Netflix’s The Defenders came out on August 18. That was also the same day I finished watching the all eight episodes. What can I say? I have a sickness.
Having watched all five previous seasons of Netflix’s Marvel programs, I rate the show as very good. Had I not watched the previous shows and only jumped in with a little bit of background, I likely would bump the rating up to great. The reason being is I don’t think it was as good as any of the standalone series, except for Iron Fist. The Defenders was way better than Iron Fist and, in fact, made me like the title character more.
With the Marvel cinematic universe (the TV and movie universes share a link but never the twain shall meet on screen), it’s the team-up movies to which I look forward. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America’s movies were good (I count Civil War as an Avengers’ movie) but they were basically time fillers between Avengers’ movies. The opposite is true in the television universe in that The Defenders makes me want to watch more of the characters’ individual series.
Basically, The Defenders wasn’t greater than the sum of its parts.
I’ll try to be as spoiler-free as possible but it isn’t my fault you haven’t seen the episodes yet…which is about as close as you are going to get to a spoiler warning as you are going to get from me.
The Good: The fights were as interesting as they usually are with Marvel, the story was good, the actors were all very good, and they managed to turn Iron Fist into less of a boring git. Jessica’s banter was also pretty good.
The Bad: It took a little while to get going. Normally that’s fine but with five fewer episodes than the rest of the series, I was hoping they would jump into things a little earlier. With that said, I wasn’t bored, and it was much better paced than Iron Fist. There were also a couple of places where they had Jessica move something that was supposed to be heavy but was clearly made out of cardboard. It seemed like the producers wanted to make sure everyone knows how super strong Miss Jones is without her punching holes in people. It just seemed odd but I am probably nitpicking.
The Huh: Daredevil’s suit looks ridiculous in the daylight. It also looks ridiculous when he is walking next to the rest of the un-costumed characters. A friend maintains they should have just stuck with his black outfit from the first part of season one, and I am coming around to agreeing. It just further proved the divide between Daredevil and the rest of the characters. Daredevil, while the original, seems to belong more in a comic book whereas Luke and Jessica’s stories are basically human stories about people with strange abilities. Even the kid who refers to himself as the Immortal Iron Fist seems less fanciful than a guy in a red costume fighting bad guys. It’s not that I don’t like Daredevil, as season one is the best of all the Netflix Marvel seasons. It’s also not that Daredevil doesn’t fit with the rest. He’s just the only one leading a double life, and it keeps him distinctly separate from the rest.
Looking ahead: From what I understand, season two for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are set to air next year. Count me in. The Punisher series is set to begin later this fall. Count me double in. Also, and I would not have said this prior to Defenders, I am looking forward to what happens with Iron Fist.
I’m done now.