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Season Review: ‘The Defenders’

Come together, right now, over Danny.


The Defenders is a culmination of Marvel and Netflix’s partnership to create a more gritty, street level world to the MCU. Since the release of the first season of Daredevil in 2015, Netflix has created its own smaller, bloodier pocket of the MCU to play around in. They used a tried and true formula, once spearheaded by Marvel’s connected film push. Give each Defender their own show, similar to how most Avengers get their own movie. Sprinkle in a few crossover moments and a threat to bring them all together and vualla, you’ve got a Netflix/Marvel small scale Avengers. On paper, this is a not brainer. Three of the four shows leading up to this teamup have been ranging to good to great. The notably exception being Iron Fist, lead by Finn Jones who seems unwilling or unable to do his own stunts in both his own series and now The Defenders.

Truly, the greatest flaw of this team-up series is making Danny Rand the most important character. Marvel knows they screwed up with his series and there are a few scenes throughout this series that seem to be forcefully crammed in to help put a different spin on the character. Beyond Rand, the show had a few great moments of a reluctant team coming together to do good. A great difference between the Avengers and the Defenders is that the Defenders are real people with real lives. Sure we see Tony Stark talking with Pepper Potts and Ant Man has a family to care about but we really haven’t seen anything close to a character like Jessica Jones on screen before.

During the build up to our team coming together we get a frantically fast paced narrative that has to give equal time to all the four teammates. This leads each episode to feel both rushed and lacking forward moments at the same time. I watched the show over a few days but would love to see how someone would react watching one episode a week.

For me, Daredevil is the king of these four shows, both from a writing standpoint but also from a cinematography standpoint. They should have co-opted that crew because other than a few fight scenes nothing feels as kinetic and heavy as the fight scenes in Daredevil proper.

With the Hand dispatched at the end of the season and a few loose strings, it will be fun to see the fallout from these events in each of these character’s next seasons of their own shows. Let’s just hope The Punisher can get in on the fun next time.

 

Quick Thoughts:

  • Are our Misty Knight cyborg dreams really going to come true?
  • I dug seeing all of the side characters come together and there were a few fun scenes of them complaining about their super powered friends.
  • This is the second time Marvel/Netflix has pulled this villain twist. Something makes me think they can’t afford A-list actors.

Written by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore has a history in academic writing but has always had a passion for the media he loves. From music, to comics, to games, Chris looks beyond the page and searches for story behind the story.

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