Howdy ya’ll! Super Hubs here with a list that is very very important to me and not at all important to anybody else. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Netflix finally dropped a real trailer for The Defenders. If you hadn’t heard that then you’re obviously not one of the cool kids and need to get yourself a backwards cap, a brightly colored shirt, and some Mountain Dew STAT. I can’t be seen in your company otherwise. But I’ll throw you a bone and show you the trailer.
You see that shit? That shit was awesome! Jessica Jones quipping with Matt Murdock; Luke Cage smacking Danny; Stick barely suppressing the seething hatred he feels from looking at Danny’s face and calling him “the kid with the glowing fist”; Luke Cage smacking Danny! I’m so excited! So obviously we’re going to rank the SHIT out of all the shows!
And remember, this is my list and if you disagree I don’t care! Feel free to leave a very detailed comment about why I’m wrong so that I can not read it and respond with “Uw0tM8.” I love you all!
We’re going from worst to best with this list so obviously we start with…
5. Iron Fist
No big surprise here. Iron Fist was kind of a mess. A big mess. A sloppy, drunk-in-the-gutter mess. Admittedly, I know very little about Iron Fist. It’s never been on my radar other than as “that dude with the weird yellow mask what pals around with Luke Cage sometimes,” so I didn’t go in to this show with high expectations or anything more than superficial knowledge and a desire for Loras Tyrell to get some damn vindication even if it had to be in a different universe! And yet, low as they were, it still disappointed me.
It starts off okay, with Danny being a real crunchy weirdo and kinda goofy in his naivete. Danny in the first two episodes should have been Danny through the whole show. But slowly over the course of the season he just becomes all broody and angry and “why won’t anyone give me what I want I’m the Iron Fist meeeeeeeeeeehhh…” It could have been handled well, it wasn’t. Danny’s annoying and whiny and that’s all that needs to be said about him!
Colleen Wing is great but given not enough to do and spends a few episodes poisoned then is given a subplot wherein she’s part of The Hand and which resolves itself with very little drama. Claire Temple is always awesome and spends most of her time basically screaming at Danny and Colleen to fuck because she’s not about this will-they-won’t-they bullshit and they have more important things to do.
Everything else is…forgettable. So forgettable in fact that we recently had a friend over who tried to talk to me about one of the several dozen subplots in the show and I had no idea what he was talking about. We had to watch the episode for me to remember and even then I barely…cared. And that’s the big problem with the show. I just don’t care. I don’t care about the Meechums and their corporate drama, I don’t care about Danny wanting the company and then failing completely as a business man, I don’t care about Ward’s drug problem. I just don’t care.
The show could have been good, I think. There was a lot of potential there; a New York Corporate Family drama told through the lens of a mystical kung fu warrior. That could have been awesome! I think the problem was that they wanted to make it dark and gritty the way the other Netflix shows were when they should have leaned into the ridiculousness of the premise a lot more. What they should have done, is made Iron Fist the Netflix-verse’s Guardians of the Galaxy: just a straight up comedy with action elements. Iron Fist is very much a product of the 70s and they should have played that up in the show! A 70s exploitation-style Marvel show…that’s literally a dream I’ve had!
And as for the whole white-washing controversy…Finn Jones was not good casting. There’s no arguing this. You know what would have been really cool? Jessica Henwick as Iron Fist. She’s already the best part of the show and if you try and come at me with any “Iron Fist can’t be a giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl because he’s not a giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl in the comics,” crap I will respectfully disagree with you and make fun of you to all my friends. Danielle Rand can still be shortened to Danny. And ain’t nobody said Iron Fist has to be a dude.
4. Daredevil Season 2 – The Second Half
I’m cheating, I know, SHUT UP! Everything after Iron Fist is hard to rank because they’re all good but if there’s anything that’s not good it’s everything in this season after the Punisher’s story is finished. It’s a whole lot of set up for The Defenders so it’s just lore being thrown at us without much action, and the action we do get is pretty by the numbers. Elodie Yung is great as Elektra but that story arc just isn’t that interesting. The Punisher was such a compelling character and the acting and the writing for his story was so perfect that everything that comes after is just too highly contrasted.
And what the fuck is up with that giant hole The Hand is digging!?
3. Daredevil Season 1
In lists of this nature there is always an entry that begins with some variation of “The one that started it all.” It’s trite and cliche and insulting to the reading audience as they probably already know which entry was the first in whatever series of things is being ranked, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading the list! So I wanted to avoid doing that at all costs. And, by explaining that, I am both able to use that trite cliche and pretend like I’m better than it! #Lyfeh4x
So Daredevil was cool right? It was dark before being dark became a detriment; its hero was conflicted but not in an annoying way; and it had that badASS hallway fight. You could throw out the rest of the show and make it just this hallway fight and it would STILL be in 3rd place. That’s a testament to both how amazing the scene is and how terrible Iron Fist is.
Other than gifting us with one of the greatest fight scenes in history, Daredevil has the distinction of introducing Kingpin to the MCU. And what an entrance he made! Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk as very awkward and soft-spoken with a barely concealed current of explosive rage was unexpected and jarring at first, but as the series went on I fell in love with it. Traditionally, Kingpin is basically just fat Lex Luthor. He’s grinning and self-assured, he uses a lot of language that equates people with bugs – even when he’s NOT talking about Spider-Man – and he’s crazy rich.
In Daredevil he’s still rich and he believes very much in what he’s working toward, but he’s far from self-assured. And he kind of sucks. Like, his plans get wrecked real easy and the rest of The Hand basically shits all over him until the very end when his rage finally boils over. And the shot of him casually strolling down the highway while bullets fly all around him is simply perfect.
2. Luke Cage/Daredevil Season 2 First Half – TIE
Yeah, I’m cheating again, I know, STOP YELLING AT ME! Ranking things is hard ya’ll. I take this shit seriously. And having so few things to rank only makes it harder. Particularly because all of those things are so good! I had to come up with a 30 page bullet point list to compare these shows to one another and try to come up with what makes one better than another. And that didn’t even work! It ended in tears people, literal tears. Do you even appreciate what I do for you here!?
As I said before, the first half of Daredevil Season 2 was carried almost entirely by the Punisher. Daredevil’s great and Charlie Cox continues to knock it out of the park in the role but The Punisher was just sheer perfection. After three attempts at making a movie, they finally got the character right. It’s a shame that these Netflix shows are (probably) never going to cross over with the movies because I would love to see this Punisher and Kingpin interacting with Spider-Man. Not much else to say here. Punisher rulez Danny Rand droolz.
Luke Cage feels almost entirely separate from the rest of the MCU for its first half; it’s a cop drama that just so happens to have a character who’s invincible. Alfre Woodard and Mahershala Ali KILLED IT as Cottonmouth and Mariah and their family drama is so much better than the family drama in Iron Fist that Danny Rand should be ashamed he was ever born!
And Misty FREAKING Knight. MISTY FREAKIN KNIGHT ya’ll! The second half of the series suffers a bit because Diamondback just isn’t anywhere near as compelling a villain as the Dillards – though he is played with great aplomb by Erik LaRay Harvey – but where this is a huge detriment to Daredevil S2, Luke Cage doesn’t fall into this trap because it has Misty Freakin Knight! Simone Missick was perfectly cast and she played Misty so well that I literally divorced Nikkie and married the character in what was surely an affront to marriage as an institution.
It’s impossible to talk about Luke Cage without talking about its social relevancy. I won’t touch on this too much because even though I’m a #wokebloke, I’m still a middle class white dude and man do I not have the requisite life experience to even come close to speaking about anything in an even halfway informed way. So all I can say is that the political undertones of the show are handled really well and really add to it as a whole.
And holy shit is Mike Colter sexy!
1. Jessica Jones
It was very difficult for me to pick between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones for the top spot. Jessica Jones getting it came down to two things: its tone and its villain. Where Luke Cage is a police procedural, Jessica Jones is full-on film noir. And I love me a good noir story. Its even got the seething narration by the drunk main character that all good noirs have!
And the villain. Ho-lee shiet! The Purple Man is easily the most frightening villain that has ever appeared in the MCU. He’s sneering and petulant and oh so rapey and David Tennant is so freaky in the role. There are some flaws in the show – mostly because all of these Netflix shows are about 3 episodes too long – but the strong performances and the great writing more than make up for it.
Look guys. Look. Look. I want to talk about all this shit more. So much more. I could write thousands of words talking about any of these shows but when I set out to write this post I gave myself a limit of 750 words. I blew past that with Iron Fist alone. So I’ll leave you with this: If you haven’t watched any of these, do so. They are all worth your time.
Except Iron Fist
I’m excited for The Defenders ya’ll!