Confession: I think I might be developing Marvel fatigue. With the exception of outliers such as Logan (not MCU, I know), Legion, and Spider-Man: Homecoming I’ve had the lingering feeling of “I could have done without that.”. Especially for the Marvel TV shows. They’re all 2 or 3 episodes too long and feel like they’re being made just to march towards the inevitable meet-up in The Defenders. After the lackluster conclusion of Jessica Jones and the sometimes aimless Luke Cage, needless to say, I wasn’t too excited for The Defenders.
Much to my delight, The Defenders fixes most of these problems. It takes the best parts of all individual Netflix series and filters out the waste. This show doesn’t move the needle at all but an 8 episode season makes this far more enjoyable. There are some slow moments but it gets straight to the action relatively quickly. The greatest improvement was this show embracing the ridiculousness of it all. If you’re like me, you were annoyed by everything in The Iron Fist’s series. There are jokes about his “I am the Immortal Iron Fist” introduction. Daredevil has an entire fight scene wearing an infinity scarf. Jessica Jones calls him an asshole. Speaking of Jessica Jones, she goes meta and tells us she indeed hasn’t changed clothes, which is something we already assumed. The show listened and gave us what we wanted. It’s not great by any means but it’s enjoyable enough to keep you interested in the Netflix Marvel universe.
This show has a host of great moments. The first fight scene with the entire Defenders roster is pretty cool and of course, it’s in a hallway. Thank God Danny Rand’s fight choreography has improved, by the way. The last fight is pretty good as well.
If you’re burned out by the Netflix shows, I understand. But I still think The Defenders is well worth 8 hours of your time.
Much like Ronnie, I was not looking forward to this show at all. A coworker had to ask me about it for me to remember it was coming on and that let me know I honestly am tired of the Netflix wing of the MCU already. Defenders is definitely an upgrade over everything that isn’t the first season of Daredevil. Outside of DD season 1, they’ve ruined each show by trying to fix a problem in the previous show. Kilgrave overstayed his welcome in JJ so they went with two villains in DD season 2 and Luke Cage. In Luke Cage, they killed the wrong villain too early so they didn’t really have a villain for Iron Fist. Iron Fist was too long and the action was ass so they shortened the Defenders and got right to the action and it actually worked.
The Defenders is a culmination of everything we have been watching since DD season 1 but unlike the first Avengers movie, it wasn’t this big team up as much as it was four people with abilities teaming up, begrudgingly to get a job done. The series works because each team member masks the character flaws of the others and nobody is on-screen long enough to get annoying (even though Danny Rand is the worst protagonist ever). Matt Murdock becomes the reluctant leader he was meant to be, Jessica gets over her issues long enough to do some good while Luke and Danny add much-needed balance to their darker counterparts.
Even with the much-needed improvement, I could honestly do without any more of these characters getting a solo series outside of Daredevil (Punisher not withstanding). It’s a step up from what we had but I’d need to see some better individual series before these shows get back on my barometer. They earned some good faith, but not that much.