handwaved away).  The writers picked good themes to explore, but that exploration is too on-the-nose to really be effective.

2.5 of 5 Stars.


Iron Fist, season 1

You know what?  Iron Fist isn’t nearly as bad as reported.  Which, low expectations and all, but I’m not sure that it is bad at all.  I enjoyed it plenty.  I would definitely rank it behind the first seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and I would probably rank it behind Punisher and the second season of Daredevil.  Danny Rand isn’t nearly as annoying here as he is in The Defenders (my pretend girlfriend Rosario Dawson, on the other hand, is extremely annoying).  The action set pieces are pretty much par for the course when it comes to Hollywood today (again, low expectations).  But then Finn Jones looks much worse in comparison to Daredevil season 1, Jessica Henwick, and his own work in season two.

3.5 of 5 Stars.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
This entry was posted in Sundry, Superhero Fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Short Review Roundup – Netflix MCU Edition

  1. pcbushi says:

    Blegh, I was really disappointed with Iron Fist. I though Danny was weak and naive, and the the way they characterized Colleen just made him seem even more so. And for most of the season he doesn’t even have his signature power (or it felt like that, at least).

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      It would have been weird if he wasn’t naive, given he hasn’t lived in the “real world” since he was 10. And naive Danny is way better than angry, petulant Danny.

      Colleen is better than Danny is every way. She elevates the entire show.

      The Netflix shows have a real problem with their heroes being overpowered. Iron Fist is better than average at dealing with that. Robert E. Howard, of course, usually just dealt with that by sending more guys, but he was writing before the Conservation of Ninjutsu was a law.


      • pcbushi says:

        I think it’s a problem when you’ve got a sidekick or girlfriend showing up the star of the show. The point about his naivety is well-taken, though.

        Howard knew how to let his heroes suffer a defeat without losing their manliness or air of heroism. It feels to me that way, at least.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex says:

    I give you a lot of credit for watching these so I don’t have to.

    Liked by 2 people

    • H.P. says:

      These are my go-to options when I turn on Netflix, over stuff that I actually want to watch like Longmire or Hold the Dark, because I can do other stuff and not have to worry about anything I might miss.

      I also never would have stuck around if this corner of the MCU kicked off with these three seasons instead of seasons one of Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bookstooge says:

    I”ve watched DD season 1 and 2, Punisher season 1 and that is it. DD season 3 is going to have to work hard though to get back to season 1 levels of coolness. I’m done with Punisher, just too violent for me.
    The Defenders and their individual shows? No thanks. Nothing I’ve read by anyone, even the fans, has convinced me to spend my time that way.

    Do you think you’ll binge DD3 or spread it out?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to say, I’m glad we didn’t bother subscribing to Netflix. The only things I miss is Longmire. But we’ll get that up here, in the Frozen North, on APTN soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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